Yoga Class at Centennial College’s Story Arts Centre

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As students return to Centennial College’s East York campus for the new semester, homework and assignments pile up. As the weeks go on, students often struggle to find a way to cope with all the stress.

Yoga may be one solution. So a yoga class is being offered each week at the Carlaw Avenue school, as a way to combat the stress.

Every Monday and Wednesday, Jenny Foster Vaya from Prema Yoga Toronto is teaching a yoga class in the new campus fitness centre.

“I’m offering yoga classes here… to support students having a balanced lifestyle,” Vaya said.

For 45 minutes, Vaya guides the students along in various stretches and poses, relieving them from the stress and anxiety that comes with school work.

Originally, Vaya taught yoga in the classrooms, but she found it difficult “moving all the desks.”

“I love it; I’m so happy,” Vaya said. “The new facility is beautiful. It’s been really nice to have a dedicated facility that the students get to use to make a real yoga class.”

Vaya said the students have been “very enthusiastic” in their response to the yoga. “The students are lovely, super-friendly and super-nice.”

According to Vaya, yoga has several benefits for students.

“It can help you become more flexible, relieve pain in your spine, in your back, and in your joints,” Vaya said. “It just brings a level of calmness and relaxation in to your life.”

Centennial College student Erin Kelly has been to the first two classes and plans on taking the class again.

“It is directly after my class on a Wednesday, and being the middle of the week, I feel as if that is a good time to schedule in some relaxation,” Kelly said.

Kelly, who took yoga for two years at University of Toronto Scarborough was “motivated” when she saw the poster for the class. “When I saw that this campus would offer it too, and for free, I was all in,” Kelly said.

The classes have been a positive experience for Kelly.

“The instructor is very easy to approach and informative when you ask her questions,” Kelly said. “I think, also, that she gives good alternatives to different poses, and pays careful attention to each student to help them improve their poses.”