By Stephanie Lemus
For many years yoga has been known for its religious gratitude and medical cures on meditation and flexibility. From its religious Hinduism roots it has become secular and accessible for many individuals all around the world. Yoga is also being taught in classes and gym sessions for students.
“I decided to take yoga because I wanted to learn how to properly practice it.” William Banks, Liberal Arts major, said.
Banks shares that yoga has definitely had an impacted his life and that it has helped him build a lot of strength as well.
“I’ve discovered new ways to control my breath: slower and deeper breaths allow an individual to relax their body and muscles. It also releases stress,” he adds.
“I highly recommend other people to take yoga classes; it is much more than just stretching and posing,” Banks concluded.
“It helped me concentrate instead of turning to medication,” Mabilia Betagon, Nursing major, said.
Betagon decided to take 7 A.M. yoga classes during a very stressful time in her life. She was also while being pregnant.
“Too many things and too many events were going on at once in my life when I decided to take a Yoga class. Everything was happening so quickly and I needed to find a way to relax,” she adds.
“It was not dreadful taking the class at all while being pregnant. It was perfect. My professor actually encourages people to take the class when you are pregnant.”
Betagon discusses how it changed and impacted her lifestyle.
“I am more relaxed, energized, and it helped my posture. Not only that, but I analyze things differently. I recommend the class to everybody,” Betagon concluded.
“The ups and downs of life in general have inspired me to not only practice yoga but also to teach yoga.” Denizzie Kearns, Adjunct yoga instructor at SCCC, said.
“Over 15 years ago, while I was living in New York City, I was looking for a way to take care of my stress and to take on my exercise routine from a new angle.” She said. “After one yoga session, I was hooked and ventured to different classes throughout the years.”
She personally has learned that no matter the kinds of obstacle she encounters in her life she can always rely on her yoga practice.
“My own practice has shown me that there are many paths to happiness and peace, and there are also many paths to unhappiness and chaos. I am fully in charge of the path I follow,” she said. “Every step is a new discovery and a new experience. Exploring this journey goes hand in hand with being a teacher.”
Professor Kearns was always interested in yoga before she became an instructor, and that her own life experiences have inspired her to teach it to others.
“I think just like yoga has impacted me, my teachers, my teachers’ teachers, and the lineage of teachers who taught them, it has indeed impacted my students. I see how many of my students have become so disciplined and now able to practice daily. They have also been able to make better choices such as changing eating habits, breathing through stressful situations, or avoiding unnecessary conflicts.”
Kearns explains how yoga involves a lot more than the physical body and stretching.
“The practice is not only about stretching or twisting the body into pretzel shapes like poses, but by doing the poses and breathing we calm the mind and move towards a deep understanding of ourselves,” Kearns shares.
It is important to keep in mind that everyone is different with learning the postures.
“There is something for every person, for every physical level, for every ability level. One thing to consider is you should take it step by step, breath by breath, without paying attention on what others are doing. The key to getting the best out of a yoga class is to consistently focus on your breathing.”
Kearn shares how yoga releases so much stress and tension in people’s life.
“Practicing an exercise where you move physically and mentally will actually teach you how to deal with stressful situations more easily. You see what works for you on a certain day or at a certain stage in your life, learn to listen to your body and simply be open to what comes up.”
“A yoga practice focuses heavily on the breath. Breathing is an automatic function of the body that is controlled by the brain. When we are under stress our breathing pattern changes and it disrupts the body as well as the mind. By learning to control our breath can help to manage stress and stress-related conditions,” she concludes.