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The Student News Site of The Bishop's School

The Tower

The Student News Site of The Bishop's School

The Tower

The Student News Site of The Bishop's School

The Tower

Bishop’s Student Yogis

The sporty and social scene of the Bishop’s Yoga Club
Olivia Ding (’24)
The Bishop’s Yoga Club meets on Mondays, Tuesdays, and Wednesdays after office hours on the lawn outside the Alumni Courtyard for their sessions. On the rainy February 7, however, the group met indoors for their practice.

“It’s not like some of the yoga that might happen at an actual studio where everyone is silent, everything is quiet. We like to talk. Yes, we do yoga, but it’s also social,” explained co-leader of the Bishop’s Yoga Club, Bianca Withers (‘24). 

Olivia Ding (‘24) and Isabella Combs (‘25) are also co-leaders of the club. The trio teaches yoga classes on Mondays, Tuesdays, and Wednesdays and these have become more and more popular over the course of the school year. They have been providing the Bishop’s community with a space to get bodies moving, de-stress, and earn a P.E. credit. 

First off, Isabella admitted that people have regarded the Yoga Club as being for “unathletic people” and that it is “the easiest sport on campus.” However, she explained, “Yeah, it is more relaxed. But I don’t think it should be thought of in a negative light because it is generally meant to relax you.” 

Yoga is a worthwhile activity as the “goal of yoga is to benefit your mental well-being,” Isabella said.

This means too, that yoga should not be compared to competitive sports at Bishop’s. “It’s definitely not a competitive sport, but yoga in general isn’t a competitive sport. It’s one of those sports that is meant for your physical as well as mental health,” Isabella said.

Yoga Club member Ellise Lee (‘24) agreed, “It doesn’t need to be viewed on the same level as some competitive sport. We’re not water polo, tennis, or I don’t know, whatever other good sports there are here.” 

Despite what some may have said about the club, members have reported results such as improved flexibility and endurance in holding yoga poses (which is harder than it seems). Ellise said, “I think I can touch my toes. Like if I force myself for a second, you know? But I still can’t do the splits…not that I was particularly aiming to do that through yoga.” 

Bianca said, “Towards the end of the first year that I did it, I was closer to touching my toes. I still can’t. I think no matter how much I stretch, I just don’t think it’s gonna happen.”

Over the summer, Isabella completed the 200-hour Summer Intensive Teacher Training program at Prana Yoga in La Jolla. It was an intense program, lasting only a couple of weeks, but packing in a lot of training sessions and other requirements. Her days at the studio started at 9am and finished at 7pm, Isabella explained.

In comparison, “the yoga at Bishop’s is pretty chill. It’s just kind of shaking it up after sitting in a chair all day, so it’s kind of nice for the physical aspect. It focuses a lot on mental health as well,” Isabella said.

These “chill” periods are valuable to students. “It’s a very peaceful, relaxing wind down part of my day,” Olivia shared.

Isabella explained that the relaxing properties of practicing yoga are helpful for student well-being because “the more you do yoga, you don’t even realize it, but you just subconsciously become more relaxed. It’s just a really comfortable and chill place to reflect on how your day has been and what you want to improve on and all that stuff. And just like being in the moment.”

Another benefit of the Bishop’s Yoga Club is that it enables students to get a P.E. credit for their exercise with little skill and lower commitment requirements than other sports at school. “Yoga is a lot more welcoming to all skill levels. I think it’s important to have a space where anybody can participate and still get the credits that they need, while also still doing a sport,” Olivia explained.

“I feel like yoga was exactly what I wanted to get out of an athletics credit. It was enjoyable and I got a little bit of exercise,” Bianca said.

If you’re interested in joining the Yoga Club, the group meets on the lawn across from the sixth grade area and adjacent to the Alumni Courtyard, weather permitting. The club welcomes newcomers and all interested community members. Olivia described the ambience of a class, emphasizing the community aspect, “I try to keep it in a circle, so it’s very social. Some people split off and end up just talking in their own groups. But we try to keep it a nice group activity.”

The teacher of the day, one of the co-leaders, “pretty much just takes the group through yoga poses, and we chat about our day and we talk about just whatever comes to mind,” added Bianca. “Oh, and we also take attendance. That’s very important.”

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About the Contributor
Emeraude Westlake
Emeraude Westlake, Content Editor
Emeraude is a senior and this is her second year on The Tower. This year, she is a Content Editor and she loves covering campus events and trends. Along with writing, Emeraude enjoys creating art, watching (and making!) movies, and eating food. She is on the Varsity Cross Country and Soccer team and every night, she will laugh over an episode of Modern Family with her family. 

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