Pirate fitness ongoing yoga classes presents a form of relaxation for students

Victoria Olaleye, Reporter

Pirate Fitness, an organization at Park University not only presents students with fun activities but a medium of relaxation throughout the semester.

The Pirate Fitness organization aims to promote healthy bodies and healthy minds through its various activities and programs to help students keep fit and enjoy their experience at Park.

Stefanie Rettenbacher, a graduate assistant for student life, works for Pirate Fitness as well as residence life. She said events are promoted with posters around campus, emails sent through student life and the Crew website.

The organization tries to keep up with its events.

“We do at least two a month. We try to, you know, do one in the beginning and one in the end so that there’s always something going on,” Rettenbacher said.

On the current yoga classes, Rettenbacher said Park students are always at the class and the instructor enjoys having them there.

“..that’s why we extended to seven classes a week now, from two, last semester,” she said.

Rettenbacher said classes were full last semester and the turnout led the organization to create more classes for Park students, giving students more choices as classes are also held in the morning and during lunchtime.

The classes, which were formerly held in the gym in the Labor Hall building, were moved to downtown Parkville at Om Prana yoga studio, and the classes are taught by the same instructor.

Wendy Landry, a certified yoga therapist, and owner of Om Prana yoga studio said she has been practicing yoga for 20 years and has been teaching it for 12 years. Landry said she had Park students come over before the classes became sponsored, and students were given a reduced monthly rate.

“Om Prana yoga will be celebrating our 6th anniversary, and throughout our time in business we have had Park students attend classes,” she said. “Specifically, we had a group of music students who loved our restorative yoga classes for quite a while to help them relax and address shoulder/neck pain experienced from their craft.”

Landry said she loves having Park students in the class and it is fun and rewarding to help students relax.

“We have opened up more classes for the students to choose from this semester in hopes that when Park students get busy and stressed out from papers, exams and projects they still have plenty of options to come to classes and make taking care of themselves a priority,” Landry said.

With additional classes this semester, she said they have seen more students who have not been to any of the classes, and she believes the addition of more classes has made classes more accessible to more students

Ozoda Narzullaeva, a junior computer science major, said it is her second semester attending the classes. Narzullaeva said, “I attended most of them, but not all.” She said she enjoys the classes because they are free and the instructor helps by correcting whenever she’s not doing something right, which increased her interest.

“I wouldn’t consider myself a fitness person, but I kinda did yoga by myself, like, you know through YouTube channels,” she said.

Going to a physical class now, Narzullaeva said she knows when she’s doing it correctly since the instructor is present and can correct her. She also said she can also learn from others in class when she needs correction and know where she’s at.

Narzullaeva said she mainly goes to the active yoga classes. She sees yoga classes as a way to feel better physically. Narzullaeva said when she sits and carries backpacks, going to the yoga classes helps her stretch and stay physically active.

Apart from the ongoing yoga classes to encourage students to stay fit, there is a new program under Pirate Fitness called the running group where students meet two times a week. The organization also offers membership at the YMCA for Park students at a discounted price for $25 a month. This is a form of partnership with Park University.

In the past, Pirate Fitness has hosted other events like water slides, roller skating, rock climbing, swimming, bowling, going to see the Mavericks and going to trampoline parks, amongst others. The organization recently had a ping pong tournament that was held in the Copley Quad lobby on Feb. 6.

Some of the upcoming events they would be hosting this semester include snow tubing, ziplining, nutrition coaching and a trip to Sporting KC.