Karen Baker is partnering with the Title IX office to raise awareness of sexual harassment through her Tuesday yoga class.
“Yoga has been used as a type of therapy for people who have gone through different forms of sexual trauma,” said Baker, senior Kinesiology major from Austin. “So it’s really kind of cool to be able to put what I have learned into practice to help other people.”
Originally, they had planned to do just one special class this past Saturday.
“It was the Saturday where it dropped down to 30 degrees, and it was supposed to be an outdoors class, like a sunset class,” Baker said, “but we had to cancel it because it was so cold.”
Because the standalone class was cancelled, Baker said they decided to advertise her regular Tuesday yoga class as part of the April sexual assault awareness month.
“Yoga really emphasizes a mind-body connection, so you’re really having to tune in and pay attention to what you’re doing in certain poses,” Baker said. “If you’re not paying attention to every single muscle movement, every single muscle group, you’re not really using the full expression of the pose, so in my opinion, it’s a lot more mental awareness and being very present in what you are doing.”
Baker has had her license to teach yoga for five years, and she said it has become a huge part of her life since then.
“People always think that you have to be flexible to do yoga, but you do yoga to become flexible,” Baker said. “People are often intimidated by yoga, because they think people are going to be staring at you, but all the insecurities that any one person has going into yoga class, everyone else has the same ones. One of the great things about yoga is whether you’re a couch potato or a professional athlete, there’s a place for everyone to start.”
The class is every Tuesday at 7:30 in the Student Recreation and Wellness Center. Anyone can come with a GroupX pass, which cost $17 for the rest of the year, or with a one day pass for $7. Attendees should bring a mat and a water bottle.