Pockets of Peace
Amidst a pandemic, I think we can all agree it is difficult to find pockets of peace within our days. As a remote learner, Zoom has become our personal and portable university. Your kitchen has become your dining hall and your parents and siblings have become your peers.
On the other hand, those on campus have also faced changes to their previous routines and environment. These changes include wearing a mask around campus, taking a daily symptom checker, and sitting behind plexiglass in socially-distanced assigned seats. No matter if you are a remote learner or attend campus as usual, life can feel in this moment as if it has completely fallen off the rails. Allow me to introduce you to an activity that will bring some normalcy to your hectic lives while also grounding you... literally.
Ally Harrison, sophomore at the U, explains how participating in daily socially-distanced Yoga and Meditation classes have helped put her routine back on track.“It has helped me regain my sense of purpose,” Harrison begins. “Everyday I know I have a block of time set aside for me to work on my body and mind. Sectioning off that chunk of time helps me visualize when I should be working on schoolwork or relaxing.”
Harrison practices at Aguacate Sanctuary of Love, a juice bar turned outdoor Yoga studio that is only a 19-minute drive from campus. The owner, Daney Cabrera, describes this space as, “a place for meditation, organic living, spiritual connection, holistic practices and in one universal word to define it all…..love.”
Harrison paralleled this statement in our interview: “It feels like you have walked into an alternate universe that is defined by peace. I do not know what is better— the little signs and trinkets that remind you to be kind and love others, or the goats and chickens that follow you as you grab a smoothie.”
At Aguacate Sanctuary of Love, one can expect a different instructor almost everyday. Each instructor follows Ashtanga Vinyasa flow, a yoga style that focuses on strength training primarily in the core, arms, legs, and glutes. Therefore, no need to fear if you are a gym junkie; this workout will most definitely satisfy your needs.
Practices on Saturdays and Sundays are paced slightly slower, so if you are a beginner I would suggest starting off with attending these days. Each class is 10 dollars and all you have to bring is a yoga mat, a towel, and water to rehydrate. However, if you are up to spend a little more, some of the best vegan food, fresh fruit, and vegetable smoothies can be found at the sanctuary too!
Taking time in your day to focus on your mind, body, and soul is very important. Yoga instructor at the Aguacate Sanctuary of Love, Jess Adarraga, states that, “Focusing on the oscillations of the breath and controlling the breath through pranayama can help ease the mind and bring clarity to one’s thoughts and emotions. I wish yoga came to me when I was in college!”
REPORTER: Gabriella Socarras
THE ART, Gravity Magazine, 2020