Murray takes on National Yoga Month

A recent obsession with an exercise has developed in America that involves a mixture of stretching, breathing and meditation. The exercise is yoga and it’s getting some extra attention in September, National Yoga Month.

According to, yoga is about the union of one’s body and soul with the universe. Through breathing, stretching and holding positions, yoga improves one’s overall health.

“Yoga is therapeutic, it helps people relax and expand their minds,” Therese Saint Paul, a certified yoga instructor for the Wellness Center, said.

Yoga also pressures the glandular system, improves circulation and even stimulates the bowels.

Performing yoga is all about healing the body in a natural way and making it healthier. Yoga tones and strengthens muscles along with stretching the body, which helps develop a better posture.

In addition to the health benefits, yoga provides a mental escape from the stressful world.

Saint Paul believes yoga helped her in the same way when she began practicing it at her university 30 years ago.

Taking a yoga class does not require much equipment or any type of special garment to wear during the exercise.

“Nothing specific is needed, clothing wise, you just need to be free to move,” Saint Paul said.

She also mentioned old T-shirts and shorts were just as useful as yoga pants and work-out clothes.

As far as equipment goes all that is really needed is an anti-skid yoga mat.

Saint Paul teaches two classes on campus every Wednesday. Level one yoga is for the beginners and anyone can join in. It begins at 6:30 p.m. and lasts about an hour. Level two yoga follows the first class beginning at 7:30 p.m. and also lasts about an hour.

Saint Paul said she is repeatedly asked about whether students should take yoga classes or just practice at home.

“It’s better to have a teacher,” she said. “They can correct you, give good advice and there is so much knowledge involved when you have a class setting.”

Saint Paul said yoga is about learning and then sharing that knowledge.

Many students look forward to the opportunity to learn yoga on campus.

“I have tried to do yoga from YouTube videos, but I would never stick with it,” Breanna Sill, freshman from Golconda Ill., said. “I’m hoping to attend a yoga class on campus soon.”

Story by Hunter Harrell, Contributing writer.