The accomplished Alexia P. Hammonds is back and determined to make a difference at Grambling State.
Hammonds is currently back at GSU teaching yoga classes from Monday through Thursday at 4:15 p.m. in the newly opened recreation center.
The all-level class is challenging students' minds and bodies, including stretching, strengthening the core, and building endurance.
“Between (GSU President Rick Gallot) and (former GSU Vice President) Martin Lemelle, they talked me back into finishing my degree,” Hammonds said.
Hammonds attended Grambling from 2000-04, majoring in political science and crossing the sorority of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. Within her mentoring of young girls, Hammonds says the word she always uses is “finish,” and she wants to be a living example of that.
Before coming back to finish her degree, Hammonds taught yoga, Pilates, and dance internationally. She also became a teacher trainer, where she has helped many people get credentials in teaching fitness. Hammonds has also made her mark in the beauty industry as she is the Founder of Eat. Sweat. Undress and the first-ever black woman to formulate hair fragrances in Grasse, France.
She has taught at multiple levels, including professionals such as the NBA and NFL.
“This is my first time teaching at an HBCU, which is really special,” Hammonds said.
While teaching in the intramural, Hammonds says her class has really grown.
“I really enjoy it because not only am I taking them through a workout, but I am also making sure they are retaining the information for each class that they come to,” she said.
Hammonds believes this will help create building blocks for each class physically, and also mentally for students. She believes yoga will help alleviate stress for students and will give them an avenue for mediation and physical health.
Although the university pushed the word of students having their own mat, some did not have one. Hammonds has also provided mats for the students who did not have one, and she has purchased over 60 mats for the class.
The students have also had their effect on Hammonds. She says they have inspired her to be a better person.
Hammonds thinks Grambling could really go far with yoga. She says she would love for GSU to have its own satellite Pilates studio.
“It starts with the mat because that’s the most economical thing,” Hammonds said. She also teased the option of Grambling having teacher trainer classes for yoga and Pilates starting this summer.
The possibility of these classes includes GSU students and anyone in Grambling over the age of 18, and it gives the chance to find a trade.
Hammonds also threw out the possibility of GSU adding yoga and Pilates classes to GSU’s Kinesiology department. The classes are still in the works, but if added they will be electives in the department.
Hammonds said he is also going to be working with multiple sports teams on campus including the football, baseball, and softball teams.
With her busy schedule between fitness, beauty, and fashion, Hammonds still is making time to be a difference at GSU, making it the first HBCU to teach yoga and Pilates in a classical way, and Hammonds is the driving force behind that.