Today: May 29, 2024

Fitness Center offers students racial healing through yoga

Ellie Sherry — Reporter

This month there have been many events centered around social justice, but, this past Thursday, one event focused on healing from surrounding injustices through yoga.

Yoga is thought to be as old as civilization itself according to, the Indian government Ministry of External Affairs. The name itself is derived from the word ‘yuj,’ which means to unite or join, so it is no wonder that people have been using it as a form of healing for thousands of years.

While there are normal yoga classes at Southern, this one was specifically designed to focus on racial healing and all of the burdens people feel. The class was led by Jahi Locke, a Southern student.

“I feel like genuine spirituality is not releasing your discomfort and being comfortable; that is only supposed to come at the end, when you ascend,” Locke said.

“What we need to focus on now is witnessing your own discomfort that we feel from the stresses of the world. We need to be able to sit with those discomforts and realize what they are and why they are happening.”

He then took this and implemented them into the lesson. After starting with some guided meditation, everyone discussed what they each did to try to relax, or make them feel better when they are down to distract themselves. These things ranged from music to playing on a phone.

Following the brief discussion, there was
a reading, and then Locke decided that everyone should get out of their comfort zones. He played music and encouraged everyone to partake in the energy; while some were reluctant to dance, others joined in.

After Locke did one more reading to help guide the thoughts of the group, he then led them through a few yoga flows and had everyone focus on their breathing.

Once the flows were over, he led another group discussion on how they felt after doing yoga, talking and meditating. The majority of the group said their body felt significantly relaxed after.

In the beginning of the event, Locke asked what people were thinking about during the first bit of silent meditation. Some students said they were thinking about their day while others had more personal issues going on that they shared with the group.

At the end of the practice, thinking back to what she had originally thought about during the first meditation, secondary
education major Gianna Sia, a freshman said, “It was good to let all of my emotions come out.”

One of the students who attended the event talked about how he enjoyed what Locke was saying during his guided practice and in both the readings as well as during the meditation.

“I think it’s really good the way he explains,” said communication major Onyx Rivera, a sophomore, “and understands how people internalize things and how it impacts you.”

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