Students and faculty take a breather at health and healing community workout


Tyler Smith

Carolyn Jones, yoga instructor and residential living assistant director of student engagement, demonstrates a yoga position for the participants. The yoga session gave community members a short break from their day so they could stretch and relax.

On the morning of Tuesday, Jan. 21, Washburn community members arrived at the indoor practice facility for an hour long session of yoga. The participants gathered at the practice football field on the lower level of the facility, where instructor Carolyn Jones led them through the session.

The workout was planned as a part of this year’s WUmester theme of health and healing.

Danielle Dempsey-Swopes, director of university diversity and inclusion, came up with the idea for the workout. As a member of the WUmester planning committee, she wanted to plan an event that would connect to this year’s theme.

“I’d read about community groups that get together and exercise together as part of maintaining their health,” said Dempsey-Swopes, “so I thought it would be cool to get Washburn folks together to do a little exercise.”

Kelly Erby, professor of history and associate dean in the college of arts and sciences, is also on the WUmester planning committee and helped put the event together.

“I thought it was a super good idea,” Erby said. “I thought it would be cool to get people to actually get to see the indoor practice facility because most people don’t get to come inside of it and just do something together as a community.”

The session began with the participants laying on their backs and practicing deep, mindful breathing. They progressed into moves meant to help them stretch out their bodies and destress.

The workout ended much like it began. The participants were instructed to lie on their backs and focus on deep breathing. It provided an opportunity for them to forget about their past and future worries and live only in the present moment.

Chase McCoy, junior in finance management and marketing, was one of the several students who attended the event.

“I thought it was very beneficial,” McCoy said. “It really helped me feel better and I think it goes along with the theme very well because it’s managing your mental health and all aspects of your health.”

More events related to this year’s WUmester theme will be held throughout the semester, including another community workout. The high energy workout will be held in the indoor practice facility Tuesday, Feb. 28 at 11 a.m.

Edited by Aja Carter and LeSha’ Davis