I have uncovered one of Amherst’s hidden gems—and it is the yoga classes.
Monday through Friday, Yoga Club offers a one-hour class to all students, with no experience or commitment required. AMAZING RIGHT?
I learned about yoga through the Daily Mammoth and decided to try something new this week. To my surprise, I love all the sessions I attended. And it is already making a difference in my life.
A good number of college students struggle with trying to find out what is right for them, but I am convinced there is no “right” thing. It is a matter of what makes you feel more like you.
Yoga happens to be, for me, a way to stop and contemplate, a space to connect with my body, and a moment away from the stress of schoolwork.
Not that this has to be anything related to my courses, but I feel that I have to mention the connection it has to my first-year seminar “How to Do Nothing” (First-Year Seminar 127 with Professor Nelson).
In case you are reading and do not know what a first-year seminar is then here is a little explanation: it’s a course you take your first semester with students who are majoring in all different fields. Therefore, the people in the class are there to learn fundamental skills to take with them for the rest of their Amherst career.
“How to Do Nothing” is an interesting course name, right? In class, we would discuss the attention economy and rituals in our daily life. Yoga is a ritual, a daily routine I want to implement as a rejection of the attention economy that comes from our modern technological devices.
In other words, do not become a “meat puppet” (like Professor Sitze might say) but also do not be trapped in a bubble of work for the entirety of my day. I find this activity to be liberating from the swarm of 70,000 thoughts throughout the day.
Balance is key. Balancing your schedule with small breaks in the middle of the day is important.
More about yoga: I have learned how to do various poses and the movement throughout the class allows me to be more in touch with my body. You won’t know until you try it. I was suspicious about the difference one hour of yoga can do for you but it is relaxing on a level where your body is free to move in ways you are not forcing it to.
My last class was more of a personalized yoga class because I was the only one that attended and I must say, I was stressed the entire day and felt tension on my shoulders. I voiced the parts where I felt the tension and the yoga instructor addressed those certain parts through eagle and tree poses. Yoga can also be an activity for exploration.
In the cold weather, finding time to do indoor activities is also good for one’s mental health. Overall, I see myself continuing to attend classes as a way to rest—and distract my mind.
Note: Each year, several current students blog for Amherst’s Office of Admission web page. These blogs are meant to offer “perspectives to prospectives,” so that applicants can get a sense of the College. We are re-posting a selection, and this one was written in the spring of 2023. Hernandez, a double major in Law, Jurisprudence and Social Thought and Latinx/Latin American Studies, plays flute for the Amherst Student Orchestra and grew up in Culver City, Calif. At Amherst, she also blogged about taking the course “Rethinking Pocohantas,” with Professor Kiara Vigil; seeing her first ever women’s ice hockey game (a friend is on the team) and Winter Fest, which features a Donut Wall, “a make-your-own donut station unlike any other you have ever experienced.”