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This week in wellness: Using yoga to de-stress

Students participate in a yoga session on the South Oval. Credit: Courtesy of Hannah Rinehardt

Students participate in a yoga session on the South Oval. Credit: Courtesy of Hannah Rinehardt

Students are halfway through the semester, and with the stress of midterms subsiding, maybe it’s time to wind down with a little yoga. The Lantern talked to Alice Adams, the group fitness coordinator for the Office of Student Life’s Recreational Sports, about students and yoga fitness.

Q: What benefits can yoga provide for students?

A: Yoga is great for your mind and body. For anyone that is stressed out, overwhelmed or exhausted, yoga’s meditative postures and breath practices can help decrease that stress and anxiety while revitalizing the mind and body. Other benefits include increased flexibility, tension release, heightened body awareness and mind focus and an overall sensation of more balance in life.  

Q: Do you need to be flexible to do yoga?

A: No — yoga will help improve your flexibility over time, so no need to feel intimidated if you cannot touch your toes or stand on one leg. A marathon runner does not wake up one morning and start running marathons. It takes time and practice to reach that goal, same as with yoga.

Q: How long do you have to do yoga to feel the benefits?

A: Everyone’s yoga journey is different. Some people will feel the mental and physical benefits after just one class, while others might need to attend three to five classes before they start to feel comfortable in their practice. For those people that are new to yoga, I would suggest practicing at least once a week to start, even if only for 20-30 minutes at home.

Q:What are some easy poses students can do at home?

A: Child’s Pose is a simple restorative posture that can help quiet the mind while gently stretching the back. To perform this pose, start from a kneeling position and hinge your hips back towards your heels, laying your torso on top or between your thighs. Hands can either be extended in front with palms facing down or on the floor alongside your torso with palms facing up.

Q: Where can students go on campus to try yoga? What do they need to bring?

A: We offer several different types of yoga classes at the RPAC, all of which are free for students. For those that are new to yoga, I would recommend Breathe & Balance Yoga, Yoga Foundations or Relaxation Yoga. For those that are looking for a faster flow, I would try Yoga, Power Yoga or even Cycle+Yoga Power Hour. You are welcome to bring your own yoga mat, but we provide all the equipment you will need to practice yoga.

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