Mon | Nov 20, 2017

Jamaica Moves takes yoga to university freshers

Published:Monday | September 4, 2017 | 12:00 AM
Yoga instructor Tanisha Hibbert assists Prestonite Bridget Francis into the seated Forward Fold.
Prestonites doing the Downward Dog.
Final-year Prestonite Azaria Yogenoran from London in the Revolving Chair Twist.
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Fresh out of high school, the transition to university is a difficult adjustment for some students.

On Friday, August 25, residents of the Aston Preston Hall on the University of the West Indies (UWI), Mona campus, woke up to Yoga in the Morning, executed through the Jamaica Moves programme. It was one hour of gentle stretching, meditation and breathing techniques led by yoga instructor Tanisha Hibbert. Yoga has emerged as an important health, behaviour lifestyle change module to achieve holistic health at the physical, mental, emotional, social and spiritual levels. With the strain of academic life, yoga has been used by university students worldwide to tackle issues such as depression, anxiety and other personal and social challenges.

In an effort to educate students at the UWI about non-communicable diseases (NCD) and the associated risk factors, Jamaica Moves will be partnering with the Student Services and Development Manager on the Aston Preston Hall to launch its Wednesday Wellness Workout this month. The Wednesday Wellness Workout will consist of a series of physical, spiritual, social and intellectual activities that will help to target the problem areas in the life of a university student. The activities offered will include meal planning, nutrition, health and wellness talks, socacize, power aerobics, aerobics, zumba, body sculpting, yoga, and 5K runs.

The programme will not only attempt to encourage fitness and facilitate healthy eating among students, but also to help them navigate through issues of loving and accepting themselves and pursuing their true passions as they journey to becoming distinctive UWI graduate.

Jamaica Moves is the country's coordinated national response to the increased number of NCDs in the island. Through education, engagement and the building of supportive environments, the programme hopes to reduce NCDs by 25 per cent by 2025.

So far, the programme has been gaining national attention since its launch in April. In July, it branched out to communities through its all island tours, which kicked off in Cornwall and has so far made stops at Water Square in Falmouth, Dump-Up Beach in Montego Bay, and Watson Taylor Park in Hanover. The fourth Jamaica Moves Road Tour will take place in Westmoreland on September 14.