With finals quickly approaching, it’s important to remember to take time to unwind and relax after the hours spent studying, reading and writing papers. One stress relief option is an often overlooked exercise that seeks to create an equilibrium of the mind, body and spirit, thus lowering stress and anxiety levels: yoga. This ancient art is the perfect stress reliever for the high-pressure atmosphere that modern-day college students often find themselves in. Why yoga? According to WebMD, yoga can have a variety of positive effects. First of all, yoga helps to improve flexibility by stretching muscles and releasing tension in the body. Muscle tension naturally happens to our bodies in times of stress, such as finals week.
Yoga can also improve posture. This should be helpful to college students––we often find ourselves hunched over books and papers for hours. Yoga poses also have a strengthening aspect to them, as they often require holding one position for a set amount of time. According to WebMD, “When done right, nearly all poses build core strength in the deep abdominal muscles.”
Other listed benefits include lower blood pressure and slower heart rate. Yoga is extremely beneficial to those with heart disease or high blood pressure. People who practice yoga have also been found to have lower levels of cholesterol and triglycerides. Triglycerides are a kind of fat that resides in blood; too many of these can lead to heart attacks or heart disease. Most yoga styles also include some form of meditation technique that helps clear and calm your mind.
The campus offers a wide variety of ways for beginners as well as experienced yoga-goers to get involved. Yoga Club meets every Friday in the Knight Spot at 4:00 p.m. and anyone at any experience level is invited to join. The meeting opened up with a discussion and ended with some simple yoga poses, stretching and a self-massage. Yoga Club e-board members senior Megan Roberts and juniors Alexandra Peraino and Madelyn Sayed led the meeting.
“There are countless physiological effects of yoga,” Peraino said. “It changes how you view the world as well as how you view yourself.”
Anyone is welcome to join Yoga Club, not just those experienced in yoga. “It’s not a workout; we focus a lot on discussion and self-reflection too,” Sayed said.
Schrader Dance Studio holds yoga classes on Sundays from 6-7 p.m. and 8-9 p.m., Mondays from 9:30-10:30 p.m., Tuesdays from 8-9 p.m., Wednesdays from 2:30–3:30 p.m. and Thursdays from 9:30-10:30 p.m.