It is no secret that college can be a stressful time, add on a global pandemic and there’s certainly enough reason for students to seek outlets for self-care. Look no further than Yoga Club, which will be offering both in-person and virtual opportunities throughout the semester.
“Yoga club is the perfect opportunity for people to practice self-care. Whether the intent of the practice is physical, emotional, or spiritual it can be a healthy practice to partake in, said Emmaline Devore, Yoga Club co-president. “It is also a way to connect with others, whether it be via Zoom or in person.”
Since spring of last year, the Yoga Club began offering classes via Zoom, led by advisor and dance professor, Solveig Santillano. Recognizing the importance of yoga practice during times of stress, the club resolved to stay active, despite the challenges that the pandemic brings.
“Yoga is extremely important during this time. I know many people are uncomfortable with being in public places like a gym, but also do not have access to the equipment to stay fit. Yoga provides a balance because it can be accessible to people in many different locations,” said Devore. “For me personally, it provides a way to find grounding because, with the amount that is constantly changing, it can be difficult to stay connected to myself and others in a positive way.”
Secretary and treasurer, Kaitlyn Culp, echoes similar sentiments about the importance of yoga. “It provides a lot of benefits including physical activity, stress relief, and a sense of belonging and community, which is especially important with so many stressors right now in the world,” Culp said.
The club is beginner-friendly and offers members a safe, supportive environment to learn about yoga and develop their own practice. To help meet the needs of all club members, a number of different events are organized for the semester, all of which abide by campus social distancing policies.
Beginning in mid-February, the club began hosting “Meditation Mondays,” a short weekly series on Mondays at 11 a.m. where members engage in meditation via livestream on their Instagram, @mercyhurstyogaclub. The club also plans to hold in-person classes for a limited number of members, to ensure that social distancing can take place.
Yoga Club officers are also hosting a photo contest through the end of the month. Anybody who follows the club’s Instagram is eligible to submit a photo of them in a yoga pose by tagging the Yoga Club or directly messaging the account. All social distancing and mask guidelines must be followed in the photo to be considered. Besides that, the possibilities are limitless. The winner of the best photo submission will be rewarded with a prize. Photos are due by Feb. 28.
“I can’t wait for each of the events of this semester to occur,” Devore said. Those interested in joining the club should follow Yoga Club on social media or contact co-presidents Devore and Grace Sinke for information. Culp encourages all those interested to join. “People should join the yoga club for a fun and meaningful experience and as a form of escape from the anxiety surrounding college,” Culp said.