Turchin Center yoga gives students time to breathe

Students+take+a+day+of+relaxation+through+yoga+at+Turchin+Center+for+the+Visual+Arts+Saturday.+Photo+by+Rachel+Krauza++%7C++The+Appalachian

Students take a day of relaxation through yoga at Turchin Center for the Visual Arts Saturday. Photo by Rachel Krauza | The Appalachian

Casey Suglia

Yoga mats were scattered across the floor in place of gallery spectators at the Turchin Center for the Visual Arts on Saturday as instructor Vicki Rodiguez-Peltz greeted the class attendees with “namaste,” a formal salutation common in yoga practice.

For the past three years, Rodiguez-Peltz has been teaching a Saturday morning yoga class in the Mayer Gallery of the Turchin Center, which is located on King Street on Appalachian State University’s campus. Rodiguez-Peltz said the class, Healing Arts Yoga, is part of the Turchin Center’s community outreach program. This semester classes will be held on random Saturdays at 10:30 a.m. until Dec. 13.

“I think that it’s important to practice yoga to live so we give ourselves an opportunity to be with life’s experiences without having preconceived notions of what is going to happen,” Rodiguez-Peltz said.

The class is hosted in the Mayer Gallery, which is located on the first floor of the Turchin Center, has large windows facing King Street and is the home of various art exhibitions throughout the school year, allowing these yoga regulars to interact with the art.

The current installation, “Indivisible,” features the work of award-winning sculptor Travis Graves, a faculty member in the Department of Art and Design at East Tennessee State University.

“It is really inspiring to be around art,” Rodiguez-Peltz said. “People are walking by and staring into the gallery and we’re part of the

Students take a day of relaxation through yoga at Turchin Center for the Visual Arts Saturday. Photo by Rachel Krauza  |  The Appalachian
Students take a day of relaxation through yoga at Turchin Center for the Visual Arts Saturday. Photo by Rachel Krauza | The Appalachian

exhibition. We’re putting ourselves into these different positions and creating shapes and art. We are making sculptures with our bodies and we are coming into these different postures and it really feels like we are art as well.”

Evan White, a junior graphic design major, took the class for the first time Saturday.

“I think it’s definitely important to take some time out and remain flexible with the semester coming up and breathe,” White said.

Diana Godwin, head of visitor services for the Turchin Center, said she believes students should take advantage of the programs the center hosts.

“We offer a lot of things for students that are dedicated to students,” Godwin said. “Our outreach program is really important to us and we received subsidies from student fees, so we want to make sure we give something back to the students.”

Despite the early time on Saturday, approximately 12 students and community members attended the class.

“Yoga is detoxing and might clear your head, and who knows what you do the night before,” Rodiguez-Peltz said. “You might get into trouble sometimes in little ways or big ways, and it’s a good opportunity to let go and have compassion for yourself.”

Rodiguez-Peltz believes that yoga can help students with their upcoming semester.

“We as humans tend to create stories on what is going to happen and respond to them before they actually happen, and we go about life with anxiety and holding,” Rodiguez-Peltz said. “So yoga is an opportunity for people to just let go and be present.”

Registration for the class begins at 10:15 a.m. and costs $5 for students and $10 for non-students. Yoga mats are provided, and the class caters to all skill levels.

Story: Casey Suglia, Intern A&E Reporter
Photo: Rachel Krauza, Staff Photographer