FHC Yoga classes are becoming widely popular


Yoga is growing in popularity among students who are trying to exercise and get in shape. It is a relaxing way to become more flexible and gain strength. In most schools, however, it’s a rare to be offered as a class, but at FHC, Stacy Steensma has been teaching yoga for ten years to many students.

The basic type of yoga that Steensma teaches is called hatha yoga. That is the lineage where her practice and training comes from. Steensma says she went through an organization out of Chicago called Prairie Yoga and got her training at Cascade Yoga Studio. It took her about three years to complete.

“Mrs. Steensma is the best,” sophomore Megan Garter said. “She listens to how you feel and not just how your body feels, but also how your heart feels. She doesn’t teach just yoga; she teaches us how to love one another through our differences, and we learn so many life skills [through] listening to our bodies and realizing when we need to take steps back and reevaluate our responsibilities and emotions.”

Teaching yoga helps provide students with the tools they need to grow physically, mentally, and spiritually.

No matter your intentions, everyone takes away something positive from this class. I learned more in Yoga than in any other class.

— Megan Garter

“I think the most rewarding part about being a yoga teacher is just spreading the love of yoga and knowing that not because I am the yoga teacher, but because of what yoga brings to the practitioner,” Steensma said. “It makes you feel better. It gives you a sense of more calmness. I love the stress release aspect of it for students, and for them to be able to learn this lifelong skill [while] still young. Hopefully, people will be able to take [these lessons] with them on their journeys through the rest of their lives.”

In high school, there is so much stress put on the students. School, sports, homework, chores and extracurriculars can be stressful, but in yoga class, there is a time set aside for you to relax and help lighten the load of all the stress one may feel.

“Out of all the classes I’ve taken at the high school,” Megan said, “yoga has impacted me the most. I learned how to listen to my body, deal with stressful situations, and listen to other people.”

Yoga is a practice that anyone of any age can complete anywhere at anytime. Depending on the styles and poses a person chooses, yoga benefits a person not only physically, but mentally as well. Yoga is a practice of controlled body part movements and controlled breathing. It enhances the inner and outer body and mind strength by connecting them to nature.

“Yoga helps you become more flexible,” Steensma said. “Lots of things carry over from the mental to the physical aura and vise versa, but yoga is the belief that when you become more physically flexible, then you also become more mentally flexible.”

Any gender at any age or health level has the capability to do yoga because it has various levels at which they are performed. Different yoga postures have specific effects on breaking up obstacles in your body. No matter what pose is chosen, you will be benefiting your mind and body in one way or another. All yoga poses have different benefits depending on your intention.

“My favorite pose is child,” Megan said. “In this pose, your back is stretched and the position helps deepen your breaths.”

FHC’s yoga program is beneficial to its students in multiple ways, whether it’s taken to stretch the mind and body, help with flexibility, or energize.

“I would recommend this class to in-season athletes,” senior Emily Bileth said. “It really helps with flexibility and stretching your muscles before or after use.”

So if you have an open slot in your schedule, many recommend taking yoga for a peaceful, zen-filled energizing experience. Yoga classes help to change an individual’s perspective on life, think more clearly, and can make one feel immensely better.

“I completely recommend the class to anyone and everyone,” Megan said. “No matter your intentions, everyone takes away something positive from this class. I learned more in Yoga than in any other class.”