Going with the Flow: Yoga helps alleviate student stress

Going+with+the+Flow%3A+Yoga+helps+alleviate+student+stress

Gabrielle Heyward, Contributor

On Feb. 3, the Junior Class Council of the Student Government Association hosted Going with the Flow, a 45-minute yoga instruction to alleviate students’ stress. This event was the second half of a two-part event that included a mental health panel followed by a yoga session.

Inhale, exhale. The tension left room 232 of the student center as students relaxed and enjoyed a quiet, meditative session of yoga.

Troy Elbert Jr., junior class president and applied mathematics student, explained the idea behind choosing yoga as a complimenting activity with the mental health discussion.

 “We wanted to do something more physical, and yoga was a perfect blend of physicality and mental health,” Elbert Jr said. “Yoga is a great coping mechanism to deal with mental health.”

Gentle jazz music turned the room peaceful as they reached their bodies into child’s pose and locust. 

The instructor, Milanda McGinnis, led the students into yoga positions such as downward dog, warrior pose, and triangle pose. McGinnis is a yoga instructor at Dancing Dog Yoga and owns her own yoga studio called Soul Flower Wellness, where she also instructs hot yoga and aerial yoga.

McGinnis was stressed dealing with day-to-day life as a middle school teacher until she found yoga.

“I was looking for some wellness activity to just take care of myself and I started doing stuff on YouTube and then I was just like this feels really good, I want to get certified,” McGinnis said.

To make the yoga session more intimate and stress-free, McGinnis issued a no-phone policy, in hopes that students would be more in tune with their bodies and less connected to their phones. Students were also equipped with yoga mats they were allowed to take home for future sessions.

“My favorite part was just having time to just relax my mind and my body from school and stress outside of school,” Caiya Wiltshire, a junior mechanical engineering student with a minor in applied mathematics said. “I think that I can benefit from this experience by putting time out of my day to just focus on myself instead of worrying about all the outside activities going on.”

Students stretched their entire bodies as they went into different positions that allowed them to relax and reflect calmly. Muscles that were once tense became lightened as they entered a bridge position. 

“The yoga was really relaxing; it was letting me exhale and, I guess, open up different parts of my body that I didn’t think I could open,” Christiana Webb, industrial and systems engineering student said. “I like that it was meditating and very calming, I was able to push myself and I feel more relaxed and not as tense when I walk or take a step.”

McGinnis teaches yoga classes at the Campus Recreation Center for N.C A&T students, faculty and staff members

  • Student classes on Thursday starting at 10 am
  • Faculty and staff classes on Monday starting at 2 pm