Free Group Fitness classes: Yoga edition

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Relaxing is not my thing. Just the idea of relaxing stresses me out. Stretching used to be my thing when I was in dance from ages 4 to 16, but now I find that my brain believes I can stretch in ways that my 24-year-old body is all, “okayyy we can do that, but you’re totes going to be hella sore for the next week.”

So while yoga appeals to me, because it’s so in right now, the relaxing element of it has kept me away. I’ve tried a class here and there over the years, but never really made a habit of it. But I think I found the class for me, and thanks to being a University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point student, it’s FREE. Hallelujah! If you’re a college student like me, at home right now chomping on microwaved Ramen and hoarding pennies, and the word “free” just lit up on the screen like a sign from heaven, you should probably run to the soonest group fitness class. I was definitely a fan.

Here’s the current schedule:

GroupFitnessSummerblock2_2015-page-001

You can find future schedules as well as a list of special programs and events at the Health and Wellness website.

New things are weird though, right? Like pulling up to the Allen Center, hoping I’m at the right place, and then walking in the door and gambling which way to go. (FYI: I discovered you should go upstairs and sign in with your student ID.) Then, if you’re like me, you’ll try to open the side door to the yoga room that has no handle and walk sheepishly around to the other door as everyone stares at you.

But new things can also be great. As soon as I got through the door I felt calm and welcomed. I brought the dusty yoga mat I keep under my bed in hopes that I’ll become a yoga-er, but they also have mats there you can use. I unrolled my mat in the back corner next to a cute guy who smiled as I awkwardly sat down and waited for the torture of relaxation to begin.

Beginning of the class and my thoughts

It began with the instructor speaking in a calming voice.

Oh gawd, she’s so relaxed, this is going to be so stressful. 

She quoted spiritual teacher and author Eckhart Tolle: “All problems are illusions of the mind.”

Huh, I guess I can get behind that. 

Then we laid down and took deep breaths.

She made me breathe. Doesn’t she know I have things to do? I don’t have time to breathe!

Then she suggested we close our eyes. My eyelids fluttered as my coffee from earlier coursed through my veins and my to-do list raced through my mind.

Okay, eyes staying open, we’re not ready for that. 

Then as I lay there trying not to panic about relaxing, I realized that a great song was playing.

And then another, and another. Before long, I was warrior posing and being a tree. I completely lost everything except the present.

Oh, this is what everyone’s been talking about.

End of the class

After a much better workout than I had expected, check out the re-cap picture if you don’t believe me, the instructor told us once again to lie down and breathe. (She used more yoga-ey words, of course). This time, with the help of a little exhaustion and the hour I just spent trying to be calm, I was able to close my eyes. I only opened them to look at the clock once. Give me a break, I’m improving!

My yoga class experience re-cap

yoga class progression

 

This is going to be fun! 

 

This is exhausting. 

 

This is embarrassing. I should go home and take a nap and then add “work out more” to my to-do list.

 

Meet the instructor, Lindsay Larson

Linds

 

Lindsay has been a yoga instructor at the university for a year and a half. She is also the president of Yoga and Meditation Club. Lindsay was kind enough to meet with me and chat a bit about her class (and share her awesome playlist with me). She told me, “A lot of people think it’s just stretching and they come and realize it’s mind and body, and actually a workout. We have lots of football players and people you wouldn’t expect that come here throughout the year. People usually leave class saying, ‘That was way different than I thought it would be!’ I think it’s because the class is more holistic, as opposed to simply stretching.”

 

 

All you need to try a Group Fitness class:

  • Your student ID

Wait that’s, like, it. Okay, for the sake of my bullet points, here are some more things that will improve your workout:

  • comfortable clothes
  • water bottle
  • a friend or two

So check out a FREE Group Fitness class today. It would be silly not to take advantage of this student resource. I’m definitely returning to Lindsay’s yoga class next week. The fact that relaxing stresses me out is probably a little unhealthy.

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