As a part of the Get Fit Witt series on campus, student instructors Kate Barcus and Alyssa Stout have begun to offer yoga classes as a way to de-stress and have some fun.
Barcus, ‘17, transferred to Wittenberg her junior year and began doing yoga for a workout. After the previous instructor from last year graduated, Barcus got her yoga certification over the summer and began teaching the Intro to Yoga class. Intro to Yoga classes are held on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 7 to 8 p.m.
Stout, ‘20, has studied yoga for years. At her sister’s studio in Delaware, Ohio, Stout worked the front desk since she was 16, and fell in love. With a psychology major and hopes of reaching a 500-hour yoga certification, Stout wants to be a trainer at the same studio after college, taking her work from the psychology field and applying it in her yoga classes.
Teaching Power Yoga, Stout focuses on breathing exercises and building heat inside the body. Through the use of long held and advanced poses, she provides her students with a relaxing yet mildly intense workout.
“Yoga is for everyone. It’s all about recognizing how your body is feeling,” Stout said.
Power Yoga classes are held on Mondays and Wednesdays from 5 to 6 p.m., and on Sundays from 1 to 2 p.m.
Intro to Yoga covers some similar material compared to the Power Yoga class, but might seem a little more relaxed to a beginner.
“I suggest Intro to Yoga, but Power Yoga isn’t too much more intense,” Barcus said.
Beginning her class with breathing exercises, Barcus expressed how it is important to build lung capacity. Creating a relaxed environment, Barcus then leads into a number of poses such as sun salutes and unisa flows.
One of Barcus’ students is Reid Donato, ‘17, who just started taking yoga, but already feels the relaxing sensation that comes with taking the class.
“It’s short and easy to work into,” Donato said.
He explained how he didn’t really know anyone in the class, but that there isn’t a social aspect to yoga, besides the instructor telling you what pose to do next.
“It’s more of a personal exercise,” Donato said.
Barcus aims to keep her class interesting by switching up poses regularly so her students aren’t going through the motions after one week of class with her. She also aims to help choose specific poses that help relax muscles that students stress daily through poor posture.
“There are so many muscles in our regular posture that we stress, and many muscles we don’t even use,” Barcus said.
On the bright side, Barcus also pointed out how our regular posture or daily stances could be a yoga pose. Things you don’t even realize you are doing could be a different variation of many poses.
“Even standing is a pose,” Barcus said.
Both instructors end their classes with a meditation session at the end. This is a 10-minute guided meditation where students are encouraged to relax and stay present, not to think about the day or the troubles they are enduring. After a relaxing, yet heated workout, their students exit the studio feeling serene.
Barcus leaves her students with the saying, “The light in me honors the light in you,” which translates to, “This is your class, take out what you want from it. I respect what your limits and goals are.”