Tootell Aquatic Center offers alternative to traditional relaxation method

I’d like to preface this opinion piece by saying I am not a physically active person. If you are like me and don’t go to the gym every day, or at all, I would not suggest this class to you. If you are not like me and go to the gym on the daily in an attempt to get a six pack, then I would highly recommend paddleboard yoga.

I ended up going to this class offered by URI out of a request from the newspaper editors. They thought it would be a fun class to participate in and then write about.

Was it fun? Yes. Did I fall a lot? You bet. Does my core still hurt nearly a week later? Oh, heck yes it does.

The class started with me running all the way from the library to Tootell Aquatic Center, a workout in and of itself, just so that I wouldn’t be late. It turns out I was still late. This also made my friend, who I convinced to go with me as she is a yoga enthusiast of ten years, also late.

The lesson began with us getting to know our paddleboard. We learned that the handle marks the middle and where the front and back were. This did not stop me from standing on the paddleboard in the wrong direction for about half the class, and no one corrected me.

Next, we started with some basic stretches. I am not a flexible person. I am five foot and eight inches of inflexibility. This is the point I realized I was surrounded by a very flexible group of women who were also active dancers. This is also the moment when I realized just how badly my body was going to hurt after participating in this class.

After doing several sets of deep-breathing exercises accompanied by leg raises, down dog, cobra, planking and several other forms of core exercises, I was ready to do a child’s pose and call it a day. But, then it was time to stand up.

On top of not being flexible, I have a very poor center of balance on the solid ground, nevermind on a paddleboard on actively moving water. We started with toe touches. I will admit I cannot touch my toes. When the instructor said “It would be much easy to balance if you can place your hands on the board” I went for it.

Naturally, I fell face first into the water then continued to fall with every other standing pose.

Then, the time came to end the course with what has to be my favorite yoga pose in existence: savasana. For those unaware, this is basically when you lay flat on your back, relaxing and breathing. It was the only pose I could do full-heartedly without any worry or care.

While I do not exercise on the daily, the course was by far entertaining and a lot of fun. However, next time I know to read a class description more thoroughly before fully committing to it.

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Anna Meassick
I am on this paper because I physically ran into Casey Kelly (the former Editor-in-Chief) at first night freshman year and was too afraid of her to say no to signing up. The important thing is I stuck around because the paper gives me a sense of belonging and value. Even when I quit in the spring of 2018 to take time for myself, I felt like I was missing so much in my life by not being at the office every Monday night and having responsibilities and seeing some of my favorite people. Basically, this paper has gotten me through a lot and I can’t imagine life without being a part of it.