Relax and Restore

Restorative yoga sessions offered on campus
Lee ODell leads centering exercises in a restorative yoga session.
Lee O’Dell leads centering exercises in a restorative yoga session.
Eliza Copes

There is many ways one can relax–from writing to watching a sunset.

Many prefer the way of yoga. Yoga is an ancient practice that can help relax and restore. It has been known to enhance flexibility, gain better sleep, reduce pain, and help balance the nervous system.

Restorative yoga is designed to balance the nervous system while wringing out tension from the deep connective tissues of the body. It relies on a combination of relaxation and gravity to melt tension,” says Coordinator of Outreach and Programming Lee-Ann O’Dell

The college offers a yoga program that allows individuals to escape from their stressful daily lives to rest in the sleepy abyss of tranquility. There are options for one on one or big groups of restorative yoga. Working on yoga helps anxiety, breath work, and mindfulness.

O’Dell has taught this for her second year here at the college. This program has been active for two and a half years and have had more than 300 people attend.

“As of January, I have taught 200 hours of group and 1:1 classes. I have pursued additional training including a 30-hour add-on endorsement in restorative yoga, and a mindfulness-based stress reduction meditation coach designation,” O’Dell said.

She leads practitioners though a chain of steps that allows them to relax and restore their minds.

As she guides thoughts of body relaxation, she speaks with the fluency of water through her voice. The room is lighted in such a way that slipping into a restful place is easy to do.

Each person is led in stretches that relax the spine and body. Holding positions for five or more minutes allows for the posture of the body to re-strengthen. This style of yoga is able to activate the parasympathetic nervous system. This is the system that keeps the basics functioning properly.

The baseball team recently utilized O’Dell’s services in a group setting.

Jackson Goodknight, freshman and pitcher on the team, says that he enjoyed the session very much.

“(It) felt good to take a break from lift and baseball. (It was good to) stretch and reset the mind.”

Jaden Johnson, senior outfielder, echoes the sentiments.

“It was very relaxing and calming, and it helped relieve some stress,” Johnson says. “I feel like as an athlete we do not take time to calm our minds and bodies as much as we should, and I think yoga can help with that.”

The college offers yoga Thursdays from 11:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. and Fridays from 2:30 p.m.-4:00 p.m. in Swartz gym dance studio 108.

“Restorative yoga is but one piece in the puzzle of life,” O’Dell says.

Promoting this form of yoga not only helps the body but allows one to take a back seat and restore the mind from stressed to relaxed and restored, and O’dell says that anyone interested in booking a session may or attending a class may contact her at [email protected].



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