Written by Rayshawn Gibson

On May 30, with green landscapes and blue skies, the world favored those who participated in the THRIVE run yoga session.

The THRIVE program seeks to help students push through anxiety, depression and help momentarily remove the stresses of daily life. They accomplish it through an abundance of activities such as yoga, rock climbing and canoeing.

“I learned through practicing myself, that with yoga, you’re able to control your body a lot more than say, going to the gym,” said Katie Summers, a junior studying recreational management. “You’re able to focus, and block all of the negativity out of your mind.”

In the fall semester, Summers will help with THRIVE as an instructor.

Video by Garrett Elton Scroll TV

“Coming home from a long day of work or a busy day stresses out your body,” said Tyler Solomon, a junior studying recreational management. “Stretching your body and relaxing through yoga helps a lot.”

According to Psychology Today, yoga’s health benefits include: increasing body awareness, relieving stress, reducing muscle tension and enhancing concentration.

“Yoga means yoking; it means bringing together, and it’s bringing together the body, the spirit, breath and your mind,” said Josh Heaton, a BYU-I alumni and current yoga instructor for THRIVE. “Bringing those things together and creating a harmony within itself is kind of the purpose of yoga. It’s a natural antidote to anxiety and depression and those sort of things.”

Heaton graduated with a degree in recreational management and about three years of yoga instruction experience. He taught yoga through the THRIVE program prior to graduation and came back to teach this semester.

“Here, on BYU-I campus, it’s the best to teach yoga because you can incorporate a lot of the atonement,” Heaton said. “A lot of the yoga practices and teachings beautifully illustrate and bring to life a lot of the aspects of Christ’s atonement that make it very personal and applicable.”

Photo by Grace Wride | Scroll Photo

Though hosted by the THRIVE program, Yoga and Mental Health at the Ricks Gardens only served as a pop-up program to help students’ mental health, and are not officially held by BYU-I, according to Melissa Russell, the faculty director of THRIVE.

The next yoga event in the Ricks Gardens will be held on June 19, with the subsequent one on July 10; both at 7 p.m. THRIVE will be hosting other events throughout the semester.

Photo by Grace Wride | Scroll Photo