AGO yoga event benefits charity

During midterm week, it’s natural for college students to allow stress to consume their lives. Exams can seem incessant when they are all piling up all at once. That is why the Alpha Kappa Phi Yoga Class Fundraiser came right on time—students were able to release their anxiety through yoga on Tuesday Oct. 6 at the Knight Spot.

AGO charged $2 for admission, but not to pay for yoga instructor senior Alexandra Peraino—instead, all the proceeds went to the International Myeloma Foundation, a nonprofit organization that serves as the leader for myeloma research in the world. Myeloma is a type of cancer where the plasma cells found in the bone marrow become malignant. AGO’s yoga class raised $118 and the sorority raised more money outside of the class.         

“A lot of people paid more than the fee; I have friends who aren’t in AGO who gave me [money] and they didn’t even come, [just because] it’s a good cause,” sophomore Annie Clarke said. Junior Sinead Haegeland agreed with her sorority sister. “We got donations from people who couldn’t go but wanted to give money,” she said.

AGO didn’t host the event just as a stress-reliever, however; the event hit home with the sisters for personal reasons.

“My dad was actually recently diagnosed with myeloma, so I went to [charity chair senior Gretchen Goble] over the summer and said, ‘Hey, I want to figure out a charity event we could do where we could put the proceeds toward myeloma.’” Clarke said. “[Junior Erin Moore] talked to the yoga instructor and they were more than happy to do it for free.”

Peraino turned out to be the ideal instructor, not only because she was hired free-of-charge, but also because she knew how to set a peaceful atmosphere. Immediately, Peraino requested everyone to take off their shoes and to silence their cellphones. Once these worldly possessions were gone, Peraino played serene music.

“Don’t worry about what the person next to you is doing,” Peraino said. “Don’t even worry about what you’re doing. Follow your own body and just do what feels good. Don’t force yourself to do anything.”

Peraino often instructed the class to close their eyes as they did the various yoga positions, such as “warrior one” and “bridge pose.” The class seemed to enjoy everything Peraino coached them to do.

“[Yoga] is something everyone wants to do,” Clarke said. “It’s not a chore—not that charity is ever a chore—but we don’t have to really convince people. Yoga is fun in general.”

“I thought it would basically only be our sorority, but other girls and boys showed up,” Haegeland added. “People like yoga.”

Peraino switched off all but a few lights in the room for the last 10 minutes of the class. “Let go of your practice,” Peraino said. “Let go of your to-do list.”

Students appeared to leave revived and relaxed. With the help of yoga, even the most daunting feats such as handling Geneseo coursework seem much more doable.