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Viewpoint: Benefits of Yoga for College Students

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Sabrina Miresse, Staff Reporter

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In order to destress from the demands of college and part-time jobs, yoga is a great way to relax your mind and body. Yoga is a  way to give yourself some time alone, while also getting in a good workout that does not feel like one. As someone who hates working out, I love doing yoga. The different practices that one can do are fun and a good mental challenge. Instead of running and lifting weights, I practice yoga and feel refreshed after with my muscles are stretched out and my mind calmed. Yoga is easy for anyone to practice, and you do not have to be flexible to begin yoga!

According to osteopathic.org, yoga increases flexibility and muscle strength while reducing weight and improving circulatory health. In addition to this, the typically most loved pose—savasana (or resting pose)—is done at the end of each practice helps your body to rest, and transition from work out to the rest of your day.

UW-L sophomore and  Rec yoga instructor Lizzy Schneider says, “yoga is a technology that teaches the mind how to stop working against itself. Our body is the instrument and the breath is our means of playing it. Each person plays their instrument a little different and that’s the beauty. Yoga is unique, just as the individual.” Yoga classes at the Rec are in session and can be signed up for every semester.

Off campus yoga studios are available as well. Jordyn Hedberg speaks to her experience with Root Down Hot Yoga, “I have scoliosis and yoga has really helped with my flexibility in everyday activities. I’ve noticed a lot less soreness and that I’m able to sleep better. And I’ve made a lot of new friendships!”

Yoga is very beneficial to the mind and can help students concentrate on studying. Because yoga combines fluid movements with breathing control and meditation, the exercise teaches one to focus on what’s happening in the moment—the breath—and ignore all other things that cannot serve them in that very moment. This can directly improve concentration while studying if the yoga techniques are carried into real life.

Gathered from an article out of The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine, yoga decreases anxiety by increasing GABA in the brain. GABA is a neurotransmitter that helps to regulate brain activity. When GABA levels are low, disorders such as anxiety or depression can occur. Increasing GABA levels naturally through exercise such as yoga can enhance mood and decrease stress (webmd.com). This will bring on a sense of balance and mental clarity into your life and may be the perfect way to decrease specifically test anxiety.

To take up yoga for yourself, sign up at the Eagle Rec Center or check out some of the studios around the La Crosse community.

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Viewpoint: Benefits of Yoga for College Students