Ames Yoga Center

Student of the Month

January 2011

Each month we will highlight an Ames Yoga Center student, and post their answers to a questionnaire. This month we have selected Cassie Russett.

It’s easy for me to get distracted by the noise of every daily life. A couple of years ago I was talking with a co-worker about some (in my opinion) difficult decisions I was trying to make-I was rationing through them from every angle and at one point he said to me, “have you ever just tried being quiet?”. After I got over my initial surprise at the frankness of that statement, I realized he was right. I was creating too much noise for myself instead of just letting things be.

Practicing yoga has provided me the opportunity to “be quiet” during the week. It’s during these times that I can reflect on and pray around situations at work, school, or other areas and, as a result, approach them with a clearer state of mind.

What is the benefit for you in attending 2 classes a week at Ames Yoga Center?

I’ve always known that physical activity is important for overall health, but I’ve never been too interested in physical activities like running, going to the gym, etc...I was involved in the dance program at Iowa State University but, after I graduated, I couldn’t find a similar outlet. I attended a session at Ames Yoga Center and really enjoyed the atmosphere.

There’s a great balance between physical and mental wellness during classes. In addition to the opportunity to step away from the daily routine, yoga helps me to increase my awareness of my self-how my body is manifesting stress or how shallow my breathing is. By breathing through the sequence of poses in class I am able to release some of that tension while working on strength and flexibility. Classes are energizing for me.

How long have you been taking classes at Ames Yoga Center?

I’ve been taking classes at Ames Yoga Center for one year. I started taking classes regularly in January ‘10 for an independent study in holistic health. The independent study ended in May ‘10 and I’ve continued classes because I found them to be a beneficial addition to my routine.

How would you describe Ames Yoga Center to a friend?

When I have described Ames Yoga Center to friends it’s been in a very person-centered way. The classes are beneficial to people at any level of yoga experience and the structure of the classes allow for adjustment of poses and pace. The overall goal of the Center isn’t to ace yoga poses, but instead to improve quality of life by taking some time each week for the self.

On top of class, alone, Ames Yoga Center is a great hub for information on holistic health. There is much to be learned about how to improve personal wellness in a way that is appropriate for the individual. Not only is Ruthann a great resource for health, but there is much to be learned about health and wellness from the other students in the classes. Taking advantage of all of this knowledge around health has helped me to expand how I approach my personal health.

What is your favorite pose or tool of yoga practice and why?

I love Child’s Pose-it’s feels like a resting pose but there’s so much energy in the breathing into and lengthening of the spine. And for someone who doesn’t love traditional “physical activity,” being active while resting is the best combination.

How has practicing yoga had an impact on your work and life?