Feeling pressured as the school year winds down? Do you want something to take your mind off preparing for final exams? Look no further than the new Yoga, Mindfulness, and Relaxation (YMR) Club! The club is organized by Yoga and Stress Management teacher Mr. Rein. Mr. Rein is new at Ridgewood High School, and he wants to provide students who are not taking his class with the opportunity to relax during school. When I asked Mr. Rein what the purpose of his club is, he explained that “the club stands for spreading peace, love, happiness, and positive vibes throughout the Ridgewood community. By looking inward, we gain the ability to grow and create positive changes in our lives and the lives of others!” I asked him what kind of activities the members will be able to do in the YMR Club. He replied that “you can participate in Hatha yoga (the physical yoga that Westerners call yoga), different yoga workshops such as an inversion workshop (headstands/handstands) or an acroyoga workshop, various guided imageries, mandala art, gratitude journals, guided meditation, and some special events along the way!” While this sounded intriguing to me, I wanted to find out how a club like this could directly help students of Ridgewood High School. Therefore, I went to Lovisa Sjolander, one of the club’s founders, who is also a member of RHS Global Classroom. This year, members of the Global Classroom conducted a stress survey among RHS students, and gathered interesting results from their research. The students concluded that “the majority of students ranked grades and assessments as the biggest stress factors. In addition to academic stress, extracurricular activities such as sports and clubs also add stress to students’ lives.” When I talked to Lovisa about how YMR Club can ease those everyday pressures, she said, “YMR can help students who feel stressed by teaching them relaxation techniques, and help students change their mindset to combat stress.”
Personally, I found this club very welcoming. One of the club’s co-Presidents, Bruce Zhang, mentioned that one does not need to have any experience with yoga to join. Interestingly, Bruce had never done any yoga before he took the school’s Yoga and Stress Management class in junior year. However, he really enjoyed the class and wanted to continue doing yoga and relaxing. I asked him why he was excited for this new club, and he said that “YMR is a good opportunity to take a break in the middle of the day and ease yourself from all the different things causing stress and learn something new along the way. I’d definitely encourage others to try it, no matter for what purpose, as the concepts in YMR could definitely be applied to several aspects of life.” If you are interested in attending, the club meets during lunch on Tuesdays and Thursdays in Gym III.
Graphics: Ana McDade