Although Deerfield offers yoga classes to its students, the details of the practice remain murky to many. Hoping to help students learn more, Yoga Instructor Lindel Hart explained what he felt yoga was all about.
Mr. Hart said, “Yoga is different things to different people. Even if it’s not a conscious choice to meditate, there is something akin to meditation that happens organically.”
According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 86% of people who regularly practiced yoga reported that it helped them reduce stress. Although the physical and spiritual parts of yoga go hand in hand, they both individually offer major benefits. “The practice of yoga and doing the poses works the muscular system, the joints, and the neurological system,” Mr. Hart stated. “No matter what pose you’re doing,” he said, “you’re engaging the whole body.”
He also described the importance of striving for a sense of neutrality so that you are focused on both your body and mind but not to the point where one dominates the other. When asked what the biggest benefit of yoga was, Mr. Hart emphasized balance. “It’s not a magic pill,” he said. “It takes vigilance, determination, and patience.” Additionally, he explained how important persistence was to the practice, saying, “There’s a lot of poses that I don’t like at all but I still do them because the poses that you hate the most are your most valuable teachers.” When asked what his favorite yoga pose was, Mr. Hart said “half moon,” where you are balancing on one leg, rotating to the side, and opening your chest. “It’s expansive of both the physical body and the energy body.”
Current member of the yoga co-curricular Aurelia Bolton mentioned that she was inspired to try yoga at Deerfield after doing it in her freetime with guidance from YouTube videos. “Doing yoga is like having a break in my day,” she said. “We all know how stressful Deerfield can be so it’s nice to have an hour where I get to put my phone away and relax, while also doing something good for my body.” When asked how students at Deerfield could benefit from yoga, Aurelia mentioned that it forces people out of their comfort zone. “Using free time, even 10 minutes, to do a quick practice could be extremely beneficial.”
Mr. Hart also explained what yoga at Deerfield specifically looks like. “Knowing what Deerfield can provide in terms of an education and being able to put yoga into that inspires me and gives me great hope,” he explained. If you are interested in exploring yoga at Deerfield, Mr. Hart teaches the yoga co-curricular every term and offers yoga to the community in many other ways such as featured weekend events or optional afternoon sessions.