August 23, 2011

NEWS: Yoga Serves Wellness For Lunch

By Kim Mezger and Karen Mitchell

While the fall semester has only just begun, rest assured: the pressure of deadlines and juggling priorities is right around the corner. Developing stress- reducing habits now – like learning to slow down, take a few deep breaths and simply “experience the moment” – will help to combat the negative physical and emotional effects of stress. one suggestion? Yoga.

The IUPUI Lunchtime Yoga series continues this fall; so, wellness is not far away and it is almost free.
Designed to meet the needs of beginning and intermediate yoga students alike, the 40-minute sessions are at noon on weekdays in the Campus Center. Level I classes meets mondays and Thursdays, while Level II meets tuesdays and Wednesdays.

Students, faculty and staff who have paid their recreation fee for the semester are charged no additional fee for attending the yoga sessions, thanks to a collaboration between IUPUI Human Resources administration Work/Life, Intramural and Recreational sports and the student Wellness Coalition.
Participants must complete and submit the required registration form, meet the experience requirement (for Level II) and bring a large towel or yoga mat to class.

Yoga instructor Chuck Crosby leads the midday ses- sions. a practitioner of ashtanga and Vinyasa yoga since 2001 and teacher since June of 2002, Crosby is registered at the 200-hour level with the national Yoga alliance. He is on staff as a yoga instructor at Indianapolis-based Pilates studio “15 to Fit” as well.

Throughout the world, the practice of yoga is widely credited with relief and restorative values, but why?

“The even and steady rhythm of yoga’s controlled breathing delivers oxygen to the cells,” Crosby explained. Deep breathing is essential to relaxation and good health, and “is probably why people tell anxious friends to ‘take a deep breath’.”

Last spring, Crosby guided participants through a series of swan dives, cobra poses and downward facing dogs, he weaved through the room slowly, pausing briefly to help students correct their stance and remind them to keep their bent knees directly above the ankle.

Crosby’s sessions were peace- ful and focused. “Connect with your breath. Three seconds in, three seconds out,” he encouraged his students softly, patiently. “turn your hearts to the sky. I love it, people are trying. Good job.”

As students stretched their limbs into a tree pose, Crosby’s feather-light mantra reminded them, “Reconnect with your breath. enjoy your breath.” Then, as if breaking a spell, he asked
his students to think about three things in their lives that they are grateful for, and encouraged them to thank themselves – for keeping their commitment to yoga practice, to their health, and to themselves.

According to Crosby, yoga helps students learn how to “be in the moment” and let go of all the “stuff ” that’s going on in their minds.

“It’s all about the breath. Yoga helps you see your issues in a different light,” Crosby said.

All yoga sessions begin at 12:05 p.m. in the IUPUI Campus Center. Prior registration is required. For information regarding recreation fees, registration, class location, schedule changes and descriptions of the two class levels, please visit the IUPUI Work/Life webpage.

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