- Category: Volume 86 (Fall 2014 - Spring 2015)
- Published: 12 November 2014
Have you ever considered trying yoga? Well if you haven't already, you should because the practice itself has numerous health benefits and it's enjoyable. Incorporating yoga into your weekly or even daily workout routine is a good way to give you variety in your exercises and open your mind to new ideas.
Yoga is all about connecting your mind and body. According to Caroline Gregoire, a health public speaker and Huffington Post blogger, yoga reduces stress and boosts well-being. She explained that what most people don't know is that it actually has many physical benefits that might even be better than other types of exercises.
Many people believe that yoga does not give you an adequate workout. While most yoga classes do not give you a cardio workout, you are building strength by balancing, holding, and flowing through poses. In addition to building muscles, you are creating a harmony between mind and body, and not many other practices or exercises can do this.
Lauren Francis, a sophomore health studies major and a fitness instructor, is a strong advocate for practicing yoga. She said, "It keeps me physically and mentally in shape. Since it is extremely healthy for the body and mind, it helps relieve much of my stress, which is why I do not have a very stressful life."
"I think the best part about yoga is that anyone, anywhere can practice it...you don't have to be an expert to do it," said Francis. Most people do not try yoga because they believe that it will be too difficult, it is not an adequate workout, or it is just not for them. But, like Francis said, yoga can be for anyone and you can practice it anywhere. Whether it's at the beach, or in a dorm; the benefits yoga has to offer are endless.
Another myth is that yoga is only for girls. But, many yoga instructors and yogis are actually men, especially in European and Middle Eastern countries. So if you are a male and are afraid to try a yoga class because of this stereotype, don't be afraid, go out and try it!
Marta Neumann, a health and physical education professor, has been teaching yoga over ten years and she notices that yoga is very popular among college students. She believes that anyone who engages in yoga will physically improve flexibility, tone muscles, and keep the body aligned and in balance. "In my yoga classes here on campus, I incorporate many different postures that target different parts of your body, but I also incorporate meditation and relaxation. This combination of physical and mental activity releases tension, restores energy, and relaxes the mind, allowing you to focus on yourself," said Neumann.
Similar to what Lauro said, practicing yoga allows you to let go of all of your worries and stresses. Through deep breathing, muscle relaxation, visualization, and meditation you can easily improve your health with no costs!
If you are unsure about yoga and worried that it will be too hard or out of your comfort zone, use the yoga classes offered here on campus as a trial.
We have certified yoga instructors that teach classes throughout the week and you certainly do not have to be an expert to go. The yoga classes are for any levels whether you are a beginner or expert, plus yoga is a practice where you can move at your own pace. So next time are in the mood for a different kind of workout, get out there and get your yoga on.
PHOTO TAKEN by Kristen Harge