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The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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Student yoga enthusiasts of Bryan-College Station

Olivia+Moharer+demonstrates+upward+facing+dog%2C+a+yoga+position.
Photo by Photo by Carlie Russel

Olivia Moharer demonstrates upward facing dog, a yoga position.

An ancient method discovered in Hindu culture to connect with the gods has evolved into an increasingly popular workout activity in Western culture.
Yoga’s origins date back to thousands of years ago, but in today’s society, people of all ages and shapes use it as a way to improve health and physical fitness. The Bryan-College Station community is home to many studios and gyms which offer different types of yoga varying in difficulty and a spectrum of classes that range in speed, temperature, and stretch.

Olivia Moharer, science and business graduate student, became interested in yoga after taking a kinesiology class. When her sister’s friend, Lexi Alexander, opened Om Grown yoga studio in Bryan, Moharer started helping out around the studio and subsequently fell in love with it. Moharer took her teaching training last spring and now instructs classes on her own at Om Grown.
“I think the cool thing about this place is people of all shapes, sizes, colors, backgrounds, beliefs [and] personalities,” Moharer said. “We see every type come in here but it’s all welcoming and it’s really good experience learning to interact with different people in a place that’s so encouraging and challenging, physically, mentally and relationally.”
Moharer said yoga has taught her lessons for outside of the studio and helped her through some hard life circumstances in this past year.
“I tie in a lot of my faith into my yoga practice, so meditation is my way of listening to the Lord so in those moments that I can finally just have ten minutes to be still and rest,” Moharer said. “He speaks to me a lot in those times. Yoga isn’t just about meditation or channeling your inner self, but the physical benefits of exercising and self-care and self-love go into every other aspect of your life.”
Veterinary medicine sophomore Selina Zalesak goes to the Yoga District because the small and intimate studio has allowed her to have more one-on-one help and develop personal relationships. Zalesak said since she cannot participate in strenuous activities because she has scoliosis, so yoga has been a positive alternative to traditional workouts.
“When I started doing yoga it was a workout where I was getting stronger and felt like I was getting exercise but also not hurting myself in the process,” Zalesak said. “If I do start to feel pain I feel like I’m so much more aware of my body, that I know what I need to do. I know what stretch I need to [do] and why I’m hurting. I’m just much more in tune with myself and have less pain overall because I’m constantly stretching and aligning and improving.”

Zalesak said her yoga teachers always tell her not to strive or worry about getting to the next level but be content with your current abilities, and she has applied that advice in her personal life.
“There’s so much room for growth and in most things in life, you try to reach to get to that next level but in yoga you’re really supposed to enjoy the journey and be accepting of where you are,” Zalesak said. “It channels outside of that yoga studio where you start in your own life to accept the position you’re at without worrying about getting to that next step.”
Yoga Pod is another yoga studio in the BCS area, and Blair Duroy, international studies sophomore started attending classes there a year ago. Duroy said she’s been going five days a week ever since.
“The most fun part is trying new, advanced poses,” Duroy said. “I will fall out — I ate it so hard the other night I thought I was going to black out. It’s thrilling to see the progress in these poses you thought were so hard you’d never be able to get them.”
Wildlife and fishery sciences graduate student Nikki Roach started yoga when she was working long hours outside for a field job. Roach goes to Innovative Fitness for yoga classes on a weekly basis now that she is here at A&M.
“It’s just important to be centered and remind myself that there’s other things in life that are important and remove myself from my research for a little bit,” Roach said. “So for me it’s just a way to escape the stress in my life and put the stress towards doing something positive for my body.”
Roach said another thing yoga has given her is the opportunity to find fellowship with the people she met along the way.
“It’s nice because you can go with friends too and you chat with people before and after class who are like-minded and you kind of build a community and I think a lot of people look to be involved in communities,” Roach said. “It’s kind of cool to meet people who have very different lives than you but also come to do the same type of thing that you do.”
Allied health junior Kayla Deleon has been motivated to go to Om Grown yoga studio the past two years because she said there is no other exercise that combines a workout and a stress-reliever the way yoga does.
“I think that people have weird stereotypical views of yoga like they don’t think it’s actually good for exercise, or it’s a waste of time, so I recommend it to friends to just go and strengthen yourself in different ways,” Deleon said. “It’s kind of freeing because with running it’s like ‘how many miles can you do?’ and ‘how fast can you go?’ and this is just like you do what your body can for that day or what it allows you to. I feel like there’s not any other type of exercise where that’s the mindset.

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