Students from beginners to experienced yogis can find their zen by joining The Ohio Student Underground Yoga Club.
President Natalie Dev, a third-year in neuroscience, has been practicing yoga casually since she was in eighth grade, starting with a goal of staying physically fit.
“It wasn’t until my freshman year of college, when I first started coming to yoga club, that I really experienced the spiritual aspect,” she said.
There are several approaches to yoga, she said, and since it started in 2009, the club has worked to touch on all of them by bringing in instructors from around the city of Columbus.
“Some instructors are definitely into the fitness component, giving members a hard workout,” Dev said. “There are others who want a more spiritual experience and spend a longer time in meditation.”
Hannah Miller, a third-year in industrial and systems engineering and club treasurer, started practicing yoga with a goal of maintaining physical fitness. She said she has come to love the relaxing components as well. The club brings in instructors with at least a 200 hour training credit from around Columbus. Group members with yoga knowledge and experience are also welcome to teach.
Dev said the club has 25 members who consistently attend, including a range of levels of experience, but most are at an intermediate level. Although most members are women, many men are involved as well.
“I feel like most guys think (yoga is) not very hard, and that it may just be stretching, so they aren’t getting a full workout,” Dev said.
The club has taught sessions for the men’s lacrosse team and a few fraternities.
“They all thought the class was going to be super easy,” Dev said. “But most of the guys left sweating and even had some difficulty accomplishing the poses.”
Yoga club shies away from Ohio State’s athletic facilities’ yoga classes throughout the week.
“RPAC classes are usually more busy, and the smaller, consistent group of members and familiar faces at the club make it a little more personal and allows for a better experience,” Miller said.
Aside from taking classes together, yoga club members also engage in social activities.
“We try to make the club feel more like a community by hosting some social events,” Dev said. “We’ve had dinners, charity outreach events and we even took a trip to Hocking Hills a few years ago to do yoga, hike and bond with each other.”
The Yoga Club meets Mondays from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m., Tuesdays from 8:30 to 10:30 p.m. and Wednesdays from 7 to 9 p.m. in Multipurpose Room 3 in the RPAC.