Sitting in perhaps the most tranquil corner of Bloomsburg, sipping green tea, with a warm aroma filling the air, I couldn’t help but think what a fitting place this was to meet yoga instructor, Maria Fendrick.
As she walked in, the atmosphere got even more Zen, if that’s possible. She entered with a bright smile, her wavy hair brushing the sides of her face, and her cozy ensemble appeared as though she could jump into downward dog position at any moment.
Frendrick explained how she had been practicing yoga since she was eight or 10 years old, but her reasoning to get more involved with it is probably a surprise to most. Fendrick had once been very dedicated to sprinting and jumping, but she was forced to give up her sport when she tore her ACL.
Some people might still prefer a run around the track over a lengthy yoga class, but Fendrick explained the pros of yoga that college students can really benefit from.
She said that yoga is “a reminder to stay present,” and how as a college student, that’s not something you’re really encouraged to do. According to Fendrick, yoga allows you to tune into your body when your mind is busy running.
For her, it’s mandatory. It “fills the edges of her body.” In the morning, it is as though she is only filling a certain small portion of her body, but after yoga, she feels full.
After attending a few of Maria’s yoga classes, one of the most memorable parts of the experience is definitely the little sayings she preaches throughout. When asked what her favorite one was, she said, “You are whole, you are enough, and you are love.”
You are loved? Not quite. Fendrick said that you can hear it however you need to hear it, but the saying is that “You ARE love.”
This is important, Fendrick said, because it’s not a notion that is really mainstream or something we’re told often. “I think it’s important people hear it, even if their eyes are closed,” she said.
Believe it or not, Fendrick was once “a very stressful person,” at least that’s how her boyfriend would word it. Imagining such a thing is an extremely difficult task to do.
Yoga classes may follow a similar theme to one another, but Fendrick hopes hers will provide a contrast to the lives of those who take it: “I want people to have an experience that they don’t get anywhere else.”
A lot of people who take classes with Fendrick tell her what a good workout they had, but that’s not at the core of her intentions. “Sweating can be a side effect,” she said. But she’s more concerned that the students felt their hearts beating and were truly connected with their bodies, because she said that a yoga class is “10 percent what happens on the mat and 90 percent how it affects your life outside of that class.”