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Yoga Exemption Deemed an "Ayama"

This fall, junior Madyn Field ’13 attempted to start a yoga and meditation co-curricular for the winter term, but the Exemptions Committee chose to deny it.

Part of the reason for the rejection of Field’s proposal was the infrequency with which yoga sessions are held and the sporadic hours at which the program meets. The start times range from 11:10 a.m. to 6:30 p.m.

“It would not meet within our co-curricular block nor satisfy the same daily or hourly expectation we have of all of our co-curriculars,” explained Director of Athletics Chip Davis.

Emma Mitchell, Deerfield’s Fitness Center Manager, organizes community yoga for faculty, staff, and students. The sessions are run by Lindel Hart, a professional instructor, and are offered four times per week.

In addition to weekly yoga and Zazen meditation classes, there would have been Aum and Hindu Mysticism as well as native American traditions events included in the winter yoga co-curricular program.

In the fall, Field compiled a list of 20 students willing to take co-curricular exemptions to participate in all of these yoga and meditation sessions.

However, the Exemptions Committee, which reviews every prospective exemption, denied the exemption to all except Field.

“The Exemptions Committee entertained Field’s proposal as a personal exemption but not as a standing offering to a large group,” said Mr. Davis.

As a result, Field is currently the only student with an exemption for yoga. At the end of the term, she will have to lead a meditation class as a culminating demonstration of what she learned.

David Buoymaster ’13 was one of many who were let down by the rejection of the program by the Exemptions Committee: “I was disappointed because I was left without a solid co-curricular for the winter.”

Deerfield yoga enthusiasts will have to wait until an organized co-curricular program that fits the academy’s schedule comes into existence.

“I think it is great exercise and a fun alternative for people who don’t play a winter sport,” said Field.

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