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UMass offers yoga!

By: Alyssa Creamer

Many full-time college students with hectic lives, between planning enough time to balance 10 hours of a crappy part-time job, six classes of varying degrees of difficulty, and making time to socialize, barely have enough time to truly relax.

When you believe you’ve spent time “relaxing” because you’ve successfully managed to sit on your butt and watch an episode of “House,” the only direction you’re moving in is away from a physically and mentally healthier you.

What might convince you to change your ways? Meeting UMass yoga instructor Eric Burri might spark some interest in your health. Burri, who discovered his calling when he learned yoga at UMass in 1994, teaches three different levels — yoga basics, power yoga and intermediate yoga — 10 times a week, Monday through Thursday.

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Not that you’ll necessarily proclaim yoga is your life’s passion as Burri did, but you’ll certainly gain greater strength and flexibility.

“My back doesn’t hurt as much since I started doing yoga. And it cracks less,” said sophomore Jordan Mascetta, a communications and psychology major.

Many students crave the stress-relieving atmosphere of Burri’s yoga classes.

“Yoga is really relaxing,” said sophomore Jennifer Tuttle, School of Management major.  “Being at school gets me really stressed out, so yoga really helps.”

“Yoga is really good for your spiritual mind, flexibility,” she continued. “And it helps people get to know their bodies more. It’s really nice.”

Burri believes that finding inner peace and tranquility within one’s spiritual mind is the most important aspect of yoga.

“The purpose of yoga is to develop a true and deep relationship with yourself so that you can feel commonality between yourself and whatever higher power you may believe in,” he said.

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Burri teaches his yoga classes as if they were a University course. He takes his students through a variety of approaches to hatha yoga, or physical yoga, by teaching them several different poses, sequences and breathing exercises. All of these techniques are “intimately tied to the philosophy of yoga,” he said.

Classes are held in Boyden Gymnasium, room 10. Monday and Wednesday classes are from 2:00 to 3:15 p.m and 3:30 to 4:45 p.m, and Tuesday and Thursday classes are from 1-2:15, 2:30-3:45 and 4:00 -5:15. The cost of yoga is $85 for one class a week and $150 for two classes a week.

Alyssa Creamer can be reached at acreamer@student.umass.edu

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