Lakers learn the lotus

Amatangelo teaches yoga every Thursday at 7:30 in the Rec Center.Amatangelo teaches yoga every Thursday at 7:30 in the Rec Center.

As a staff member of more than fifteen years, Betty Amatangelo, clerk at the Registrars Office, has struggled to find a position in which she can help students in a way not covered by other college organizations, such as tutoring and Campus Ministry.

“I’ve always had a ministry bone in my body,” Amatangelo said.

She remembers that a senior staff member once asked her, “What do you have to offer that no one else has?” At the time, Amatangelo did not have an answer. Now she does, and that answer is yoga.

She now teaches a weekly class held every Thursday at 7:30 p.m. in the Rec Center.

“It’s relaxing and inspirational,” freshman Jenna Dascanio said, using two words that were repeatedly used in other students’ responses as well.

“We’re making this a weekly thing,” said Dascanio’s fellow freshman Kaitln Wrona.

Besides the obvious physical benefits of yoga, Amatangelo explained that the class provides students with a chance to unwind and deal with issues in their lives. Each class consists of a short discussion, which helps students emotionally and spiritually; asana, the movement portion of the class; and a motivational reading, which Amatangelo reads while students do a relaxation exercise.

“Yoga is a nice break from my hectic schedule as a student,” junior Taleisha Johnson said. “It’s a challenge for my body, and I feel really good.”

While the class has met with great success at the Recreation Center, Amatangelo hopes to offer a second class every week at another location.

“There are a lot of students who would like a class in the dorms, and I’d be willing to do a class one night a week at the dorm for free,” Amatangelo said. She explained that the common area of Baldwin would be ideal as the majority of her students are female.

Two major factors play into Amatangelo’s offer. “Some students are intimidated by the Rec center,” she said. “There are people who have always wanted to try yoga but are too self-conscious in this setting.”

In addition, scheduling prevents some students and faculty from attending the class. Someone with a Thursday night class could not make it to class, but two classes a week might solve that problem, provided that the second class does not take place on Tuesday.

“The kids love it,” Amatangelo said. In every class of the past four weeks, 40 to 60 students have participated as well as 5 to 7 faculty, although Amatangelo hopes more faculty will show interest in the future.

Students widely encourage the idea of a second yoga class and hope the administration will soon approve and implement the plan.

Amatangelo's class consists of small discussions, asana, and a motivational reading.Amatangelo’s class consists of small discussions, asana, and a motivational reading.