Yoga provides numerous health benefits

Alicia NewberryCONTRIBUTOR

Many college students are stressed out and overwhelmed with projects, papers, quizzes, and exams. It is recommended that students spend at least two to three hours outside of class studying for every one credit hour in which they are enrolled. That could amount to 30+ hours of additional studying. A college lifestyle is busy enough: work, family, volunteering, cooking, cleaning and maybe a social life. Let’s face it. College students do not understand what it means to stop and take a deep breath. One way to combat the stress, fatigue and weariness of college woes is yoga.

Yoga is a holistic approach to excersize that integrates the oneness of mind, body and spirit. Practicing yoga daily promotes self-regulation and teaches body awareness and mindfulness. Tracy Routsong, professor of communications studies, regularly practices yoga.

“(Yoga) gives me 50 minutes of the day to refocus my attention and my energy so that I’m ready for my round 2,” Routsong said.

Routsong not only recognizes the benefits of yoga as a professor, but also acknowledged the daily stress  a college student may experience in regards to making it to class on time and being prepared.

The International Journal of Yoga conducted a study to determine how yoga affects alertness and academic performance. They discovered that students who engaged in the yoga module academically outperformed their counterparts who did not practice yoga. The study indicated that yoga facilitates a reduction in anxiety and improves overall concentration. They also presented with lower stress levels.

Yoga and meditation have the ability to change perception, attention and cognition—which are all necessary components for being a successful college student.

Here at Washburn University, yoga is offered as an activities class through the Kinesiology Department in the Petro Allied Health center. Instructor Angie Price provides her students with various vinyasa’s. A vinyasa is a flowing sequence of poses that synchronizes the breath with each posture. Price’s calm nature and soothing voice facilitates a peaceful atmosphere. She challenges each student to soar beyond their limits and attempt the more advanced positions, however, it is not required. As students, it is vital that we manage not only our physical health, but our mental health as well. Remember, yoga is what you make it.

So take a deep breath and namaste.