When some people take a gap year — the trendy phrase we’ve coined to describe a year off between high school and college or college and the so-called “real world” — they use it as an excuse to simply blow off steam. They spend some traveling, prioritize hanging out with friends, and catch up on the many hours of sleep they lost during the years they’ve been studying.
First, let us say for the record that we are very much in favor of all of these activities.
But… how cool is it when a person takes a gap year and really uses that time to their advantage, to intentionally become an even stronger, more sparkly version of themselves? One of our own is doing just that. Meet Quincy Shuda, a Pennsylvania native who recently graduated from UCLA (congrats!) and is now applying for medical school. While she tackles that process, though, we’re lucky enough to have her leading classes at our Villanova studio.
Keep scrolling to learn more about what activates, invigorates, and exhilarates Quincy.
What activates me: Energy…and I’m not just talking about static and kinetic energy here. I’m talking about opening energy centers (AKA chakras) in our own bodies, sharing energy between people and beings — hence our love for petting furry friends — and, of course, soaking up energy in nature. What’s so crazy to me about energy is that this force exists on an infinite level. Energy travels through us and fuels our lives, but we also manipulate it as we live our lives. Feeling the sun on my skin, seeing ocean waves crash, or hearing wind blow through the trees inspires me to move, think, or feel. Taking energy in through any of my senses activates my own energy centers and nourishes my soul.
What invigorates me: Learning! I’m a total nerd — always have been, and hope I always will be. I dive into my studies, whether it’s psychology or the eightfold path of yogic philosophy. There is an abundance of knowledge to be found everywhere, and so much wisdom to be heard from the people who surround me. I’m energized when I meet and connect with new people, and when I learn what we have in common and what interesting pieces of their lives I can incorporate into my own story in a meaningful way. I graduated from UCLA earlier this year and am currently taking a gap year while I apply to medical school. I’ll always consider myself a student! When people ask me what I want to do, I tell them that I love studying the brain. Who knows what direction I’ll take that or what else I’ll fall in love with studying in the future?
What exhilarates me: Exploration and adventure, especially in nature… and sharing those experiences with others! While I can definitely appreciate quiet solitude sitting in the woods or on the beach alone, the communal energy of having others with me brings my adventures to a whole new level of exhilaration. Dancing at music festivals with my loved ones and strangers, conquering mountains out in California with new friends, discovering beauty unknown to me by hiking around my own home state of Pennsylvania — life’s adventures are boundless. I strive to explore new things in my everyday life, often through yoga, whether that means trying a new pose in my practice or striking up a conversation with a new guest. The thrill of exploring something new, small or large, is what recharges my battery!
Check out our class schedule to find out when you can practice with Quincy next!
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