Bishop Noll introduces its first yoga club

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Miss Rebecca Dostanti, science department chair and biology teacher, has been practicing yoga for approximately 7 years and has brought the spiritual and ascetic discipline to BNI during Friday morning SRTs.
As a certified instructor with Yoga Alliance, Dostatni went through a 7 month (200 hour) yoga teacher training program last year. This training required taking at least two yoga classes per week, attending weekend trainings, observing different yoga classes, practicing student teach, reading, and completing assignments. After completion, Dostatni earned the certification of RYT 200 in April 2017.
She began her instructionist career at a studio in Crown Point, but currently teaches at the YMCA in Whiting, while subbing periodically at Yoga on 45th in Highland.
When asked why she chose to be- come a yoga instruction Dostatni said, “I wanted to become a yoga instructor because I felt I already had some of the necessary skills like teaching ability, human anatomy knowledge, and body awareness from my dance training. I also love yoga and wanted to share it with more people!”
The idea of a yoga club then began in the 2017-2018 school year when Liz Buksa, junior, now senior, inspired Dostanti to start the club. Dostatni had been instructing yoga for a few months when Buksa asked her to bring her instruction to BNI and start a club last year.
However, due to her schedule the 2018-2019 school year ended up being the best time to start the club. She expressed that starting the club this year worked out better and had an open approval from administration by saying, “Mrs. Pastrick is also very supportive and encouraged me to offer yoga to the students.”
Although Miss Dostatni has been an instructor for a little over a year, her love for fitness and yoga go way back. She first became interested in yoga years ago after trying Pilates. She later realized her dance background made it easy to transition to the practice. Ever since, yoga has been a part of her life and has allowed her to get more into an active life. A few years ago, she became interested in running; the stretching of yoga in between workouts helped her recover and balance the impacts running had on her body. Meanwhile, the meditation aspect of yoga helped her mind become stronger.
Dostatni explains the impact the adoption of specific bodily posture, meditation, and breathing control have on her life by saying, “Holding a challenging yoga pose for a long time can be tough, but it trains your mind to not give up. Yoga meditation also reminds me that I need to focus on the “present” more and not worry about the past or future.”
So far, the club members believe Dostanti’s open mind and positivity create a welcoming atmosphere for the BNI Yoga Club. Dostatni explains yoga is all inclusive and open to anyone regardless of age, gender, ability. She furthermore explains inclusivity and neutrality by saying there is no difference in teaching high school students versus adults. She rather emphasizes that a different experience comes with catering to the needs of the people in the class that day. And while a typical SRT yoga class is approximately 30 minutes of yoga and meditation, that usually starts and ends with meditation, it offers a series of different poses that focus on different muscle groups for strength, stretch, and balance to benefit the dif- ferent students taking the class.
The goals and hopes for the club include students continuing to make time for yoga and new students giving it a try; meanwhile, potential yoga club merch could be in the works.
Dostatni invites everyone to participate in Yoga Club. Anyone can join the Friday morning yoga classes including all students and any faculty or staff members who are free during SRT. Students just need get a pass from her earlier in the week. The classes doesn’t require any fancy equipment or specific clothing: students just wear comfortable clothes to school, meet in the small gym after checking in with their SRT teacher, and bring a mat if they have one.

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