Stress Management and Yoga for College Students


| 9 Comments

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As young adults, college students build up stress from school, classes, family matters, friends, and social situations. Without a release of this stress, your body will take a toll. Pent up stress can lead to many physical and psychological effects that are bound to frustrate you even more. The most common of these side effects include headaches, muscle aches, nausea, insomnia, and difficulty concentrating. It's extremely important to find a way to release the stress of day-to-day life.

Yoga is a practice of uniting the mind and physical body as one. It combines breathing exercise, meditation, and physical positions. This combination is believed to reduce many physical and mental ailments that are caused by stress. Multiple studies have shown that yoga can reduce back pain, lower heart rate and blood pressure, relieve several psychological conditions, and improve physical fitness and flexibility. An NCCAM-funded study of 90 people concluded that chronic lower-back and depression significantly decreased after six months of practice. Even more interesting is that a 2011 study of 313 adults had less lower-back pain after 12 weekly yoga classes than they did from typical medical care.

 

Yoga is offered at a number of places in State College, including several times a week at the White Building (with a gym membership), and at the Student Health Center (Tuesday and Thursday evenings). Since there are many types of yoga being practiced, it is important to be familiar with what to expect and to be realistic about your physical limits.

http://www.stress.org/stress-effects/

http://www.lululemon.com/education/yoga/

http://nccam.nih.gov/health/yoga/introduction.htm

 

 


9 Comments

Rebecca,
my roommate has actually been pushing for me to attend a yoga class with her. She claimed that yoga helps relax the body and improve calm and positive thinking. I was at first nervous to attend because I'm not at all flexible or balanced, but I soon learned that attending the classes helps these factors of my physical fitness. I learned that yoga helps reduce stress in a different way than running. Yoga is also a good way to burn calories, so if people are worried they wont receive the same benefits they can check out this website below for more facts:
http://www.fitday.com/fitness-articles/fitness/cardio/calories-burned-for-yoga-is-it-enough-for-weight-loss.html#b

Hi,
I am a guy so I don't think it's socially acceptable for me to go to yoga. I have never been a person to get stressed until this year. I have found myself getting stressed out because of too many things going on. Maybe I'll do some yoga in my room locked...

I've been looking into yoga a lot recently because I've heard about all the benefits! I have only ever seriously done yoga once and it was super relaxing so finding out about all the different types they offer here I really wanted to try it again... it's just a matter of finding time to do it. I was curious about the different types and found an article here: http://www.health.com/health/gallery/0,,20659887,00.html that breaks down the different types and what/who they are good for depending on whether you're just a beginner looking to try something new and stress-relieving or trying to lose weight.

I love doing yoga. I always did it at my local gym with my mom before coming to college, but now that I have a gym membership, I can also practice it in state college! I feel like yoga is definitely a de-stresser no matter what you are going through. It is a time and place where you can leave all your stressful thoughts behind and just focus on you and your body. Yoga promotes relaxation. It affects three important things: the mind, our bodies, and our breathing. Setting aside time to work on these three things can actually eliminate numerous amounts of stress and relieve you for a period of time. For me, I would go to yoga with a million thoughts and when I would leave I wouldn't be as stressed about them. I think it is important to incorporate some form of exercise or relaxation method into your daily, or even weekly routine, because it definitely makes you a healthier person! this website, Yoga for Stress Relief, explains in detail why yoga is on beneficial to everyone who practices it!

Rebecca,
I really enjoyed reading your article. I am a dancer, so I am used to doing yoga in class with my dance instructors because they find it just as beneficial as you do. When practicing yoga, I do feel a sense of relief both physically and mentally- so I can agree with your findings! I also struggle with lower back pain and have been wondering how to relieve it, now that I know yoga can help I might consider taking some classes! Since I have been away from home and my dance studio, I haven't been able to practice it as much as I'd like to. But after reading your article, I'd really like to pick it back up again! On another note, my dance teachers also practice something known as "Reflexology". This is another way I find helpful with relieving both mental and physical stress. You can read more about it here...

http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/what-is-reflexology/AN02194

Rebecca,

Thanks so much for writing this! I used to do yoga a lot in high school and I completely agree with all of the benefits that you mentioned in your post and I am glad you thought to write an article on it to inform all of our classmates that may not have known all of these benefits and maybe now some of them will take up a yoga class to help them with the daily stress of college life. Yoga doesn't only flex our muscles but it has also been found to "flex our brains" and help college students with mental clarity and focusing. According to this article (http://thedailycougar.com/2013/02/12/yoga-helps-students-flex-their-brain/) "studies have shown yoga can help students to improve their memory, grades and success in classes."

Yoga has been something that I turned to after coming to college and the stress began to take a toll on me both mentally and physically, which is never a good thing. I've found it extremely soothing and calming and apparently, I'm not the only one who thinks so. In an article from the University of Mary Washington's student affairs website http://students.umw.edu/wellness/wellness-resource-center/benefits-of-exercise-2/benefits-of-yoga/, it discussed how helpful yoga is in reducing one's stress because it focuses on being present and in the moment. I know personally how much I struggle with that and am always worried about things coming up and things that I need to get done. Yoga is also a great intro into meditation and focusing on your breathing which are good techniques to utilize when things in your life get out of control. Also, according to shape.com, yoga can be even better than the gym, specifically because if practiced correctly, it can be counted as muscle conditioning and cardio all in one. Not only that, it talks about how yoga teaches you to appreciate your body which can help you break barriers and lose weight. http://www.shape.com/blogs/working-it-out/8-reasons-yoga-beats-gym

Laura, I liked the article you posted in your comment. Last year I was swamped with homework and projects and thus found myself skipping workouts. I packed on a few pounds, and to turn things around in time for spring break, I started a new workout plan. I ran about 7 miles a week and did yoga several times per week. I found that nightly yoga sessions helped my muscles to become toned and lean. I also realized that I slept better, focused better on homework and classes, and was a happier person. Of course, I supplemented my workout plan with healthy eating, but I highly recommend adding yoga to your workout schedule as a way to burn calories.

Caio, I'm not at all surprised that you believe yoga is a female-dominated workout. This is a stigma that should be thrown out right now. I've been to plenty of yoga classes, and I don't think I've ever been to one where a male was not present. Sure, men are less flexible than females, but this can be changed with practice! I actually was teaching my boyfriend and his friends some yoga positions last night. I found an article by Men's Fitness that explains how yoga can be beneficial when added to a weightlifting plan. http://www.mensfitness.com/training/3-reasons-men-should-do-yoga

However, if you do feel intimidated by yoga classes at Penn State (which I sincerely hope you are not), then I recommend searching youtube for videos. I personally like Jillian Michaels' yoga meltdown, which is similar to a calisthenics workout, and not as relaxing as some other versions of yoga: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q5nyrD4eM64
If you are looking for something more soothing, this one seems to be a good choice.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xPr4g7o46DY

Good luck, and I hope you do try yoga, even if it's alone in your room.

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