Weekly Longhorn Yoga class offers stress relief year-round

Megan Menchaca

Every Monday evening, students and faculty gather at the Texas Union Building and conclude their long day of classes with a session of free yoga.

These weekly Vinyasa yoga classes, called Longhorn Yoga, are offered to everyone at UT to promote self-awareness and mindfulness while also encouraging enhanced flexibility and strength among its attendees.

Yoga instructor Suresh Venkumahanti said he also hopes to promote peace and joy with this class by exposing participants to challenging yoga poses that train them to be calm in every situation.

“This class relieves a lot of stress and also teaches the attendants to be mindful,” Venkumahanti said. “So when a problem happens in real life, instead of avoiding it, everyone who has done yoga learns to be mindful toward the problem instead.”

Marketing freshman Aliyah Casey, one of around 20 attendees, said this class allows her to connect with her mind and body while also providing her with much-needed energy for the rest of the day. Despite the fact that the workouts are difficult, Casey said the class is relieving because she gets to be part of a community who helps her be active.

“Longhorn Yoga is a really good relaxer to start the week,” Casey said. “It helps get me prepared for everything in the upcoming week, relaxes my mind either after or before I study and also helps me stay active.”

After completing their typical pre-workout stretches, attendees engage in a variety of yoga poses to the tune of piano music before ending the class with a meditation exercise — all in the T-House Suite of the Union.

Venkumahanti said he benefited from taking yoga classes because they brought a lot of peace and happiness to him, and he wanted to share that with others. Venkumahanti said he enjoys every aspect of teaching the class.

“Teaching is always the best,” Venkumahanti said. “It is the most gratifying thing to do. And the more I teach, the more I learn. And the more I give, the more I receive 10 times over.”

English senior Mary Pistorius said she also attends Longhorn Yoga because the workout helps calm her down before a hectic week of classes.

“After I attend this class, I feel more connected and balanced,” Pistorius said. “I feel like I’ll have a much better handle on my entire week.”