Practicing Yoga Keeps Busy DU Students Fit and Sane

Lindsey Wimberg practices yoga at home and at her local Core Power studio.

In a city as active and hip as Denver, it is no wonder that the practice of yoga has spread onto the DU campus. More and more students are participating in yoga classes both on and off campus, and reaping the benefits of this holistic practice. While many have heard of the physical practice of yoga, few realize that not only is it a mode of exercise, but a mental and spiritual quest for balance, clarity, and enlightenment.

The Path of the Yogi

“It isn’t a religion per se,” says DU sophomore Steph Winsor, a self-proclaimed yoga addict. “But you can definitely follow the path as deeply as you want, and carry yoga practicing through daily life both on and off the mat.”

Winsor started doing yoga in high school as injury preventionfor skiing. But as she practiced more and more, she became drawn to the spiritual and mental benefits of the routine.

“I never thought it would affect my life so much, but hey- now I’ve got an om tattoo on my wrist,” Winsor laughs. “The more I practice, the more I want to read about it and learn, and build my life in a fulfilling way.”

As an overscheduled biology student, Winsor often finds herself getting overwhelmed, but sees yoga as a guiding force in keeping her sane.

Spiritual- and Physical- Exercise

“I love the time that yoga allows me to dedicate completely to myself and my spirit,” she says. “Sometimes we worry so much about our futures and our past, and yoga allows me to simply focus on the present and the place I am in my life during that very second I’m practicing.”

Steph Winsor shows off her mala prayer beads and yoga-inspired wrist tattoo.

Meditation is also a large part of the yoga practice.

“I use mala beads in my meditation practice, almost like a Catholic rosary, but more to help me focus on what serves my spirit and how I can grow into a better person,” said Winsor, who partook in yoga teacher training last spring.

DU junior Lindsey Wimberg is also a yogi (or one who practices yoga).

“My mom got me interested in yoga during high school, but I really only did it then to stay limber for other sports,” says junior Lindsey Wimberg. “But after coming to college, I see it more as a mental practice as well as physical. It clears my mind and helps me build patience.”

On or Off Campus?

DU’s Ritchie Center offers light and meditative yoga classes for students, but many turn off campus to find a stronger yoga community.  Core Power Yoga has franchises in Colorado, California, Illinois, Minnesota and Oregon, allowing memberships to carry over at any of their studios. Discounted student prices also make this an attractive haven for college yogis.

Ainsley Gourlay makes time in her busy day for some meditation.

“I’ve been going to Core Power Yoga studios for about a year now,” said senior DU student Ainsley Gourlay. “I love the variety of classes, and especially the hot yoga classes. I love breaking a solid sweat and it allows you to stretch so much deeper. The instructors are very supportive and eager to get to know you, so I feel like you’re a lot more likely to challenge yourself.”

In addition to regular and hot classes, Core Power offers sculpt classes- or weight enhanced cardio yoga classes.

“I’ve always been pretty athletic, and sculpt classes are a great addition to yoga practice. I feel like my core muscles and overall physical strength has been built so much,” said Gourlay. “I try and go to sculpt 3 times a week.”

While Gourlay started going to Core Power with the hopes of getting some good work outs, her path as a yogi shifted also.

“The more I practice, the more I see the mental benefits of the flow classes,” she said. “They’re very calming and focus more on breathing and bringing the body, mind and spirit together as one. An hour to myself helps my mind and stress level tremendously. I honestly can’t imagine my life without it.”

One Response to Practicing Yoga Keeps Busy DU Students Fit and Sane

  • Rebecca Blaettner
    Rebecca Blaettner says:

    I think you did a really good job of introducing the topic in your first paragraph and then building up on it and segmenting your story in three parts with an interview partner for each. You took really great pictures that go very well with the story and illustrate very well why you are writing about. Overall, nicely structured, you incorporate powerful quotes and make it very clear to the reader what yoga is all about and if you’re interested in doing yoga after reading this story, showing (with the links you incorporated) where you can go and do it.

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