Ella Neumann, a senior at Camas High School, has a goal for her senior project: she wants to impact CHS in a positive, inspiring way. So, she is setting up a time and place for teachers and students to meet up and learn yoga. Ella, as well as some guest teachers, will lead the sessions. Starting October 24th on Tuesdays from 2:20 pm to 2:50 pm and TLT Fridays from 7:30 to 8:00 am she invites anyone who is interested to participate in this relaxing activity.
The sessions are 30-minute intervals, with the end goal to relieve stress. Neumann says people “have a ton of stress and people need an outlet to reduce their stress.” At school, students have to deal with homework, work, sports, extracurriculars, etc., and all of it builds stress. Everything tends to build up and pile on more and more work for students, so it is easy to see how much stress factors into teenagers’ lives.
For Neumann, yoga started out as a way to stretch out her body after runs, but she quickly found it to be a serious interest. Yoga makes her feel like there is something bigger than herself. Currently, she likes to do yoga at the baseball fields before school while watching the sunrise and looking at the geese. The scenic view and calming motions provide a serene mindset to begin the day.
Being self-aware can help deal with the stress and change the focus. She says, “Mindfulness helps with who you are, and what you want to do with your life, and what you want to do in high school.” Neumann speaks about changing the focus from the strain of life to focusing on the present and what needs to get done. After these yoga sessions, productivity can increase and there is a sense of calm in the sea of stress.
Initially, starting yoga is awkward and painful. “You are not flexible at first. That is where people need to be to begin and getting in that habit.” At first, Neumann could not even touch her toes but as the habit formed she found herself becoming more flexible. Newcomers should not be disappointed when they are not as flexible as others. Everyone is at a different stage and smart practice makes an improvement.
To participate in Neumann’s sessions, participants must have a waiver signed to agree on letting the yoga session be a safe place. People should come willing to be comfortable in the uncomfortable.
Yoga can help to alleviate stress and provides a healthier mindset. With so many important tasks and outside distractions taking up students’ time and energy, it is smart to take time — take time to breathe and focus on the present while preparing for the future.