By: Samantha Moore
Who doesn’t love something free? Bellarmine offers free yoga classes on campus with sessions open to all. Each week, students gather to be guided through a yoga flow to de-stress and unwind from the hectic life of classes, homework, jobs and internships.
These classes are taught by certified yoga instructor Susie Pope. Pope dedicates her time twice a week to teach the students here.
“I love to see the transformation happen,” Pope said. “People walk into the studio with no knowledge of yoga and little confidence. As the weeks go on, you get to see the growth and it speaks to what yoga has done in their lives.”
Freshman Morgan Patterson said she attended a class only because her friends were going. “I ended up coming back again and again because Susie was really positive and the community that is involved with it has been really supportive,” Patterson said.
Students truly enjoy and appreciate the type of atmosphere that Pope creates in the studio. She welcomes anyone to come and practice, regardless of his or her experience level. “Susie is really encouraging,” sophomore Morgan Early said. “She always reminds us that it is not about doing the pose right, but that it’s about doing what’s comfortable.”
Besides offering classes at Bellarmine, Pope also teaches at 502 Power Yoga. Pope said she had no intention of becoming an instructor and only attended the training course to deepen her own yoga practice. “After being surrounded by teachers that I look up to and saw the impact they had on their students, I realized that I wanted to be that person who could help others in their own journeys,” Pope said.
Pope said she sees yoga as a way to heal. “My yoga practice has been the place where I have connected with so many people. It’s been a place for me to see how the physicality of yoga helps me to sweat off the heavy stuff of life and a way to heal,” she said.
Pope encourages her Bellarmine students to come and practice at 502 Power Yoga. “Especially at your young age, for you to grasp the concept of connecting mind and body is priceless,” she said. “To start yoga, mindfulness and self-care at this age is something I wish I would have done.”
I decided to take Susie up on her offer and attend a class at 502 Power Yoga. This studio teaches a Baptiste Power Vinyasa Yoga, which is a powerful, energetic and playful style with a strong emphasis on breath and proper alignment. The classes are suitable for all levels of experience, from beginners to advanced students. The room is heated between 90 and 94 degrees to help cleanse the body and warm the muscles. 502 Power Yoga’s website said that each class will challenge everyone to step out of his or her comfort zone.
Pope and an assistant instructor led the class I attended. The assistant helped those who needed additional instruction while Pope guided the students through the flow. The atmosphere in the studio was one of the most welcoming, encouraging and peaceful environments I have ever been a part of. Pope encouraged her students to support one another and to appreciate themselves for taking time out of their day for self-care.
“Susie is a bundle of joy every time she comes into the studio,” said Pope’s co-worker Chloe O’Bryan. “She gives the best hugs and has a special energy. She is a great presence to be around.”
I would encourage any Bellarmine student to go and practice at the 502 Power Yoga studio. The Bardstown Road location is close to campus. There is a wide variety of classes offered seven days a week with convenient times ranging anywhere from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. Check out the class schedule at https://www.502poweryoga.com/classes/schedule/.
Anyone interested in trying a free class at Bellarmine can attend “Yoga by Susie” every Tuesday and Thursday evening. Sessions are held in the Siena Lounge from 6 to 7 p.m. Yoga matts and blocks are provided; no registration is required.