June 18, 2024

Many students across campus are feeling the stress of college life settling in. While it is only the seventh week of classes, students have been barraged with quizzes, presentations and even exams. Some may decide to drink away their stress during the weekends, but there is another way to relieve stress, increase flexibility and work on breathing techniques all in the same class.

Gabrille Beckman, an ambitious young freshman, debuted her first slow flow yoga class on Sept. 3 in the Alumni Room at the Student Center and is expecting a large turn out once the school year progresses, especially around midterms and finals. Beckman began her class confidently by showing students how to control their breathing, engage core muscles correctly to avoid injury and discussing the routine she would be following.

Throughout the class, she helpfully pointed out alternative ways of practicing a position to make sure everyone in the class could be involved. With peaceful music playing in the background, she led the class through several yoga positions, explaining how each were helpful to the body and how to properly execute them to feel the full benefit. She placed a large amount of emphasis on controlling the breathing, a skill needed for not only yoga, but everyday life, especially for an overworked college student.

When the class was winding down, Beckman had everyone lay on their mats for the practice of savasana, when a person lies on their back and relaxes the body in its entirety. Beckman, in a soothing voice, explained that the purpose of savasana was to let go of any tension in the body by tensing the muscles and then releasing them, almost melting into the mat.

She spoke calmly throughout the practice, telling the class that yoga is a way to nourish and take care of the body. Yoga is wonderful for the body, which in turn is good for the mind because when the body is relaxing, the mind is as well.

When the class ended, the overall feeling in the room was calm and with a new purified energy. Everyone felt refreshed and relaxed, which was Beckman’s goal from the beginning.

“This class is recommended to anyone who feels they need to destress; for anyone who wants to give yoga a try;: this is the class for them,” Beckman said after the class, smiling.

Beckman says she has never taught yoga before, but when she saw the job listing at the student involvement fair, she felt pulled towards it immediately. She hopes to teach this class for the rest of the year and maybe even for the rest of her four years at Witt. If you or any friends have been feeling the pressure of college and need a chance to escape for an hour, Beckman offers classes Mondays and Wednesdays at 5 p.m., and a Thursday session at 7 p.m. Mats are provided, but leave your stress at the door.

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