The Bear Necessities: Yoga-tta Practice Yoga


Hi there Brunonians! My name is Michelle Zabat, a friendly first-year from marvelous Michigan. From fitness to food to fun ways to feel your best, The Bear Necessities is here to give you the inside scoop on staying healthy and happy here at Brown. 

The first year of college can be quite an adjustment. Think about it–you’re moving (potentially very far) away from home, you’re leaving behind good home cooking, and you’re going to find yourself in quite an unfamiliar environment. It can be a little bit startling for life to change so quickly, and you might feel a little out of place without the comforts of home. I know that’s what my experience was.

For me, one of the biggest things I had to adjust to in college was the loss of my beloved yoga studio. I am a self-proclaimed yoga addict; before I started college, I had practiced almost every day for over a year. When I moved to Brown, however, things on the yoga front weren’t so simple. I didn’t have a beautiful studio and a well-trained instructor guiding my practice–heck, all I had was my yoga mat. The loss of my structured practice was kind of a shock to my system. I had gotten used to using it as a stress reliever and my preferred form of exercise. Now I wasn’t sure what to do.

Although it took me a while to figure it out, I’m happy to say that you don’t need to give up the things you love in college. You just need to learn to adapt. I still miss my heated wooden studio and friendly instructors at home, but I’ve found that it’s kind of exciting to guide my own practice in an unfamiliar place. The gym in Keeney is quiet enough in the midmornings to get a nice session in with my mat, and I’ll admit that I’ve even used the hallway right outside my dorm room to get my yoga fix. Brown even has a student group called Yoga and Mindfulness that offers classes to students for free. Sure, the way I practice yoga now may be different, but it’s familiar enough that I can relieve stress and work out in the best way I know how.

So if you’re worried about having to give up hobbies or passions because of such a drastic change in lifestyle, don’t be. It may take some adaptation, but the things you really love can stick with you for the next four years.

Questions? Comments? Suggestions? Just want to chat? Send me an email at


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