Posted 1 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 1, 2023
Exercise and sport science students can earn credit through local yoga course
Doing yoga for college credit may sound too good to be true.
But a new partnership between UW-La Crosse and The Yoga Place, a downtown La Crosse yoga studio, allows students to do exactly that.
Beginning Friday, Oct. 6, UWL exercise and sport science students can take a course on Iyengar Yoga — a type of yoga focusing on anatomical alignment — to earn independent study credit as well as invaluable field experience.
Although the course is open to all who would like to enroll, it has particularly strong applications for UWL students pursuing careers related to health, fitness and coaching.
“Students come to yoga for many different reasons,” says Pam Starcher, owner and instructor at The Yoga Place. “Some want to stretch and become more flexible. Some start because of an injury or ailment, such as a bad back. Sometimes, a friend or a doctor recommends they try yoga. And some want to find relief from the stress of their lives.
“All of these things are benefits of regular yoga practice: strength, flexibility, balance, body and mind awareness, and stress management.”
Starcher says The Yoga Place employs a traditional approach to yoga, honoring the ancient Indian practice.
Instructors teach a method known as Iyengar Yoga, which places thoughtful emphasis on detail, precision and alignment in the performance of yoga positions.
It was named for the late B.K.S. Iyengar, one of the world’s foremost yoga gurus, who dedicated his life to studying the physical, artistic, scientific and philosophical aspects of the ancient practice.
“It is a very scientific and yet creative process in which I have witnessed tremendous growth physically, mentally and spiritually,” says The Yoga Place instructor Rachel Frazee. Frazee, ’06 & ’09, holds two degrees from UWL: a bachelor’s in exercise and sport science and a master’s in human performance.
“As the world changes and shifts, yoga is the practice that grounds me, helps me reflect and brings me back to equanimity,” Frazee says. “I hope to shine light on this ageless and timeless subject.”
Starcher adds: “I love to see students progress in their practice and discover the practice beyond the physical benefits. The light when they realize: ‘This is different. This isn’t what I thought yoga was — it’s much more.’ ”
The course, “The Study of Yoga and Yoga Practice,” runs from Oct. 6 to Dec. 1. Participants will meet from 1 to 3 p.m. on Fridays at The Yoga Place, 444 Main St., Ste. 204.