Finding God on Gannon’s Campus

Welcome back from Spring Break, everyone.

I hope that it was a restful time for you, whether you went on a vacation, an ABST or just chilled at home.

I wish you well as you return to classwork and projects, and whatever life here at Gannon brings you.

I wasn’t quite sure what to write about this week until something happened on Monday that was really awesome, and spiritually centered me.

I went to yoga. A couple of my friends – who are girls – invited me to come several weeks ago.

They told me, “Come on, Nathan, it will be great. Everybody will love seeing another guy there.”

In response, I gave them a half-hearted “Maybe.”

I thought I was too macho to be doing yoga and that I had better things to do.

Well, this past Monday, a couple of my friends – who are guys – said that they were going as a group to yoga and they invited me to join them.

I thought it would be better if I went with a crowd of other males, so I said yes.

Imagine my dismay when I show up… and they don’t.

My first reaction – “Thanks, guys.”

I walked into a room with a bunch of college girls with their yoga pants on and one other guy.

I felt reassured when a couple of girls that I knew waved at me and I thought, “Well, I’m here, I better do this.” How hard could it be?

I found out quickly that I am not very flexible. There were poses that I did where I felt the burn.

Wow, it was rough.

However, throughout the whole experience, especially at the end, there was an undercurrent of peace and calm that I really needed that day.

It was like doing a meditation, which I love to do very much.

After I had stretched out my back – which can be really sore sometimes – and the rest of my body, I felt loose and connected with the energy in the room.

Call me crazy, but I was really happy that I went. I had the chance to talk to the yoga instructor at the end of the session and she was more than willing to talk to me.

Her name was Norine Gammon and she is an RYT, or a Registered Yoga Teacher. She has taught fitness for 27 years, but only taught yoga for seven.

She mentioned that she teaches yoga to students, adults and seniors, even those with arthritis, and she teaches power and gentle yoga.

“It’s very healing physically, mentally,” she said. “I found that it’s a great way to detach from your ego and attach to your inner body and inner beauty.”

I asked about the times that yoga happens at the Rec Center and Norine said that it starts at 6:30 p.m. several times throughout the week, and even on the weekend.

The Rec has power flow yoga on Mondays. That was what I went to and I recommend it to anyone looking for a physical, spiritual and mental outlet.

Norine mentioned that it was a “judgment-free zone,” and that everyone is accepted there, no matter what your knowledge of yoga is. Norine expressed the benefits of yoga as well.

“It has so many poses and breathing techniques,” she said. “There are some to do if you’re sick, there are sequences you can do for anxiety and depression. There’s chanting or meditations. It’s so amazing.”

Overall, I was pleasantly surprised with my yoga experience and I am definitely planning on going back next Monday.

I hope to get better each time I go back and I look forward to being more in touch with my spiritual side.

Feel free to join me.

If you’re a single guy, I guarantee there are plenty of ladies.

All joking aside, I think it was serendipity that I went to yoga and now I am hooked.

Maybe I’ll even buy my own mat.

 

NATHAN DEMAREST

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