The bodies shook and were contorted in a variety of awkward and painful looking positions. Sweat streamed down the grimacing faces as soothing instrumental music played in the background.
Welcome to yoga at Castleton State College, held Tuesdays and Thursdays in the Glenbrook Gym.
The male students are dressed in t-shirts and shorts while the females sport the typical yoga pants. The class is held in the far side of the gym so when you walk by the glass doors you can peer in on the class. The instructor, Tammy Brown, sits facing the class on her yoga mat leading the group through a variety of moves.
Her class consists of 15 students and only four are girls.
“Yoga is a good stress reliever for a college student. I choose to do yoga because I have taken classes before and have enjoyed it. Yoga is good for your mind and body. I’m a health science major and care about my health, so this is why I chose this class,” said junior Jessica Nutter.
Most of the girls in the class say they are there by choice whereas and the boys are in it for athletic reasons.
“I always wanted to take a yoga class. I was surprised that there were only four girls total in the class of about 15, but I think it’s because more girls attend yoga classes outside of Castleton’s curriculum,” said senior Jade Werger.
Class members say people misjudge yoga as a relaxing class with a few stretches and breathing techniques.
“Parts of the class are more difficult than I expected it to be. When we try different types of poses, it’s difficult to focus on form,” Werger said.
Another student agreed.
“Yoga is definitely more difficult than I thought. When you’re sitting there for periods of time it’s a lot more difficult to maintain your focus. I thought it was going to be this easy thing where you were mostly stretching. Most occasions it’s pretty difficult and takes a lot of strength, focus, and flexibility,” said junior Derek Osborne.
Osborne, a baseball player, said he took the class to improve his athleticism.
“Since I’m on the baseball team, as a pitcher, I figured it would help with my overall flexibility,” he said.
John Kendall, a junior soccer player, said he’s in there for the same reason.
“I took the class to become more flexible in order to prevent injury on the soccer field. I know most of the guys in the class are on sports teams here at Castleton so I would assume they are in the class for the same reason I am,” he said.
A male dominated yoga class is not something the instructor has seen in the past.
“Every class is different, but this class sticks out because of the fact that it is mostly boys. It’s exciting though because men have more upper body strength so I get to see how they do in different poses. What I also like about this class is the awesome participation and group work,” Brown said.
For Brown, yoga is like eating.
“I’ve been practicing yoga since 1999. My babysitter when I was a young child was actually the one who taught me so really I’ve been practicing yoga my entire life,” she said with a laugh.