Colorado State University’s (CSU) Campus Recreation Center currently offers a variety of yoga classes including Vinyasa, Yin, All Levels Hatha, Restorative, Vinyasa Core, Power Vinyasa along with combination classes such as “Zen Ride,” that combines a 30-minute cycle ride with a short Vinyasa flow.
While that gives members of Campus Recreation a variety of options to choose from, one ambitious CSU student and Campus Recreation staff member, Brit Heiring, wants to explore other options in teaching after getting her yoga certification this June.
Heiring said she is currently looking into the option of a free all-levels Vinyasa class, so she can invite “students and staff that might otherwise be hindered by the costs typically associated with yoga.”
At Colorado State University, it is required for all fitness instructors to be certified in their respective disciplines. For yoga, all instructors must have a RYT-200 hour certification; what Heiring defined as “an immersive month-long course,” in which she will learn about the origins of yoga, Ayurvedic healing and how to mindfully introduce yoga to others.
Heiring said her favorite part of the Campus Recreation yoga program is all of the variety that goes on within. “No class is ever the same because our participant base and instructors change in some way every year,” said Heiring. “A new student comes to campus in the fall and tries out their first class next to the mat of a staff member who has been practicing for 20 years. It brings such a beautiful energy to the practice that I haven’t found elsewhere.”
During her month-long certification, Heiring plans to take full-advantage of taking time off to re-center and dive head-first into a journey of self-discovery, furthering her current learning phrase in terms of her own practice’s evolution and what she wants to offer the world as an instructor.
“My biggest hope is to partner my two passions — social justice and yoga, so that I can offer classes that are inclusive of all genders, races, body types, abilities and income levels,” she stated. “My hope is to partner with the diversity offices on campus to promote the class as an inclusive space for all people from all backgrounds. It is important to affirm our identities and celebrate our differences, and I believe yoga has much to offer us on those levels.”
There are just under 20 yoga instructors currently working for the Campus Recreation Center with the majority of instructors being students enrolled at CSU. Heiring said the program is so successful because of the accessibility for everyone due to the facility’s Assistant Director of Fitness, Diane Bornhoft, who works to coordinate the schedule to ensure it is available for all different schedules and to patrons with varying fitness abilities.
“As a recreation center on a college campus, we have the unique ability to introduce yoga to a rather large audience every single day,” added Heiring. “I believe that’s what makes our program so wonderful.”
Heiring said she is excited about making sure that yoga is promoted as a mindful practice based for everybody and everyone, and she stays up-to-date in terms of doing her homework and studying industry trends in diversifying yoga.
“I’m trying to take in as much knowledge as I can from industry leaders who are already blazing trails in terms of diversifying yoga. I’m finding inspiration from Yoga & Body Image Coalition, decolonizingyoga.com and incredible community-based studios like Just B Yoga in Michigan and Piedmont Yoga in California. Yoga is for everyBODY and everyone, and that’s what I’m most excited about working towards and promoting after my certification.”
Karima Neghmouche can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.