Mar 292012
 
Authors: Emily Smith

Samantha Inman was going through a very difficult time in her life. She struggled with anxiety, depression and minor post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

For Inman, yoga was the answer — and hopefully the answer for others.

Inman is co-vice president of CSU Yoga Club, founded in fall 2010 by CSU students Claire Heywood and Elena Reisterer.

“When I started my practice I found a strength within myself again,” Inman, a sophomore human development and family studies major, said. “And I learned how to create peace with the war going on in my head.”

As a yoga teacher, Inman said she has seen the impact of yoga on her students’ lives, including a girl suffering from chronic depression realizing that life isn’t worth wasting and a cancer patient finding gratitude.

Heywood, president of the club and yoga instructor at the CSU Rec Center, said she and Reisterer realized there was a community of yoga-minded students on campus that lacked a forum to connect with each other.

“It pretty much started just as a community of people who wanted to talk about yoga and do yoga together,” Heywood, a junior English major, said.

“But as time went on, we noticed some leaders in the worldwide yoga community who were gearing the already benevolent, good-hearted community of yogis towards social change,” she said.

Heywood said because of this, CSU Yoga Club decided to take on activism and philanthropy work by donating proceeds from donation classes to Musana Children’s Home in Uganda.

The club’s goals include supporting local yoga studios and the CSU Rec Center, spreading awareness about the benefits of yoga and doing what they can to create change in the world.

Besides providing outlets for healing and activism, yoga can benefit the body and mind, according to Jamie Puntenney, yoga instructor at the CSU Rec Center.

Puntenney explained that yoga is “literally the yoking of the body and mind through breath.”

“In the short term, it (yoga) brings relaxation, concentration and a good workout,” Puntenney said. “In the long term, yoga brings confidence, improved physical fitness, flexibility and strength.”

Puntenney said students can experience a better connection with their body, enabling them to do things they never thought possible.

According to Heywood, many members of CSU Yoga Club can attest to the fact that yoga has changed their life for the better through confidence, stress management and general health.

“Yoga is becoming a huge deal all over the United States,” Heywood said. “And we as a club just want to make students aware of the benefits of this amazing practice.”

For more information about the yoga club and a schedule of donation optional yoga classes, visit the CSU yoga club’s Facebook page.

Collegian writer Emily Smith can be reached at news@collegian.com.

Yoga Club Events
-Yoga rocks the Plaza: Donation optional yoga class, Friday, April 27, Noon to 1 p.m. on the lawn next to the LSC Plaza
-Art and jewelry sales at the flea market
-Free and donation-optional yoga classes at local studios and CSU Recreation Center
-Free hugs on campus
-Meditation, potlucks and Kirtan yoga music
-Volunteering at Wanderlust yoga/music festival

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