Yoga class at FHC is a great way to unwind and destress


A group of students participating in the class by doing block yoga.

A few weeks ago, senior Rylie Scobey fell off of a bridge. 

Not tragically, it was a short bridge and occurred on a walk with her yoga class.

“We went on a walk and we walked to this one bridge and I ended up falling off the bridge,” Rylie said. “That was kind of funny. Everyone got a good laugh from it, [and] I was okay.”

Yoga is a semester class offered at FHC to sophomores, juniors, and seniors as a gym credit. However, it has many more benefits than helping to meet graduation requirements.

Normally, yoga is associated with flexibility; while yoga is an excellent way to gain flexibility, it also has a stunning ability to bond students together.

“You have a lot of people in [the gym] and a lot of friends,” Rylie said, “so it’s really fun to be able to connect with everyone. And, we do partner yoga, so that’s fun. We’ll go on walks, and [Yoga teacher Stacy Steensma] will ask you questions. Sometimes it’s fun to hear other people’s perspectives about things.”

It is undeniable that FHC’s Yoga class has the capability to do more than help students touch their toes.

Rylie is not the only one to see the extra advantages of yoga; fellow classmate and senior Ali Grendel noticed a similar value in taking the class as well.

“My favorite part [of Yoga class] is getting the chance to not focus on school and leave everything at the door and unwind,” Ali said. “I feel like I’ve gained a better mentality at school, which is nice. It’s very calm and everybody’s in their own space. It’s a good time to get in your own head.”

High school is a difficult time for all students; the opportunity to leave the stress and anxiety, even for just a little while, is invaluable.

While each class is only one semester long, students are able to partake in it for all three years that they are able to if they desire. 

When you become more flexible in your body, then that transfers to be more flexible in your mind.

— Stacy Steensma

“I kind of pushed off taking [Yoga] until my senior year,” Ali said, “and I really wish I had taken it when I was a sophomore all the way up. I typically have been taking pretty rigorous courses, so I wanted a chance to have an easy class, and it’s really nice.”

Yoga is the perfect way to break up a day full of exhausting classes. And of course, with a superlative class comes a superlative teacher.

Steensma has been teaching Yoga at FHC for twelve years and has developed quite a fondness for it.

“I love teaching [Yoga],” Steensma said. “Not just the poses, but more about how to relax because [of the] anxiety and depression and feeling overwhelmed by all the things that teenagers have to deal with. Just having a moment to be quiet and learning how to breathe and concentrate and rest. And, to think through their day one hour at a time. That light goes off and they can settle down and be off their devices and unplugged, and then do the poses.”

There are not many chances to have a one-hundred percent no-screens class, as most classes have slideshows or videos throughout the hour. That being said, this is a rare opportunity that all kids should utilize.

Steensma said that yoga is something that students can take with them throughout the rest of their life; it is much more than simply a high school class.

“I recommend people to take yoga to find their breath, to settle down, to destress, [and to] become more flexible,” Steensma said. “When you become more flexible in your body, then that transfers to be more flexible in your mind. So, it’s this mind-body connection to learn how to breathe and learn how to connect because the stress is never ever going to go away. Stress changes as you age and the different types of stressors that you have [change as well], but part of the stress management is breathing and doing yoga.”

Anxiety is a constant in life, whether it has a large or small impact. Yoga is a great way to minimize it and make life simpler.

Not only does yoga aid the students, but Steensma also finds great comfort in teaching it.

“Teaching yoga recenters me as well,” Steensma said. “And I love what yoga has brought into my life. I know that it has made me a better person, a better friend, and a better person. And I love sharing that with my students.”