A mental stretch

Yoga club provides a safe space for students to de-stress

School can seem overwhelming, especially around now, with course selection, ap tests approaching and more, many students have a lot on their plate. But members of the yoga club know there is a place for them to relax and take a mental break at school, co-president, senior Francesca Pastizzo  said.

Pastizzo said she first joined the club as a freshman when a fellow teammate on the varsity soccer team had convinced her to join. Instantly, the senior said she sensed the comfortable and stress free environment, a feeling that encouraged her to stay in the club.  Now, she consistently meets with the club the second Monday of each month during lunch in the dance room.

Francesca Pastizzo and French teacher Ms. Ronsheimer gather in the dance room on the first Monday of the month to have a quick, relaxing yoga session. (Photo by Helen Tam)

“The yoga club has given me a space to relax at school,” Pastizzo said. “For most of my junior year, it was really stressful, but I’d be able to go to the yoga club and I always would feel a lot more relaxed when I left [than how I felt when I arrived].” 

Co-president, senior Audrey Colen said the yoga club is a much needed escape from reality. Once she enters the yoga room, her mind goes elsewhere, taking away the stress from school for the duration of the meeting, Colen said. Since joining the club, both co-presidents said they have seen an improvement in their daily lives. 

“It’s a good thing to look forward to at school,” Colen said. “So if I’m having a bad day, I can go to the yoga club, relax and then get back to my life when I need to.”

The co-presidents said their goal is to promote a healthy balanced lifestyle for more people in the community. According to houstonmethodist.org, yoga has been shown to lower the stress hormones in our bodies while simultaneously increasing beneficial brain chemicals to help decrease anxiety and improve mood.

“A lot of people including ourselves, struggle with mental health issues and this club can really just help you take a moment away and hopefully ease your mind a little bit,” Pastizzo said.

Club member, junior Daniela Silverman said she enjoys coming to the meetings because it’s a time for her to relax and socialize without the stress of school.

“I think it’s important to the HHS community because it shows people another way to de-stress,” Silverman said. “It takes just a few minutes out of our day to [restart] in a calm environment with a lot less stress.”