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The Hawk News

The Student News Site of St. Joseph's University

The Hawk News

The Student News Site of St. Joseph's University

The Hawk News

Spiritual practice helps those in recovery


Yoga classes provide relaxation

For the fourth consecutive semester, St. Joe’s offered students the opportunity to participate in a free yoga program called Yoga for Recovery.

Although it is open to all students, Yoga for Recovery is geared towards people struggling with substance abuse disorders as well as anxiety and depression. This semester, the program has taken place monthly in the group fitness room at the O’Pake Recreation Center.

“Research shows it helps anybody dealing with stress, anxiety, depression, any of that, because yoga is physical, but also a mental and spiritual practice,” said Katie Bean, assistant director in the office of student outreach and support and Wellness, Alcohol and Drug Education (WADE).

Bean is also the advisor to the student organization The Flock, whose goal is to act as a support system for anyone who has dealt with or is currently dealing with a substance use disorder. In the fall of 2016, The Flock organized the first Yoga for Recovery event alongside the Office of Student Outreach and Support.

A nonprofit called the Transformation Yoga Project has been responsible for providing St. Joe’s with yoga instructors for the program. The group’s mission is to bring yoga to people in recovery.

Their practice is designed specifically for relaxation, according to Susan Albano, the yoga instructor currently running the program at St. Joe’s this semester.

“I’ve taught two classes so far, and they really enjoy the breathing part of it,” Albano said. “I’ve gotten a lot of positive feedback from it, and then the feeling that they’re safe where they are. I think that’s the primary feeling is to give them that feeling of safety.”

Sarah Lathrop ’19 president of The Flock, said she felt those relaxing effects when she participated in the program herself. Lathrop described yoga as a peaceful way to unwind.

“You really get to pay attention to what your body is telling you, which as a college student, we kind of get distracted with school and everything,” Lathrop said. “We don’t take time to take care of ourselves.”

Albano welcomes all students to her yoga classes. Classical hatha yoga, the specific type of yoga being taught in these classes, focuses on mindfulness and regulation of breath but isn’t exclusively beneficial to those in recovery, Albano added.

The last Yoga for Recovery of the semester will take place May 8.

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