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  • Writer's pictureGrant Hines

Helping Young Students Feel Better Through Yoga

Updated: Aug 26, 2023

By Grant Hines

Q News

fby yoga

"Yoga completely changed my life, in every single way," Shelley Roupa, a former broadcaster turned yoga entrepreneur says as she explains the reason why she founded Feel Better Yoga. A yoga studio like no other where the temperature of the room is a staggering 95 degrees, a feeling one immediately notices upon entering the studio. You are guaranteed to leave sweating no matter how much physical effort you do (or don't) give.

shelly roupa

Roupa opened the High Point location of FBY with the intention of encouraging more college students to start yoga. With the daily stressors of college she wanted students to feel like they have a space where they can come, de-stress, let go of, and forget about any worries they have for an hour, the length of one session.

Different People's Different Experiences

Yoga began as an ancient Indian practice intended to benefit spiritual health more than physical. As the practice developed, yogis (people who practice yoga) took whatever they needed from it. That is exactly what the instructors at FBY remind you throughout your session to "take what you need during your time there." It doesn't matter if your pose is no where near what it's supposed to be, you fall over attempting a hard pose, or you don't keep up with the pace of everyone else, you are encouraged to let go of any expectations within the space.

For Brittany Hopkins, who has been an FBY yoga instructor for around 5 years she says that she takes away more of the spiritual aspect of yoga, as she started practicing shortly after becoming a new mom. To be a better mom and wife to her family she realized that she needed to take care of herself first in order to provide for her family. Yoga has become a staple in the way she sustains her health.

brittany hopkins
"Physically it's just a bonus...but I knew I needed to do it for my mental health."

On the flip side Rhianna Dozier, a High Point University Sports Media major, makes her way to FBY twice a week for the 5:30 a.m. classes, an hour most college students dread being awake. Taking away more of the physical benefits of yoga, maintains her energy throughout the day with her heavy course load and several on and off campus jobs. The infrared heat that ignites the room is a bonus for her as she feels she is getting more of a workout.

rhianna dozier
"I do wake up feeling a lot more refreshed...and I feel like I am getting rid of toxins and stress that I don't want to carry throughout the day."

Betsy McArthur, a high school student in the process of transitioning to college uses yoga to de-compress after her long school days. While trying to balance course work, school activities, and the college application process yoga gives her something fun to look forward to after school.

betsy mcarthur
"I get peace of mind getting to escape the stress of my day."

What Does the Data Say About The Benefits of Yoga on College Students

According to a study from the Journal of Education and Health Promotion, 40-50% of college students are physically inactive. College students are at a pivotal time in their life where being active is a crucial part to their development. Yoga can be a great low intensity physical activity to have college students start moving. With the stress from school being one of the main factors that deteriorate college students physical well being, yoga has been proven to reduce the stress that leads to this.

Among female college students, the study has shown that yoga is their most popular physical activity. It has also shown to reduce menstrual cramps and distress related to symptoms during the menstrual cycle.

With yoga being a definite reliever of stress, a mood booster, and reducer of negative emotions, for college students these benefits can be exacerbated by their fast paced lives. With most people worrying about their next assignment deadline, careers after graduation, and just general anxiety about the future, yoga can have a breadth of positive benefits to help make the college experience a little better.

What Sets FBY Apart

When you first step into the studio, it's as if you're stepping into a sauna. FBY offers an experience like no other, not only with their signature infrared heat, but by utilizing techniques through Baptiste Power Yoga." A very athletic, heated, and powerful kind of yoga," Roupa says, and the most important part of the practice is breathing. If you were to come and just sit in the room for an hour and breathe, then you got something out of your practice.

"This practice is so not about what kind of leggings you have, if you're thin, or if you're flexible...none of that, it's about are you willing to be with yourself and if you are then what's possible."

hot yoga

FBY values itself on the power of connectivity and treating its yogis like family. Your second time at the studio the instructor already knows you by name and will treat you as if they've known you for a while. They'll even give you hands on assistance during your practice (with your permission of course) to help improve your yoga experience to the best of your ability. Unlike most studios, FBY doesn't just call the pose and expect you to mirror the instructor, they will see you, be with you, and you're gonna see them, and they're going to share themselves, and tell stories. The storytelling aspect comes from Roupa's background as a former broadcaster, a passion that she never lost.

hot yoga

"If I share my story, then maybe you'll share your story, and if you share your story, then maybe we'll feel more connected."

hot yoga

Besides the release that you get from the infrared heat, some other perks that FBY offer are chilled, moist, lavender infused towels towards the cooldown period at the end of each session. If you're a first time client, as a thank you for visiting, the instructor will give you a mini massage during this period. For first time visitors a drop-in session is $21, and if you want to try it out for more than one session, first timers can buy a two week unlimited pass for $39. In an effort to increase the HPU student turnout, FBY offers semester deals for students to come as much as they'd like for an entire semester.


fby yoga

feel better yoga

"Yoga is never about the pose, it's about what's going in your head and in life."


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