Hunter renews mind, body, and spirit via yoga

Yoga is fast becoming a popular form of exercise. It can create a vibrant and healthy body and mind.

On Saturday, March 18 people were afforded an opportunity to renew and refresh their minds, bodies, and spirits via yoga.

Grambling State University alumna Faith Hunter hosted two sessions. One of the sessions was for senior citizens.

The first session focused on the basic Sun Salututation series: Mountain and Tree poses, shoulder stand, Downward Facing Dog, Upward Facing Dog, Warrior 1 & 2, and breathing through what is called a Vinyasa.

"This section was more about connecting the movements with the breath," said Hunter.

Hunter said the second session was more restorative and focused on various breathing techniques and supported twist and forward bends.

Ahsaki Thomas, a senior social work major from Grambling and a member of GSU’s Orchesis Dance Company went to the yoga session for a new experience.

Thomas said that Hunter didn’t teach too fast. "She taught on a level everyone could understand and assisted everyone to make sure positions were right," she said.

"I learned different ways to become more flexible and relaxed without doing anything extra. I felt refreshed and renewed, stress-free and carefree. I would definitely recommend Faith’s class to others," said Thomas.

Hunter, who currently resides in Washington, D.C. teaches about five to seven classes a week and takes about five classes a week.

She said, "When I teach, I focus more on the students, their alignment, and breathing patterns. When I take class, it is more about my own personal practice and development."

Hunter, acertified and registered yoga instructor,started practicing yoga in 1993 and began teaching in 2003.

She completed a yoga teacher training in New York at Laughing Lotus Yoga Center, which was a four-month program that consisted of over 200 hours of specialized training.

In addition to teaching classes, she works for the international Yoga Alliance.

After spending 20 years dancing, Hunter began taking yoga classes to stay flexible. Also, she uses yoga to reduce the stresses of working in the corporate world. "It helps me calm my mind and relax," she said. Hunter said that the differences between the various types of yoga is the way in which the style is taught, the technique used to approach the style, and the way in which breathing techniques are incorporated.

Head women’s basketball coach, David Ponton, said that he was invited to the session by Diana Maroney Grigsby, director of the Orchesis and dance instructor. He said that he highly respects her for her conditioning exercises and her alternate forms of exercise.

"I enjoyed the class. It was a difficult challenge but very worthwhile. Faith is an excellent teacher. I felt energized and revived, and I would recommend her class to others," said Ponton.