Exercise of all kinds is important to mental and physical health; this is obvious. But what makes yoga perfect for college students? Better sleep, improved focus and mindfulness are just a few of the plentiful benefits that college students gain from engaging in yoga regularly. Too often, we find ourselves tired for the whole day and then miraculously can’t sleep when we actually lay down for the night. This cycle repeats when we fill up with caffeine the next day and push through hours of classes, homework and tests, rarely taking time to care for ourselves. A few minutes of yoga before bed helps to stretch out your body, hopefully helping to calm muscles and get yourself ready for sleep. Yoga in the morning can help you wake up and feel refreshed after a full night on paper-thin dorm mattresses.
Yoga also teaches us to direct our focus, which can in turn keep us on track as students. Disciplining ourselves to study or write a paper can sometimes be a really hard task because of all of the distractions that life throws our way. College tuition and tests are just a couple of the stressors that we deal with on a daily basis, making it hard to stay focused on doing anything for more than a short period of time. Yoga can teach you how to direct your focus and hopefully make your late-night study session a little more productive.
One reason that yoga is typically different than other forms of exercise is because it’s low impact, meaning that it does not put as much stress on joints. Some students see working out as a daunting task, either too intense or just plain overwhelming. Yoga is a form of exercise that is typically taught in classes and slow paced, sometimes making it easier for us to get used to an active lifestyle.
Mindfulness and self-care are a couple more things that are too often set aside in our daily lives. As the semester winds down, it might seem like time for students to relax, but most of us are actually working even harder to get grades up between midterms and finals. Yoga can help to create some structure in our busy lives and also ground us each day. Coming back to one practice every day creates a safe place of comfort and a much-needed recharge. Along with all of these benefits, yoga can also boost confidence from the physical changes that happen in one’s body from practicing yoga.
If you’d like to get started or even just try out yoga, you can flow with Hope Yoga. They practice every Thursday at 8 p.m. in Room 210 and Tuesday at 7 p.m. in Room 208 in the Dow. Stop by any time! They have plenty of extra mats and no sign up is required. Follow @hopeyogaa on Instagram to stay up to date with special events!