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The North Wind

The North Wind

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Molly Birch
Molly Birch

My name is Molly, and I am in my second year at NMU. I come from Midland, MI, probably one of the most boring places on earth. However, we do have the only Tridge in the world, so that’s pretty nifty...

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The North Wind is an independent student publication serving the Northern Michigan University community. It is partially funded by the Student Activity Fee. The North Wind digital paper is published daily during the fall and winter semesters except on university holidays and during exam weeks. The North Wind Board of Directors is composed of representatives of the student body, faculty, administration and area media.

Opinion — Its okay to outgrow your college friends
Opinion — It's okay to outgrow your college friends
Megan PoeApril 12, 2024

Relaxing with Mukta

Closed off from the winter wind the Mukta Yoga Center offers a refreshing retreat. Every Thursday evening, people from the community gather in the yoga center to practice chi gong, which actually refers to a wide variety of Chinese practices that involve breath and movement for the sake of well-being. The class is led by Jen Silverston, a former NMU student who has been trained in chi gong, massage therapy and acupressure.

To begin the class, Silverston has students close their eyes and imagine walking to the coat racks and hanging all of their worries, on the hooks.

“Leave it at the door . when you let everything go for an hour and a half and experience the almost meditative state that chi gong offers, then when you go back to do whatever it is that you have to do, you have that greater clarity,” Silverston said. “You don’t have all of those other worries that you can sort of string along with you.”

NMU psychology instructor Andrew Bek described the feeling as invigorating, as well as physically and mentally calming.

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“It has a strengthening effect,” Bek said. “For me, it helps me consolidate and strengthen my core.”

The practice doesn’t just offer stress relief, though. Chi gong is believed to help with certain pains and illnesses. It involves a combination of self-massage and acupressure that opens blood vessels, releasing oxygen into the veins. It can release tension in sore muscles or joints.

The gentle flow and movement of joints are beneficial to those with arthritis or those suffering from chronic pain. Silverston suffered a spinal injury at the age of 22 and said that part of what attracted her to the practice of chi gong was the help that it gave her.

Yoga center student Annie Goosmann also found the practice helpful with the pain she was feeling.

“I used to have a shoulder pain,” she said. “Last time I was here I directed the energy toward the part that needed it, and I didn’t have any more pain in my shoulder after that.”

Goosmann said that chi gong is preferable to yoga, as she finds the mixture of breathing naturally and yoga exercises difficult.

“I struggle with my breath a lot in yoga to integrate it in a natural way,” she said. “But with this, I found my breathing and my actions integrate really naturally. I don’t have to think about my breath at all in chi gong. It just comes and goes with the flow of energy.”

Students end their yoga session with gentle breathing and still meditation. Water is then consumed to purge the toxins that had been released.

The Mukta Yoga Center is located at 925 West Washington St. in suite 101A. The price for a one-time session is $10, while packages of ten and twenty sessions cost $90 and $160 respectively. All props are provided.

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