It’s no secret that this school year is going to look and feel vastly different than the rest. We’re all learning together how to navigate a pandemic while staying motivated, interacting safely with others and being the best version of ourselves. In order to help aid the transition, the University of Connecticut has teamed with departments such as Student Health and Wellness (SHaW) to bring resources to their students. One of these resources is SHaW’s Gentle Therapeutic Yoga and Breathwork class that takes place every Tuesday and Thursday.
The Gentle Therapeutic Yoga class is meant to aid students and adults in “stress relief, body therapy, enhancing mental focus and emotional release, resilient health, flexibility and strength and clarity of selfhood,” according to the SHaW website. It’s as simple as clicking on the Zoom link and laying on the floor. The moderator will give you the option to turn your video off, so if you’re camera shy there is no need to worry. The virtual platform allows you to delve into the practice of yoga in the comfort of your own home and space.
The moderator and yogi of the class, Jennifer Nucci, has been doing yoga for the past 30 years. She created an amazing atmosphere that resembled one of a yoga studio. Her background throughout the class were floor to ceiling windows, which worked to connect her students to nature. She played soft, indie music in the background and talked everyone through every movement in a calm and relaxing tone. Nucci began the class by asking everyone how their day was, how they were feeling overall, how everyone’s body was and if there was anything that needed particular attention. The creation of such a comfortable and open environment allows individuals to open up and truly take the one hour of yoga to destress and remove any baggage that is weighing down on their shoulders.
Throughout the class, Nucci explained the importance of connecting with one’s own body.
“The more you can come out of your visual field, the more you can go into feeling what is going on in your body,” Nucci said.
“The more you can come out of your visual field, the more you can go into feeling what is going on in your body.”
The imperative aspect of yoga that differentiates it from various other activities is the direct simultaneous exercise on the brain and body. While it is meant to release tension, create flexibility and much more, it’s equally about mental health.
Doing yoga for the past 30 years has completely changed Nucci’s life.
“Yoga brings a sense of confidence in their movement, in life in general, especially as people grow older,” Nucci said. “A sense of ownership of their own health, strong organ system and a deepening peaceful quality, an ability to handle the stuff of life with ease and embodiment.”
Nucci hopes to bring these inner strengths to students at UConn through her partnering with Student Health and Wellness.
“When we feel confident in ourselves, we are able to make better choices and be more present in a compassionate and intelligent way with others,” Nucci said. “Yoga gives students and people in learning situations a stronger sense of themselves in a space where there are a lot of different influences. When we do a therapeutic practice, we get a better sense of ‘Who am I.’”
“When we feel confident in ourselves, we are able to make better choices and be more present in a compassionate and intelligent way with others.”
If you are interested in participating in Yoga with Jennifer Nucci, you can visit https://studenthealth.uconn.edu/yoga/ where there will be a link to attend zoom sessions every Tuesday from 5 to 6 p.m. and every Thursday from 4 to 5 p.m..