Slow down and breathe with yoga

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William James
The Broadside

Yoga, a discipline centered around poses, stretching, breathing and meditation, is popular with Central Oregon Community College students.

Yoga can help students manage stress and balance their physical well-being.

“It’s really been helping me handle all the stresses of schoolwork,” said Isaiah Spence, a Central Oregon Community College student.

“It keeps me from being overloaded and, on a personal note, has helped me with dietary issues. In general it really helps me stay balanced,” he said.

Spence enjoys the atmosphere created by the Yoga instructors.

“The teacher always refers to the class as ‘your time.’ I really like the positive reinforcement,” he said.

The word “Yoga” is Sanskrit and has many meanings, including but not limited to “joining,” “uniting,” “union,” “conjunction” and “means.” Evidence of people practicing Yoga or precursors of Yoga has been dated back as far as c. 3300–1700 BCE. It is one of the six systems constituting Vedic philosophy, according to Minnesota State University’s online section on Hinduism.

Spence feels that practicing Yoga will build a person’s flexibility, strength and lung capacity, as Yoga teaches the practitioner “deep, mindful breathing,” which draws attention to their mental state and helps them keep a clear, stress-free mind.

Professor Nancy Reynolds, a COCC Yoga instructor, also lauded the benefits of Yoga, explaining the differences and contrasts between the classes that take place on campus and how they will help students who want to give it a try.

“Some classes are athletic and vigorous, and others are contemplative and restorative,” Reynolds said. “Others are more structured with discussion and demonstration.”

Reynolds explained that an enjoyable experience in Yoga depends on picking a class that fits the participant’s needs.

There are a total of six classes happening on campus at any given time during the mornings and afternoons.

“Yoga will teach students how to slow down, step back,deep breathe and develop self awareness around what they truly need to do at any one moment,” said Reynolds.

Types of Yoga

Bikram, or “Hot” Yoga

Increases balance and coordination, energy, tones and strengthens muscles and aids weight loss

Kundalini Yoga

Focuses on spiritual and physical energy release and improves mental state. Very demanding, and requires a certain style of breathing.

Ashtanga Yoga

The “Royal Eight Fold” Yoga style. It is dynamic as opposed to static which has to do with a broad range of techniques and supplies a broad range of benefits

Willaim James can be reached at wjames@cocc.edu

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