Wellness Wednesdays encourage mindfulness in free yoga sessions

March 21, 2017

Gabbie Matl

[email protected]

     If you have a healthy mind, your body should follow.

     GOCA and the Gallogly Recreation and Wellness Center collaborated to bring students Wellness Wednesdays, free yoga and meditation sessions from Feb. 1 – March 18. These sessions took place in GOCA 1420 during the “these things are tangible” art exhibit.

     The sessions address both mental and physical well-being. People of all ages and levels were invited to attend.

     Meditation was offered Wednesdays at 11:30 a.m. Those who attended chose between a guided or self-directed practice.

     If you choose the guided option, a recording is played that talks you through mindful thoughts and interactions.

     The recording directs you through a self-evaluation, both physical and mental, and then has gentle reminders to reach out and interact authentically with the world around you. There weren’t any other people at the meditation session, so it became very personal.

     This meditation option is good for beginners like me, as it gives you something to focus on and think about instead of just relaxing to the point of falling asleep.

     Yoga began at noon where mats were provided if needed. The yoga session was led Debby Patz, a licensed clinical psychologist at the Rec Center, who led participants through different poses at a quick pace.

     Patz also told participants to focus on their breathing and match it to the movements of their body, similar to a vinyasa flow class.

     The yoga session continued with the theme of personal care. This initiative promotes wellness and self-love, and Patz brought these ideas into the poses with reminders to listen to your body and do what feels right for you.

     Most of the poses, which were solely consisted of floor movements, were commonly found in most yoga practices.

     Being mindful of everyone’s skill level, Patz encouraged everyone to make small adjustments if the poses were too strenuous or difficult, depending on what participants wanted to take away from the session.

     In comparison to other yoga classes I have attended, I noticed more life advice. But the advice added a new dimension to the class that I enjoyed.

     This is definitely more of a mindful class, and instead of letting the outside world fall away encourages you to think about your life.

     Practicing yoga surrounded by art was another plus that created a more stimulating environment.

     While we could not practice in or on the exhibit, the artwork from “these things are tangible” added a soft and organic backdrop for the session with great lighting and spacing.

     This session encourages you to live more mindfully and be more self-aware, and both the exercises and messages are applicable to daily life.

     Wellness Wednesdays were a great way to take a break from classes and make a little time for yourself while enjoying GOCA’s diverse art galleries that are sometimes created by other students.