The Kent State Women’s Center started its first faculty and staff yoga session of the semester on Sept. 12, and the six-week long sessions will run Monday through Thursday in the basement of the relocated center, now at the Williamson House.
According to the American Osteopathic Association, “The relaxation techniques incorporated in yoga can help reduce chronic physical pain including arthritis, headaches and carpal tunnel syndrome. (It) can also lower blood pressure and heart rate.”
“It is a great stress reduction, very simply,” yoga instructor Margot Milcetich said. “The movement helps you stay fit and the breathing and quieting aspect really help your mental fitness. So, you get your physical fitness and you get that mental clarity that comes from calming down, and that’s a huge benefit.”
Milcetich was the first yoga instructor to teach at Kent in 1983. She is also the founder and director of Brahmrishi Yoga in Kent.
“I started in church basements, schools and all kinds of different places that would let me use their space,” Milcetich said.
Along with Milcetich, Kent faculty and staff members Vicki Bocchicchio, Valerie Samuel, Mary Louise Holly and Kjera Seregi teach the yoga sessions at the Women’s Center. Each instructor teaches one of the five weekly classes.
Students, faculty and staff members alike need time away from the stress of school.
“I spend too much time on my laptop, which isn’t good for my health,” said associate professor Michele Ewing. “Yoga makes me feel more relaxed, mentally and physically. It clears my mind and gets me away from my long to-do list. I just find a little peace in life during that quiet hour of yoga. Highly recommend it.”
The six-week sessions cost $50 for returning yoga students and $55 for new students. Classes are offered in the early morning, midday and early evening.
“Being in a work environment where things are so fast-paced, we often forget to stop and recharge ourselves,” said Cassandra Pegg-Kirby, assistant director for the Women’s Center. “I think these are the times during the day where people feel like they can take that pause and recharge themselves and be their best selves when they leave here.”
Additionally, the Women’s Center offers a yoga workshop once a month for students.
“We wanted to offer a workshop for students as a place to gather and recharge, but also learn some things you can do on your own,” Pegg-Kirby said. “You can build skills so when you’re feeling like you’re stressed out or you need help focusing on your homework, you have some breathing techniques you can do or some stretches to help bring everything back into focus.”