Students from Ages 18 to 80 Enjoy Benefits of Yoga
Students sit quietly back on their bare heels, eyes closed, hands pressed together in a posture of child-like prayer. Their yoga instructor calmly explains that this is not only a time to relax minds focused on final exams and to stretch muscles aching from daily stress and track meets, this is also a time of embodied prayer.
“Our bodies will often tell us when it is time to go apart in solitude or to recapture the presence of God, if we can learn to listen,” said Dr. Mary Lynn Colosimo, associate professor of psychology and certified yoga instructor. “Tight neck muscles and shoulders, headaches, and back pain can be reminders that we are pushing too hard and that our bodies are yearning for balance. Bringing yoga to campus has afforded us these times of embodied prayer.”
Colosimo has been offering what she calls “intergenerational” classes for students ages 18 to 80+, through the Senior Academy of Learning at Trinity (SALT) and through session times convenient for Trinity students, many of them athletes. Classes, which range from just a few participants to nearly 50, are taught from a Christian perspective and integrate a focused awareness on the union of mind, body, and spirit with God.
“This was my first time doing yoga, and it was a great experience, especially doing it with all my teammates,” said women’s soccer team midfielder Brittany Lee ’10 of Lookout Mountain, Georgia.
Also new to the practice of yoga, Elizabeth Jongetjes ’11 of Delavan, Wisconsin, said she has come to value Colosimo’s class. “It is an all around wonderful experience,” she said. “Relaxing, motivating, renewing.”
Studies are showing that some of the health benefits of the practice include increased flexibility, relief from back pain, stress, and depression, and even reduced markers of inflammation associated with heart disease.
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