UMass Boston's independent, student-run newspaper

The Mass Media

The Mass Media

The Mass Media

2-26-24 PDF
February 26, 2024
An inside look at Bobby B. Beacon’s insides. Illustrated by Bianca Oppedisano/ Mass Media Staff.
Bobby's Inside Story
February 26, 2024

Namaste, Beacons

photo by Ed Timmons


Imagine that you got up super early in the morning and commuted to school with heavy traffic. Classes are long, but your patience is short.  It feels like you can’t breathe. Being under constant pressure as a student, you are seeking a moment of escapade from the stress of everyday life. Maybe, it is time to give yoga a try. Plus, it is free at Beacon Fitness Center.

“…let any worries or obligations melt away, give yourself the gift of using this next hour to focus only on what is happening inside,” the instructor Chris Loomis utters, while opening the yoga session. BFC offers free yoga classes for UMB students with 3 different styles and 10 sessions a week.

“The benefits of a regular yoga practice are many and very profound,” Loomis continued. “We gain increased blood flow, healthy range of motion in all joints of the body, increased flexibility and strength, increased muscle tone, decreased heart rate and decreased blood pressure, to name a few.”

Practicing yoga over 20 years, Loomis spreads deep inner peace and physical well being by teaching her students increase their awareness of the mind/body connection through alignment and breath.

“I really appreciate the moments of relaxation during yoga practices,” said Maria Bekhtereva, a senior in Accounting. “Yoga makes me feel better. Also,yoga works in resolving some minor health issues, such as tight neck and shoulders.”

Maria is also taking Modern Dance classes at Performing Arts Department. According to her, yoga can also be a way to prepare your body to other physical practices.

“Yoga helps you to develop flexibility,” Maria continued. “Yoga instructors always suggest students to go through all the exercises at their own pace and ability. So muscles are stretching very safely and only within your comfortable zone.”

Maria feels less stressed and more relaxed after each yoga class, especially when it is warm outside. “When the weather is good enough, yoga classes are held outside right on the water front,” she explained, “There is not a better place to practice yoga, given our perfect location on campus!”

Breaking the mold, certainly not the flexible type that one is programmed to expect from a yoga person, there is Aaron Tsoi, a UMB junior in Criminal Justice. 

Calling himself a “gym rat” with a little smile, Aaron is the kind of jacked guys that you would not be surprised to see doing 100 push-ups without a break.

“I started taking yoga during the middle of my fall semester,” said Aaron, “I was running 21 miles a week, so i was looking for a class that could teach me different ways to stretch my muscles.”

“I was getting bored of my routine of weights and cardio,” Aaron continued, “Our yoga instructor provides a new routine to each class, which makes it exciting.”

For Aaron, yoga is helping him beyond a series of stretches, poses and all that ups and downs: “Yoga is a life style for me now. I use to have trouble sleeping, but the meditation technique that I have learned through yoga has helped get some good night’s rest.”

Yoga helps people relax and heal through breathing and stretching. However, yoga itself can’t breathe and stretch anymore on campus. There is no room.

Maria, Aaron and other beacon yogis agree that the actual room at BFC does not meet the optimum requirements for yoga practice. It is too cold, too small and too loud,” they said.  

A better yoga room does not seem possible, even in long term. Abbey Lade, Health & Fitness Program Manager at BFC, acknowledged regretfully: “Converting a room into a yoga studio is not feasible, because BFC is small and we have to use it for multi-purposes.”

 ”Everyone is fighting for space on campus,” continued Lade, drawing the bigger picture behind most of the athletic challenges on campus. “Not only BFC but also Clark Athletic Center is out premium. Sometimes athletic activities have to compete with classes and conferences in order to get a spot.”

Another slightly relaxing, slightly challenging hour ends, while yoga instructor Chris Loomis closes the session with a bow. UMB yogis bow back to her, while trying to be un-tuned to constant fall of weights and techno music roaring from the gym.