The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

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Women’s basketball gets an excercize in “ohms”

Yoga instructor trains athletes to prevent and heal injuries; gives lessons for positive living

After an intense afternoon yoga session, Lettermen’s Hallin SMU’s Moody Coliseum is musty and the sounds of”ohms” are still echoing. On this breezy, sunny day,47-year-old Chinook Wusdha is instructing the SMU women’sbasketball team toward positive thoughts and into physicalpositions they never imagined.

Long narrow blue mats are side-by-side while the athletes andcoaches are trying to keep their balance on one leg with theirhands grasped together in the air. Full concentration isrequired.

Standing 6-foot-4-inches, Wusdha wears short grey shorts, abright pink hat and white adidas sneakers. His large chest ispacked into his olive green t-shirt while his white socks arestretching up to his knees.

No one in the room can tell where he’s looking, for hisdiamond-shaped glasses deceive them. With defined arm muscles andsolid thighs, he demonstrates poses they must soon conquer.

Wusdha considers himself a fitness, health and movementspecialist. A man who prefers a hand-written note rather than abought gift, he says yoga means “to heal one’s self, toobserve, to interpret life in a more positive way and to not be sojudgmental to others’ differences.”

Wusdha says he believes with his help in yoga, the women’sbasketball team at SMU can prevent injuries and help heal currentinjuries faster.

Wusdha has overcome personal and emotional injuries like manyothers, but says he chooses to live every day like a new one.Teaching yoga to others is his way of giving back he says, becausethe coaches in his life were so influential.

Wusdha values knowledge from yoga instructor Bryan Kest of SantaMonica, Calif., and considers his yoga tapes a prized possession.He also looked to his parents for influence, his mom tough as nailsand his dad very logical and calm. Wusdha says he is motivated bypeople who handle themselves with class, those who come through inthe clutch and perform with excellence under pressure.

“I look at these people as teachers and I take everythingI can from those people and incorporate it in my own life,”he said. “If you’re going to look at winners and not dowhat they do, you’re an idiot.”

Born on Sept. 8, 1957 in Dallas, Wusdha has always been activein sports. When it was time for college he attended a few schoolsacross the United States including Bishop College and Mountain ViewJunior College in Dallas and Morgan State University in Baltimore,Md.

It’s wasn’t until 1989 when Wusdha took a seriousinterest in yoga. From then on, yoga became a major part of hislife, and he committed himself to gain as much knowledge as hecould about yoga.

Wusdha is hoping to transfer the knowledge he has learnedthroughout his career to the women’s basketball team thisyear. This experience for Wusdha is what he feels is his greatestachievement yet.

Like a scientist in a laboratory, he is able to test what heknows for results so that one day a dream of his can come true bytraining professional athletes.

“Until you do the scientific exercises, theories are nogood,” he said. “You can have all the theories andhypotheses in the world, but until you get in there and startmixing things up and seeing what the reaction is, it’s notreal.” According to Wusdha, most people who want to survivein elite sports in the next decade are going to have to doyoga.

“When people have insight and inspiration to anotherenergy, you have to raise the bar and when that bar is raised, ifyou want to compete on that level, you have to clear thatbar.”

Advice for those starting out in yoga is to take it slowly, donot judge it and to listen to your body. Although yoga has become afitness phenomenon, he is concerned with narrow-mindedness andfear, both factors questioning the field of yoga today.

People seem to think one has to change their religion and valueswhen involving themselves in yoga. Wusdha says that yoga is aboutthe mind, body and soul and with healing, exercise and deepthought, one can strengthen their values and open up to others.

If Wusdha could retire from his love of yoga and start a secondcareer, it would be making health and fitness videos and doingworkshops.

His passion for the “man-on-man” physical-nessinvolved in sports is what drives him to stay connected. Whatseparates people from one another is what he defines under”Chinookicism.”

“The difference between those who do and those whodon’t, are those who do, do and those who don’t,don’t.” Wusdha believes in karma.

Wusdha might be full of wisdom but he is not without fear. Thethought of being old and broke scares him, he says.

That is why Wusdha incorporates positive things into his life.He likes to travel across the world and read informative books, buthe also loves a good letter from a friend. Seeing past thesuperficial is Wusdha’s philosophy on life. All the things heknows, he knows well.

Yoga has everything to do with life, he says. Keepingone’s balance without falling over in the yoga room candirectly relate to staying calm in times of need throughoutone’s life.

Although the class to the women’s basketball team mightfeel like a struggle at times, according to Chinookicism:”Life is a struggle. It’s supposed to be astruggle,” Wusdha said. “Life is a yin yang thing, butwhat makes life worth living to me is every breath. If you startinvestigating other cultures and ways of life, there’re somany people who have far less than you do, so keep your headup.”

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