Meet Maddie: Neuroscience Major, Active Yogi & Roswell Employee
With any free wellness event on the Medical Campus, the goal for anyone who participates is to walk away healthier than they arrive, whether they are a Campus employee, patient, visitor, or member of the community. Every Wednesday during the Summer of 2017, Independent Health and the YMCA Fitness and the Parks Program hosts a free outdoor yoga class next to Buffalo General Medical Center in Colby Park. But there is something special about the instructor of this class who leads the way for campus employees and community members to get active outside – she is also a Roswell Park Cancer Institute employee. Meet Maddie.
A Western New York native, Maddie grew up in Clarence and always kept active – but not because she was a yogi. She was a cheerleader in high school and wasn’t introduced to yoga until attending her first year of college at Binghamton University in 2016. Just after taking one yoga class at BU – along with a can-do attitude and the help of an encouraging mentor – Maddie got certified in one semester. This involved taking a 2-credit course, completing textbook readings and homework, and learning yoga poses to earn her AFAA certification for teaching group classes – all in addition to her full course load as a dual major in Neuroscience and Spanish.
To keep up her newly acquired skills, she was encouraged to find a class to teach over the summer– a challenge since she already had plans to work at Roswell full-time maintaining the landscaping throughout the Roswell campus. Despite this, Maddie had inquired about teaching at the YMCA, and she not only landed a position with them to teach three times per week, but was assigned to teach yoga for Fitness in the Parks on the Medical Campus – without the YMCA even realizing she already worked there.
Maddie loves teaching yoga “because it benefits everyone, of all ages, backgrounds, and abilities,” and especially enjoys teaching the class outdoors on the Medical Campus. “The energy is just different being outside, people come to experience the sun, birds, breeze, and company of others… its naturally peaceful, and I love to see people change from the beginning of class when they are stressed to the end being relaxed.” Maddie teaches free yoga every Wednesday from 5:30-6:30pm in Colby Park, right next to the Michigan Goodrich Parking Garage at 134 High Street. Extra yoga mats and bottled water are available.