USSU encouraging healthy living with yoga and cycling

By in Sports & Health

For students looking to ease their minds and loosen their limbs between classes this term, the University of Saskatchewan Students’ Union has just the solution: Yoga in the Bowl, a weekly event in September where students are welcome to gather in the Bowl for free yoga lessons.

The event is being held in conjunction with the Fit Centre, who will provide the instructors and class formats. The sessions will take place on Sept. 14, 21 and 28 from 12:30 p.m to 1:15 p.m. Some yoga mats will be provided, but due to limited quantity, students are encouraged to bring their own mats, as well as water bottles, sunscreen and other necessities.

No registration is required for the outdoor classes; students can simply show up and yoga to their heart’s content. However, students will need to register for yoga unnamedclasses at the Physical Activity Complex if the weather conditions do not permit the event to be held outside.

According to USSU vice- president academic affairs Brooke Malinoski, the University of Calgary hosts a similar event, but the true inspiration behind Yoga in the Bowl stems from the time she spent in Ottawa.

“I had the opportunity to spend a summer in Ottawa, and there they have this really cool thing where they do yoga on [Parliament Hill]. So thousands of people come to the hill with their yoga mats on their lunch break, and one of the studios offers a class to them,” Malinoski said. “It was cool to watch, to go to, it offered a really unique sense of community, and [I thought] why don’t we try something out here? We have the space. Everyone loves the Bowl. It’s kind of iconic at the U of S, and if we’re promoting health and well-being then I thought it was something interesting to try.”

In addition to reducing stress, the physical benefits of regular yoga practice are numerous. Those with lower back pain, arthritis, carpal tunnel syndrome, headaches and insomnia can all benefit from yoga. Other physical benefits include increased flexibility, muscle strength and tone, improved respiration, energy and vitality, maintaining a balanced metabolism, weight reduction, cardio and circulatory health, improved athletic performance and protection from injury.

Given all of the benefits of yoga, Malinoski believes that students will find the yoga sessions interesting and helpful.

“September is often a lot of fun for students — as it should be. The hard work, the midterms, the papers and the deadlines often don’t set in until October and November and then things are absolutely wild. But sometimes you come to school and you’re overwhelmed, especially if you’re here for your first time,” Malinoski said. “Sometimes you forget that it’s important to take care of your physical and mental health. I think that by offering a class once a week, it gives students a chance to sit back, relax and get some exercise into their schedules.”

In addition to yoga, the USSU will partner with the Office of Sustainability, the U of S Peer Health Mentors, the City of Saskatoon and Bridge City Bike Co-op to host Hike, Bike and Roll in the Bowl on Sept. 14 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

The annual event will provide students with the opportunity to purchase refurbished bikes from the Office of Sustainability, get free bike tune-ups and information about cycling from information booths.

USSU vice-president student affairs Renata Huyghebaert said that although the event is small, it is still plenty of fun and very informative.

“It’s a lot of fun, there’s free swag, a lot of information and there is a lot valuable information for everyone,” said Huyghebaert.

There will also be a “bike smoothie,” where students can create their own smoothies by pedaling a bike that is attached to blender to grind the ingredients together.

For more information on these events, head to ussu.ca/events.

Brenden Palmer / Sports & Health Editor

Photo Illustration: Lesia Karalash / Graphics Editor