Despite a violent thunderstorm booming and crackling outside, about 100 students, faculty and staff attended “UM’s Largest Yoga Class” and found inner peace Tuesday evening at the Patti and Allan Herbert Wellness Center. Attendants received free beach towels, and 10 lucky winners also received raffle prizes, including semester yoga passes typically valued at $60.
Men and women of all ages and skill levels participated, filling the basketball court and bringing the UM community together. Yoga instructors who work at the Wellness Center took turns teaching the class from a stage in the front of the room and assisted participants when they weren’t teaching. The instructors received an applause following the hour-long practice.
After the class, instructors and organizers raffled off the semester passes, headphones and $5-off coupons for Wellness Center yoga classes, which are regularly $7. Representatives of the event’s sponsors, KIND Snacks and UM Dining Services gave away free food.
“I hope this class introduced more people to yoga. It’s a great exercise to re-energize, focus on yourself and not think about work. Even if you love your job, you cannot be thinking about it all the time,” Associate Dean of Students Steve Priepke said after participating in the class.
The class was a part of the Healthy Campus Initiative, a collaborative effort between the Partnership for a Healthier America (PHA) and several universities including UM, that aims to improve student lifestyles by encouraging physical activity and healthy eating on college campuses.
“We are finding ways to offer more opportunities for health and wellness,” Assistant Director of Wellness and Camp Ashley Falcon said.
The event organizers chose to plan a yoga class to celebrate National Yoga Month, which occurs every September, designated by the Department of Health and Human Services.
The class was one of many special events planned in honor of the Herbert Wellness Center’s 20th anniversary, which will be officially celebrated on Feb. 2nd. The Wellness Center has many more exciting events planned to honor this anniversary, including a spooky studio cycling event in October and a fitness competition in November.
Students can find more information about upcoming events on the Herbert Wellness Center Facebook page and by searching “#HWC20” on Instagram and Twitter.