Mindful Yoga provides free stress relief for students
The class is offered every Monday in Bingham Commons.
Oct. 26, 2010
On a typical Monday afternoon, Baja Grill is filled with students rushing to grab a quick bite before commencing a week full of studying and responsibilities. Only one floor above this commotion, a group of students in Bingham Commons enjoy a more serene experience — a free yoga class.
Mindful Yoga has been available to students free of charge since 2004. Mindful Yoga instructor Terry Wilson said the class is a great stress-reduction opportunity for students.
“The purpose of the class is to offer students an experience of more body awareness, which can lead to stress reduction,” Wilson said.
Mindful Yoga begins with basic stretching exercises that help students to clear their minds and focus on being in the present moment. After about an hour of yoga instruction, the session closes with breathing exercises and guided deep relaxation.
Unlike a lot of the fitness yoga classes offered at the Student Recreation Complex, Mindful Yoga emphasizes meditation and relaxation, Wilson said.
“It’s really a meditation in motion if you really look at Mindful Yoga,” Wilson said.
Wilson said the relaxation techniques learned in the class can be applied to students’ everyday lives.
“When you’re doing Mindful Yoga, you are paying attention moment to moment without judgment, so you can watch body sensations come and go,” Wilson said. “So when we kind of just open ourselves up to all this we can learn to take these attitudinal qualities off the mat and into our daily lives.”
Not only is Mindful Yoga a venue for students to reduce stress and clear their minds heading into a week of classes, the absence of a registration fee makes the class an unbeatable opportunity for students interested in trying out yoga.
Wilson said the class is a great way for students to utilize their prepaid student health fee.
“Students who aren’t sick and never use the Student Health Center sometimes ask why they had to pay (the health fee),” Wilson said. “Then when they find out about all these wellness programs that we do at the Student Health Center like Mindful Yoga, they really get involved and they love it and it really helps them to reduce stress.”
Wilson said the only requirement for the class is the curiosity to come check it out.
“You don’t have to have any experience,” Wilson said. “You don’t have to be flexible, you don’t have to be strong. You just need to want to be open to an experience for relaxation and more body awareness.”
Freshman Renee Tymony said Mindful Yoga is her only escape from the stresses of college life.
“It’s my first year so I’m really stressed,” Tymony said. “This class is the only thing that keeps me distressed and focused.”
Sophomore Destinee Keeling also said she goes to the yoga class to unwind from the rigors of life at MU.
“It’s a really good way to wind down after the weekend,” Keeling said. “Especially after the one since Homecoming. It sets me up for the week.”
Wilson said she encourages students with any amount of interest to come out and give Mindful Yoga a try.
“Just wear some comfortable clothing and just get curious about it and experience it,” Wilson said.
Mindful Yoga is offered from 4 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. every Monday in Bingham Commons.