New yoga course at NC

Added P.E. alternative becomes popular among students


LT Yoga students run through various poses during their third period class on Thursday, Sept. 15th. (Cummings/LION).

Jaclyn Cummings, Reporter

LT upperclassmen have become the first students to experience the new yoga class, a course that teaches students the importance of flexibility, muscular strength and mindfulness. With a wide range of lessons and techniques, students are presented with the opportunity to discover their individual yoga preferences. 

“I hope that [students’] main takeaway [from the class] is that they become more comfortable and confident in both their physical and mental bodies,” yoga teacher Cassandra Niego said. “That’s going to look different for every person.”

After being in pilot status for the past two years and much fundraising done by the LT Boosters Club, the yoga course is officially up and running, Niego said. With a brand-new yoga studio just recently installed at NC, in addition to new yoga equipment (such as blocks, bolsters, and blankets), the students are ready to learn and perform the many different forms of yoga. 

“We plan to practice a yoga flow twice a week and drills once a week,” Niego said. “Yoga drills will help build muscular strength and endurance for the various yoga poses. We will [also] practice a variety of mindfulness practices on Wednesdays, [and] on Fridays we will explore restorative yoga.”

Abby Schuler ‘24 is currently enjoying this semester course, she said. With a desire to try something different, Schuler decided that yoga would be the perfect way to clear her head.

“For me, [yoga] is right in the middle of my school day,” Schuler said. “So it’s a good refresh [and] recharge to get through the rest of the day. [Yoga] has been very helpful and calming for when I’m having a stressful day, [because] it gets me back into the right headspace.” 

In an effort to ensure that the course was a replica of a true yoga studio experience, Niego and fellow yoga teacher, Melissa Mitidiero, spent over 200 hours becoming yoga certified. Through learning, studying, and practicing, the LT yoga team — which also includes yoga instructor Bryan Aloisio — managed to design an authentic atmosphere and curriculum necessary to properly teach yoga.

“When you walk in [the class] there is music playing, and the teachers are saying ‘Hi’ to you as you come in, having strong communication with everyone,” Schuler said. “It’s a very welcoming environment.”

Currently, there are 18 yoga classes planned for the 2022-2023 school year, with a continuous show of student interest. There are approximately 645 students who are enrolled in the class at this time. As the school year progresses, Niego hopes to continue to show students the power of yoga, as it helps them develop a stronger understanding of their body and mind.

“I will be most proud of [the students] when they listen to their bodies, and utilize modifications which best serve them,” Niego said. “Everybody’s expression of a pose should look a little bit different. [I am] excited to eventually be able to look across the classroom and [see that] everybody is doing what’s right for their body at that moment.”