Connecting Our ‘Inner Networks’ Through Yoga, Powered by INAP


As the new reality of the work from home lifestyle began to sink in, we at INAP started looking for new ways to connect with our employees, partners and clients. Enter INAP Marketing Specialist Nicolette Downs. As a yoga instructor and owner of Chicago’s own Big Shoulders Yoga Studio, she’s graciously stepped onto her mat to offer twice-weekly yoga classes via Instagram Live.

“The virtual INAP yoga classes are a great break in the day and have helped with my flexibility and focus,” said Matt Cutler, National Account Manager.

You can join Downs and other members of the INAP family on Tuesdays and Thursdays at 12 p.m. Eastern Time. All you have to do is follow us @poweredbyinap on Instagram and you can join the free classes in real time or watch them on our Instagram story for up to 24 hours after the live class. The 30-minute classes are the perfect way to take a short break, connect with others, reconnect with yourself and get your body moving.

“It’s great to take 30 minutes in the middle of the day to step away from my desk and move my body,” said Kandace Hyland, Senior Marketing Manager. “I come back re-energized to do whatever project I’m working on that day.”

Attending live classes can also bring some much needed routine to your day, as Human Resources Generalist Anastacia Cesario can attest. “Taking live classes during this quarantine helps me feel like there is some sort of normality in my day still and helps me stick to a schedule.”

Yogis of all levels can participate, whether you’re a seasoned expert or have never taken a yoga class in your life.

National Account Manager Joseph Shaughnessy has been able to find a new challenge and goal to strive for through these classes. “I’m still trying to perfect my ‘crow pose,’” he said. “A lot of practice is needed!”

You won’t need any special equipment to participate. If you don’t have access to a mat, a towel or blanket can serve as a stand-in. Downs often offers up substitutes for the typical props used in the yoga studio at the beginning of the live broadcast and throughout the practice.

We hope we’re able to provide the small break you need in your day to keep you feeling grounded as we make our way through these unprecedented times. And as always, we’re here to help you find the solutions you need to maintain your connectivity, whether it be through yoga to keep you up and running, or an IT solution to keep your business going.

Know Your Yoga Moves

New to yoga and want to be better prepared? There are many poses to explore in class that aren’t covered below, including crow pose, which Shaughnessy mentioned he’s working on and is a pose that allows you to get some “network uptime.” But the poses that follow are some of the moves you’ll frequently see in our classes.

Downs also provides modifications during the class in order to help accommodate limitations.

Backbone Connection Pose (Downward Dog)

Yoga Downward Dog

This is a common pose across all styles of yoga. This spine-lengthening pose will help you shake off long days sitting in front of a computer.

From all fours, ground your hands into the mat, putting the weight into your thumbs and forefingers to take any strain off of your wrists. Lift your hips and bend your knees, coming onto the balls of your feet. Bring your shins parallel to the mat and keep your sit bones lifting high and back and you straighten your legs. Once in position, you can peddle out your feet as you work to melt your heels toward the floor.

Hyper-V (Boat Pose)

Yoga Boat Pose

This pose will really rev up your core. You’ll begin seated with your knees bent and feet flat on the mat. Lean back slightly and lift your legs to bring your shins parallel to the floor. Maintain tension in your core to ensure that your spine doesn’t round down. We want a nice straight back and a lifted chest in this pose.

As you maintain the balance on your sit bones, straighten your legs to your comfort level. In the photo above, Downs in demonstrating the maximum extension. Lift your arms and reach forward, keeping your arms and hands actively engaged. We’ll typically draw several rounds of breath in this pose.

To release, exhale as you lower your legs and hands to the floor.

Network Branch Pose (Tree Pose)

Yoga Network Branch Pose

Challenge your balance! Throughout this balance pose, keep your gaze fixed on an unmoving point in front of you. Begin by standing on your mat with your arms at your side. For this example, we’ll pretend you’re starting with the balance on your left leg. Shift your weight to your left foot and bend your right knee.

Lift your right leg or use your hand to draw your right foot alongside your inner left thigh, your left calf or your left ankle, depending on your flexibility level. To protect your knee, do not rest your foot against the knee joint.

Place your hands on your hips and lengthen your tailbone toward the floor. Then, press your palms together in a prayer position at your chest, with your thumbs resting on your sternum. You can stay in this position, or take the balance a step further by reaching your network branches up overhead.

Web Firewall Application Pose (Warrior II)

This pose will give your quad muscles a run for their money. Step your feet apart, using your mat or towel as a guide. Raise your arms parallel, palms facing down, and reach them actively out to the sides. Keep the front foot pointed forward and turn your back foot out. The front and back heels should be aligned as the feet run perpendicular to each other.

Bend your left knee over the left ankle, so that the shin is perpendicular to the floor. This is where you’ll feel the quad go to work. Anchor this movement of the front knee by strengthening the back leg as you press the outer back heel firmly to the floor. Turn you head forward to look out over your fingers.

Concluding the Practice

Yoga Sealing Practice

Each practice concludes with savasana, or what we’re calling NAP Pose. You’ll get a chance to lie back on the mat, relax and thank yourself for the work you just did. Then, after that final relaxation, we seal the practice by sitting cross legged and saying, “Namaste,” which roughly means, “The light within me honors and respects the light within you.”

Join us on Instagram Live for free yoga classes!

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Laura Vietmeyer
  • Managing Editor

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