How Yoga Made Me a Better Student
Does Yoga have the ability to increase success in academic life?
Yoga is a very personal and empowering journey, and everyone should try it out at least once! There are many different types of yoga and many different ways to carry out the practice. I have experience in three different types of yoga, and will be talking about them throughout.
The Three types of yoga I will be talking about include: Yin yoga, Vinyasa (flow) yoga, and Iyenger yoga. Here are four ways yoga has made me a better student:
1. Yoga Helps With Time Management Skills
Before I started regularly attending yoga class and practicing at home, I was so unorganized and unmotivated. If I had to do even one more thing, besides work and school, I would freak out. Pressure of deadlines and preforming well really took a toll on my mental health and effected my school work. So this year I decided to actually try to improve my life and health and let me tell you, its worth it. Whenever I'm in a situation where I feel overwhelmed from every day tasks, I've learned to just focus on my breath and acknowledge my feelings—because they are valid—and be able to them let go, and move on with my day. This may sound cheesy or simple, but honestly I have never had the will power to let go and clear my mind before yoga.
Vinyasa (flow) Yoga is very beneficial in this sense.
This practice focuses on the smooth transition between poses, connected with your breath. Breathing in, to move into a pose, and breathing out to relax further into the pose and so on. This translates over into my busy schedule and I am able to remain calm and "transition" through the day, and be as productive as I can be.
2. Yin Yoga Helps Relieve Back Pain From Sitting at a Desk all Day
How do you usually sit while working on a computer or laptop?
According to a recent study done at the San Francisco State University, Erik Pepermost, a professor of Holistic Health states that, "when your head juts forward at a 45 degree angle, your neck acts like a fulcrum, like a long lever lifting a heavy object. Now the muscle weight of your head and neck is the equivalent of about 45 pounds. It is not surprising people get stiff necks and shoulder and back pain." Most people believe slouching is harmless and a natural way to sit, which may contribute to the fact that Experts estimate that up to 80% of the population will experience back pain at some time in their lives!
Ying yoga can be very beneficial for the back especially back pain cause by slouching over a laptop for hours.
Yin yoga focuses on the deep tissues within the body including the ligaments, joints and bones, rather then focusing on muscles. The practice of yin yoga, has been present for centuries in places such as China and Taiwan, as a Part of "Daoist yoga." This type of yoga was taught to kung Fu practitioners thousands of years ago, although modern Yin yoga was founded in the 1970s by a martial arts expert and Taoist yogi Paulie Zink. Yin yoga works deeply into our body with longer held poses. Consistent practice can improve posture in daily life, prevent future injury or pain, and increase flexibility.
3. Yoga Helps with the Anxiety and/or Depression
Yoga forces you to engage in an internal reflection of your mind. Ultimately confronting every issue that crosses your thoughts, encouraging your to acknowledge the feelings, they are valid, and then releasing those thoughts into the world, therefore feelings like a weight has been lifted, even if its just temporary. Yoga gives clarity and focus to the mind, to zero in on whats most important to your personal life journey.
According to Dr. Mason Turner of the Kaiser Permanente Medical Group says yoga therapy “can be very powerful in the treatment of depression.” Even if your not a yoga person, the combination of meditation and physical movement provide two important elements for relieving depression. Meditation helps bring a person into the present moment and allows them to clear their minds.
Breathing exercises are effective in reducing Anxiety symptoms, you may find yoga helpful as the exercise focuses on deep, controlled breathing. Therefor yoga can help you master a perfect self soothing tool when experiencing anxiety or panic attacks.
4. Yoga Helps with Pushing Ones Self Out of Their Comfort Zone
To begin doing yoga, you must be willing to get completely out of your comfort zone, whether that be overcoming the fear of going to a yoga class with other people, or overcoming the uncomfortable positions and trying your best even though you may not have one clue what you are doing! That's ok! This is where the will power and mental power come into play. All though group yoga is a great place to start, yoga is a very personal experience, so ignoring everyone and focusing on your breathing and releasing thoughts from the day is key to getting the most out of yoga.
Now get out there and experience it for your self!