Yoga is a great way to physically and mentally relax. While it might not seem as vigorous as something like crossfit or running, it is still a valuable workout. Keep reading to learn about some of the many benefits of having a daily yoga practice.
- Yoga helps build up flexibility and muscle strength over time. More than maintain a certain image, being strong and flexible leads to long-term physical health, warding off chronic pain as the body ages.
- Beyond muscle strength, yoga also helps strengthen your joints, cartilage, and bones.
- It acts as an antidote to heavy book bags and hours hunched over studying by correcting and protecting your spine.
- Practicing yoga can boost your mood. Stress can trigger serious mental health concerns including depression and anxiety. Putting your body through a yoga session can calm you down and help you feel happier.
- In the same vein, yoga calms your entire system down. Focusing on your breath and the way your body is moving shifts your body into restorative mode.
Don’t let the cost of attending classes at an official studio stop you from practicing. While classes are often expensive (and out of a college student’s budget), yoga can be done at home for free. Here are a few ways to get started with your practice.
- Find free videos! Websites like “Do Yoga with Me” offer free videos geared toward practitioners of all levels. There are teachers on social media and YouTube who post their daily routines. Local libraries also carry DVD’s that can be checked out.
- Buy a yoga mat. Owning a mat will serve two functions. First, seeing your mat will motivate you to roll it out and practice. Second, practicing yoga on carpet or hardwood is actually quite difficult. If you’re having trouble holding a pose because your feet keep slipping on carpet, tile, or hardwood floors, you might just give up. Yoga mats can be found everywhere from Target to Amazon. While they do come in a variety of colors and patterns, a simple mat might help you focus on your body and breathing.
- Start with a simple practice. If you can’t touch your toes, just hold the back of your thighs or calves. If you’re having trouble holding a posture, find a modified version. There is no reason to push your body too much. The point is to relax and breath. Over time, you’ll begin to loosen up and gain strength.