Written by Lizbeth Rodriguez-Diep
Junior marketing major Nathalia Levterova conducts a yoga wellness class at the Hulsey Wellness Center at Southern from 7 to 7:30 a.m, Monday through Thursday.
Her goal is to provide community, flexibility and — most importantly, a spiritual start to the day.
“I hope that people will leave feeling less stressed than when they walked in,” Levterova said.
Daren Bissell, the facilities manager at Hulsey, approached Levterova with the opportunity when she was a first-year student. Levterova said Bissell knew she was a part of Gym-Masters and thought she might enjoy the position. Levterova accepted the role.
Levterova became a certified yoga instructor through a Christian company and began teaching this past August. Becoming certified was a step closer to achieving her life goal of opening a holistic wellness living center that shares a space with a coffee shop and offers free counseling sessions to the community.
In addition, Levterova wants to create a spiritual environment where members who are not yet Christian can meet God. She said her job at Hulsey is a small sneak peek of her vision and prepares her for all she wants to do in the future.
Levterova sets up her studio time with inspirational Christian music, prayer and yoga mats.
“I find it crazy that I get paid to do what I love and workout with friends,” Levterova said.
Two of Levterova’s friends that join the early morning class are junior nursing major Dante Dornburg and junior nursing major Hamilton Hosteter. Both said they have heavy schedules due to nursing school, yet they intentionally choose to carve out time to exercise before tackling clinicals, big tests and lectures. Dornburg said he began to attend this class because he wanted to try something new and believed it to be a great way to start off his day.
“[The class] is pretty cool…” Dornburg said. “I have learned that my balance sucks and now I am so much more flexible because I do it consistently. If you can’t work out, stretch.”
Hosteter said the class has driven him to exercise more.
“[The class] has motivated me to stretch more, [even] outside of this class,” Hosteter said. “I take basic tumbling, so I need to stretch out anyways.”
Levterova said she chose a morning time slot because it keeps her accountable for waking up early and having a solid morning routine. Knowing she has people waiting and depending on her also inspires her.
Levterova said every day has a different emphasis depending on who shows up. Some days are restorative while others are high or low intensity.
Participants can benefit from the class by increasing their flexibility, expanding their community, recharging spiritually and lowering their stress, according to Levterova.