I might be the only person to cry at a yoga class. Most people find moments of Zen and relaxation, but me? Nope, I get frustrated and cry. Yoga hates me. Or maybe I hate yoga. All I know is that while I am very flexible, I don’t think my body is made for yoga. Either my arms are too short, or my back is too hyperextended, or because my ICD feels icky in some poses — whatever the reason, yoga and I are not friends.
Don’t get me wrong, I love a good workout class, so I thought yoga would be a piece of cake. But it’s just not for me. I know it’s an incredible stress reliever and body strengthener for so many people, which is awesome. Everyone needs to find their own thing that brings them inner peace.
Luckily, visual yoga and I are great friends. What is visual yoga? Well, a few months back when my colleagues and I were working on a video of spring sights and sounds on campus, one of them called it visual yoga when we viewed the final product. It was the perfect description — a treat for the eyes and soothing for the soul, especially at a time when many people couldn’t physically be on campus to experience it.
Since so many people loved that video, we produced one in the summer and just finished up one for fall. There’s nothing like autumn at MSU, and this year was even more special because we all got to be here together again. I know it’s been a busy time of year for so many of us, so do yourself a favor and take one minute and check out 60 seconds of Spartan autumn. Your psyche will thank you for it.
Fall colors came awfully late this year, but it didn’t make them any less brilliant. If you need more calming visuals, there’s more beauty in this week’s photo gallery.
And while our campus is one of the most beautiful places you can find, we are so much more than a pretty face. The work that goes on at MSU is changing the world for the better. Every week, I hear about amazing research and innovative work happening here. Like finding ways to connect vehicles for safer mobility and a new autonomous bus.
We’re also studying seasonal affective disorder, which is important as our days feel shorter. We’re researching how bacteria communicate and probing atoms and neutron stars. Our faculty is changing lives through a documentary that’s helped halt deportations of military veterans.
Speaking of veterans, tomorrow is Veterans Day. We honor all those who served and aim to support Spartan veterans through scholarships and programs. If you’re interested in showing your gratitude and making a difference, check out the projects you can support.
Michael Dease, professor of jazz trombone, is a first-generation college graduate, committed to supporting students who share similar backgrounds. He’s an incredible artist and an inspiring mentor. Learn more about his academic journey and work in his Faculty voice: Removing the armor.
Whether you find yoga, jazz, beautiful fall sights or maybe even scientific research the inspiration that helps you relax, make sure you find something that works for you. The world is challenging and moving at breakneck speed. We all have the power to have a positive impact on others, but sometimes it’s most important to have a positive impact on yourselves. Slow down, take a deep breath, be kind to yourselves. Then, be kind to others. Spartans Will.