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The Antelope

The Antelope

Peer Health uses yoga to treat mental health issues

Students destress and “reset” with interactive yoga class. Photo by Shelby Berglund / Antelope Staff

The UNK Counseling Center hosted two free classes during Eating Disorders Awareness last week. These events involved the learning of new skills to practice in our daily lives. 

“Everyone that went very much enjoyed what we were doing and everyone was very responsive,” said Lucy Haarmann, a senior student. 

Haarman along with six other students participated in the Loving Your Body through Movement class. UNK theatre professor Janice Fronczak taught different methods for students who wanted to develop self-love skills, learn about drama therapy and explore the relationships they have with food. 

One skill that stood out to senior Allyson Fricke was checking in. 

“Check in is where you have this magic box and you put something in the box at the beginning of class,” Fricke said. “So, whatever you are worrying about, for example, if you’re financially stressed, stays in that box and it can be out of mind. That way you can stay focused in class or whatever you are doing.”

Fricke also noted some of the eating disorder issues that were addressed in class.

“As a college student, it showed me I wasn’t alone. It didn’t make me feel like I was eating wrong,” Fricke said.

The second event offered was a yoga class called Loving Your Body through Breath. Pat Philippi, lecturer for kinesiology and sport sciences at UNK, guided students through gentle movements and breath work. This class had approximately 25 students and faculty who participated. 

Throughout this class, participants went through different poses to target areas that carry tension, such as our core and neck. Students were able to learn and practice these movements anytime and anywhere when they are feeling stressed. 

One participant liked how after her busy week she could enjoy a little break. 

“It was a very nice reset,” said Olivia Johnson, a freshman student.

Another participant noted how yoga is not just about what you are doing physically, but also mentally. 

“Everyone thinks you have to be upside down and in a pretzel shape. Except it’s about concentrating on what you can do, not what other people can do,” said Brynn Claycamp, another freshman participant. “I would 10/10 recommend.” 

Jordan McCoy, wellness promotion and prevention coordinator at UNK, created these two events for Eating Disorders Awareness Week. 

“It was a very quick process,” McCoy said. “But I wanted to spread this theme of loving oneself and embracing it through movement to all UNK students.”

Overall, both events touched on sensitive issues and created methods for students to relieve whatever stressors they were holding and how to let them go. Look to UNK Counseling Services for future events and more information. Counseling Services is open Monday-Friday 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. in the Memorial Student Affairs Building, room 144. For appointments or questions call 308-865-8248.

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