from the department of communication, harding university

Stress relief: HUF professor teaches students to relax
Written by Sammi Bjelland   
Sunday, 28 March 2010 15:22

FLORENCE, Italy — Students studying abroad may be overwhelmed with the extensive traveling and culture shock. However, students at Harding University in Florence have a way to relieve the stress.

Teresa McLeod is a professor at HUF this semester and director of disability services on the Searcy campus. McLeod’s yoga class has become very popular amongst this semester's HUF students.


Play the video below to hear students talk about the yoga class.


McLeod, 55, started taking yoga classes to keep herself in shape. She is a cancer survivor and, after experiencing the benefits of yoga, decided to share them with others. She took courses in Fayetteville, Ark., on how to teach others the art of yoga. She made the three-and-a-half-hour drive from Searcy to Fayetteville 17 times that year, but said it was well worth her time.



"I love teaching people yoga. I've taught 9-year-olds all the way up to ladies of 94," McLeod said.


According to, yoga has several physical benefits. It promotes better posture, improves flexibility and releases lactic acid that can cause stiffness and pain. McLeod advocates the health aspect of yoga, but believes this class is not only physically beneficial but also spiritually uplifting.


"It does enhance your spiritual walk, whereever you are in that walk. It helps you regroup, get to know yourself better, and even the bible says to be still and know that I am God," McLeod said.


Although the purpose of the class is for exercise, many of the students said their favorite part is after the actual work out. At the end of the class McLeod turns on soothing music and gives the students time to relax.


"She comes around and massages our necks, and it's just like the ultimate peace. It's so nice," John Mark Adkison, a student in the class, said.


The class has become so popular that McLeod now hosts three classes of 11 students at the Villa. She has also had several guests come to join the class.


"I've had Syvia, the secretary here, and Kyle, the assistant director. Some of the ladies from the bible school have come to yoga. And even the cooks upstairs, our Italian cooks," McLeod said.


For those interested in yoga, McLeod said, "I wish I had discovered it sooner, better late than never. Yoga is something you can do for the rest of your life."

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