Breathe, Stretch, Shake…Let it Go
This upcoming fall, Frostburg State University (FSU) will be offering PHEC 490: Special Topics in Health and Physical Education, a three-credit course taught by Suanne Lewis.
PHEC 490 will include activity, lecture, and discussion of traditional Eastern health and wellness practices. Some of these practices include yoga, Qi Gong, T’ai Chi, as well as focused breathing and meditative techniques.
Lewis has instructed Tai Chi Chih for almost 16 years, yoga for about 9 years and Qi Gong for nearly 20 years. She is a certified Tai Chi Chih and Seijaku instructor and a certified Level 1 yoga instructor. With these skills, she will most definitely be a great instructor for this course.
A popular exercise, yoga, is the physical, mental, and spiritual practice developed in India to help one identify themselves and find a peace of mind. Another relaxing exercise, Qi Gong is a traditional Chinese practice that include several elements to help stimulate the body such as self-massage. There is also T’ai Chi Chih, which is a practice made up of a set of 19 movements to develop intrinsic energy.
This year is Lewis’ first time teaching at a university and she is excited to bring awareness to FSU. She said, “It [the exercises] gives you a higher level of awareness of your body to determine who you are and how you feel.”
Research has proven these practices are great for stress, focusing, and relaxing the body. “Being able to slow down and chill [is a benefit from these practices],” said Lewis.
Lewis said, “I used to work at a psychiatric hospital, and we used to have a serenity room for the patients and staff, and we would learn these practices for recovery and stress.”
Her favorite practice is yoga. She said, “I do yoga everyday to help with injuries I have gotten from hard on the body exercises.” She added, “I use it as my coping mechanism.” Lewis also pointed out, “[Research suggests] yoga is being used for students who have attention and behavioral problems.”
Because these practices are used for the benefit of the mind, body, and spirit, Lewis thought it will be great to teach students these techniques. “They can use these for wellness and their professions,” said Lewis.
This fall, Lewis plans to teach Qi Gong, breathing techniques, simple yoga techniques, T’ai Chi, and T’ai Chi Chih. She wants to include a lecture, discussion, and activity during each class so students can “be engaged” and have hands on experience. “It is important for them [students] to learn how their body moves,” said Lewis.
The course will include a few quizzes and exams on basic information, as well as a final paper presentation. “I will want them to do research on a practice that interests them,” remarked Lewis.
This fall, PHEC 490 will have one section at 9:30 a.m. on Tuesdays and Thursdays in Cordts P.E. Center. The room location has not been determined yet. This beneficial course does not require any prerequisites and any student can enroll.
Although the time may be early, Lewis said, “This will give the students a chance to develop energy for the rest of their day.”
With this new course, students better be ready to breathe, stretch, shake, and let it go! For more information, contact Suanne Lewis at Suanne.firstname.lastname@example.org.