As students, it can seem like we are constantly stressed and tense with anxiety about homework, tests, friendships, and countless other things. Luckily, there is an easy and efficient way to decrease stress and improve overall well being: yoga.
Originating in ancient India, yoga is a mind and body practice that aims to control and still the mind and relax the body. Although modern yoga has been reduced to just exercise for physical wellbeing, it is actually very spiritual and can be used to bring harmony between body and mind.The word ‘Yoga’ is derived from the Sanskrit root ‘Yuj’, meaning ‘to join’ or ‘to yoke’ or ‘to unite’. Various styles of yoga combine physical postures, breathing techniques, and meditation or relaxation.
There are countless studies exploring the physical, as well as mental, wellbeing that yoga promotes. For instance, yoga can improve respiration, energy and vitality, help maintain a balanced metabolism, increase flexibility, build muscle strength, and lead to countless other physical benefits.Yoga’s inverted poses increase blood circulation to vital organs, including the intestines, which facilitates assimilation of nutrients and waste elimination. Stretches such as shoulder stand, bridge and downward-facing dog stimulate blood flow from the lower extremities to the heart and fortify red blood cells by increasing hemoglobin, guarding against blood clots, stroke and heart attack.
As I mentioned before, not only does yoga improve physical health, it also improves mental health. Yoga’s incorporation of meditation and breathing can help improve a person’s mental well-being. In the article: “Benefits of Yoga,” it states that “Regular yoga practice creates mental clarity and calmness; increases body awareness; relieves chronic stress patterns; relaxes the mind; centers attention; and sharpens concentration.” If implemented in daily life, yoga can have some truly life changing effects. Yoga is also very accessible; whether you are a student, a parent, an athlete, you can benefit from yoga. So, if you are feeling stressed or tense, try yoga!
Here are some great sources if you want to get into yoga:
A beginners tutorial:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v7AYKMP6rOE
What is yoga?:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XLk5yks9c_Q
Science behind yoga:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CIbR7odQklk