Take a look into the life of Mr. Bobby Fresh and Mrs. Kate O’Malley as they take us on a journey of the mind, body and spirit and into the depths of our soul. Yoga is a form of exercise that focuses on breathing and self discipline. However, for many of the staff and students […]
Take a look into the life of Mr. Bobby Fresh and Mrs. Kate O’Malley as they take us on a journey of the mind, body and spirit and into the depths of our soul.
Yoga is a form of exercise that focuses on breathing and self discipline. However, for many of the staff and students of Christian Brothers, it is a way of life that helps them to deal with the everyday stress and struggles of life.
The Mind and Body Fitness class here is an elective available to juniors and seniors and has been taught by Mr. Bobby Fresques since 2001.
“I started teaching yoga because It was a course we had here at CB that was in need of a teacher,” Mr. Fresques says.”
“I still recall when Ms. Jill Bennett, who was our PE Department Chair, asked if anyone was willing to teach yoga. I was the only one to raise my hand. Mr. Joe Gill and Mr. Troy Taylor [past faculty members] had no interest,” he laughs.
The class is a peaceful and relaxing period, giving upper division students a chance to break away from the stress of a busy day of school.
After around 35 minutes of stretching and core workouts, upper division students in the class get about 10 minutes of Savasana, a meditative state of relaxation where people reflect and focus on their breathing.
Mr. Fresques quite literally got into yoga by accident.
“My back surgeon recommended Yoga to alleviate a lot of problems I was having due to a broken back from playing College, World League and Arena football,” he shares. “As I was getting older, I noticed that I couldn’t do all the things I use to do when I was younger — my body was breaking down. But I still wanted to live an active lifestyle.”
Mrs. Kate O’Malley who works in the learning commons and as a substitute teacher is also a licensed yoga instructor.
Mrs. O’Malley started her yoga practice over ten years ago.
“It became bigger than that the longer I practiced, and I realized it really is a practice of mind, body, and spirit.”
Mrs. O’Malley also teaches yoga classes as part of her yogic journey.
“My goal was to be able to bring yoga to groups that hadn’t experienced yoga before, and along the way I realized yoga really is for everyone,” she says. “I like to challenge people to go where they’ve never gone before, with yoga.”
There are many different benefits to regular yogic exercise such as,strengthening core and balance. The physical strengths are not the only rewards one can gain through this exercise.
“It’s also a good way to go inside your head and connect with your own higher power,” says Mrs. O’Malley.
“The benefits of yoga are numerous,” Mr. Fresques says. “Naturally I have had an increase in flexibility that brings more integrity to my joints and makes me less prone to acute injuries.
“But, I’ve also noticed the strength in my muscles, especially my core. Lastly, I’ve been able to increase my focus and eliminate distractions by meditating on the breathing techniques. Some of the other benefits, especially for older people better, balance and coordination.”
To anyone who may be hesitant, both Mr. Fresques and Mrs. O’Malley have some words of wisdom.
“Every person coming into yoga says, ‘I’m not flexible,’ but that’s why you’re in yoga,” she says. “So I tell them to just be open to the experience.”
“You’ll never be able to do anything if you don’t try,” adds Mr. Fresques. “The only way someone will find out if they like yoga is by taking a class. Yoga is for everybody and every body.”