“Yoga has a sly, clever way of short circuiting the mental patterns that cause anxiety” ~ Baxter Bell
Reading Week is long past and all that remains is the stretch to final essays and exams. During this time of the year the first snowflakes of stress begin to fall, first gently, then rapidly, until you find yourself in the middle of a giant snowball rolling down an icy slope. However, if there is anything you can learn from your undergraduate degree it is this: stress is inevitable, but it is manageable.
Now, I could create a conventional top ten list of ways to manage stress, but today let’s take a little stroll off the beaten path and talk about the benefits of incorporating a yoga practice into your busy student schedule.
I stumbled across yoga during my first year at Nipissing and have been addicted ever since. Yoga goes beyond the physical asanas and you can truly see the mental, spiritual, and emotional benefits of your practice both on and off the mat. As students we are always looking towards the next assignment, test, or essay – our to do list never seems to end! In my life this was a source of tremendous anxiety and negativity, sucking energy that could have been directed towards more positive pursuits. Now, an hour a day whether at the studio or home allows me to enjoy the present moment and just breathe.
Don’t believe me? Fair enough. But before you sum this post up to a bunch of hippie mumbo jumbo, check out this article published at Harvard University that provides scientific research suggesting that the practice of yoga modulates the stress response. Booyah!
Now, at this point I’m assuming you’re convinced and screaming into the screen, “How do I start?” Good question, here are a few ways to begin your practice:
- Nipissing offers free yoga classes at the athletics centre three times a week!
- Find a local studio for more perks such as hot, hatha, or aerial yoga, as well as meditation workshops. The closet studio to Nipissing is Grounded Studios which offers a variety of awesome student discounts. Did I mention the first class is free?
- Enjoy yoga from the privacy of your own home. All you need is a mat and your body. There are amazing resource available online – most of them for free!
Yoga is the journey of the self, through the self, to the self. Enjoy it.