University and College students are usually under a lot of stress, with exams, taking on part-time work to financially provide for themselves, and having to juggle loans, study and often the changes moving away from home can bring.
At a time when you’re constantly learning and trying to broaden your horizons, yoga can be a source of calmness and help against the pressures of student life.
Yoga is well known for helping us to have a healthy body and mind, so how can students embrace yoga, and use its powers to help them do better at school? It’s by no means a quick fix when dealing with the stresses of university life, but there are several ways that yoga can help students.
When you’re a student, trying to fit everything in can be a challenge. You’re jumping from study to work and back again, not to mention all those social events that keep popping up! As a student, you’re likely to be sitting at a desk a lot, or even lounging on your bed studying. While there are plenty of yoga poses you can do at your desk, taking time out to practice yoga on the mat can improve your posture, help with pain from sitting or lying in awkward positions, and strengthen muscles.
Meditation is often an aspect of yoga, and it can help to put you in a more relaxed frame of mind. It can also help to bring you clarity on aspects of your life that may be affecting your wellbeing and help you to think up solutions or ways to minimise the stress.
People are often caught up in the question of whether yoga can make you fit. Of course, it’s not the same as running or cycling, but there are huge health benefits to practicing yoga. Some types of yoga are more fast-paced and intense and can provide a cardiovascular workout, whereas others will concentrate more on stretching or balance.
Yoga can increase blood circulation and lower blood pressure, and improve strength and muscle tone. Overall, it can help you to get into a healthy frame of mind. As a student, it’s easy to get caught up in an unhealthy lifestyle of drinking and eating a lot, but yoga can remind you to try and stay on track with your health and fitness.
Firing out papers, taking exams, getting good grades, making new friends, learning how to take care of yourself on your own, it’s a lot to take in and manage! And it can cause a lot of stress. Yoga can be the barrier between all of the stress, and you. Attending a yoga class every week, practicing in your room three times a week, whatever schedule you set for yourself can be a moment where you stop and dedicate some time to your overall wellbeing. It can be a constant when everything else seems to be changing and moving, and yoga can help you to manage the stress of that.
Be more mindful
Yoga can provide a space for you to actually STOP and relax for once. It’s a part of your day or week where you’re actively encouraged to think of nothing else but where you are at that moment in time. Learning how to be more mindful through yoga practice can translate into many different areas of life. As a student, in particular, you can focus when you need to, and you can actively set aside time to study, or accomplish other tasks, without always thinking about what’s next or letting all the other stresses you have enter your mind.
Improve concentration and memory
Yoga has been shown to improve memory, and we all know that students need to use their memory a lot! Practising yoga can also help with concentration. Being able to shut off outside pressures and concentrate on the moment is something that we can learn from yoga. Concentrating on all the aspects of a yoga position takes effort, and this can translate well into studying.
There is no quick-fix to better grades and becoming a better student. But yoga is certainly a step in the right direction. While it might seem difficult to find time to practice yoga sometimes, once you make the commitment and start to see results you’ll be yearning for your time out from student life. And if yoga is really working for you, you could even consider a yoga retreat during your school breaks, to really keep you on track!