Stressed out and feeling overwhelmed? Try doing some Yoga poses!

by Hannah Willis, Contributor

Considering taking that yoga class offered at the Aztec Recreation Center?

Do it.

Yoga offers a variety of ways to improve one’s own mental health while benefiting various parts of the body. It is a mind-body activity like no other which almost always provides evident results and has proven to be extremely beneficial among college students in various aspects.

For starters, college students have a hefty work load that includes maintaining grades, extra-curricular activities, work, family obligations and social responsibilities, resulting in stress overload.

Too much stress has been related to having a “negative impact on the immune system and prolonged exposure increases susceptibility to disease and leads to physical and mental health problems such as anxiety and depression,” Catherine Woodyard wrote in her article, “Exploring the Therapeutic effects of Yoga and Its Ability to Increase Quality of Life.”

Yoga counteracts stress and aims to quiet the mind, something that might sound ideal for busy, overworked students or anyone pondering a solution to their chaotic lifestyle.

Woodyard mentions in her article how yoga poses “address the tension, holding, and blockage of energy in any particular joint or organ. As this tension is released, energy flows more readily throughout the body” which allows participants “to experience a sense of increased well-being and strength as well as a balance of mind, body and spirit.”

To reiterate, yogic postures are designed to relieve tension, muscle pain and joint pain, a useful tactic for any student-athlete.

Another yoga perk is that it has the ability to treat sleep apnea and promote an overall better night’s rest. By integrating restorative poses, meditation and deep breathing, one is more likely to enter a deeper sleep and feel more energized and refreshed once they awake.

“Regular practice of yoga resulted in a significant decrease in the time taken to fall asleep, an increase in the total number of hours slept, and in the feeling of being rested in the morning,” wrote Woodyard.

Lastly, it’s advised that one incorporate yoga’s principles into all (if not, most) aspect of one’s everyday life, especially in academic work.

By mirroring those same principles in a college lecture or during an exam, chances are you will perform better.

Elevating your mood, improving your studies, increasing flexibility, reducing muscle and joint pain, relieving tension and heightening one’s overall well-being — it’s hard to find a reason not to do yoga.

Now, grab your mat, put on some yoga pants and head to that yoga class you’ve been tempted to take.