Hanging upside down from the ceiling, doing flips and meditating in a hammock. This is antigravity yoga (AGY) and it is one of the newest workout classes that Westminster College offers.
Introduced to Westminster by instructor Tamer Begum, AGY has only been offered as a class for a year. Begum has since graduated and left AGY in the hands of his sister, freshman Trianna Serene. She is continuing the work that her brother began.
“It’s a really big responsibility,” said Serene about taking over after her brother. “Everyone knew Tamer Begum and now coming up after him, it feels empowering. I feel like a celebrity a little bit.”
Amelia Matthews, a junior education major, took AGY last year under Begum’s instruction. Matthews says that Begum was great at introducing AGY not only to Westminster as a whole, but in his individual classes as well. Knowing that AGY is now under Serene’s instruction, Matthews said that although she has anxious feelings towards taking the class, she is also excited.
“Tamer was so well known around campus that now that there is someone new here, it is going to be a transition,” Matthews said.
|Antigravity Yoga is available to all students, faculty, staff and alumni.Sign up for classes at Eccles’ Health Wellness and Athletic Center.
Wednesdays 8 Week Session
Sundays 5 Week Session
In March of this year, Serene became a certified AGY instructor in New York. While training with AGY creator Christopher Harrison and 14-year instructor Shelly Bomb, Serene worked on the restorative, calming serenity of AGY. She hopes to expand on this aspect of AGY while working with the students of Westminster, as well as continue with the fun and exciting style to get students excited.
“I’m playing upbeat, Top 40 music from Lady Gaga, Rihanna and what’s hot right now to get students excited,” she said. “I want students to leave feeling that their spirit is higher than when they came in.”
Apart from the music and making people feel wonderful, Serene said that AGY has great health benefits. These include releasing hormones like dopamine, to the brain. She said that is also provides spine decompression. AGY helps the overall emotional, physical and spiritual wellness and healthiness of one’s self, she said.
“Trianna is a great fit to the Health and Wellness Community,” said Traci Siriprathane, the Director of Fitness, Wellness, and Recreation. Siriprathane had talked with Begum last year about a replacement instructor, and was planning to have his cousin take over. When there was a conflict with the plan, Serene stepped up to the plate to take on the task to continue where Begum left off. Siriprathane said that there was no fear in the prospect of AGY fizzling out just because Begum was graduating.
Many new students have only heard about AGY from word of mouth from returning students. Ana Malevanov, a freshman Psychology Major, has heard of AGY from upper classman. She said that the general impression of the class is positive.
“I’m excited about the class and I would like to take it at some point because I have heard so many great things about it,” says Malevanov. “I really think it would be cool to hang upside down from the ceiling.”
Serene hopes to have the Westminster students come into her class and achieve their goals. “I want to really encourage them and have them become their highest self and have who they really are come out,” she said.
AGY has only been at Westminster for a short time and with a new instructor comes transition and excitement. Serene is enthusiastic, encouraging and wants to welcome Westminster students into her classes and show them how high them can soar.