Stress—whether it was related to school, work or relationships—was the furthest thing from the minds of students who attended Turlock High School’s first Yoga Club meeting on Friday.
“This club is a great way to relieve stress and it’s a great way to get everything out from the day and make your body feel good,” said senior Alyssa Todd.
Todd said that she decided to join the club as a way to hang out and do something healthy with people her own age, like fellow senior Alondra Celedon who said that she wanted to take advantage of the free class since she has always had an interest in yoga.
“I get really stressed with school and exams and I found this as a way to relieve stress. I love the stretches and just focusing on breathing in and out,” said Celedon. “This is the perfect solution to relieve stress other than getting high or doing negative stuff that you shouldn’t be doing.
“This is a great, healthy way,” Celedon added.
Senior Eric Macias-Diaz also attended the club’s inaugural meeting on Friday because he wanted to try something new and the club was something “normal high school students wouldn’t try.” However, Macias-Diaz said the primary reason he joined was because he heard that yoga helps to relieve the muscle strain felt after a workout.
“It usually takes me two to three days to not be sore, so I hope that this will help with that,” said Macias-Diaz.
All three seniors were first-timers to yoga, which senior and instructor Lauren Clark described as amazing and challenging at the same time.
“It’s really uplifting to see new people, but I need to try and make sure that they are doing it in a safe way without injuring themselves,” said Clark. “I’ve been excited about it all week and I just hope I get to learn from them too.”
Clark, who said that she is also working to obtain her yoga teacher certification, founded the club because she wanted to bring a free yoga class to students at THS. The weekly club is expected to mirror the format of a yoga class at a studio.
“I really wanted to bring in a healthy physical way for a variety of people to get involved at the high school,” said Clark. “There are a lot of clubs that get you involved here at Turlock High, but not in a way that bonds you together as a community.
“I want to bring an open space where students can come and de-stress and grow in a way that they can’t in a classroom,” added Clark.
Club supervisor and psychology teacher Ryan Tribble was among those who participated in Friday’s yoga session. Tribble said that when Clark originally approached him about starting the club, he thought it would not only be a great opportunity for kids to exercise and try out yoga, but to also get in touch with their inner selves.
“We were sitting here for 45 minutes in quiet. Their phones were put away and they were just there with themselves,” said Tribble. “We formed a small community. There was a connection, but we didn’t have to talk.
“We just got to be with our thoughts,” continued Tribble.