Yo Yo Yoga

I was never any sort of yogi and I still wouldn’t go as far as saying I am. As someone with lots of dance background, I have the balance and the flexibility to physically perform yoga, but as someone whose mind is constantly going 100 miles per hour and can’t seem to find any sort of zen during the day, I found the idea of doing yoga to be very challenging. The decision to attend yoga club wasn’t really my own, but rather an idea and activity to experience with my friends. And it’s one of the best decisions I’ve made since attending college.

Like I said, finding peace in a mind that’s moving too fast and finding stillness in a day packed full of running around was a huge challenge for me. But since joining yoga, I’ve been able to find that zen that I’ve never quite experienced, even if it’s only just once a week for an hour.

I really love yoga club here because it’s accessible for whoever wants to participate. There are different modifications for every move and stretch so participants can feel comfortable and confident in what they’re doing.

At each meeting, we’re told at the beginning to find one word to have as our focus and purpose for the entire session as something to come back to each time our mind wanders. The breathing practices and stretches performed are mixed in with casual and sneaky ways to challenge your strength and balance so you’re getting a workout without it feeling like a boring hour spent at the gym.

Yoga has done great things for my overall mental health. It sets up my week to be calmer and more focused and I find myself wishing I had more time to set aside to just breathe and enjoy a practice made to help people’s health and wellbeing.

R.I.S.E. Yoga club meets on Mondays at 6:00 for Vinyasa flow and Wednesdays at 6:30 for Power Vinyasa, both in Manor Main. Although I only have time available for Monday yoga, I’ve made the habit of attending every week because having time set aside to just breathe and enjoy space away from school and work is so important.

My favorite part of the class is after all the stretches and downward dogs, we lay in the dark and enjoy the peaceful music. Sometimes even the instructor will give a short, relaxing facial massage to students while we lay there.

Letting my body relax after working out by just laying in the stillness of a dark room is so wonderful because it’s really something I otherwise would never experience. I typically don’t allow myself to just take care of me, and yoga allows me to have that.

While I can speak only for Monday night yoga, I would encourage anyone who has any sort of interest in yoga, is looking for another form of exercise or is just looking for a chance to have time set aside to clear mind space and move around to try out one of the yoga classes.

You definitely don’t need to have prior experience in yoga or meditation or anything of those sorts. Allowing yourself to have some peace and stillness even for just an hour is so important for both physical and mental health. Especially as college students, we really need an opportunity to reset and just enjoy the rareness of quiet and calm in a frequently loud and crazy world.