Yoga helps students flex their brain
The life of a university student is potentially a very demanding and stressful one. Students face all sorts of challenges with juggling school, work and a social life. In doing so, students develop unhealthy eating habits and potentially become overweight because of fast food, but there is a way for students to cope with academic pressures without suffering.
Melanee Wood, the assistant director in the Campus Recreation and Wellness Center says yoga is beneficial to students for many reasons.
“Number one, it’s a class that people of any fitness level can do. There’s easy ways to modify the class to either challenge yourself a little bit more or to take it a little bit easier if it’s not your day or if you’re not there fitness wise yet. It’s also a great stress reliever.”
Recent studies have proven college students who practice yoga develop lower stress levels and anxiety, mental clarity and an increase in flexibility and strength.
According to Livestrong.com, certain styles of yoga such as Vinyasa or Flow can help a student develop flexibility, strength and balance. These types of yoga give an individual a more intense workout through constant movement and poses. It’s challenging but good for strength building, maintaining a healthy body weight and increasing energy. In turn this helps students to learn to overcome some of those unhealthy eating and drinking habits that can lead to a negative body image and instead gives the student a boost in self-confidence.
For those looking for more of a challenge, Bikram or other forms of hot yoga is a good suggestion. These classes, which take place in a heated room at about 100 degrees, are good for relieving back pain, stretching the muscles, ligaments and tendons which causes one to sweat out toxic impurities, purifying the body. Hot yoga has also been known to reduce migraine headaches and reduce pain for students suffering from carpal tunnel syndrome developed from long hours of typing away on the laptop.
Per one yoga organization, Sangha Yoga Shala, practicing yoga also develops conscientiousness, which promotes concentration crucial to academic success. Studies have shown yoga can help students to improve their memory, grades and success in classes. By utilizing certain breathing and meditation techniques, students can stay focused when dealing with stressful situations like final exams. Hatha yoga is the best for this type of practice. This style focuses on breathing and meditation exercises, which can help an individual quiet the mind and can act as a natural sleep aid.
Yoga is beneficial to a student’s daily life; it can improve a student’s personal growth by relieving anxiety, enhancing mood, motivation and outlook on life and can help them achieve academic success while making their experience in college an enjoyable one. According to the American Yoga Association, practicing yoga daily allows people to access their inner strength that helps deal with the challenges of everyday life.
Fortunately for UH students, yoga classes are free. Wood says the Recreation Center offers eight yoga classes, as well as a pilates and yogalates, a fusion of pilates and yoga, class. The Recreation Center requires the student sign a waiver to get their fitness pass before joining a class.