By Brittany Kilpatrick
College students have numerous responsibilities to juggle while attending college. Homework, studying, work and taking care of children are just a few of the tasks that college students have to keep in balance. With all of these responsibilities, stress can occur. Many outlets can fight the damage that stress can do to your body. One outlet that is useful in stress relief is yoga. By practicing yoga, you can find stress relief through its utilization of stretching, postures and breathing techniques.
When asked how yoga allows a person to de-stress, Cecilia Brandt, a local yoga teacher replied,“ Yoga has many components, of which the asanas/postures is one. Stress comes from outside. Yoga helps us to make a distinction between what we can control and what we cannot. As one example, we can control our own breathing and how we choose to react to stressors. Through breathwork in yoga we can bring more oxygen to our blood which can in turn elevate our mood, help us to think more clearly, and generally feel good about ourselves. ”
According to Kathleen Hall, who is an expert in the fields of stress and work-life, “Chronic stress is poison to the rooting of your life.” When The National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health reported on health care expenses, they would later “note that there is mounting evidence to suggest that stress plays an important role in chronic health problems…” With the damage that stress can do on the body, people begin to look for an outlet. Yoga is one example of an activity that can reduce stress.
How often does she recommend a person practice a week and how long should a session be to maintain mental health? “This would vary with each person. While practicing the physical postures every day may be healthy for one person, it may not be helpful to another. However, practicing yoga does not necessarily mean taking a one hour class or practicing daily asanas at home. You can get benefit from a five minute practice of breathworkh or a short practice of stretching and balance poses. The last thing you would want to do is become stressed over your not measuring up to some standard set by yourself or someone else. And by doing so, causing yourself more stress!”
Yoga has helped her maintain her stress level by its practice and its focus. While we can’t control the stress we are given each day, we can choose how to react to the stressors in our life. Yoga teaches me how important it is for me to be aware of how I am feeling, and then I can draw on the breathing techniques and the concentration to apply and maintain a sense of well being.”
Yoga has been able to help reduce stress levels. Yoga is able to do so by utilizing postures, breathing and stretching to combat the body’s stresses. With a few practices, one may be able to relieve themselves of stress that plagues them. Yoga gives a person “me” time. When asked what Brandt hopes students will get from practicing yoga she responded, “…an awareness of their uniqueness and how perfect they already are…”Maybe with practice a person can relieve some of their stresses. After all, what do you have to lose?