Say Om: Yoga class offered at UF Law
Teresa Drake (JD 94) has done yoga in airports, in the back of airplanes and all over the country. But it was not until last spring that she could say she had done it in the Martin H. Levin Advocacy Center.
As the director of the Intimate Partner Violence Assistance Clinic, she began teaching yoga to clients as a form of self-care. Drake realized law students too could benefit from the stress relief yoga provides.
“If we’re teaching students legal skills, we need to teach them self-care skills,” Drake said. “These students are going to be subject to taking on the problems of their clients. Hopefully this can help them during their time here as well as in their professional careers.”
Yoga is a practice for the body and the mind that helps with stress reduction, body mechanics, circulation and breathing. Drake also believes it makes people more mindful and reconnects the mind and the heart.
Andrea Krkljus (JD 12) used Drake’s class as a break from studying for the bar exam this past summer.
“She makes everybody feel comfortable and welcome,” Krkljus said of Drake. “In our profession, it is so important to learn and practice positive stress-relieving skills. It would make me very happy to see the yoga class continue at UF Law.”
As more students began expressing interest in Drake’s yoga classes, she decided to turn it into an extracurricular activity and hopes to one day have the funding to buy blocks and blankets.
“Too many times people tell me they’re not in good shape or they’re not flexible, so they are embarrassed to try,” Drake said. “Yoga is for everybody. You get your physical workout, your mental clarity, your relaxation and your centering all at once. It’s one-stop shopping.”
The Law Yoga Club: Bringing Students to the Mats meets at noon on Tuesdays and at 4 p.m. on Thursdays in the Advocacy Center lobby. Classes are free and open to students, alumni and faculty. Drake asks that participants bring their own mats.
– Francie Weinberg