What started as a spontaneous yoga session on the green during the summer of 2014 is now UFV’s well-established yoga club. Apart from hosting regular weekly sessions, students can look forward to “glowga,” a yoga session with trance music and light in the Great Hall of the Student Union Building (SUB), which was a major hit last semester.
The yoga club wants to highlight the importance of taking care of yourself. This will be a joint effort with the mental awareness club, which the yoga club has partnered and will collaborate with. Students are encouraged to attend the club’s weekly sessions during midterms to reduce their stress levels and get a fresh perspective on things.
Yoga club members Emma MacMurdo, Nicky Rai, and Catherine MacMurdo sat down with The Cascade to talk about the club, its plans, and what yoga means to them.
What does a regular session look like?
We start by introducing ourself, sharing bits about what we are studying and then the instructors take over. It is free drop-in, open for all students, teachers, and staff too! We even provide yoga mats. No matter what your skill or ability is, everyone is definitely welcome to join us.
Who leads the sessions?
It is always student-led and at the beginnings we figure out what the students want to focus on. Sometimes it is more focused on hips, sometimes more abs.
What would be the main message you want to send out to the UFV community?
That we organize free, inclusive yoga sessions, making it accessible as well as both respecting yoga’s cultural roots and the land we practise on, which is equally important to us.
Do you practise any particular yoga school?
One of our instructors loves hatha yoga but mainly it is usually relaxing, kind of flow-type of yoga.
Can you tell us about benefits of practising yoga?
It is great for your body. Not just in a physical way but with so much stress and things happening around us your mind will benefit too. We tend to forget to take care of us but yoga is a great tool exactly for that. Come and see for yourself, you will feel energized. We believe that body, mind, and spirit are all interlinked and for 1,000 years yoga has been practised to bring all three together. Stress is, for example, carried not only mentally but it can be stored in your neck or back. Without regularly taking care of yourself it will add up and result in problems later on. It’s a great release for all that tensions that’s built up!
Wow, that’s great! I should become a regular member then. Any other reasons why people should pop in?
We like to think of it as an outlet on campus for physical activity, but also for socializing. You can make friends here, have fun, and meet like-minded people.
What are some of the bigger events you plan to host this semester?
We’re all very excited about the upcoming Halloween-themed yoga session in October! We wanna put up decorations and have spooky music going on. It would be great if people showed up in their costumes as well. Just be mindful of your costume choice. We also hope to organize a joint event with the mental awareness club and dark chocolate as the main star! It has lots of benefits for your brain and in spirit of that we want to talk with students about mental health.
It seems that yoga and dark chocolate are a great match. For anyone else who wants to join, the regular sessions pop up either on Tuesdays from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. or on Wednesdays from 1:00 to 2:00 p.m. in the SUB Great Hall. The sessions vary depending on the week, so check the UFV yoga club Facebook page about the exact time. Namaste!
This interview was edited for length and clarity.