“I think we as human beings, we love to move, to challenge, to think, to explore all of the body,”
said Marcia Mosely in regards to the yoga classes she teaches at California State University, Monterey Bay (CSUMB).
Yoga classes take place twice a week for enrolled students, and typically last around one hour. Out of the several instructors who teach the class, Moseley offers an eclectic approach to the practice – using a variety of props and poses each day.
“I explore every single joint, every single nook and cranny in the body because I think the body likes that,” said Moseley. Her teaching style keeps students on their toes (literally and figuratively).
“I like planning the class; when I’m planning [I ask myself] what am I going to explore today? Where do I want to bring my students? Which path? Playful, slow stretching or a flow. When I teach I like to see the results of my planning.”
Moseley has been practicing yoga for around 20 years and teaching for 15. She’s been an instructor at CSUMB for five years. Mosely grew up in Brazil, in areas such as Porto Alegre and Rio de Janeiro.
Aside from the stretching aspect of yoga, she also details her approach to breath work and its benefits.
“Besides movement I like the breath work, because the breath teaches you how you are doing; breath work can help you understand the fluctuations of life. The breath gives you feedback, and you can work with that. ‘Am I anxious?’ Pause and breathe. ‘Am I stressed?’ OK, observe, pause, [take a] deep breath.”
By combining the stretching of the body with grounding breathing techniques, yoga with Moseley is an option for students who face challenges with stress and/or anxiety. “I had anxiety and a lot of stress, and I didnt even know. I would react quickly, but now I pause, I observe my thoughts, situation, challenge and then I observe my breath… From there I ask [myself] what’s going on, and I try to be kind to myself and say ‘OK, let’s get this thing together – the mind, the breath and the body.’”
Students in the class (yogis) are encouraged to leave their stress at the door and to go at their own pace, only doing what feels right. By the end of the hour, yogis are reminded to treat themselves with love and kindness.
For those who are experiencing stress (something many students are facing half way through the semester), Mosely offers some advice: “Move, breathe and be kind to yourself. When you feel stressed, shake, move, go for a walk… slow down and observe the breath. Know that it will all pass, everything passes. If today is stressful, tomorrow can be totally different, always remember that.”
Beyond the movement and breathing, this class also helps students address their spirituality.
“Spiritually, I think in the end we are all one. That’s why we should, in my opinion, have compassion and understanding [for others]. But first you need to understand yourself.”
With countless responsibilities like classes, assignments and working, many students struggle to keep their heads above water bearing it all. For those who struggle with such stress, try finding an activity that serves your mental well-being.
Mosely advises, “Remember, it’s not easy but it’s all in you.”