Yoga For Everyone
Aaron Krish
akris821@uwsp.edu
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As a means to promote health and wellness in the community, Matt Cooke and Justin Weichel established a new yoga and meditation club.

“We promote sharing knowledge of the practice,” Cooke said. “It’s basically like a small community where people can have fun or be connected to each other or to a higher self.”

The idea for the club came from Weichel’s internship experience in London last semester. With this positive experience and support from Cooke and others on campus, Weichel started the organization.

“There was a divinity within us to grow a group of mindful individuals and then share the experience. We’re promoting people to self-actualize,” Weichel said.

Since the beginning of the semester, the organization has done little to promote or publicize its meetings. Attendance is largely from the Allen Center’s free weekly yoga sessions. The club also has close connections with the International and Chinese clubs on campus.

“There seems to be a pulse on campus that we’ve tapped into,” Cooke said. “There was a lady in the community who tried to start something similar who supports us, as well as the owner of Point Yoga. There has been such an outpouring of support from so many people.”

The duo puts together a variety of different practices each week. Weichel starts with a centering exercise and guided meditation. There is usually 30 minutes of yoga. After, the group talks about other things in relation to member experiences or to yoga.

“The central idea is that we are trying to dig deeper in conversation and share how this experience through yoga and meditation is going for us,” Weichel said. “Everyone has an interesting story to share, and we learn the most from our members.”

The group continues to grow weekly, and the campus and community continue to show an immense amount of support. In fact, not only are students welcome, but Cooke and Weichel welcome any faculty and community members interested to join, even going as far as to having guests teach sessions at times.

“No meeting is ever going to be the same. There is always going to be something new, fresh and alive,” Cooke said. “It lets people find something for them to be a part of something bigger than themselves.”

As the semester continues and the weather improves, Cooke and Weichel plan on doing yoga on the river, leading meditation walks through Schmeeckle Nature Reserve and showing different documentaries about yoga and meditation. They are always open to new ideas and new members.

The yoga and meditation club meets weekly every Wednesday at 7:30 p.m. in the DUC Laird Room. All are welcome to attend the meetings. Contact Matt Cooke or Justin Weichel for involvement questions or ideas to explore self-development.