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The University Star




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The University Star

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Holy Yoga takes Sewell Park

%0ADuring+the+Fall+and+Spring+semesters%2C+Holy+Yoga+is+hosted+by+UCM+in+the+chapel.%0A%0A%0APhoto+Courtesy+of+Sara+Turner%0A
During the Fall and Spring semesters, Holy Yoga is hosted by UCM in the chapel. Photo Courtesy of Sara Turner

There is nothing like summertime at Sewell. Instead of sunbathing all day long, take the chance to clear the mind with exercise and meditation.
Mondays at 8 a.m., United Campus Ministry hosts Holy Yoga at Sewell Park. The hour-long session includes essential oils, peaceful meditation and relaxing music. Students can start the week with a clear mind at no cost for the session and no prior sign up.
Since fall 2017, UCM has been offering holy yoga sessions to the Texas State community at the UCM chapel. However, this summer, they decided to bring the summer vibes to these sessions by hosting them at Sewell Park.
Sara Turner, Holy Yoga instructor, has been practicing yoga for a couple of years. The spiritual aspect of yoga inspired her to obtain her instructor certification.
Turner said yoga has three parts: meditation, breathing and stretching. It starts with the initial breathing that keeps everything circulating and continues further with stretching.
“I don’t think people realize it’s not just stretching; it’s intentionally trying to get you energized and healed,” Turner said. “It just really feels good during and after. Yoga can be whatever you want it to be.”
The sessions are made inclusive for everyone. At the beginning of each session, Turner asks if there are any beginners in the class so she can make sure everyone is able to follow along. She said she encourages students to try yoga at least once.
Turner said she tries her best to make sessions relaxing by playing Christian or soft music. Before she begins instruction, she applies a soothing oil to the forehead of the participants to begin the rejuvenation of the mind.
Although Christian music is played and Turner occasionally reads scripture, the sessions are not focused around faith. Turner does not want people feeling discouraged because of the spiritual aspect of Holy Yoga, and said participants are free to meditate on whatever makes them feel at peace.
Sofia Steele, nursing sophomore, previously attended yoga sessions at Golds Gym until she found out about Holy Yoga. Steele said she enjoys Holy Yoga more due to the peaceful setting Turner creates. This summer, Steele is taking summer classes and regularly attends Holy Yoga.
“It’s a great way to start my Monday’s because every Monday I have a test,”Steele said. “It’s nice to go in early in the morning, do my yoga, destress and prepare myself for my exam,” Steele said.
The number of participants varies every time. If there is a high demand of attendees, UCM is open to expanding to more sessions, according to Reverend Todd Salmi.
Salmi is focused on the needs of the students. When he can, he attends Holy Yoga and said he finds it wonderfully relaxing and spiritually centering.
“We realized a lot of students are stressed out and anxious and we wanted to give them an opportunity to have a rhythm of relaxation for not only their physical bodies, but for their mental and physical state,” Salmi said.
UCM is focused on giving students the resources for a healthy college life. Yoga is a practice they found was not only popular, but extremely liberating for the average student. It offers a chance for the pious community to dive deeper into their spirituality.
Throughout the year, UCM offers various activities and opportunities for students to participate in, such as summer readings with local kids and bible studies.
All are welcome to attend Holy Yoga to manage stress and find the balance between busy schedules. To stay up-to-date with UCM Holy Yoga and other events, visit their social media and website at http://ucmtxstate.org/

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  • This summer UCM has been hosting Holy Yoga at Sewell Park.

    Photo Courtesy of Sara Turner

  • UCM is hosting Holy Yoga at Sewell Park this summer.

    Photo Courtesy of Sara Turner

  • UCM is hosting Holy Yoga at Sewell Park this summer.

    Photo Courtesy of Sara Turner

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