Even though the rigor of coursework and other commitments can wreak havoc on students' stress levels during the first week of November, a few Ramapo students found a way to deal with anxiety by attending the Yoga and Live Music event held on Thursday night in the Alumni Lounges. Instructor Tori Barnes taught yoga to participants at the event, while student musicians of the band Grannoli Cannoli played relaxing musical accompaniment.
The students participating in Barnes' class felt that the event was relaxing, as they relieved their stress by inhaling, exhaling and stretching to the mellow beats of Grannoli Cannoli's ambient music.
The calming instrumental tunes accompanied a session where participants learned to hold various poses, many of which tested balance and strength in addition to relaxing the muscles.
Junior Kenya Hilton commented on the event, saying that she found the combination of yoga and live music relaxing.
Rachel Britton also felt "relaxed" after taking the class; furthermore, she expressed interest in participating in another such event in the near future.
When asked about her favorite part of the event, junior Emily DeMaio replied that she most enjoyed the band Grannoli Cannoli's music. She later said, "the lights and the ambiance provided for a highly relaxing experience."
Moreover, when asked about other events that could help to relieve stress, students suggested that guided meditation and massages should be considered as part of an event intended to relieve the stress typically associated with final exam week.
The band Grannoli Cannoli performed relaxing music to accompany their fellow students' yoga class. Band member and senior Alex Hoteck said that he, along with his band-mates Matt Billy and Angad Bhogal, enjoyed the event.
According to Hoteck, the reason why Grannoli Cannoli plays ambient music is to "help people find peace through music."
When asked about why he decided to start playing atmospheric music, Hoteck replied that he "started playing ambient music because of the band Explosions in the Sky," referring to a group known for a similar style of music – he felt that he could play instrumental tunes "in the same vein."
In the end, Ramapo’s Yoga and Live Music felt like a calm and peaceful oasis, a respite for those wearied and harried by the stress associated with college life. Through deep breathing, relaxing music and a generally stress-free environment, participants learned the importance of maintaining mental well-being through yoga and live music.