Yoga:A Path to Living an Engaged Life

Full Course Title: 
Yoga as a Path to Living an Engaged Life
Course Number: 
Section Number(s) and Day/Times Taught: 
196: MW 3:30 – 4:45 pm
Fall 2016

In the West, we often view yoga as a form of physical exercise, but if we open that view up to a larger picture, we can see that yoga encompasses much more than something we “do,” and instead focuses on a way of “being” in the world. Whereas other forms of fitness can lead to a “physical armoring” of the body, by contrast, yoga leads to cultivating mindfulness, and a subtle awareness of the unity and interdependence of a healthy body and peaceful mind.  In this course we view the practice of Yoga much like an archeological dig. Going beyond the surface, we begin to recognize our shared humanity, our biological nature as interdependent beings, and the unity within our diversity.

This course will introduce you to the many paths of yoga, including Hatha Yoga (the physical path) Raja and Jnana Yoga (the ethical and philosophical paths), Karma (the path of selfless service) and Bhakti (the spiritual path).  Classes will consist of both the physical and philosophical teachings of this ancient practice. Students will also participate in a community service project as a way to explore insights revealed on the mat, and put them into action in our community through the practice of Karma Yoga.  When we begin to see ourselves as the world rather than separate from the world, it’s here that we ask, “Who am I becoming through this practice, and am I becoming the world in which I wish to live?



Valerie has been teaching at Appalachian since 1988, when she was a graduate student in exercise science, and continued to teach over the next 25 years, bringing together her interests in the body/mind connection, as well as the creative process. In 2005 she opened Neighborhood Yoga in Boone, now offering over 25 classes a week in yoga and a nine month Yoga Alliance Certified Teacher Training Program. Valerie views yoga as a form of self-transformation, a process that involves confronting your limits and transcending them. She sees the body as a gateway, not an obstacle, to personal growth and transformation. She is passionate about helping students find connections between their practice on the mat and in their everyday lives, so yoga becomes not just something we “do,” but a way of “being” in the world. Her formal education includes an MS in Exercise Physiology, an MFA in Dance, Yoga Certification from Integral Yoga in NYC, Pre/Postnatal Yoga and Thai Yoga Body Therapy. Valerie has been on the faculty at Lees McRae College, Caldwell Community College, University of North Carolina at Greensboro, and Appalachian State University over the past 25 years teaching yoga, dance, anatomy & kinesiology and creative process.

Contact FYS

The First Year Seminar is part of the General Education Program located in Anne Belk Hall, Room 250.

Phone: 828-262-2028

Our mailing address:
First Year Seminar
ASU Box 32065
Appalachian State University
Boone, NC 28608

Director of First Year Seminar:
Dr. Martha McCaughey

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