Last Thursday, a dozen students attended UTMAC’s first outdoor yoga session. Students had the chance to show off their flexibility—and falling-over skills—on the beautiful green front lawn at UTM. UTM’s professional yoga instructor, who teaches the indoor classes in the RAWC, instructed the students with an enthusiastic and patient attitude.
Starting on all fours with hands directly under your shoulders, knees under your hips, butt in the air—like a twerk—you begin to contemplate why you even came to this yoga session. See-through tights are not recommended for this exercise.
You thought you were coming out for a light stretch before class, but now you’re sweating like you just ran around the track 20 times. Bending your right knee 90 degrees, keeping your knee over your ankle with arms extending out to the sides, is the easy part. The hard part is gazing—yes, gazing. Who knew concentration would make you tumble like a line of dominoes.
Tree pose is the most deceiving yoga name—balancing on one leg with your other foot curled up into your standing thigh should be an Olympic sport. Hands in prayer pose actually means you’re praying for the pose to end.
Now this is what students came for: lying facedown on the floor, legs extended. With palms flat on the ground, you push your chest up looking straight towards the instructor. The instructor asks you to relax your breathing, but you’re hyperventilating. Since your hands are occupied on the floor, a drip of sweat sneaks its way into your eye, turning this relaxing move into a blinding situation.
“Oh my God, this feels amazing,” said everyone in their thoughts, lying on the floor with knees bent, pressing feet into the floor to lift the hips.
“We wanted to give back to students and do something different at the same time. Having yoga outdoors is a unique experience for students; it’s refreshing having it out here on the beautiful campus like this,” said UTMAC president Bilal Rifai.
Originally, the event was planned to take place on the South Field, but having it on the front lawn beside Davis gives the activity more visibility.
“We’re planning on doing it again in a couple of weeks before it starts to get cold outside. It’ll be an excellent opportunity for students to stay active before midterms,” said Rifai.
Students left their yoga mats feeling mentally refreshed and physically loose as they grabbed their free snack and drink and headed to class.