School can be a stressful time, but Spring Hill now offers weekly yoga classes to help students, faculty, and the local community unwind.
This program is offered to allow students to take a break from the classroom setting, and the exercises are “Specifically designed to combat the effects of sitting for long hours studying or being behind a screen,” says yoga instructor Ruth O’Donnell. Many students like this aspect because it allows them to focus on themselves for an hour and disconnect from technology. Freshman Caroline Moran says, “It’s different from other things that the Hill has to offer because it’s a quiet and peaceful room, so this is an opportunity to destress and focus more on being in the present.”
O’Donnell, an experienced kinesiologist, guides students through each of the yoga classes offered in the Eichold Gallery. O’Donnell wants the classes to explore the themes of the paintings within the gallery because she believes “Both art and yoga encourage inward contemplation and make you feel something you don’t usually feel in the outside world.” According to freshman Garret Jones, “This environment is very calm and welcoming with all of the art around us and the dimmed lights.”
Spring Hill College is committed to its Jesuit tradition of “cura personalis,” which is care for the entire person. Moran believes she achieves this through practicing yoga on the Hill. “I get a lot of self love from these sessions. The silence is healing for my mind, the stretching is healing for my body, and engaging with my community is healing for my spirit” says Moran.
These yoga sessions are sponsored by Spring Hill’s Foley Center, so all classes and equipment are free. People of all levels are welcomed as no experience is required to participate. Full-length classes are available every Monday at 11:45 a.m. to 12:45 p.m. and 5:45 p.m. to 6:45 p.m. Twenty minute “Bite-size yoga breaks” are also offered on Tuesdays and Thursdays between 12:10 p.m. and 12:30 p.m. Be sure to grab a mat and join your fellow Badgers at a yoga session here on the Hill!
“This is a great way to relieve stress and tension,” O’Donnell said. “Yoga is a huge part of self care. It allows us to feel rather than think and take care of our mental, spiritual, and physical health. You take these feelings of peace off the mat with you.”