As a means to promote health and wellness in the
community, Matt Cooke and Justin Weichel established a new yoga and meditation
“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.