Weekly yoga sessions help STU students relax

Still of the Yoga class schedule, offered by St. Thomas University. (Daniel Salas/AQ)

Yoga boasts many great benefits as it is a form of meditation. Nest Yoga instructors are welcoming St. Thomas University students to take advantage of these benefits with two hours of weekly free yoga.

STU hosts the sessions every Tuesday and Thursday from 4:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. at the J.B. O’Keefe Fitness Centre.

Yoga instructor Christine Leger said these sessions help students with their breathing and getting in touch with their body.

“[Yoga] gets their body moving which is a good thing for students to be doing,” said Leger. “It helps to bring more mindfulness so every time there is anything stressful, students are a little more equipped to handle the stressful situations.”

With midterms overtaking the minds of most students, Leger said it’s imperative to take a break.

“I think it’s just something to take them out of school mode, put them into something different that’s not the gym or hanging out with their friends,” said Leger.

First-year STU student Sadie Creary attends and appreciates the weekly sessions.

“I’ve done yoga off and on by myself for many years and have always wanted to join a class, but they were not always extremely accessible and often really pricey. Even though it may only be one hour it sets my week off on the right foot,” said Creary.

She said practicing yoga has a positive impact on her mental health as well as physical health, one of the many benefits to the activity.

“Often times when stress and anxiety seem overwhelming, even doing a five-minute session can help alleviate those feelings greatly, which allows me to be more productive and live a happier life,” she said.

Creary said her productivity and mindset improvements has helped her in her classes and she encourages students to take that step into the inclusive, adaptable and welcoming environment of yoga.

“Although it may seem scary to first get into it, especially a class, I can promise you will not regret it. It has been a lifesaver,” she said.

Eugenia Rodriguez, second-year STU student from Mexico, said the breathing techniques taught in the class helped with her stress and concentration.

“They consist of inhaling and exhaling following different rhythms. Practicing long term can help with anxiety and depression,” Rodriguez said.

Classes are different depending on what each person is working towards — breathing or working up a sweat. Overall, as a student it has taught Rodriguez to embrace the moment and concentrate.

These sessions are put on by the instructors from local yoga shop Nest Yoga in conjunction with STU Healthy Campus. The events and activities are for all students who wish to get a break from their screens, books or their dreaded classes and just relax.

“After a long day of classes, homework and exams there is nothing better than the feeling of movement in your body,” said Rodriguez. “You need to rest your brain for a while and just dive into your practice.”