June Gloom has kicked in a little early here in Southern California. While our closets are stocked with the latest lace rompers and freshest nude heels, winter (and bear in mind we’re talking about a SoCal winter here) just refuses to give way to a bright spring or even brighter summer. Despite the constant, slight chill in the air, Juno Wheeler finds herself out of bed and on the beach, rain or shine.
A sister of Alpha Phi at Chapman University in Orange County, California, Juno quickly embraced her inner spirituality and became interested in yoga. It was the sisterhood that took her down that path—one which she immediately became fascinated with. “My first class was taught by [a sister’s] big, another sister from our chapter. Mind and body connections have always been so important to me. What I found in yoga was just that. I left that room feeling strong mentally and physically.”
Yoga became Juno’s break from her hectic college schedule—she immersed herself in training so that she could not only practice yoga, but teach it as well. “Training took me out of the college scene and into myself. It challenged me; it strengthened my mental, physical, and emotional capacities.” Her devotion and dedication, however, didn’t come without some worry that the chapter’s reaction. Being very active in Alpha Phi, she thought removing herself for a period of time to concentrate on yoga would cause her sisters to write her off. In the end, her sisters reacted in the exact opposite way of what she was expecting. “The people who mattered, many of them were sisters, supported me the entire way.”
College is a hard place to be. It can be lonely, chaotically busy, or overwhelmingly stressful. Juno found yoga to be her escape; it was a time and place that helped her shake off any negative energy and replace it with enthusiasm for life. “I became so much more aware of what was good for me in my life—what made me feel strong, and who made me feel strong.”
So on a day that couldn’t make up its mind between hazy or sunny, we chatted with Juno about her new-found, yoga guru-ism.
A-List: Why do you think it’s important for college students to practice yoga?
Juno: Because we get so caught up in the future, in our schedules, in what we should be doing, we are very rarely present in the moment. Yoga takes you out of the planning, out of what everyone else is doing, out of the pressures and brings you into yourself; that’s when you are the happiest.
A-List: What’s your favorite pose and why?
Juno: I love sun salutations*; they always leave me with a smile on my face! They wake me up when I’m tired and help me be open to whatever that day holds.
(*Sun salutations are a series of flowing movements that enhances breathing, and is often used to warm up for yoga practices)
A-List: What are your favorite active wear brands?
Juno: For yoga specifically, I love Tiki and Alo. I’m also a big fan of Lulu and Nike!
A-List: You’ve just finished teaching a session, what’s your favorite post-workout snack?
Juno: One hundred percent it has to be pressed juice freeze!
A-List: How have you been able to incorporate Yoga with Greek Life?
Juno: I have taught multiple yoga sessions for my sisters, on the beach, and in the backyard. My sisters were who I practiced on during my training; they were my support, and they were my inspiration. At my first class I had 4 sisters in the room. They made me feel so ready and so strong.
It’s clear that Juno could chat with us for so much longer and about so much more when it comes to her yoga journey. She’s become introspective and energized by her love of life and spirituality. With her sisters to support her, this has become much more than just a hobby for Juno; it’s become a way of life. Her passion is evident in her closing remark, “It’s been…completely life changing for me.”
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