The mantra was, “Take a nice, long, deep breath,” as Lenny Barret led members of the faculty and staff through a series of relaxing yoga poses. Every Wednesday, the Office of Multicultural Affairs (OMA), hosts what it calls a “Rejuvenation Break” at the Knowles Chapel. The break is led by Barret, a current Holt student and a certified yoga instructor. The concept of a relaxation class for the faculty and staff was created by Barret, who, according to Rachel Luce, assistant director of OMA, “wanted to thank the faculty and staff for all the hard work they do.” And so, for two semesters, Barret has donated a portion of her time to help the Rollins College faculty relax.
Barret is extremely involved here at Rollins; she is enrolled in the Holt program, and her son is an Arts and Sciences student. Barret was aware that there were yoga classes offered at the Alfond Sports Center, but she wished to offer something a little different, something that would provide techniques on relaxation to the faculty and staff without taking too much time from their already extra busy schedules. Luce provided an explanation, saying, “[Barret] wanted to do something where the faculty and staff would feel comfortable doing yoga and breathing exercises.” By organizing the Rejuvenation Breaks, the faculty and staff could definitely feel comfortable relaxing privately in the middle of their work day. Barret does these sorts of things for other organizations as well, providing 10-minute relaxation breaks during long business meetings.
While the chapel seems like a strange place to hold a weekly yoga-type class, it was the only available venue Luce and Barret could find during the week. The gym is in constant use between team practices and the steady stream of fitness classes offered for students. While it is true that the classroom gets a little crowded, even with all of the tables and chairs pushed back to the walls, that does not stop people from showing up. Despite the lack of space, the popularity remains high. “People will e-mail me to see if it is still going on,” Luce commented in regard to the popularity of the classes. Still, she firmly believes that the breaks would be even more popular if more space were available, which is why Luce and Barret are currently seeking a new venue for next semester. “I just feel like there would be tons more people if we had more space,” Luce affirmed. Hopefully, they will find a more appropriate venue soon, then Barret can guide even more faculty and staff members into some much-needed relaxation.