Rutgers students decompress outdoors with Yoga at The Yard


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Photo by Yosef Serkez |

Every Sunday, The Yard @ College Avenue welcomes students to get down(ward dog) with free outdoor yoga. Through breath control, meditation and simple poses, the classes offer a unique way for students to de-stress on campus.


Every Sunday morning, members of the Rutgers community can relax with Sunday morning yoga at the Yard @ College Avenue. The yoga classes start at 10:30 a.m. and are free for students and New Brunswick residents. With mats provided, students can decompress and come together using the Hindu spiritual discipline. 

Yoga includes breath control, simple meditation and the adoption of specific bodily postures and is widely practiced for health and relaxation.

Ashley Greene, a School of Arts and Sciences senior, said she would love to attend Sunday morning yoga at the Yard.

“I was just doing yoga from an online class, but I had no real instructor. It would be nice to do it outside and with a group,” she said.

Greene said having an instructor is a real benefit, as they can help improve on form.

Yoga can really help students destress throughout the semester, she said.

“It’s kind of like during finals when there are puppies at the library to help students de-stress,” Greene said.

Events created by Stressbuster, part of Student Affairs, are held in Rutgers libraries during finals and help students decompress from their academic requirements. Last December, Bright & Beautiful Therapy Dogs, Rutgers University Seeing Eye Puppy Raising Club, Creature Comfort Pet Therapy and pet therapy sessions came to help students deal with the stress of finals. 

“I think it’s a great thing that Rutgers is offering yoga every Sunday. College is really stressful and this is a good outlet for students,” she said.

Marcus Allen Reynier Pabellon has taught yoga classes at Rutgers in the past.

“I came into yoga because my great aunt asked me to take her class. During that time, November of 2010, I just moved to the U.S. from the Philippines and was in a very distraught state and close to depression,” Pabellon said.

He said after he enjoyed his first, it became a reason for him to get out and do something.

“Now I teach yoga because I want to inspire those willing to accept guidance to help themselves through their practice and even through some hard times,” he said. “I love to teach yoga because once a student becomes open to more guidance, it gives me a chance to help that person get deeper into their practice and incorporate that into their way of life.”

Pabellon said he enjoys seeing his student's body start to improve in their movements and realizing that their minds and perspectives have broadened as well.

Pabellon said when he was at Rutgers he taught about 15-20 people. He now teaches yoga at Robert Wood Johnson, Kinetics Flow, Johnson & Johnson and Bristol Myers Squibb.

“I appreciate those students who come to me and ask questions to see what I have to say and what I think. I am grateful that they genuinely want to learn and are inspired by what I tell them. I want to help people change for the better and eventually be able to stay in a great direction even without guidance,” he said.

Yoga at the Yard is a part of the start of a new era at the College Avenue campus. The Yard is just one part of a larger $330 million redevelopment plan for the campus, according to NJBIZ.com.

Chris Paladino, president of DEVCO, New Brunswick Development Corporation, said the Yard creates a central quad for students.

“This is going to give those kids who use the transportation system a home base," Paladino said. "A place to wait for the bus and do some homework, or get a piece of pizza or a cup of coffee and make the whole community experience between the three campuses more pleasurable.”


Jill Pastor

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