by Kate Lundquist, guest columnist, the Wellness Cricket
The first week of school is always an interesting social experiment. It is a reflection into the self. I love watching everyone walk around searching for their classrooms, walking into the wrong one, sizing one another up, judging their professors and the amount of work expected for the next few months. I feel like we can view the beginning of the semester either by freaking out/stressing a ridiculous amount or laughing at the awkward moments and getting excited about the classes we’ve signed up for. I love hearing new voices pipe up in my philosophy class to challenge John Casey, and listening to people define poetry in Gary’s advanced poetry class. We all arrive at college with a personality, and continue to develop it as we live each moment. It is easy to lose yourself in the stress of the day, but it is also possible to let go of the ego and connect with how you are feeling at the moment.
This past week I practiced yoga almost every day, and one of the most interesting classes was a level 2/3 dynamic flow. I usually love this type of class- the kick your butt, challenge yourself till you collapse, sweat like there is no tomorrow yoga. However, when real yoga occurs, when union between body and mind surface into the present moment the ego is eradicated and peace flourishes. After overworking my quadriceps in an overly intense class and practicing handstand to fore arm stand to scorpion, I took a few deep breaths in child’s pose and the thought in my head was, “Why are you doing this right now? You are exhausted and overdoing it.” Now, normally my competitive self (thanks to my childhood of soccer, lacrosse, figure skating, gymnastics and dance — and yes, sometimes several in one day) would say push through it. Just do it. My ankles giving out, my knees crying, etc. would not stop me from finishing the class. Yet the truth of yoga took over and I spent the rest of the class pretty much doing my own thing in the back of the room. I spent a long time in straddle and forward bends, because that was what my body as asking for. No to Marichyasana, because my shoulder is injured. No to half lotus, because my knee is recovering. How difficult was it to say no to my ego? Very. How easy was it to enjoy yoga moving through my body and instructing what to do next? Blissful.
With a fresh semester ahead of us (and a new year too!) we have the opportunity to fulfill our intentions. Though not everyone writes out their new year’s resolutions, it is beneficial to write out your intentions for the next few months. Do you wish to maintain your yoga practice? Eat healthy? Go biking? Luckily this semester promises plenty to do on campus. The Outdoor Programs Crew always has incredible trips around the area, the fitness center in Devries is open, and events are cropping up around campus. February 26th-March 3rd is National Eating Disorder Awareness Week, and the Counseling center has teamed up with Health Psych and Wellness Crew to bring you a week of healthy food and activities. Keep your eyes open for an event calendar which will include a group run on the river trail, healing foods crew offering delicious samples, a guest speaker, and I will be teaching a yoga class focused on strengthening the body to feel stronger and healthier.