Downward dog, child’s pose and ohm’s filled Risman Plaza on Wednesday evening for the first Yoga on the Green event hosted by Kent State of Wellness.
Students lined mats on the grass as the sun set and got into crocodile pose to focus on their breath. The event gave students a chance to disconnect from the world and release tension from the body. It focused on simple, one movement poses so that they can reciprocate them at home on their own.
Melissa Celko, director of Kent State Wellness, gave explanations of each pose and why it benefits the body and mind as she demonstrated it.
“Yoga is the union of mind and body and we connect it with our breath,” Celko said. “It gives you a moment of stillness, a part of the day where you can unplug and can’t think about anything because you have to focus on your breath and posture.”
The event was split up into four sections: posture, breathing, focus and meditation of loving and kindness. The class focused on slow movements that relaxed yet stretched the body out.
The class finished with a meditation, or in yogi language dhyana, to help students practice forgiveness, self-acceptance and connection to themselves. The goal of the event was to bring awareness to students about mental health and how yoga can help bring relief to anxiety and stress.
Kate Crake, a freshman fashion merchandising major, wanted to learn how she can do basic yoga on her own in her room when she is feeling overwhelmed.
“I’ve tried to follow YouTube videos but it's hard, this event was slow and easy to follow and definitely made me feel relaxed afterwards,” Crake said. “I feel refreshed and can go back to homework without feeling like my head is in the clouds.”
As Tyler Ward, a freshman exercise science major, rolled up her yoga mat she said it was just what she needed to give her mind a break after being in class all day. She said she felt as if her mood did a complete 360 in just an hour.
“It was really nice to just chill out on the grass and breath and not have to do any strenuous exercise but to just focus on something other than the million things I have to do,” she said. “I think that I will take some of the things we did and practice them on my own.”
Sarah Arnold is a recreation and fitness reporter. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.