Whether students can dive right into downward-facing dog or don’t know child’s pose from a sun salutation, Weber State’s fitness center offers yoga classes for all levels.
“Anybody can come, no matter who they are,” said Michelle Taylor, a yoga instructor at the Wildcat Center. “In my classes, I offer variations for everybody in hopes that they’ll be able to achieve the inner energetic opening that we find in postures.”
Taylor explained that hitting the mat can have numerous benefits, some of which might be especially helpful for students.
“There’s a huge stress management factor with practicing yoga,” Taylor said. “Something about the postures and the breath mixing together that really allows you to step outside of reality and go to a place inside where, for just an hour a day, you don’t have to worry about what’s happening at home or in your classroom.”
All yoga classes are free for WSU students. Community members can attend the classes for $7, purchase a ten-punch pass for $50 or purchase a semester-long pass for $100. No equipment is required, as mats and props are provided.
Taylor teaches classes ranging from slow movements and holding postures for extended periods, called yin yoga, to faster-paced practices that are more vigorous, called vinyasa flow yoga.
Taylor says her yin yoga class is for everybody, especially athletes, and focuses on holding postures for a long period of time. Taylor describes her vinyasa class as more challenging, so expect to work up a sweat. “It really gives you a chance to experience your inner strength on a level that normally we wouldn’t experience it,” Taylor said of the class.
Claudette Halverson teaches yoga fitness classes and academic yoga classes at the WSU Davis campus gym.
“It’s a different dynamic,” Halverson said of her classes. “The energy is really fun on the campus.”
Halverson said she enjoys watching her students benefit from her classes and encourages everyone to try yoga.
“Weber State offers so many different yoga teachers now,” Halverson said. “They also offer so many different times in a day for classes. Just give it a try.”
Bella Rivera, coordinator for student involvement and leadership at the Davis campus, said she tries to attend Halverson’s class as often as possible. Rivera has been practicing yoga on and off for a few months.
“Claudette is an amazing yoga teacher and I feel so good after her classes,” Rivera said. “It’s such a friendly environment, so people should take advantage of it.”
Haley Goodman, an academic yoga student of Halverson’s, said yoga is great way to get through the school semester.
“Yoga has helped me be more relaxed in my stressful days,” Goodman said. “It has made me more aware of my mind and body to help calm me.”
A variety of classes are offered several times a week on both the Ogden and Davis campus. To find updated class schedules, students can visit www.weber.edu/fitness.
“It’s really a place to plant your feet and grow,” Taylor said of her yoga classes. “It’s not a place to necessarily search, but it’s a place where you can find yourself and become an amazing person who can live up to every ounce of potential that you have.”