Georgia chats about how incredibly beneficial Yoga is for students!
Yoga is a practice. It is an activity made up of a series of physical, mental and spiritual forms and exercises. Google’s definition of the discipline says that Yoga aims to ‘control and still the mind, recognising a detached witness-consciousness untouched by the mind and mundane suffering.’ I can safely say that students experience many ‘mundane sufferings’, including loneliness, exam and coursework stress, feelings of uncertainty, and homesickness. Let alone the plethora of mental health conditions that studies show many students deal with alongside everything else.
In recent years, perhaps with the rise of social media influencers, Yoga has grown in popularity amongst younger generations. We can see examples of pilates and “yoga babes” on TikTok and Instagram, showcasing activewear and aesthetic yoga studios. Still, there is much more to Yoga than the perception of having your life together. It can assist you in securing better grades, feeling less stressed and gaining clarity in difficult situations.
By incorporating Yoga into your study breaks, you can be more productive in your study blocks and feel better for having gained a different perspective. Many people swear by Yoga’s ability to refocus the mind, which, in the context of studying, can be a secret study weapon to ensure that the quality of your work reflects the hours you’ve spent in the library. Students often exclaim that they have a five- or ten-minute break by going onto their phones and quickly getting distracted, leaving them in an unproductive stint for hours. Instead, why not take a break in-between studying to practice an hour of Yoga, going back to your studies to start afresh afterwards? Not only are you more likely to be able to concentrate rather than having a typical unfocused afternoon doing one hour’s worth of work in four hours. You are also likely to look at your work with a new perspective meaning those problems you would be trying to solve all afternoon become that little bit less daunting and more manageable.
If you belong to the university gyms on campus, there are a couple of lunchtime yoga, pilates or body balance sessions, which you can book using the Lboro Sport app. However, if you’re not a gym member, Youtube is a great alternative to lessons with a physical instructor. Some of my favourite channels you could try are ‘Yoga With Adriene’, ‘Move With Bird’, or ‘Move With Nicole’. Attending a class full of frequent Yoga-goers can feel daunting, but the community is both inclusive and welcoming to newcomers!
Of course, Yoga also has amazing benefits for general health. Those who may not be into the gym can benefit from gentle exercise that builds strength and improves mobility and flexibility. For those sporty, gymming Loughborough students, it can help assist with your fitness goals, helping with your form through improving core stability and ensuring you have stretched effectively to prevent injury. In terms of mental health, Yoga lowers stress hormones whilst increasing the levels of positive brain chemicals like endorphins.
There have been recent arguments about the appropriation of Yoga in Western fitness culture, removing the more spiritual elements of the practice originating in India. Therefore, it is essential to be respectful during Yoga and educate yourself on any aspects you are unsure of. Nevertheless, Yoga is open to everyone and provides benefits to all and for students… it can open minds to gain better mental, physical and perceptual clarity.
Editing by Caitlin Phillips (Lifestyle Editor)
Design by Sarim Mangi (Head of Design)