Senior Meredith Sloan started practicing yoga when she was around 8-years-old. After taking a break for a few years, she began practicing regularly her sophomore year of high school with her mom as a way to take care of themselves when her grandmother was sick.
“When she passed my senior year I think that’s one of the single reasons why I was able to move on productively and not dwell on the grief,” Sloan said.
She became even more dedicated to her practice when she came to college.
“I am a very over-involved college student, much like everyone else,” she said. “It was kind of my one-hour time not with my phone, not in the gym, not with people, to just look inward and check in with myself to see how I’m doing.”
During the spring 2017 semester, Sloan studied abroad with the Semester at Sea program. After noticing a lack of yoga instructors and classes on the ship, she decided to lead her own practice with a couple of friends one morning. The following morning, 25 people showed up.
“I taught 30 minute classes at first and then I taught 45 minute classes just cause when the boat rocked it was kind of hard to balance for most of the class, so I did a lot of ground-based yoga,” Sloan said.
When she returned to the U.S., Sloan pursued getting certified as a yoga instructor.
“I thought, ‘How special would it be to be able to teach this practice that has given me so much clarity and confidence and instill that in other people,’” she said.
Sloan lived at the Kripalu Center for Yoga and Health in Stockbridge, Mass. for four weeks over the summer, practicing yoga and studying theory and posture six days a week for 12 hours a day. Immediately after becoming certified she moved to Nantucket, where she taught a stand up paddle yoga class.
Last December, she created a yoga Instagram account, @yogimere. She uses the account to post videos and pictures doing various poses, as well as spread positivity.
“I was surprised by the amount of followers I got and the kind of positive response,” Sloan said. “I created it for myself as a way to track my yoga journey becoming a yoga instructor.”
She follows other fitness accounts, including one run by a friend she met at spin school.
“It reminds me why it’s okay to be myself and that I don’t have to tone things down and be less spiritual because it’s definitely part of who I am and part of my upbringing,” she said.
Sloan is currently a substitute teacher at the Wellness Center, but will be teaching full-time yoga and spin classes next semester.