De-stressing with free yoga classes

In an effort to provide students support in both mental and physical health, Basic Needs has collaborated with the Otter Student Union (OSU) to introduce All Student Yoga. Yoga classes will take place three times a week for students, as well as a yoga class provided for staff once a week.

“With Basic Needs, we have the food covered, we have the clothing covered, all of those pieces that folks think of right away when they think of basic needs,” said Robyn Decanto, Basic Needs program coordinator and yoga instructor.

“But really your mental health and your social and emotional wellbeing is a basic need as well,” she said. Classes will be available on Mondays (8:30 – 9:30 a.m.) for students and on Wednesdays (2 – 3 p.m.) for parents and families in the East Lounge of building 12. There will also be a staff yoga class available on Wednesday from 12 – 1 p.m. in the Meeting House on Divarty Street. 

Yoga offers a wide range of both physical and mental support. “I think it’s a really great way to be active and mindful at the same time. And I think you get a lot out of it because it’s kind of whatever you need. It’s very based on you,” said Gillian Homick, a fourth-year transfer student.

Student yoga will also be available on Tuesday mornings from 8:30 – 9:30 a.m., in a different location – the school’s meditation room. Located on the third floor of the OSU, the meditation room is available during OSU open hours and available to all students for meditation, yoga and prayer purposes. It is stocked with a few yoga mats, meditation pillows, books and more. This room serves as a quiet place for mental wellness. 

The yoga classes are set at a beginner level with available variations for more advanced yogis. There is no prior experience needed before attending the guided yoga flow. “The practice that I design is really meant to be accessible for anybody, because yoga is for anybody,” said DoCanto. “You don’t have to be ‘flexible.’ You don’t have to have practiced before. We want everyone in this space to be welcomed.”
With a wide range of variations open to use during these yoga classes, participants will be able to advance in their practice. Visit Basic Needs on MyRaft for more information on future yoga events.

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