Stony Brook University offers a variety of fitness classes at the Campus Recreation Center, from boxing to belly dancing. But with all the fast paced moving and running out of breath, sometimes winding down may be beneficial to your routine.
Yoga is one of the popular fitness classes at the rec center. The class offers an hour of practicing poses, relaxing and getting in touch with yourself—physically, mentally and spiritually.
“It’s a change of pace, as opposed to exertion,” Bart Sweeney, a rugby player and commuter at Stony Brook University said. “At the end of the class, I feel more at peace with my mind and life.”
The class is taught on Mondays and Wednesdays by Patricia D’Angelo. She is a certified yoga instructor through the Indo-American Yoga-Vedanta Society.
D’Angelo studied under world-renowned yoga master, Swami Bua. She started teaching to pass on Bua’s system and practice. Since then, she has taught yoga for over twenty years, and almost ten years at Stony Brook University.
“Yoga is for everybody,” D’Angelo said. “You just have to find what works for you.”
She encourages everyone to try yoga as long as they are learning the poses correctly for safer practice and injury prevention.
Stony Brook’s recreation center has five yoga classes each week, including YogaFit and Yoga Toning, and Yoga, taught by D’Angelo.
Roughly 30 members to the capacity of 45 come to each class, Genesis Taveras said. Taveras is a staff at the facility and records the people who enroll and participate in the class. When the doors open, students file in the room and spread themselves apart with the yoga mats provided. Lights are off, as are shoes. Soft music plays in the background.
Dalia Huraj commutes from Syosset. Though it was her first time attending D’Angelo’s class, it was not her first yoga class.
“Since it’s included in tuition, might as well not buy a gym membership,” Huraj said. During the semester, she puts her New York Sports Club membership on hold, and takes advantage of the “free” classes.
Many yoga studios cost anywhere from $10 to $20 per class. Since the recreation center is a part of our tuition, many students take advantage of these classes.
Other students come for their health and wellness. Joanne So is a regular at D’Angelo’s class, and has been attending since last semester. She had injured her back three weeks ago but says that yoga has been healing the pain and performance of it.
Yoga is recognized to have improved bone health, as well as posture, joints, immunity, blood flow and blood pressure, to name a few.
“It’s definitely strengthened my back,” So says. “With practice, the stronger you will find yourself,” she says about the poses.
The hour-long class explores a variety of poses: standing, on the floor, and on your stomach. D’Angelo will demonstrate the poses as the class follows along. She directs the students struggling – sometimes guides them into their position, but never without a polite “is it okay if I touch you?”
Koey Cheung, a senior resident at Stony Brook University, started attending D’Angelo’s classes this semester and has come almost every Monday.
“Patricia is very experienced,” Cheung says. “You should come,” she encouraged.