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Tranquil Transformation

September 21, 2010 11:00 AM
New Wave Staff

Step onto the bamboo floor at the Diboll Studios and you're in an oasis of tranquility on the uptown campus. The two new studios, a transformation of space that was the Diboll Conference Center, are the venue for yoga and Pilates classes presented by the Department of Campus Recreation.

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New bamboo floors and other updates create a tranquil environment for yoga and Pilates classes in the new Diboll Studios on the uptown campus. (Photo by Paula Burch-Celentano)

The new studios, located across Ben Weiner Drive from the Reily Student Recreation Center, have allowed Michelle Riley-Mirpuri to expand programming this fall with new hip-hop yoga and flow yoga classes, in addition to other yoga favorites including an introductory class that began last year and was a definite hit.

Meanwhile, the popular "essentials of mat Pilates" classes are continuing, says Riley-Mirpuri, the center's associate director of programs. Click here for a listing of the mind-body classes being offered this fall.

Crowded conditions in the Reily Center — "we have it packed with programming, every night" — had brought about the move of yoga and Pilates classes across to the conference center. The carpeted space that hosted large meetings wasn't the best atmosphere, however.

So to create a serene atmosphere, over the summer, the conference center was renovated with new floors and lighting, a sound system and frosted windows.

"The studios offer a much more peaceful environment than in the Reily Center, where you may hear whistles blowing from sports or loud music from an exercise class," says Riley-Mirpuri.

The number of off-campus yoga and Pilates studios has grown tremendously in New Orleans since Hurricane Katrina, she says. "Now we can give students on campus, and the Tulane community in general, the chance to experience the benefits of yoga in classes offered at significantly reduced rates compared to going off-campus to another studio."

Students who have taken yoga classes at Tulane in the past have reported reduced stress levels and a greater ability to focus, adds Riley-Mirpuri.