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Posted 
Jul 21, 2021
 in 
College Life
 category

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Headings, paragraphs, blockquotes, figures, images, and figure captions can all be styled after a class is added to the rich text element using the "When inside of" nested selector system.

Headings, paragraphs, blockquotes, figures, images, and figure captions can all be styled after a class is added to the rich text element using the "When inside of" nested selector system.

Headings, paragraphs, blockquotes, figures, images, and figure captions can all be styled after a class is added to the rich text element using the "When inside of" nested selector system.

  • after a class is added to the rich text element using the "When inside of" nested selector system.
  • after a class is added to the rich text element using the "When inside of" nested selector system.

Headings, paragraphs, blockquotes, figures, images, and figure captions can all be styled after a class is added to the rich text element using the "When inside of" nested selector system.

Are you feeling overwhelmed by the semester? You aren’t alone. It’s no secret that college can be stressful. From juggling tough, upper-level classes to managing various extracurricular activities, it can sometimes feel like you have too much on your plate. Balancing all of these priorities can take a serious toll on your mental health. 

Yoga is a popular method among students for stress management. Not only does practicing yoga strengthen your mental health, but it can also provide great benefits for your physical health! It is also safe for most healthy people to practice. However, if you’re new to yoga, you should start practicing under the guidance of a certified instructor before flying out on your own. 

Ready to take control of your mental and physical health? Read on to learn how you can use yoga to fight stress and stay healthy during this tough semester. 

How Yoga Heals the Mind and Body

Yoga offers numerous mental and physical health benefits.

Yoga offers a number of great health benefits, such as:

  • Increased flexibility and muscle strength
  • Better posture
  • Spine protection
  • Improved bone health
  • Lower blood sugar
  • Back pain relief
  • Reduced blood pressure
  • Boosted immune system
  • Stress reduction

Learning how to manage stress is vital for college students. As a student, you’re dealing with stress from multiple sources. There is often pressure from your family to do well. You also have to deal with the pressure to manage your finances on a small budget. Finding and applying for internships and jobs can just pile onto the anxiety and stress you are already feeling.

It can be tempting to just “push” aside these feelings of stress and anxiety. However, failing to properly manage your stress can lead to physical health issues like high blood pressure and a weakened immune system. 

Yoga strengthens your mind-body connection while training you to be more mindful of yourself and your surroundings. As you continue to practice yoga, you’ll find that you’ve become much better at managing your stress and anxiety. You may notice other health benefits like improved strength and flexibility. Overall, yoga can make a great improvement to your health!

Great Spots Where You Can Practice Yoga

Change up your yoga routine every once in a while by visiting a new spot. 

There are a variety of different places where you can take yoga classes. Most people take them at:

  • Private yoga clubs
  • Local recreation centers 
  • On-campus fitness center
  • Free online videos
  • Outside

You can typically find yoga classes at a nearby recreation center or yoga club. Yoga club classes tend to be expensive. However, many studios offer student discounts! If you find a yoga studio near campus that you like, make sure you check and see if they offer any discounts. Your on-campus gym may also hold yoga classes at a low cost. Some of these classes are even taught by other students. Many universities also offer fitness classes for credit. If you’re taking a light semester, you might be able to squeeze a yoga class in your schedule. 

Working on a tight budget? You may be able to find some free yoga and fitness organizations on campus. There are also plenty of free yoga videos you can follow online, like the popular Yoga with Adriene series. You can also create your own routine with some of the moves we feature below! 

How to Get the Most Out of Your Yoga Practice

Create positive change in your life with these simple techniques.

Ready to start your new yoga practice? To ensure you get the most out of it, make sure you educate yourself on the basics of yoga. You’ll feel much more confident — and less nervous — if you come into your first class with some idea of how it all works. 

Get Familiar With Different Styles of Yoga

There are a number of different yoga styles and intensity levels that you can try. Vinyasa is one of the most popular yoga practices. It is also one of the most athletic types of yoga. Hatha is another popular yoga technique. If you want to focus on meditation and mindfulness practice, hatha is probably your best choice. But feel free to try different types of yoga to see which one meshes best with your interests and goals. 

Purchase the Right Equipment

A proper yoga mat is essential. Some studios let you rent a mat. However, if you know you are going to be attending classes regularly, it might be more cost effective to just purchase your own mat. Maybe you just don’t want to practice on a used mat. No matter the reason, there are numerous benefits to buying your own yoga mat. 

Need help finding a yoga mat? Stretch your arms to the sky on our Reach the Sun yoga mat. This striking and artistic yoga mat is the perfect addition to your growing yoga kit. The front features a simple but gorgeous design while the back is all white. 

Sometimes, you just need to be reminded that everything is going to be okay. Our Optimist Everything is OK yoga mat will give you the assurance and boost in confidence you need to start your yoga workout on the right foot. 

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Like to keep things clean and simple? The Pink Spring Bulbs yoga mat features a charming and fun pattern on top of a light pink background. Stay focused as you breathe and flow through different poses on this fun yoga mat. 

Focus on Your Breathing

When you’re stuck in a difficult pose like Crow or Warrior III, it can be easy to forget to breathe. But focusing on your breath is key to holding the pose while maintaining a strong mind-body connection. 

One popular breathing technique is called Ujjayi breath. To practice Ujjayi, you take a deep inhale through the nose before exhaling back through the nose. As you breathe, you want to keep your throat constricted. The breath should be loud enough for the person next to you to hear it. You can practice this breathing technique outside of yoga class, as it is great for calming the mind. 

Commit to a Regular Schedule

You don’t have to attend class five times a week. But carving out just 30 minutes time chunks two times a week to practice can help improve your mental health. As you get used to your new routine, you’ll find it easier to stick to this schedule. During slow periods of the semester, you may be able to tack on some extra classes to your schedule. 

Don’t Compare Yourself to Others

Don’t feel discouraged if you see another classmate balancing perfectly in Side Crow while you can barely manage Tree. Your yoga journey involves you, not your classmates. Comparing yourself to others may lead you to try to push yourself past your limits, which can lead to injury. Focus on your personal journey and achievements. 

Best Yoga Poses for Reducing Stress

Want to fit in some sessions between classes? Build a routine from these popular poses.

Only have a few minutes for some yoga? Try some of these poses! They’re simple enough to do in your dorm room. Feel free to hold them for a while to help ease and calm your mind.

Downward Dog

Image courtesy of Yoga Journal.

Downward Dog is probably one of the most popular yoga poses that people practice. It’s a great pose for stretching out your back legs and relieving lower back pain. As you breathe into Downward Dog, remember to keep your palms and fingers pressed firmly against the ground. Keep your feet hip-width apart and your shoulders open. 

Child’s Pose

Image courtesy of Verywell.

Child’s Pose is often used to take a breather between different flows. Many teachers also follow Downward Dog with Child’s Pose. In Child’s Pose, your forehead is relaxed against the ground while your arms are stretched out in front of you and your knees are spread apart on the mat. 

Rabbit Pose

Image courtesy of Yoga Basics. 

Rabbit Pose is a great pose to follow up behind Child’s Pose. To move into Rabbit Pose from Child’s Pose, simply grab your heels and hold onto them as you pull the top of your head onto the floor. As you can see from the photo, this pose is great for stretching out your back.

Plow Pose

Image courtesy of Yoga Journal.

Don’t be afraid to switch it up and roll into Plow Pose. Not only does the pose help with back pain, but it can also help you get a better night’s rest. Can’t reach your toes to the ground? No worries. If you can’t rest your feet comfortably on the ground, use a prop to help you out.

Other Popular Techniques for De-Stressing

Yoga is not the only effective practice for stress management. Add these techniques to your daily routine.

Interested in trying other stress reduction techniques? We recommend: 

  • Starting a journal
  • Trying guided imagery
  • Practicing progressive muscle relaxation
  • Getting into aromatherapy

Yoga teaches you how to connect your mind and body together. Practicing yoga can also help you learn how to treat yourself kindly and nurture your mental and physical health. Whether you are able to take a couple of classes a week or just have time for a short session in your dorm room, you will enjoy numerous benefits from your new yoga practice.

How do you typically manage stress? Do you practice meditation? Work out? Perform a mixture of both? Let us know!

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