While most students, faculty and alumni go to the Wellness Center to exercise their bodies, a small group go to exercise their minds. Instead of using treadmills, Stairmasters and free weights, the group sits on leather green chairs that surround a long, rectangular conference table on the second floor of the center.
Alumnus Lunthita Duthely, meditation teacher begins evening classes at 7:30 p.m. for an hour-and-half. The class is free and meets 3 times a month. A one-hour class is also offered during lunch once per month.
“I [teach] the class on a volunteer basis in addition to my job,” Lunthita said, adding that her class was inspired by Sri Chinmoy, a spiritual teacher who hosted event about “inner peace.” Seventeen-and-half years ago Lunthita became one of his students.
Participants take the class for various reasons.
“I was traveling next to a Buddhist, I want[ed] to learn how he kept his focus,” said Danny Recio, an alumnus.
In contrast, freshman Jaleesa Robinson said that she goes to the class to learn how to deal with stress and be more focused with school.
Others said they combine mind and body exercise by working out at the gym before taking a yoga class.
“The wellness center is not just a gym..spiritual wellness is a big component to health,” said Ashley Falcon, assistant director at the Wellness Center. Falcon also takes meditation classes and said that the techniques learned can provide stress relief and a decrease in heart rate.
Classes are free and open to students, employees, and the community.
Yessica Salazar may be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org