California Lutheran University's Student Newspaper Since 1961

The Echo

California Lutheran University's Student Newspaper Since 1961

The Echo

California Lutheran University's Student Newspaper Since 1961

The Echo

    Get your stretch on in the Forrest Fitness Center

    Students at California Lutheran University looking to relieve their stress after or between classes have the option to attend professionally-taught yoga classes at no cost.

    Faculty member and registered yoga teacher Lisa Wildermuth instructs the classes and said it is important to find balance and breathing while doing the different poses.

    “Yoga directly translated means union,” Wildermuth said. “Bringing together the body and the mind through the breath. It means coming into balance or being in a state of equilibrium in both our body, our mind and emotions.”

    The class is open to both beginners and advanced yogis and can be taken for credit as well. 

    “It is really about exposing people to yoga,” Wildermuth said. “Letting them feel the change in their body as they practice it, not only the change in their body, but in their mind too.”

    Senior Isabella Del Mese said she had never tried yoga before the classes at Cal Lutheran, but after her first class she started attending on a regular basis.

    “I have done yoga since my freshman year,” she said. “I just came to the CLU class one day and just fell in love with it and I have been coming all four years,” Del Mese said. “The class here is offered twice a week, and I took the class for credit too so I did it four times a week, but now I do twice a week.”

    According to Wildermuth, yoga can have positive effects on how people make their priorities in life because it often helps people to think more clearly.

    “When we go forth in our daily lives we feel more balanced and make better choices for ourselves,” Wildermuth said. “Better choices with people we have relationships with, will come from a better place when you are feeling more balanced.”

    One reason Del Mese practices yoga multiple times a week is because she  believes she can focus better in school.

    “After a stressful day in school or at work it is kind of nice having an hour when you put your phone away, and just take that time to do yoga and not think about anything else. It is kind of nice to have that designated time where you have to set it aside of your day and just relax for one hour,” Del Mese said.

    Yoga at times can be confused with stretching. Junior Justin Anderson said he believes yoga is a sort of stretching with some distinctive differences.

    “From what I know, it is a technique that you can do to practice relaxation and stretching,” Anderson said. “I think it incorporates some aspects of stretching into it, and relieving your body of stress at the same time.”

    In addition to stretching, Wildermuth said yoga is not only a good practice by itself, but it also is a preparing stage for meditation.

    “A lot of westerners don’t know this, but the reason for why you perform yoga, which is the asanas or the poses, is to prepare your body and your mind, and bringing them into balance before moving into meditation,” Wildermuth said.

    Wildermuth said yoga can also be beneficial for eliminating personal issues such as anxiety and depression.

    “[It has been] found that yoga works really well for anxiety and even for depression by moving into certain poses,” Wildermuth said. “By moving your body in certain ways, you can help to change your mind and your feelings just by the way you hold your body.”

    By going to Wildermuth’s yoga class, one will feel welcomed and get help with developing one’s yoga technique.

    “Coming to the CLU class is a great beginning because Lisa, the instructor, is awesome,” Del Mese said. “She gives you different variations, so if you want it easy you can do a certain pose, and if you want it more challenging you can do another pose. You are not forced to do anything, so there is no pressure for anyone new, and the CLU classes are definitely perfect.”

    Lisa Hemmingson
    Staff Writer
    Published March 9th, 2016