UVA Alumna Creates a Yoga Observe for College students Like Her

The Contemplative Sciences Center defines flourishing as “[realizing] well-currently being by attaining deep states of wellbeing and actualization of prospective in all factors of daily life, as properly as to actively contribute to the nicely-currently being and flourishing of other folks, other communities, and the normal world.” 

“At UVA, I did a large amount of investigation on double consciousness,” Epperson reported. “Coupled with my African American research diploma, I appreciated to discover about how, as a Black woman, persons understand me and how I understand other individuals.

“That’s why I like to teach yoga, for the reason that I uncover concepts like these extremely malleable to everyone’s daily life and straightforward to introduce as a result of these methods,” she said.

The Contemplative Sciences Centre hosts a range of reflective courses that use procedures from numerous cultural techniques, which includes ashtanga yoga, tai chi and yin yoga. While most courses are open up to all college students, some plans have particular concentrate on audiences in mind, like procedures for scholar-athletes, intercontinental students and folks of coloration. 

“Santosha for Sisters” is just one of those people applications. It is a important part of Epperson’s Flourishing Even though Black initiative, a series of lessons aimed at promoting entry to healthier life and engagement with new wellness tactics in the Black group at UVA. 

“Flourishing Though Black has a few pillars to it,” Epperson explained. “The 1st is producing a perception of belonging in this neighborhood of Black contemplative practitioners. No. 2 is cultivating compassion for by yourself and other beings. And and lastly, the program is meant to interact [members] in a vast range of practices.” 

In her purpose, Epperson is dependable for creating and teaching yoga systems and evaluating their reaction. While the Contemplative Sciences Middle hosts a number of programs intended for all pupils, Epperson’s target is on developing wellness teams for underrepresented groups at the College. To Epperson, producing programming that suits the certain requires of particular individuals is a lot more impactful than only working with a just one-dimension-matches-all method.  

“There is a very distinctive variance between stating persons are welcomed in a space versus telling somebody a space was created for them,” Epperson claimed. “That is why I made Flourishing Though Black, to actually cater to the Black inhabitants at UVA.” 

She’s been doing work toward this purpose considerably of her lifetime.

At 14, Epperson took an desire in mindfulness and brain-body yoga movements. Over the decades, she was uncovered to numerous yoga philosophies, including Ahimsa, the basic principle of refraining from harm. Another philosophy Epperson was launched to was Santosha. 

Santosha, a Sanskrit phrase that about translates to “contentment,” is 1 of the five guiding ideas of yoga meant to really encourage inner peace. The idea of Santosha is not to encourage complete contentment in daily life, but to persuade the acceptance of one’s instances for what they are. 

During her time as a UVA undergraduate, Epperson taught leisure health lessons and was the head chair for Sistahs Get Healthy, an initiative by the Office environment of African-American Affairs to encourage wholesome practices and resources for Black pupils.

Just after graduating, Epperson done a 200-hour Registered Yoga Teacher coaching system in March 2020, making it possible for her to last but not least teach yoga as an instructor. 

Epperson stated Black students, Indigenous learners and other learners of coloration gain from “spaces wherever they can genuinely not experience viewed or judged, the selection to costume how they like instead of what is ‘acceptable’ or to uphold specified ‘aesthetics,’ to listen to new music and accents that remind them of household, and to come to feel safe and sound sufficient to be susceptible.

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