Photo by Conscious Design on Unsplash
What’s the difference between the bars and yoga? Both reduce stress, but yoga won’t leave you with a hangover.
Incorporating yoga into our daily lives has extreme health benefits.
Practicing yoga allows you to move your body into various positions in order to become more fit or flexible, improve your breathing and relax your mind. Evidence shows that yoga supports mental health, stress management, mindfulness, healthy eating, weight loss and quality sleep. For example, if you suffer from any of those mentioned above, incorporating yoga into your daily routine wouldn’t be a bad idea. In fact, 59% of yogis in the United States believe that yoga helps them sleep better. This is due to the fact that yoga is a relaxing activity that aids people in unwinding and forgetting about the daily responsibilities and the tasks left on the to-do list.
Ever heard of the tree pose? This is one yoga pose that can improve strength, balance and flexibility. The tree pose is done by balancing on one foot, while holding the other foot to your calf or above the knee (but never on the knee) at a right angle. The key in this pose is to find a “drishti”, or a focused gaze, helping with concentration.
Many excuses can be made to not do yoga: not having time, a yoga mat or money to pay for yoga classes. Thanks to YouTube sensation, Yoga with Adriene, you are covered. Yoga with Adriene offers free yoga videos on YouTube, that range from 5 minutes to an hour. “Find What Feels Good” has become the motto of her channel and allows participants to literally find what feels good in each practice. Her videos target many hobbies like “Yoga for Gardeners! Yoga for Runners! Yoga for Golfers!” and include many series including “Yoga for Weight Loss!” and “Yoga for Migraines!”
Her account began in 2012 and has since gained 7.27 million subscribers. The best part is, you don’t even have to leave your house, which is extremely fitting for the isolations and quarantines we are doing due to the pandemic. All of us deserve to have a hold on our mental health, sleep well at night and become less stressed, and the key to making that happen is by incorporating yoga into our lives.
Some may ask, can’t you get injured doing yoga on your own when not in the presence of a trained professional? After all, when you are a beginner doing yoga, you run the risk of trying something that maybe your body can’t handle, thus risking injury. There are certain yoga poses that bend your neck, and when you rotate your neck 90 degrees in many of the poses, there are very delicate arteries called vertebral arteries. Although those sorts of injuries can be rare, the more common ones are usually lower back injuries, shoulder injuries and knee injuries.
Yoga can be an extremely beneficial way to destress and build strength. The important thing is to take it slow and only do what you can, and as Yoga with Adriene says, “Find What Feels Good.” Find easy movement and poses that allow you to stretch and build strength without overdoing it.
I don’t think people realize the benefits that yoga has. The good news is that, although doing yoga and going to the bar may have a few things in common, practicing yoga gives you the same feeling as going to the bar — being able to relax and destress — without the gruesome hangover.
Next time you’re looking for a way to destress, turn to the beautiful practice of yoga.
Ava Mullertz is a fourth-year Communications major with a minor in Media & Culture. AM924072@wcupa.edu