UVA Alumna Produces a Yoga Practice for College students Like Her

The Contemplative Sciences Centre defines flourishing as “[realizing] perfectly-being by acquiring deep states of wellbeing and actualization of likely in all features of everyday living, as well as to actively contribute to the nicely-getting and flourishing of other individuals, other communities, and the natural environment.” 

“At UVA, I did a ton of exploration on double consciousness,” Epperson stated. “Coupled with my African American experiments diploma, I preferred to discover about how, as a Black girl, people today perceive me and how I understand other persons.

“That’s why I like to educate yoga, for the reason that I come across ideas like these quite malleable to everyone’s daily life and easy to introduce by way of these tactics,” she claimed.

The Contemplative Sciences Heart hosts a vary of reflective programs that use methods from several cultural methods, which include ashtanga yoga, tai chi and yin yoga. While most plans are open to all pupils, some packages have specific concentrate on audiences in thoughts, like methods for university student-athletes, intercontinental students and folks of colour. 

“Santosha for Sisters” is one of those applications. It’s a essential ingredient of Epperson’s Flourishing Although Black initiative, a series of courses aimed at advertising access to nutritious life and engagement with new wellness strategies in the Black local community at UVA. 

“Flourishing When Black has a few pillars to it,” Epperson reported. “The initially is developing a feeling of belonging in this neighborhood of Black contemplative practitioners. No. 2 is cultivating compassion for you and other beings. And and lastly, the program is intended to have interaction [members] in a extensive assortment of procedures.” 

In her function, Epperson is accountable for building and educating yoga packages and examining their response. Although the Contemplative Sciences Middle hosts a number of systems created for all pupils, Epperson’s emphasis is on generating wellness teams for underrepresented teams at the College. To Epperson, building programming that fits the distinct needs of sure individuals is far more impactful than only applying a 1-sizing-suits-all approach.  

“There is a really distinctive big difference among stating people are welcomed in a room compared to telling someone a area was made for them,” Epperson reported. “That is why I created Flourishing Even though Black, to definitely cater to the Black inhabitants at UVA.” 

She’s been working towards this intention a lot of her lifestyle.

At 14, Epperson took an interest in mindfulness and brain-entire body yoga movements. Around the a long time, she was uncovered to several yoga philosophies, which includes Ahimsa, the principle of refraining from harm. A different philosophy Epperson was introduced to was Santosha. 

Santosha, a Sanskrit term that approximately translates to “contentment,” is just one of the five guiding rules of yoga intended to really encourage internal peace. The thought of Santosha is not to promote absolute happiness in lifestyle, but to persuade the acceptance of one’s circumstances for what they are. 

In the course of her time as a UVA undergraduate, Epperson taught leisure fitness lessons and was the head chair for Sistahs Get Healthy, an initiative by the Business of African-American Affairs to endorse healthy habits and methods for Black college students.

Soon after graduating, Epperson concluded a 200-hour Registered Yoga Teacher teaching method in March 2020, allowing for her to lastly teach yoga as an teacher. 

Epperson explained Black learners, Indigenous learners and other pupils of colour gain from “spaces exactly where they can genuinely not feel watched or judged, the choice to gown how they like instead of what is ‘acceptable’ or to uphold certain ‘aesthetics,’ to listen to songs and accents that remind them of dwelling, and to really feel safe adequate to be vulnerable.

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