Take a break with Dr. Lynn’s virtual yoga classes

Though she’s taught online history courses for 10 years, Dr. Denise Lynn had never led an online yoga class until a few weeks ago. While she waits for her sessions at the Recreation, Fitness and Wellness Center to resume, the Associate Professor of History and veteran yoga instructor is trying something new—guiding USI faculty and staff through Downward Facing Dog and Warrior poses every Monday afternoon via Zoom.

Dr. Denise Lynn demonstrates a Downward Facing Dog yoga pose

“I have found over the years that yoga breaks in the middle of the day … have always been really beneficial; now that we are in the midst of a historical and global phenomena that is touching every part of our lives, any break is welcome,” Lynn says.

Dr. Melinda Roberts, Associate Professor of Criminal Justice, agrees. She’s become a regular for Lynn’s online classes. “I usually take yoga classes twice a week on campus, and I did not want to fall out of practice,” she says.

Faces of faculty members participating in Dr. Denise Lynn's virtual yoga classes, as seen on her computer via Zoom

With fellow employees hunkering down at makeshift workspaces, Lynn sees several benefits to offering virtual yoga. “I have spent way more time sitting over these past few weeks than I normally do when I am in the classroom or just on campus in general,” she says. “Yoga helps to keep my body moving, flexible, and helps to work out some of the stiffness after a long day in front of the computer. It can help others in the same way, just getting up and moving.”

But it’s not just stretching that’s important. “The other thing [yoga] does is take people’s minds off their everyday stressors, even if only for an hour,” Lynn says.

While it may not be a cure-all, it’s another tool—that comes with the bonus of friendly USI faces.

“I look forward to each Monday because Denise’s yoga Zoom sessions provide not only self-care and health benefits, but they provide social connection as well, which inevitably increases happiness,” says Roberts.

Lynn’s classes are Mondays at 3 p.m. and are open to USI faculty and staff at no cost. Those interested in participating should email her for a Zoom invitation.





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