Downward Panther: Georgia State at Yoga

Photo by Nadia Deljou | The Signal
Photo by Nadia Deljou | The Signal
Photo by Nadia Deljou | The Signal

Housed in Georgia State’s Recreation Center, various exercise classes are taught to no expense of the students. However, for passionate fitness-minded students, a more in depth type of class can be taken that progresses throughout the semester, something as skilled as yoga.

Yoga is one type of fitness that requires practice and over time is built upon. Through Georgia State’s Instructional Clinics, specific types of yoga classes are begun and as the semester advances the yoga becomes more and more experienced.

Inside the Yoga

Ron Young teaches Yin Yoga and Flow Yoga. Susan Wells teaches Vinyasa Yoga. No matter the style, the center of yoga has the same essential goal.

“The main focus of yoga is to bring the nervous system to a state of calm, or a parasympathetic state,” Young said. “In the act of accomplishing this, the body, mind and senses receive a necessary and thorough stretch.”

While stretching brings to mind very elementary yoga practices, it is within every exercise, the most important building block.

“Stretching is important to maintain the gift of movement. Students do become more flexible as a result of practice and due to the aging process of the body needs to stretch daily,” Young said. “The goal of yoga isn’t to touch ones toes in 6 weeks, rather it’s to enhance and maintain the body’s natural ranges of joint movement and sustaining comfort with ease in the body throughout one’s lifespan.”

For Susan Wells, yoga is a sure fit for any type of athletic or athletically interested mind.

“Adrenaline junkies get impatient with yoga because they don’t naturally slow down, but they may be the ones who can benefit the most,” Wells said. “Strengthening the connection between body, mind and breath almost magically leads to vitality and confidence.”

Yoga is one of the popular exercise avenues that has such a detailed and long history behind it. Changes to what yoga used to be have happened over time, but it is still as practiced in its roots as to be expected.

“The ancient practitioners of Yoga believed that in order for mankind to be happy and live in harmony with himself and his environment, he needed to use innate intelligence to integrate body, mind and spirit,” Wells said. “They found a way to achieve this through observing certain ethical principles, exercise, breathing and meditation. If we practice meditation, we open doors to self-understanding, intuition, and wisdom.”

For students curious in a new hobby, for students waiting to learn a new skill, for students willing to work towards a change in their body and mind, yoga is completely doable.

“Select a class time that suits your day and commit to it,” Young said. “Yoga is unique in that it can be practiced daily, regularly. Whether you take a class every day, or just take one or more classes per week you will discover that regular yoga practice enhances and adds quality time to your life.”

Photo by Nadia Deljou | The Signal
Photo by Nadia Deljou | The Signal



Centered around vigorous postures done at a slow to modest pace. Iyengar is the style developed by BKS Iyengar in India, and it emphasizes correct body alignment and the use of props to make the asanas accessible to everyone.


Yin Yoga practices long held asana (postures). Holding postures for 3 minutes or more experiencing the effect that time, the effect of gravity on the anatomical shape, focus on breath and exploring meditation.


Hatha is a term that encompasses all physical yoga practices. This includes pose, breath practice and mediation. The other various styles are branches of Hatha, and all of these styles have been popularized in the 20th century.


Power format based on flowing with emphasis on more challenging, athletic and aerobic sequences.


Vinyasa is a style of Hatha Yoga. In Vinyasa, we learn the basic poses (asanas) with correct body alignment, and then practice them in a sequence that flows from one pose to the next smoothly.


Considered a compliment or opposite of Yin Yoga. It involves movement and is based on structural alignment, sequencing, mediation, hip and shoulder stretches, sun salutations, standing poses, backbends and more.

Yoga Mix

Yoga Mix is a hybrid that includes several elements from various different styles of yoga.

How to Register at GSU

For $20, students can build on their skills each week.

“Classes are less than $2 a session for students,” Stephanie Belcher, the Coordinator of Instructional Programs, said.

Through the Instructional Clinic program, it isn’t simply yoga. Yoga, Martial Arts and Dance clinics of different types are available.

Registration for Instructional Clinics ends Sept. 21.