Most people think of yoga as an exercise regimen.
For Riley Williams, it’s been much more than that.
“A lot of kids at my school practiced yoga for the physical benefits because they found strength and flexibility all from the same practice,” he explained. “For me, I really connected with the mental and spiritual aspects of it all.”
That’s been an important lesson for Williams.
“It’s a little difficult to describe,” he said. “I’m somebody who has a lot of worries and a lot of anxiety. At the same time I have a lot of curiosity. It’s all running through me at the same time. Yoga allows me to focus.”
Now part of the Running Start program, Williams’ time at Three Springs High School proved to be a good start on that need to focus.
“I was actually behind when I got to Three Springs,” he said. “I started at Cheney High. I tend to be more of a one-track-mind kind of person. I could do one or the other; I could socialize or I could do the work. It was hard for me to juggle both of them. Three Springs was somewhere I could go without a whole bunch of social obligations. If you’re feeling sociable that day, you talk to people. But if you want to concentrate on your work, you can do that, too.
“At Three Springs they have us do a lot of individual work. We have classes like enriched learning, and there are various activities that support that. We have all different fields of education. And we do things together to help get us off the computer. We have a fitness instructor that has us do a lot of different things, including yoga. That’s been important to me.”
Getting the work done has sometimes been a challenge.
“I was working weekends in Leavenworth for awhile and driving back to go to school during the week,” he said. “That got to be a little too much of a challenge.”
Oddly enough, Williams said, he’s planning to stick around Cheney for the foreseeable future.
“For the longest time all I thought about was getting out of Cheney,” he said. “But I live right next to Eastern Washington University, and that will be the most convenient place for me to go. It has a good psychology program. Once I finish up at Spokane Falls Community College, my credits will make a direct transfer. And there’s affordable tuition.”
For now, he said, he wants to indulge his passion for learning. He’s taking a modest course load so that he can focus on absorbing the concepts of his classes.
“I’ve even had the chance to do something I’ve never done before,” he volunteered. “I’m taking a choir class. It’s working out pretty well for me; I’m not so sure of how it’s working for those around me.”
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