Downward dog has students looking up

Adam Williams, Sports Editor  Ω

A new yoga program started by the TRU Wellness Centre at TRU is taking a different approach to helping those fighting mental illness.

“In general, all campuses are struggling with how to help students with these issues [depression and anxiety],” said Chelsea Corsi, the wellness coordinator at TRU. “More and more students aren’t only students. There are so many demands on them like having jobs or being parents.”

The TRU Wellness Centre runs nine free classes each week that are aimed at helping students and staff maintain their “physical, emotional, social, intellectual, occupational, and spiritual well-being.” Participants can find classes on everything from meditation and belly dancing, to Piloga (a blend of Pilates and yoga) and desktop yoga. The implementation of yoga classes geared specifically towards treating mental illness is something new to the centre this year.

Previously, the Wellness Centre offered workshops that were geared at giving staff and students information and resources for issues of mental illness. The new direction is an effort to give those in attendance specific tools for helping their mental well-being, according to Corsi. In a time where people are so connected to those around them, taking time to disconnect and recharge is more important than ever.

“We need to reduce the stigma surrounding mental illness,” Corsi said. “One in five will experience mental illness in their lifetime, either themselves or through connection to someone else. We need to be more accepting, open and aware.”

Yoga is a popular way to help students as Jesse Faubert and his sister Phelan found out earlier this year. The siblings started the TRU Yoga Club, a student group with TRUSU and had more than 103 sign-ups in their first afternoon at Clubs Day. The club is still young and just recently had their first meeting but interest has been impressive.

“We’re looking not just to have yoga classes but to be able to build community,” said Jesse Faubert, a pre-MBA student. “We’re just stoked about being able to start something like this at TRU.”

Both the TRU Wellness Centre’s depression and anxiety yoga classes and the TRU Yoga Club’s classes are slated to begin in the next few weeks, just in time for students who will be heading into the busiest parts of their semesters. While the groups aren’t officially connected in any way, Corsi said she would love to see if there are any opportunities for the groups to partner in the future.

Regardless of the directions each group takes, there will be plenty of opportunities for students and staff to engage in yoga on campus this semester,  whether they’re just looking to get some exercise or to battle the stress that is all too prevalent on university campuses today.

One Response

  1. Chelsea Corsi Oct. 11, 2012