UAF Community Yoga Club

Clubbing with JR

By JR Ancheta

Yoga instructor Donna Lanni helps a student into the proper position. JR Ancheta / Sun Star

In a filled gymnasium, people lined up into three rows. “Om…” they chanted as they took deep breaths and listened to the instructor’s direction. The UAF Community Yoga Club is an organization that promotes wellness through yoga.

“We showcase any and all teachers in the community [and] different styles,” said Jane Reilley, the club president.  “The strongest thing we have to offer is that people can try different kinds.” Depending on the instructor, the style of yoga could be aggressive, meditative, or chanting in presentation.

In addition to promoting yoga, the UAF Community Yoga Club is engaged in giving back to the community. The club has held fundraisers for the Fairbanks Food Bank, the UAF Sustainability Office, and the Georgeson Botanical Garden.

Maya Salganek, founded the club. She was teaching a yoga class as a means to provide her students an opportunity to practice yoga before their class meeting time. There was a difficulty with finding equipment for her students. “I taught for two years every Saturday at 9:30,” Salganek said. “Now you can see it’s huge!”

“We’ve never had a problem where we ran out of mats,” Reilley said, “We actually ran out of mats two weeks ago.” Attendance on Saturday, Feb. 5 was more than 45 people. The club will be celebrating their ninth anniversary on April 16.

The UAF Community Yoga Club meets Saturday mornings from 9:30 a.m. to 11 a.m. at the University Park Gym. Props and mats are available and all levels are welcome. Cost of attendance is $5 per session. On Feb. 12, the organization will be sponsoring a “yoga-thon” entitled “Hearts for Haiti” benefiting a Haitian orphanage. The event is from 2-5 p.m. at the University Park Gym and is $30 per person.

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