This week, The Gryphon interviews Stephanie, a committee member on LUU’s Yoga Society.
Yoga is not just physical exercise but a form of spiritual and mental meditation originating in India. The LUU Yoga Society is four years old and holds classes every day of the week, each class featuring a different type of yoga. I attended the Yoga GIAG on Monday, and although I did not participate in the actual activity, I was able to observe the exercises and gain a deeper understanding of yoga.
Throughout the class, the teacher talked about how beneficial yoga can be for the body and mind. Most people do yoga for general fitness reasons, like improving their flexibility. However, she noted that it is important to identify what your purpose is when starting yoga. Once you discover that purpose, you can begin to let your practice unfold and see yourself progressing as you work towards achieving that goal.
Another interesting statement she made was that once you cross the threshold of physical difficulty, you achieve a different level of embodiment than what you experienced in the beginning. Hearing that made me reflect on how yoga could help achieve inner peace, overcome obstacles and create a sense of satisfaction and enrichment because of it.
Yoga can also help overcome the crazy rush of consciousness we all have: the number of thoughts that cross one person’s brain in a single day is innumerable. The reason we don’t realise how chaotic it is in our heads is because we’re distracted by other activities and duties, but yoga forces you to sit in silence and clear your mind. Initially, it can be difficult to ignore all the thoughts demanding your attention. However, the moment you obtain relief from all those thoughts is a moment of freedom, when you can forget where you are or what you have to do in the next hour and just be. Exist in that moment. Not to sound overtly spiritual, but university life can be busy, and it’s important to have these rare moments of peace and clarity.
As well as learning some important life lessons, The Gryphon interviewed one of the committee members, Stephanie, in order to gain her perspective on what being a part of Yoga Society was like.
Why did you join the Yoga Society?
I’m social sec for the Yoga committee, and I joined the society last year because I was looking for an activity that would be active but relaxing.
Who would you recommend yoga to?
I’d recommend yoga to everybody, even if they’re already athletic. It’s good to stay more active and yoga is great for cooling down muscles. If you’re inactive, it’s still important to learn to stretch and breathe.
What aspect of yoga do you like?
It’s all about union and connecting elements of your life and body together using movement, which I think is really nice.
How do you join the society?
You can join through the union website. It’s £5 to join, and classes after that are £3 each.
Do you have different types of yoga classes?
Yes, there’s Ashtanga, Strala, Yoga Flow, and Kundalini. Try out different types, find the one that suits you, find the time that suits you, and then join. They’re all beginners level.
Regardless of how much experience you have with yoga, beginners and experts alike are welcome to attend the classes. More information on the different types of yoga classes can be found on the society’s website: www.luu.org.uk/groups/yoga
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