Yoga participants find peace

By Katie Rivera


   On Mondays and Wednesdays from 11:45 a.m. to 12:45 p.m., the last racquetball court in the UIW Wellness Center is more at peace as weekly yoga classes are conducted.

UIW philosophy professor Monica Young De Cantu teaches yoga classes for free for UIW students and others who have access to the wellness center. De Cantu has been teaching yoga since the summer of 2004 and brought her class to the UIW community in the fall of 2009.

“Yoga offers students an empty space in an otherwise very full, cluttered and encumbered life full of deadlines, tasks and goal orientations of studying,” De Cantu said.

Yoga is practiced as a whole body experience, working the body from the inside out. Breathing, posture, and state of mind are key elements of yoga practice.

Yoga consists of thousands of poses that work to improve strength, flexibility and endurance. When part of a regular exercise routine, yoga helps people to gain better body awareness.

“Yoga has completely transformed my own life,” De Cantu said. “It has given me the physical fitness in terms of strength, stamina and balance. It has motivated me to take care of myself better.”

There are many forms of yoga that can be practiced. The one De Cantu offers is called Vinyasa. It focuses on matching one’s breath with the movement they are making. There are a variety of poses used in a smooth flow that allow for a work in, as well as a workout.

The yoga class at UIW usually has seven to 10 yogis and yoginis practicing. For people wanting to try the class and experience yoga all they need to do is show up and bring a mat — either their own or one the Wellness Center can provide.

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Katie Rivera

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