The UBCO Yoga Club aims to make yoga more accessible to students of all abilities and experience levels.

The UBCO Yoga Club hosted an event on November 4, 2019, at the beginning of Thrive month, called Build Your Own Yoga and Meditation Home Practice. The goal of this workshop was to give students the knowledge required to practice yoga effectively and safely at home.

Yoga is a practice that brings together the mind and body to improve strength, flexibility and relaxation. Yoga has been proven to enhance the quality of life but attending regular classes can be unrealistic on a student budget.

Sarah Daniels, a Clinical Psychology PhD student and the main force behind the UBCO Yoga Club, recognizes how costs can put up barriers for students who want to practice yoga, which is why the primary focus of the yoga club has always been accessibility.

The Build Your Own Yoga and Meditation Home Practice workshop directly addressed the issue of accessibility by giving participants the tools required to skip out on pricey yoga classes. The workshop offered valuable tips on how to save money when practicing yoga at home such as buying a yoga mat at the dollar store or using makeshift items from home in place of expensive yoga equipment.

During the workshop, Daniels gave participants a few basic sequences and poses to practice. She also suggested that beginners follow along with Youtube tutorials if they feel unsure where to start during their practice at home. She mentioned that the yoga club is planning on making their own Youtube tutorials in the near future as part of their goal to make yoga more reachable.

Even though practicing yoga at home is a good way to save on costs, the UBCO Yoga Club also recognizes that group classes are a great way to build yoga skills and social relations. For this reason, the yoga club strives to offer free yoga classes when possible.

“Currently, we are running a Rise and Shine Morning Yoga Challenge with free yoga classes and tea every morning from 7:00-7:45a.m. in the Hangar studio on weekdays during the month of November. We also have two upcoming workshops on Yoga Tools for Stress and Anxiety, and Yoga Tools for Sleep” said Daniels.

In addition to offering yoga classes and workshops to students and the general public, Daniels works to provide yoga teacher training with reduced financial and temporal barriers to make teacher training more accessible for the campus community.

Through Daniels’ dedication, there are now 25 more yoga teachers who may not have otherwise had the chance to be trained, and they are now teaching yoga classes both locally and internationally.

Daniels concluded by mentioning her hopes for the club’s future: “As I myself am a senior graduate student and my right-hand lady Josée is graduating this year, we are looking for individuals who are passionate about making yoga more available so that we can pass the torch on to a new team to carry on the goals of the yoga club.”