As we begin our fifth week of the semester, we hit the point where stress kicks in. Papers are piling up and numerous exams are approaching. Luckily, The Student Activities Committee (SAC) kept our health and happiness in mind. This past Saturday, SAC put on Yoga in the Pine Grove. This opportunity allowed students to de-stress and relax in the fresh air with friends. Hopefully, this event inspired students to continue a healthy lifestyle. If you couldn’t make it, you should not forget about yoga.
Yoga contains both physical and mental benefits, allowing participants to completely transform their lifestyles for the better. According to Yoga Journal, the biggest benefit of yoga is increased flexibility. Many pains, such as back and knee, all begin with tight muscles. By increasing flexibility in the muscles, these pains begin to go away. Another physical benefit of yoga is improved posture. Everyday we see someone with poor posture. Even if it is hard to sit up straight in our math class, poor posture can lead to all types of body pains, and let’s be honest, you don’t look the best. Sitting or standing upright can lead to a painless and overall better looking appearance, and it can be solved with yoga.
A common fear of college students is weight gain. The ‘Freshman 15’ is very real and can happen at any time. Luckily, yoga is a relaxing way to avoid dreading the scale. Yoga has been proven to not only prevent weight gain, but actually help with weight loss. In addition, college students often have issues with sleeping. Whether it is due to an exam the next day, or just sleeping in another bed, getting a regular and consistent amount of sleep is challenging. When someone has a regular yoga practice, sleeping becomes much easier. Studies suggest yoga leads to deeper sleep.
Something often associated with yoga is relaxation. College students’ stress is constantly going up day by day. Sometimes, it overtakes us; we’ve all been there and we just need to relax. According to Yoga Journal, “Yoga encourages you to relax, slow your breath, and focus on the present.” By doing so, both heart rate and blood pressure can decrease. “Yoga helps me calm down,” Olivia VanArk (‘22) said. “It forces me to stop thinking about my life and focus on just moving and breathing.” Yoga has also been proven to help depression. According to a study done by Boston University, participants with depression who participated in three months of consistent yoga displayed lower scores by 50 percent on depressionscreening questionnaires. Chemically, yoga can lead to an increase of serotonin levels in the body.
This chemical relates directly to one’s happiness. Finally, yoga can also lead to better focus. One of the main elements of yoga is focusing on breathing and the present and straying away from the thoughts that build up in the mind. Whether you attended Yoga in the Grove or not, yoga can lead to benefits all around. To get involved in the yoga scene, try checking out the Hope yoga club. Run by Alaina Streberger (‘20), the club is dedicated to “building community, spreading knowledge of the yoga practice, and promoting health and wellness. Follow them on Instagram @hopeyogaa.