Yogis stretch bodies, souls

Yoga has become a prevalent pastime and its allure has not skipped over the Colorado College campus where many students can be seen trekking to Cossitt Hall for free, student-taught yoga classes.

Senior Meridith Antonucci practices yoga. Photo by Monica Mueller

Yoga forces the participant to be completely in tune with his or her own body. Starting with simple breathing exercises, sequences move towards feeling the precise state of each part of the body by stretching and strength-building. At CC, yoga classes are offered two or three times a day, nearly every day. These include a few unconventional yoga styles that are distinctly CC-esque, such as slackline yoga. Yoga suits the nature of CC students as it is mentally and physically challenging as well as a spiritual experience. It can also be relaxing, loosening stiff muscles after an adventurous block break or helping to soothe stress during a tough class.

Meridith Antonucci, a senior yoga instructor at Colorado College, was originally a ballet dancer. She started yoga in high school to complement the strength and flexibility-intensive discipline of dance, and is now co-president of the yoga program with fellow senior, Emily Faxon. She attributes her dedication to the CC yoga community to an inspiring senior instructor who she met during her freshman year. Antonucci became heavily involved in yoga both at CC and at the Pranava Yoga Center in Colorado Springs, gathering enough experience during her freshman year to teach classes at the beginning of her sophomore year.

“Our teachers have had unique yoga experiences and come from many different lineages, yet we all share a love for yoga,” Antonucci said. “CC yoga has so much flexibility and freedom with the program. This year, in particular, we have been able to offer workshops focusing on specific areas of yoga, such as alignment, meditation, inversions, the chakra system, and breath work.”

A yogi combines his practice with slack lining. Photo by Monica Mueller

CC’s yoga program offers easy access to low-key classes. Most days, there are classes offered at 7:15 a.m., 4:00 p.m., and 7:00 p.m. There are 17 different instructors at CC, each teaching about one or two classes a week. For the inexperienced yogi, going to a yoga studio can seem intimidating. However, the classes at CC are open to all students no matter their every experience level.

Senior instructor, Alex Ammons, started practicing yoga after an ACL injury her freshman year and began teaching at CC this September.

“The way the body and the breath work simultaneously is fascinating…Practicing yoga tunes me in with my body in the most incredible, subtle ways,” Ammons said. “One of my teachers told me yoga is just ‘breathing practice.’ You are training yourself to breathe through discomfort, which is completely applicable to life. The lessons we teach in class for the physical practice – patience, trusting yourself, releasing – are just as relevant off the mat. It’s healing mentally, physically, and emotionally.”

Ammons also pointed out that the postures she started out disliking the most usually end up becoming her favorites. A particularly difficult pose for somone is often the most rewarding pose once mastered.

For more information on CC yoga, visit the Colorado College Yoga page on Facebook, which offers updated schedules.

Kayla Fratt

Guest Writer

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