The Group Fit series

A review of candlelit yoga

If you’ve ever been curious about trying the group fit classes that the wellness center provides for students, look no further. This series will shine a spotlight each week on a group fit class and will give you an insight as to what the class is all about. I will attend each of these classes and provide you with details about the class and what exactly is included in your experience. All of the classes reviewed each week are available currently at the wellness center until the Fall semester is over. Group Fit classes can offer special benefits to you that you can’t get by working out alone. Exercising within a group can give you a sense of teamwork. You are able to push yourself harder because the people around you are working just as hard.

For this week’s Group Fit class, we shine a candlelight-on-Candlelight Yoga with Jenna. This Group Fit class is offered every Monday at 8 p.m. in Studio B. On the night I went, students continued to file in until it was full. Clearly a nighttime yoga class is of big interest to college students. Every yoga mat that was available to students was occupied, therefore the class hitting capacity. Now although the studio was filled with students, the energy and overall atmosphere remained calm. Each and every person there attended for a reason, whether it was to get a good stretch in, find a moment to relax before a hectic week or just to move their body before bed, you could feel this class held a purpose. An intention.

The studio is dimly lit by non-flame candles, which creates a calming ambiance, and soft music plays in the background throughout the class. I mean the name candlelight yoga really lived up to itself. I would actually find it hard not to feel relaxed in this session. You can immediately sense this is a space where you can decompress and put your life on pause for a moment.

She guides the class through a simple yoga flow and there is no need to worry about needing any prior yoga experience. She provides alternatives to either make it easier on your body or to challenge yourself in different poses. The pace of the class is slow and effective. You ease into stretches and make your way into new poses, so whether you are an avid yogi, or this is your first yoga class, you won’t feel lost. She explains every move you go through, and you can adjust the move to your liking. This class is not strict, so if you want to opt out of a move and just do a stretch you find beneficial for yourself, you can. It’s not necessary to do exactly what the class does, you’re there to better yourself and only yourself, that’s the main goal throughout all Group Fit classes, so remember to do what feels right.

Don’t worry about bringing anything for this session. Just bring yourself and comfortable clothes to move in. Grab a mat from the cubbies when you arrive and head to a spot anywhere in the studio that feels good to you and you’re ready! This yoga flow is a perfect chance to decompress and relax your mind and body. She asks you to place an intention on what you want out of this class. Perhaps set good energy and purpose to increase your balance after today. She reminds students that you showed up for a reason. Leave any doubts or energy consuming thoughts at the door and focus on yourself for a 50-minute yoga flow.

At the end of the class, we reach my favorite part. We settle into the last pose, which is literally lying flat on your back, no stretching or moving or contorting your body in any way. So, if by chance you don’t succeed at some poses throughout the class, you’ll crush this one. Place your arms by your side and focus on finding your breath. You lay there for a few minutes. This gives you time to reflect about the class meanwhile letting your body fully relax from the

exercises you did. She will slowly guide you into a few more simple stretches while on your back and then the class is finished.

You can walk out of the studio proud that you moved your body, showed up and focused on yourself for a full 50 minutes and properly winded down after a busy day. I recommend this class if you look for great stretches in your muscles, challenges in your balance, and clearness in your mind.

Deep breaths and take it easy. Namaste, everybody.

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