Students find zen before finals at Yogafest

As finals approach, students’ stress levels are higher than the Walter Pyramid, but a new event at Cal State Long Beach aimed to help students relax through yoga.

The first annual Yogafest, organized by the Student Recreation and Wellness Center, consisted of three hours of yoga at the MAC Gym in the SRWC on Monday from 4 to 7 p.m. Yogis taught about 10 students how to react calmly in stressful situations and connect with their inner selves.

From power yoga to flow and gentle yoga, the event’s program allowed participants to relax gradually and leave their daily worries behind.

Behind the wall where basketballs bounced, about 10 students inhaled and exhaled to their own rhythm. Mirroring the instructor, they stretched their bodies into poses, including downward facing dog and triangle pose.

Genieve Cardinez, an instructor at Yogafest, said that the exercise allows students to connect with their true spirit.

“Students should do yoga because it gets them out of their head, and it allows them to go deeper than what school is: school, friends, stress, relationships,” Cardinez said. “I think there’s more than this material world, and yoga helps you connect with that.”

The theme of the Beach Balance, who hosted the Yogafest, is “mind, body and spirit,” and the SRWC staff said that Yogafest focused on the spirit.

“Yoga is always considered as being related with the spirit, even though it also relates to mind and body,” Sean del Rossi, associate director of the SRWC, said. “Yoga helps a better mind-body connection. It helps you how to breathe and focus on the core, which makes it very helpful, especially during [finals].”

According to Cardinez, skills learned at Yogafest can be more useful if practiced with consistency. Cardinez also said that the calmness one finds in yoga postures is reflected in all situations of life, stress being one of them.

“Whether it’d be in a strenuous, positive or negative situation, you will have the same peaceful, calm reaction that you would find when you find perfection or connect to that inner being,” Cardinez said. “Yoga helps you not react to stress situations.”

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