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How I set up the Yoga Society

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“And shavasana…” I feel super stretched out and relaxed. As I lay down on the mat, I focus on my breath, the subtle movement of my chest up and down. I slowly scan down my body. Neck, shoulders and lower back no longer tense and sore. My attention comes back to my breath as I close my eyes and feel like I’m melting into the floor.

Who Am I?

My name is Lewis Pontremoli. I come from a small town just outside Brighton, on the south coast of England. I’m in my second year at Hallam, studying International Business. If you asked me a few years ago “where do you see yourself in 5 years?” I would definitely not have described my life as it is now. Going to Uni wasn’t even on my radar.

Then I found Climbing

I visited my local climbing centre with a friend and was instantly hooked. Since then I’ve made weekly trips to various climbing centres and had many trips outdoors. Typically I boulder, a style of climbing using no ropes often requiring masses of power and flexibility. When I first started, this usually involved a lot of aches and pains for days after a session. This is how I found yoga.

For years, I’ve used Yoga to warm-up, cool down and improve my flexibility. But it can also be a great way to relax and forget about life for a little while. At any class I’ve been to, there is always a great mix of people from elite athletes to office workers. This is because it is such an easy activity to get into – can’t get your leg behind your head? It doesn’t matter, you’ll be able to change the pose to suit you.

Since moving to Sheffield, I’ve not taken a Yoga class. I normally just find some space, grab a mat and stretch my body in some weird positions. But over this summer I decided I’d like to go to some classes and meet up with other people who wanted to do the same. “I’ll join Yoga Society” I thought and headed over to the student’s union website… Only to discover there wasn’t one!

Starting my society

I was instantly decided on creating my own society, what an achievement that would be! So I sent some emails and got some opinions from my friends, and everyone was psyched! I held a meeting with Sally the Societies lady, she saw the potential in my idea too. Then I held elections to form the committee for the rest of the year (super easy, it was just some polls on a Facebook group). I think We’ve got a really strong team, who can work together to make a great start.

We’ve worked hard to get more people excited about the society and the group now has over 80 potential members. We want this to be an inclusive society, suitable for all abilities. In a standard week, we plan to hold 2 hour-long sessions for mixed abilities with fully qualified instructors. As the year progresses and we build a strong membership base, we may add extra sessions or run specialist classes. We also look forward to working with other societies who would like to hold occasional yoga sessions.

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