Name: Zoe LePage
What is your claim to fame on Barnard's campus?
Yoga teacher. You might have seen me teaching yoga on the Diana rooftop during the Greek Games or on the South lawn during Random Acts of Kindness week. I teach a weekly yoga class for Columbia University affiliates.
How did you become a fully-certified teacher, and why?
During a gap year before starting at Barnard I worked in law firm, volunteered at Columbia Children's hospital, tutored and completed a 200 hour yoga teacher certification program through Yogaworks. Although I had taken yoga classes since I was 14, I started developing a more consistent yoga practice during my junior year of high school when I stopped dancing.
I decided to take the course to deepen my own practice but my subsequent experiences teaching has shown me that teaching is a powerful way to connect with others. My training course lasted for 12 weeks and taught me yogic philosophy, anatomy, and asana (the physical poses). Most importantly, I was trained how to translate this knowledge to create a safe, challenging and meaningful class for my students.
What do you like best about yoga?
Yoga is where I come to breathe deeply, to ground myself, and to reconnect. Yoga centers me and leaves me feeling strong. It does not make all of my problems magically disappear but it makes me feel capable of dealing with them. I like that there is consistency in yoga—some poses make up part of every class, and yet there is room for creativity and challenging poses that push you to your edge. Yoga gives me the time to pause, to get into my body and therefore more deeply get into my life.
How does it affect your daily life?
Yoga keeps me in shape and helps me de-stress. I practice yoga 3-4 times a week at Yogaworks, either on the Upper West Side or in Soho.
What else are you involved with here on campus?
I am President of the Art of Living club at Columbia University. Our club provides free weekly yoga and meditation classes in addition to lecture series and in-depth workshops (link!!). I am also an Athena Scholar, a program that allows Barnard students to learn about and develop their own leadership. This fall I interned for the Athena Film Festival.
In what ways has Barnard shaped your experiences and choices?
I have learned so much at Barnard—not just in the classroom but all over campus. Barnard has given me the confidence to speak up but also the intelligence to listen. During my time at Barnard, I have been forced to think critically and consider issues to which there is no easy answer. As such, Barnard has taught me to actively take charge of my life, to be curious, to take risks, to find my passion and to use my voice.
What is one thing you're dying to do before you graduate?
Go to dinner with D. Spar and find out how she does it.
If you could live anywhere in the world, where would it be?
NYC! I love the characters I meet on the subway and that stores are open 24/7. But I don't want to be tied to NYC, either. I want the freedom to travel. My current list includes India, Brazil, Greece, and San Francisco.