Students breathed quietly as they sat in the first session of Yoga Club, listening to the calm, relaxing music Rob Lombino had playing in the background.
Lombino, a Lehigh graduate student training to become a certified yoga instructor, founded the club to interact with students on campus and promote healthy living. Now, as a result, students no longer have to go off campus or pay for yoga classes.
Fifteen students attended the first yoga club session, and Lombino said he has received many additional inquiries this week. The Yoga Club, a new Lehigh organization, held its first session in Maginnes Hall on Feb. 15.
The club welcomes students at any level of experience. Lombino surveyed the first class’s attendees, and the majority of the students had never tried yoga before.
The addition of the Yoga Club to Lehigh’s campus will provide students who already practice yoga a way to meet others who share a common interest and give them the opportunity to do yoga together twice a week. The club also provides interested students an opportunity to try yoga for the first time.
Jocelin Gregorio, ’18, had not taken a yoga class before the Feb. 15 session. After attending, Gregorio said she really enjoyed the class and felt like the instructor was knowledgeable about yoga. She plans to attend the sessions twice a week.
The club meets Mondays and Wednesdays at 4:30 p.m., but Lombino and the students in the club are working on scheduling Friday sessions as well.
The sessions begin with each student on a mat, as Lombino instructs the students to assume a pose. He explains how each pose is supposed to feel and which muscles are being stretched.
Additionally, Lombino walked around the room to adjust students who are not in the correct position so as to make the session a learning experience. Students are encouraged to focus on themselves rather than their surroundings.
Yoga club classes are free of charge, but attendees must provide their own mat. Haley Wolf, ’19, thinks the club will attract students who are unwilling to pay for classes at Taylor Gym. Wolf has had some yoga experience and when she saw the flyer for the club she was eager to attend.
Garret Linderman, ’20, agrees. Linderman considers himself to be at an intermediate level in yoga and enjoys the incorporation of meditation in yoga.
“The Yoga Club is a great way for students to relieve stress,” Linderman said.
Lombino says yoga is defined as “to bring together.” He believes doing yoga “connects the mind, body and soul.”
He feels yoga promotes healthy living and says he knows from personal experience that yoga, in combination with healthy eating and exercise, promotes weight loss. Lombino, who has been practicing yoga since high school, said yoga has improved his life and he hopes the club can do the same for other Lehigh students.
“School is so much easier now that I do yoga because it teaches you to focus on the task at hand and block out all other distractions,” Lombino said.
The Yoga Club is currently searching for a different meeting spot. Lombino said the club is hoping it can use the dance studio in the UMOJA house. In the spring, the club plans to practice yoga on the UC Front Lawn as a way to attract additional members.