Yoga Club Inspires Positive Physical and Mental Health in Students


Mikhail Nilov

Two girls doing the sukhasana (translated from Sanskrit into English as “easy pose”) pose, a common, fundamental pose in yoga.

Seth Horan, Writer

Over the past 19 months, many people’s lives have been plagued by seemingly endless arduousness, and likewise, people have been endlessly searching for solutions to reduce their stress levels. For some, the solution they found was yoga. 


Ms. Tara Ketteringham, a counselor at Oakdale High School, seeks to employ the mind and body wellness strategies that yoga provides for Oakdale’s students through the Yoga Club as the club’s advisor.


Ketteringham explained that she “love[s] yoga and think[s] that there are so many benefits to the practice for people of all ages and abilities,” which is why she decided to start the club.


She went on to say, “I like the presence of yoga—how when I am practicing postures and breathing, I can get out of my head for a bit.”


One student involved with the Yoga Club, Eisella Pearson, a senior, spoke to why she likes yoga: “It’s very grounding. It helps with anxiety―when I’m stressed, I turn to it.” 


She continued, “It helps keep me calm and forget about unnecessary things.”


Ketteringham aims to bring a sense of serenity to the club to encourage mental and emotional relaxation in the students of the Yoga Club, just as yoga brings to her life. She commented on the operation of a typical club meeting: “Students arrive, take off their shoes, and sit on their mats. I typically have soft music playing, and once everyone has arrived, we begin with light movement and breathwork.”


She also mentioned that “nothing is required outside of school, though there are tons of free videos on YouTube that students can practice with on their own time. A regular yoga practice can be good to really reap the benefits.”


On the subject of what those benefits are, she specified, in terms of her own experience: “Yoga benefits my health in that the physical postures and movement are good for strengthening the body and possibly helping with flexibility. The breath practice helps keep me present and grounded, and can be calming.”


Pearson briefly elucidated how she feels about yoga’s benefits: “I definitely think that it benefits me health-wise. It’s a combination of physical and mental health benefits.”


Ketteringham also pointed out that anyone is free to give the Yoga Club a try at any time, as well as the fact that she is “happy to have new members always, and no experience is necessary.”


When asked why she joined the Yoga Club, Pearson described that she’s “always been interested in yoga, [she’s] just never gone out there and tried it.”


She then added, “I thought I’d take the opportunity to get out there and know what yoga is like.”


Ketteringham then carried on, “We [in the club] have a wide range of personalities, and the students have varied interests. Some have tried yoga before, and some are new to it.”


On the subject of the club’s members, Pearson brought up that, while she didn’t “know everyone yet, there seems to be a good group of people in there.”


Along with all of the focus on mental and physical repose, Ketteringham hopes that the club will “be able to do something in the community someday soon!”