Brock University Students’ Union (BUSU) is switching things up this semester. Instead of one week of events and activities that are targeted towards helping students cope with stress, also known as Wellness Week, BUSU is going to be running programming targeted towards students’ well-being on bi-weekly Wellness Wednesdays throughout the semester, happening from now until the end of March.
“We made the switch from Wellness Week to Wellness Wednesdays because students’ wellness is very important to us and we believe it is a recurring matter where we will provide art therapy, free massages, cocktails and canvas, and many other services to help Brock students cope with their heavy loads of work by releasing their stress and maintaining a healthy balance, ” said Jad Nasser, BUSU vice-president of student services.
The first Wellness Wednesday was last week on January 25 and it coincided with Bell Let’s Talk Day in order to provide students with that extra support on campus. Students were welcomed to attend a free breakfast, a Bell Let’s Talk Coffee House event, the puppy room, the poster fair, and the monthly Student Legal Clinic.
There was also free yoga offered to students, staff and faculty in collaboration with the Brock Residence department.
“Wellness Wednesday Yoga is a [free] four-week program designed to focus on first-year students’ mental wellness,” said Cate Talaue, a yoga instructor and Brock Alumni who works for Marketing and Communications at Brock. “Residence does a great job in offering programming that helps students with their wellness and through a series of networking, a couple of people in BUSU found out about my classes and we decided to collaborate.”
With Wellness Wednesdays focusing on the six pillars of mental, physical, spiritual, emotional, lifestyle, and financial wellness, free yoga for the Brock community seems to cover them all.
Talaue, who has been practicing yoga since 2013, says that some of the benefits of yoga include: promotion of a sense of balance, strength and energy the body, flexibility, improvement of concentration and mindfulness, relaxation of the mind, body and spirit, as well as it encourages a deeper sleep.
“There are so many reasons why people should do yoga,” said Talaue. “Yoga is a very personal practice meant to heal you in some shape or form, but yoga to one person will be very different for the next person. For example, I practice yoga purely for self-love, but someone else may practice to lose weight. It’s all different, and all reasons are valid.”
During the first free yoga session, there were roughly 15 students in attendance. With calm music on in the background and yoga mats laid out on the floor of CJ’s Lounge in Decew Residence, Talaue led a full hour of non-stop yoga.
“This is the first time I’ve been leading this,” said Talaue, “and I’m happy to be able to help out in the Brock community.”
For those who aren’t interested in yoga, Talaue said “some other great practices that are easy to integrate into your lifestyle are to reduce the time you spend on social media, spend time in the outdoors near lots of greenery and by the water, or take 20 minutes out of your day to literally do nothing.”
If you are interested in attending a free hour-long session of yoga, Cate’s sessions will be running for the next three Wednesdays (February 1, 8, 15) in CJ’S Lounge, located in Decew Residence. Participants are encouraged to bring a yoga mat (or two towels) and a water bottle.