Kayleen Garrick, a sophomore at ENC, has enjoyed doing yoga as a workout since she was a sophomore in high school, and has decided to bring it ENC’s campus. It all started during high school gym class when her softball coach gave a short yoga lesson to her students. That’s all it took to hook Garrick on the popular activity that continues to sweep across the country like an unstoppable epidemic. Now, she teaches a class in the Multipurpose Room twice a week.

Garrick specializes in vinyasa yoga, which focuses on calm, dynamic movements with a concentration on energy flows. Vinyasa is known as one of the more relaxing types of yoga. While it may not be as rigorous as certain sports, yoga definitely helps the body, and more importantly, the mind. Garrick explains what she liked most about yoga is that it is “a judgment-free workout where I can be one with my mind and body. You get to tune the world out and tune yourself in.”

Garrick’s idea of teaching classes on campus started when she was trying to introduce some of her current softball teammates to the basic poses of yoga. She wanted a space where they could spread out and exercise together, so she got in touch with Dr. Brad Zarges and asked if they could use the Multipurpose Room.  Garrick recalls, “We sat down in his office, and he got the idea of maybe turning this into a class so that non-softball players could join, too.”

Garrick now has the opportunity to teach a beginner’s yoga class every Monday and Thursday in the Multipurpose Room in Lahue Gymnasium, from 8:00 p.m. to roughly 8:45 p.m. “It’s a really chill environment. You don’t need to be an expert in yoga or even need to know the names of poses. It’s very beginner-based,” she says. The Multipurpose room is ideal because of its recent installation of floor mats, so students don’t necessarily need to even need a yoga mat to participate. Garrick advises, “You want to bring a towel to lay on, and that’ll work just fine. All you really need to bring is yourself, an open mind, and a positive attitude.”

Throughout these stressful times of college, Garrick hopes that her class can be a place for students to “relax, be themselves, and just get away from whatever stresses are going on in their lives. I love when new people come so don’t be shy! It’s honestly one of the highlights of my week.”

Through the history of the Church, yoga has frequently been questioned as to the underlying roots of other religious practices, such as Hinduism and Buddhism, which creates tension between the exercise and Christianity. Some people argue that it’s a way of connecting with your inner mind, body, and soul in a physical way. Christians submit their mind, body, and soul to Jesus Christ through the Holy Spirit, not through a physical exercise. The argument that yoga poses derive from offerings to Hindu gods also does not settle well with some Christians. Nonetheless, there a many people who view yoga as an innocent, stress-free, workout that helps calm anxiety. Garrick aims to accomplish this goal during her class. She has no desire to introduce the spiritual aspect of the poses through her class; she just wants to present a fun and relaxed way to exercise.