Students turn to yoga to destress

Harleyann McQuaid, Reporter

Kent State students are finally settling into the spring semester and, for some, the pressure is on.

Kent State’s Recreation and Wellness services offer students a way to release tension from classes — yoga. The REC Center offers students a handful of different kinds of yoga classes to participate in.

The most popular classes are Multi Level and Power yoga, both offered at the REC Center.

Beth Michel, Assistant Director of Fitness and Wellness, said Power yoga is popular because it can be adapted for all levels.

“Being more fast paced, flowing through each movement a little bit faster or they can teach a more slower pace yoga where they are holding the movements a little bit longer,” she said.

Kent State freshman Ava Wilford has been doing yoga since 2017 merely by chance. Wilford discovered yoga after attending a free class when she won a certificate from a raffle and found that yoga helped her destress and slow down.

“I feel like I do better in my academics when I take time to move my body and do yoga,” she said.

Today, Wilford shares her passion by teaching yoga to kids. She was certified in instructing at Flex Yoga in 2019.

Wilford has taken multiple classes at Kent State’s REC Center and encourages students to try yoga.

“It doesn’t have to be slow and meditative,” she said. “It can be an actual good workout and build your confidence and patience.”

Brooke Kollar is a junior environmental conservation major who said yoga improves multiple aspects of her life.

“I think anytime that I do it really helps improve my mood and decrease any stress or anxiety I had,” she said. “It helps me keep up with strength and flexibility in a really low impact way.”

Kollar usually uses YouTube as a way to practice and said yoga is versatile.

“It’s not an intimidating thing to go into, and I feel like that the community is very welcoming,” she said. “You can kind of tailor it to your own needs, like each session. And that’s just a really great, easy thing to add to your daily routine that doesn’t take a lot out of you.”

Harleyann McQuaid is a reporter. Contact her at [email protected].