The yoga class holds a pose in the Turchin Center for the Visual Arts. Olivia Wilkes | The Appalachian
For Appalachian State University students who want a different yoga experience than the ones currently offered in the three on-campus gyms, there is a new alternative.
The Turchin Center for the Visual Arts (TCVA) will offer yoga classes once a week in the Mayer Gallery, Saturdays at 10:30 a.m. until the end of March.
“The class is offered so early on a Saturday morning because not many people come into the Turchin Center right as we open for the day,” Outreach Coordinator Pegge Laine said. “It’s as if we own that space and that hour when no one is walking through the galleries.”
The class size is relatively small – only five people on average.
“The hardest part about taking any yoga class in the morning is getting out of bed,” said Eileen Fisher, a first-year speech-language pathology graduate student. “Once you get up, attend the class and leave, you get a calm yet energized feeling. For me, it was worth getting out of bed for.”
The yoga is kept at a basic level to accommodate those without much experience.
“The time in the class allows the participant to embrace his or her spiritual beliefs, whatever those beliefs may be,” substitute instructor Kathie Billing said. “It allows that person to bring awareness to their own body in an environment that can be considered a creative space, surrounded by the expression of artists.”
Unlike the free classes offered on campus, the Turchin Center charges $10 for participation – but part of the fee benefits charities like the Hospitality House and Mountain Cares.
The money from the class also goes toward people who cannot afford the cost of workshops, Laine said.
“With everything that stresses out daily lives, such as job interviews, health issues and peer conflict, a yoga class is a place where there are no expectations at all,” Billing said. “Whatever happens in the class, happens.”
For students who would rather take yoga classes on campus, classes are offered throughout the day from Sunday to Friday and range in starting times.
“The instructor offers variations of different poses, so the student can edit their experience in the class just by the poses,” said Barrett Ward, a sophomore public relations major who often attends the classes. “It also makes the class less intimidating if you’re a first time student.”
The classes offered at Appalachian range in difficulty from beginner to advanced and the class is held in a large room with dim lighting. The setting of both classes is completely different.
“The university does offer great yoga classes, but they can’t beat the setting of an art gallery overlooking downtown Boone,” Fisher said. “The university doesn’t offer any yoga classes scheduled for Saturdays this semester, so it’s perfect that the Turchin Center provides another option.”
To find yoga classes on campus, visit studentlife.appstate.edu and click “Health and Wellness.”
Story: KATARINA GRUSS, Intern Lifestyles Reporter
Photo: OLIVIA WILKES, Senior Photographer