Yoga trends take students off-campus

A new, off-campus class trend is spreading among Mason’s yoga and Pilates gurus. Students are turning down the convenience and pricing of on-campus options for the variety and pizzaz of local yoga studios.

Spark Yoga studio is located in the Mosaic District in Merrifield, Va. The studio offers a new student discount that lets college students enjoy a week of unlimited classes for just $20.

Mason offers a variety of yoga classes throughout the week including traditional yoga classes: Yoga and Pilates Infusion, and Pilates with Props. The Center for Advancement of Well-Being recently joined with Mason Recreation and now offers a free, weekly Pilates and Barre Fusion course on Tuesdays at noon.

Mason even offered a week of free yoga classes during the first week of school to allow students to try out different options.

In comparison to Mason, Spark Yoga offers a wider variety of classes, including Aerial Yoga, Pilates, Barre, Community Yoga, and Hot Yoga.

Even with proximity and pricing in Mason’s favor, however, many students have been opting out of the on-campus options and driving out to Spark Yoga and other off-campus studios for a more fulfilling workout.

Aerial Yoga is a class involving spinal decompression and an intense upper body workout. Barre classes focus on interval training of the thighs and abdomen.

Spark Yoga is best known for its variety of yoga classes, though, such as Yin Yoga, Yoga at the Wall, Vinyasa and Yoga with Weights.

Mason senior Colleen Walsh, an active athlete during her entire four years at Mason, has been taking advantage of the Unlimited Yoga discount offered by Spark Yoga.

“I choose to go off-campus because Spark Yoga offers heated classes, while [Mason] does not. I feel like the heated room offers more of an intense workout,” Walsh said.

Walsh has attended Mason yoga classes in the past but feels that Spark Yoga instructors are more invested in their practice.

“They are very knowledgeable in both the mental and physical aspects of yoga and are able to challenge their students,” Walsh said. “I would definitely suggest that people try out Spark. Although the classes are expensive, the classes are worth it.”

Spark Yoga has specialty pricing for students, full-time teachers, members of the military and first responders, including an $18 drop-in rate and a 10-class pack for $162. Regular 10-class packs are priced between $208 and $270. Students at Mason can pay either $50 per semester or an $8 drop-in rate to attend Mason classes.