Yoga Club promotes health, relaxation and an open heart

Since last fall, the Merciad has published several articles about the yoga classes offered by Betty Amatangelo.

These classes received much participation from the student body as well as the community, and with the beginnings of the Mercyhurst College Yoga Club, they can begin giving the relaxation and peace of mind they have been cultivating back to the community.

Their first meeting on Oct. 4 was to organize and elect members.

They started the meeting with a prayer, not in the traditional sense, but a reading from a novel that aligned with the theme of the club and that touches on the higher power that exists – whatever one may name it.

“I’m not navigating, after this I just want to be a strong, supportive presence,” Betty Amatangelo, the adviser said as the students began electing the officers for the club.

Many of the students were attracted to yoga at first for the health benefits, seeing it as a good form of exercise, but for students like senior Grig Grigoryon, it became a way to relax.

“You work muscles you didn’t even know you had,” senior Chelsea Lammes said.

Senior Toni Novello added, “You really do get more in touch with every part of your body.”

“It’s a way to balance your spiritual side and physical side together,” said Novello.

“I don’t really know how to meditate, but it’s a time to ‘veg out’ your mind.” Lammes added, “It’s a just a time during the week when you’re told not to think. Being quiet transfers into other areas of life and settles me.”

“We want to take yoga out into the community,” Amatangelo explained as the students began discussing possible service projects.

The students want to work with underprivileged children, hoping to get them involved in physical activity of a different kind, to promote more than just physical fitness.

They also hope to organize a campus event for National Yoga Day on Jan. 22, bringing in guest speakers and organizing a massive yoga class in the Athletic Center to introduce students to the benefits of yoga.

Yoga is about a mix of physical and spiritual wellness, but bake sales while profitable, are usually filled with sweet food that conflict with the health aspect of yoga and the importance of moderation.

The yoga club wants to put a new spin on this idea, by fundraising for their trips by making scented eye pillows, and possibly even doing henna art for students.

“This is a way you can meet life with dignity,” Amatangelo said, “with an open heart.”