“Stretch yourself” in yoga


BY LAUREN REEVES
Staff Writer

This Saturday you have the opportunity to experience yoga like you may never have before. All day you, and those close to you, can practice free yoga classes led by McKendree University Professor Adam Tournier and other yoga instructors. However, it is important to know what yoga can mean for you. It means a lot for myself and other students.

Originating in India, the practice of yoga has been around for thousands of years. Many yoga practices allow participants to achieve their own personal goals or embark on a physical and sometimes spiritual journey. Because there are so many intensive studies and beliefs on yoga, I will focus on only one ideal for this story: yoga as a meditative means of discovering perception and cognition. It also works as a positive release from suffering by providing inner peace and salvation. In other words, yoga allows participants to overcome obstacles in their lives and achieve positivity to reach goals.

Personally, yoga is an outlet for me to destress and find my inner peace. For a long time, I
was dealing with anxiety and guilt. I tried intense cardio workouts, binge watching Netflix, writing exercises and just talking about it verbally with those closest to me. Nothing was relieving my anxiety levels. I was at my wit’s end to figure out how to cope with my emotions, until one afternoon when I walked to my car after an exhausting day.

Professor Adam Tournier drove past me and saw my downtrodden expression. “Hey, Lauren, what’s going on? You seem down,” Tournier pointed out. I explained that I was experiencing anxiety, and I could not find release for this built-up suffering. In a few short words he said something that changed my life. He said, “I know what could fix that. It’s yoga.”

At that time, Tournier invited me to personally attend his first-ever yoga class he was teaching down the street from McKendree at the local coffee shop, BrickStreet Brew. After attending a few classes, I was hooked because the yoga allowed me to open my mind and release all the thoughts that I was struggling with. No, the yoga did not magically cause my problems and worries to disappear. Instead it allowed me to open my mind so that I could release those feelings I was locking away.

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Acadia Reynolds performing an advanced yoga pose. Photo credit: Acadia Reynolds

Over the course of a few weeks, Tournier has been able to bring his yoga teaching approach to the Lebanon and McKendree community. His approach to yoga has even surprised a McKendree student who is currently doing yoga on her own. Acadia Reynolds has been practicing her own form of yoga but took a chance to see what Tournier’s style of yoga was like.

“I was nervous to allow an instructor into my practice,” says Reynolds. “Adam completely surprised me.” She was drawn in to having an instructed yoga class due to Tournier’s caring nature. “When he teaches yoga, he teaches to the whole person. Adam teaches to your personal goals, the comfort and success of your practice and the health of your body.” Reynolds notes that it’s clear how much joy yoga brings to Adam Tournier’s life, and it radiates outwards to everyone who works with him. “I recommend everyone, no matter your skill level, to come to at least one yoga session with Adam.”

Another McKendree student, Diana Nevarez, has many good things to say about Tournier’s teaching approach to yoga. “If it wasn’t for Adam Tournier, I would have never tried my first yoga class in the summer of 2015,” says Nevarez. “I’m happy to have attended one of his very own instructed yoga classes. Taking yoga with Adam combined the perfect mixture of challenge, success and relaxation.”

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Acadia Reynolds and Lexi Nash practicing partner strength and balancing poses. Photo credit: Lexi Nash

Nevarez, who is on the Women’s Wrestling team, admits that some yoga positions are harder than others, but Adam makes sure to suggest alternatives to make it easier, as well as encourage his students to challenge their bodies’ abilities. “As a wrestler, I know my body can tighten up a lot and take a beating once in a while,” says Nevarez, “but taking yoga with Adam provides a temporary mental and physical relief from the strains my body endures until the next time I can join him again.”

Even though she has a busy schedule, Diana Nevarez is making plans to come back for more yoga led by Tournier. “It was a truly pleasurable experience, and I would encourage anyone to give it a try.”

Luckily, Adam Tournier is giving everyone a chance to see what yoga is all about this Saturday, Oct. 15 at BrickStreet Brew on St. Louis Street here in Lebanon. This special day of yoga lasts the entire day from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. and is completely free to everyone. Also, one lucky attendee could win one free month of yoga and a Manduka Pro Mat.

For more information, please contact Adam Tournier or The Foundry Yoga Works Facebook page.

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Lauren Reeves and Adam Tournier smiling after a very enlightening yoga session. Photo credit: Lauren Reeves

 

Cover photo credit: Acadia Reynolds