By Zerina Bajramovic
Yoga has been practiced for thousands of years, but more recently it has become increasingly popular, and UNH is not immune to the trend.
UNH and the nearby community offer a huge variety of yoga to students. From private studios to group yoga through Campus Recreation and Health Services, campus dorms holding yoga socials and even a yoga club, it is clear there is some yoga fever on and around the UNH campus.
Yoga is known for its spiritual, mental and physical benefits. The body postures, stretches and meditation done during a yoga session are known to improve focus and decrease stress. It’s no surprise why college students would look towards yoga to help with their busy lives.
“Where are we? Here. What time is it? Now,” said Evalyn Sorrentino, a yoga instructor from Yoga By Donation in Portsmouth, New Hampshire, as she instructed a group of students Tuesday evening during a weekly Inner Peace Yoga meeting in the Wildcat’s Den.
In the mirrored room, the lights were dimmed. The yoga mats were placed in a circle around Sorrentino so that students could reproduce her movements and breathing pattern.
The Inner Peace Yoga Club brings in a new instructor from nearby communities each Tuesday night to instruct a yoga class. Each yoga session is about 60 minutes.
All of the instructors volunteer their time to the club, and are eager to introduce students to the benefits of yoga. In years past, instructors have come to instruct a class from as far as Maine and Massachusetts.
The free club accepts students who are at any level of yoga, and even provides mats for those who do not have their own.
“The club atmosphere is great. It’s a great way to unwind after classes and just clear your head,” said Taylor Berry, co-president of Inner Peace Yoga.
Aside from yoga offered weekly to students for free, there are many yoga studios that have special prices for college students. Portsmouth alone has over 25 yoga studios to choose from.
Durham’s own 3 Bridges Yoga opened in 2011, and has been popular with students ever since because of its proximity to the campus.
“The best part of the studio for us is the mix of locals and students. It further strengthens that no matter where you are in your life, you can do yoga and that we are all in this together,” said Bjorn Turnquist, founder of 3 Bridges Yoga.
“It’s an efficient way to work the body, mind and spirit, all in one hour,” Turnquist said.
Along with all of the various places students can choose to partake in yoga, a new studio is making its way to Durham. Bikram Yoga Durham is anticipated to open its doors the second week of October. Bikram yoga is unique because it is done in a heated room and is longer than a normal session of yoga.
Brandy Higgins, owner and instructor of Bikram Yoga Durham, is excited and optimistic about another way for the community to come together and practice yoga.
Higgins will be providing free yoga on opening day, and hopes that the Durham community comes to get a sense of what it’s all about. As of right now, the studio will be offering 24 classes per week.
“It increases listening skills, concentration, weight control, allows you to become more present in the now, and reduces anxiety and depression,” said Higgins about Bikram Yoga.
People do yoga for many reasons. According to Higgins many people come in for the workout or healing aspect of yoga, but leave with so much more. After a few sessions “they realize the mindfulness of it,” Higgins said.
Amanda Ikonos, co-president of the Inner Peace Yoga Club mostly does yoga for the stress relief it offers. “It’s an outlet to relax,” Ikonos said.
“It’s amazing — All yoga is good yoga,” said Higgins in regards to the recent popularity of yoga.