September 2016 is National Yoga Month, a month dedicated not only to the asanas (physical practice) of yoga, but to all of its facets. Many of you students of JAC may not yet know about us. We are a relatively new club that was formed during the Winter 2016 semester. We host yoga classes which include teachers that are students either at the College or elsewhere. We aim to make yoga as accessible as possible, so that anyone and everyone may reap its many benefits. Our club also hosts group meetings, giving people the chance to discover a new hobby, or meet others with whom they share a common passion. Our group setting adds a social dimension to yoga, which is traditionally practiced as a solitary and personal endeavor.
This month we will be making posters in honor of National Yoga Month, to be put up all around JAC. With these posters, we hope to compel students to consider the numerous benefits of yoga, both physical and psychological, and for them to recognize its usefulness in relieving stress. There are a number of preconceived notions relating to yoga, such as the claim that it is predominantly practiced by girls or the fact that it is not a sport, but rather just a method of stretching. Our club is here to dispel these notions; for one, yoga is quite different from simple static or dynamic stretching. Yoga includes an element of meditative and spiritual introspection that is performed alongside the physical practice. Thus, while our club does allow participants to get to know their peers, it also allows them to better understand themselves.
Partaking in yoga classes on campus in the company of friends (whether new or old) offers students the chance to distance themselves from the sometimes immense stress of the school day. It can be difficult to focus on one’s well-being in the midst of an intense period of the semester, but practicing yoga is one way to make this possible. Whether we like it or not, most of us prioritise schoolwork over our mental or physical health at one point or another. Having a dedicated moment in the day that is devoid of clutter, where we do not feel the need to engage with technology, work through a mound of homework, or make plans for the weekend but rather make time for ourselves is invaluable. The Yoga Club tries to align its values as closely with the principles of yoga as possible, so we pride ourselves on being inclusive to all, whether you are beginners or have been practicing for years. Come see us whenever you have time, we look forward to participating in fun yoga activities with all of you!