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New Yoga Class Offered For Students

Michelle Mazzeo
Mazzeo has enjoyed the benefits of yoga since college

On Oct. 17, PHS introduced an after-school yoga program. Since then, it has occurred after school every Tuesday in the MPR room at Piedmont Middle School. The new strength and conditioning coach Michelle Mazzeo has been teaching the class. Mazzeo said that while coaching varsity soccer at Washington Latin Public Charter School, she completed yoga teacher training.     She was able to implement this yoga training into her varsity soccer team’s training during her time as a coach.

  Mazzeo’s personal experiences and ties to yoga drove her to teach it.

  “I struggled a lot with anxiety and yoga really saved me. It helped me get grounded. It helped me build my own self confidence, but it also helped me feel physically fit in a way that wasn’t really like taxing on my body. Having a yoga practice helped me kind of build up that confidence and also stay fit in a way that wasn’t super stressful,” Mazzeo said.

  According to John Hopkins Medicine, yoga is an exercise class which helps with cardiovascular health and muscle flexibility, improves recovery, and protects from injury. It has mental benefits such as creating mental clarity, relieving stress, and lowering depression/anxiety. Over 940 schools across the country have begun to add yoga and more athletic options to their schools, according to 

  The class is very focused on helping students by teaching them about helping with their physical and mental health, Mazzeo said.

  “Yoga offers ways to build up your physical fitness, your athleticism, and also helps with flexibility,” Mazzeo said. “There’s a lot of research and a lot of studies that show that it. [Yoga] helps with mental health and especially when kids are like adding sports on to their studies, it can be really stressful. So having a yoga practice can really help with grounding.” 

  The class has some plans to expand and grow depending on this year, Mazzeo said.

  “We want to offer more yoga classes right now. We just meet twice a week and just see if people show up.  The class really hopes to teach the basics of yoga and practices of breathing. Being able to grow and teach more people would be great,” Mazzeo said. 

  The program is hoping to attract more students and gain more popularity. Michelle Mazzeo said she believes this program is very important and should be utilized. 

  “I wish that I had learned about yoga earlier. I learned about it my freshman year of college and I just think that I struggled a lot in high school in different ways. I think that if I had been exposed to yoga and knew how to build my own practice and took that with me to college, I think I would have struggled less in college.” Mazzeo said. 

  Students have expressed interest in joining. 

  “I want to take yoga because I think it will relax me mentally and physically. I think the class would be cool and it can help me be more flexible,” junior Logan McGilloway said.

  Some students have noted the lack of publicity and the confusion this causes. 

  “Due to the lack of publicity I do not know when, where or who teaches the yoga class. And I do not know how I can join,” sophomore Adrian Kondakov said.

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About the Contributor
Ryan Ehteshami
Ryan Ehteshami, Staff Writer
Ryan Ehteshami (11) is a staff writer for TPH. He loves keeping up with all sports, but especially basketball and football. Ryan is an avid rower and rows for the Oakland Strokes.
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