Yoga: A way of life

Yoga. It is all the rage in the healthy living community among people who eat well, get adequate sleep, focus on personal development and don’t drink or smoke in excess. So there’s no way yoga would be appropriate for a college student…right? WRONG! Simply put, the power of yoga changes lives, and no matter your lifestyle, yoga puts you on a higher frequency.

College life is hectic, stressful, diverse, unpredictable and generally unstable for many students. You could be doing a million things at once, and your mind will still be on a million other things that have to get done. The practice of yoga is the practice of releasing tension from the mind and body, of letting go. Consider it a one-hour vacation from the daily grind. Often in a yoga class, the instructor tells you to “let go of anything that was on your mind when you came into this, let go of anything in the past or the future that you are dwelling on,” the most important thing is to be here now, in the present moment.

In that sense, yoga helps with focus; through concentrating on breathing and synching it with your motions, you gain a certain calmness. Constant, rhythmic use of the breath – your life force – helps you through the hardest of postures and the most strenuous of classes. The elation you feel after a yoga class is unlike anything you will feel after lifting weights for an hour or walking the StairMaster like a hamster on a wheel for an hour. This clarity will translate to your everyday life and give you a new perspective. You just might freak out less often.

And another thing, yoga can be strenuous! Fellas, I guarantee that power yoga, or Yogathletics as it’s called at the Green Monkey Studio in Sunset Place, is ten times more challenging than whatever you are doing at UM’s overcrowded, generally un-zen gym. For guys and girls, yoga builds lean muscle quickly, as you are stretching your muscles at the same time you are working them. Yoga helps your posture and improves your swagger. If you already exercise, it is a great complement to your routine; if you think you hate exercise, it might just be the perfect workout for you!

“Yoga has added balance to my life. I definitely have noticed an increase in my ability to handle stress, my quality of sleep and general overall mood” said Sanjay Palta, a senior at UM and the campus director of Green Monkey.

Yoga is for everyone, and the beauty of it is that a beginner and an expert could both get a great workout in the same class. It all depends on how far you choose to take it. If you pick up yoga, your progress is exponential – it is almost instant gratification with regards to seeing yourself become stronger and more flexible. You know we college students are the future, right? Imagine if we all came into the real world with a smile on our face and the confidence to change the world the way we changed ourselves for the better…don’t take my word for it, just try it! Namaste, people.

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