UTRGV medical students get taste of yoga’s benefits to overall wellness

BY Jennifer L. Berghom

The first cohort of medical students at The UTRGV School of Medicine started the second week of orientation with some yoga.

Dr. Eugenia Curet, assistant dean for Student Support and Counseling Wellness at The UTRGV School of Medicine, organized the yoga classes as an early jump on the medical school’s commitment to wellness.

Curet said she wanted to expose the medical students to the different programs the university offers at the UREC center, so they can use those services to stay healthy and relieve stress.

“Yoga provides balance, relaxation and muscle development, so it’s a good thing for the students because they undergo so much stress in their studies,” Curet said. “It’s a practice that helps with mindfulness, and one that they can do on their own, too. If they feel stressed out, they can do yoga.”

Medical students Jennifer Feng and Christian Lalonde said they enjoyed the classes. Both have practiced yoga before.

“I’ve done yoga for a long time. My mom was an instructor and it’s something that I’ve always tried to keep up with,” Feng said.

She appreciated the medical school scheduling the yoga class, she said.

“It’s a critical component of maintaining our physical and mental health going forward,” she said. “It’ll help relieve a lot of stress.”

Lalonde used to practice yoga regularly as an undergraduate student, and said the class offered at the UREC is exactly what he and his fellow students need.

“It shows that the school not only cares about what we’re studying and about us becoming professional physicians, but also that they care about our health in general and seeing us succeed.”

The School of Medicine’s official White Coat Ceremony was Saturday, July 23, and the first day of SOM classes was July 25.