San Bernardino Valley College has recently launched “Fitness Fridays,” a weekly yoga class designed for campus staff and faculty. The Professional Development Committee at SBVC started this initiative on October 13 to help release any tension in the body, mind, and spirit for these hard-working campus personnel.

“We want to provide some stress management workshops for employees,” says Rania Hamdy, coordinator of the Professional Development Committee. “For the duration of the year, it will be low impact yoga, breathing exercises, and ways to relax.”

According to the committee, 80% of people feel stress on the job, and 69% of people report physical discomfort due to stress such as headaches and sleep disturbances. Hamdy intends for the weekly class to be an outlet for employees to leave their desks and relax with coworkers.

“It’s something to help connect with other colleagues; everyone has their yoga mat no matter if you are the president of the college or part-time faculty,” she said.

The weekly class will be taught by Danielle Smith, a certified yoga instructor, who has been registered with Yoga Alliance since 2015. Smith utilizes evidence-based stress reduction methods alongside traditional breathing techniques and exercises to promote physical and mental wellbeing. Her teaching style can be described as compassionate, rooted in tradition, and disciplined. Smith seeks to inspire others to establish their own daily health and wellness practices.

Staff and faculty can participate every Friday from 11:15am- 12:15pm in Gym 214. Smith recommends bringing your own yoga mat and exercising in bare feet or slip-resistant socks.