UVA TODAY: UVA Alum Creates a Yoga Practice for UVA Students Like Her



UVA TODAY: UVA Alum Creates a Yoga Practice for UVA Students Like Her

From UVA TODAY 11/29/2022
UVA Alum Creates a Yoga Practice for UVA Students Like Her


After graduating from North Carolina A&T State University, a historically Black institution, fourth-year doctoral candidate Alexys Riddick said attending a predominantly white university was a challenging transition.
“I don’t have many opportunities to let my hair down and just be,” the biomedical sciences graduate student said. Last year, Riddick came across Santosha for Sisters and has been an active participant ever since. 
“Santosha for Sisters gave me the community and sisterhood that I dearly missed from my undergraduate experience,” Riddick said.
Riddick also credits Santosha for Sisters for teaching healthy coping mechanisms to manage anxiety and depression. 
“The mindfulness techniques I’ve learned from Santosha for Sisters are now integrated into my own mental health care,” Riddick said. “For example, I practice deep breathing whenever an experiment goes wrong. I take a walk or move my body when I’ve been sitting in the lab all day.” 
In the future, Epperson hopes to keep expanding the programs in the Contemplative Sciences Center to expose more students to the benefits of yoga and mindfulness, as well as implementing practices from a variety of cultures. 
“I hope to have more instructors in the future and incorporate more research into practice that specifically comes from Africa and the African diaspora,” Epperson said. “I think a lot of people only know about Buddhism or yoga from the lineage of India, but there’s a style of yoga from Egypt called Kemetic yoga. There’s so much more to teach.” 
For students interested in Santosha for Sisters, Flourishing While Black, or any other wellness programs, check out the Contemplative Sciences Centers website.

See the UVA Today story here