The Inner Peace Yoga Club is just one of many student organizations on the University of New Hampshire’s (UNH) campus. Each week on Tuesday from 6 to 7 p.m. in the Memorial Union Building (MUB) room 334, the club brings in a yoga instructor to lead their meeting. These meetings are intended to help students practice mindfulness and relaxation amidst their busy college schedules.
The group is free of charge to all students and anyone can join at any point throughout the semester. To attend, all students need to bring are themselves. The club provides yoga mats for anyone who needs one and they recommend wearing something comfortable enough to move in. The Inner Peace Yoga Club has been around for quite a few years now; however, co-presidents Abigail Laverriere and Crystal Goodrich are trying to expand their organization and get the name out. Recently, they’ve had a light turnout at the meetings and they are hoping to grow. The two women want to share their passion for yoga with others and encourage the positive nature of the organization to help students. The two presidents took on their role at the beginning of the 2020 spring semester.
“For me, it is the best break in the week because you really know you’re taking care of yourself and it is a good opportunity to breathe and relieve some stress from school,” junior nutritional science major Laverriere said.
Together, Laverriere and Goodrich set up the room to reflect a Zen environment that they believe will illuminate the class. They set up decorative lights around the outskirts of the room and keep all other lights off for the duration of the class. The large windows in the room allow for the remainder of the day’s natural light to pour in as well. Once everyone is set up, the instructor gives a brief introduction and the class begins.
Each week there is a different instructor and the style of yoga could vary based on the instructor’s preference and what they are trained in. Typically, the attendees are taught Vinyasa Flow or Baptiste yoga, but it does change from week to week. No prior yoga experience is needed to join this club; beginners are welcomed and encouraged to join. Overall, the club is meant to be low commitment. If you can’t show up one week, it’s not a problem. The goal of the club is to promote wellness and relaxation.
There are a variety of options for newcomers to choose from when considering joining the club. The first is showing up to any meeting and getting a feel to whether it’s an organization that would be a good fit; after, one of the co-presidents can discuss with newcomers how to become a member. Another option is joining the online Facebook group, titled “UNH Inner Peace Yoga Club.” By joining the Facebook group, members get weekly reminders about the meeting and about the instructor coming that week. The final way is reaching out to the co-presidents through their email: firstname.lastname@example.org or joining the group through their page on Wildcat Link.
“I think people should join because it definitely helps promote wellness within the community,” Goodrich, a sophomore psychology major, said. “It also helps people ground themselves and go to something that will help relieve their stress, which is important.”