Have you heard of The Hive? Did you know that Beshka teaches yoga there twice a month? Read on to learn more about this amazing Bowling Green center and Beshka’s service to its community!
Beshka describes The Hive as “a local resource center and hang-out spot for adults with disabilities and their families or support systems.” You may have noticed that it has recently taken up residence on the Bypass, in the building that formerly housed WKU’s ALIVE Center.
Beshka has volunteered at The Hive since the day that it opened in 2017, and she currently offers two yoga classes a month. She notes yoga’s benefits to both the clients and their family members:
This is a population of people who frequently have diminished physicality and coordination, who love to be social but often don’t have the opportunity to socialize in a group setting, and who also may have never learned much needed calming techniques. The families of the adults with disabilities have highly stressful lives and are often on tight schedules and budgets, so many would never consider taking time out or spending money to do something for themselves. Our yoga class offers a time for everyone to drop the stress for a little while and breathe. I love teaching yoga inside our studio, but it is so humbling to step into the stressful world of doctors and disabilities and be able to see a mom’s face finally relax, to see someone with limited mobility try something new, or to see someone non-verbal meet new friends because of our yoga class.
Although yoga is now very popular at The Hive—it has even been voted #1 Best Activity by the members!—it took time and patience for the class to build to this level of success. Beshka remembers,
this isn’t a population that typically likes change. When we first started…no one had ever done yoga, and it wasn’t easy to convince them to give it a try. For several weeks I would show up and they might groan or just flat-out tell me “no” [and that] they didn’t want to do yoga. I would always persistently push them to give it a try. Once we would begin, the group would usually lose their focus. But we kept on and on until finally we turned the corner and they came to love and look forward to their yoga Mondays.
In considering some of her favorite experiences with this class, Beshka mentions learning from a student who is blind:
Each body is unique in its own way, [and] I’ve taught yoga to people who are in wheelchairs, pregnant, terminally ill, etc., but I had never taught yoga to someone who has never had sight. This young man was in incredible shape and was so engaging and bright that it was halfway through class before I realized he was blind. He was amazing, and the experience made me think about every word I said and what I wanted to convey to someone who has never seen yoga asana. He was my teacher that day.
Based on her experiences, Beshka encourages all yoga teachers to find ways to be of service to their communities beyond the studio. She tells us,
as yoga teachers we have a gift of being able to teach/remind people to breathe and come home to their bodies. Teaching yoga at The Hive opens me up to deeper levels and therefore teaches me, so I get so much more. I hope everyone is able to find someone or a group to be of service and just share your gift of yoga.