Yoga is not only an excellent way to stretch out tight, sore muscles and increase flexibility; it can also do wonders for your mental health. A 2015 study showed that after a two-week yoga intervention, highly stressed college students reported less stress, worry, and negative emotion compared to the control group who received no yoga training. Even professional sports associations like the NFL and NCAA Division I teams are turning to yoga as a way to reduce pre-game stress and competition anxiety in athletes.
Whether you’re new to yoga or a practicing yogi, these simple routines can help relieve the tensions of college life.
Do your mornings typically involve dragging yourself to class with an extra-large coffee in hand? If so, you’d be surprised at what 15 minutes of sun salutations can do for your energy levels. This routine will help you start your day in a stress-free state of mind, allowing you to face any obstacles that arise with a positive attitude.
Many yoga newbies think you need to twist yourself into a pretzel to practice yoga. The truth is, although you will get more flexible the more you practice, not everyone’s body type or physical abilities allow for the deepest of stretches. And for those who are already very bendy, it’s possible to overextend and injure yourself. That’s where yoga props come in. Yoga blocks are great for supporting your body during certain poses—no matter your level of experience. Don’t have blocks? Any chunky Russian novel will do.
Anytime you’re feeling anxious about an upcoming test or class presentation, harness your inner warrior with this stress-busting yoga routine. These moves are gentle but fierce, perfect for cultivating both inner and outer strength.
Yoga is so versatile that it can be as relaxing or energizing as you make it. After a hectic day, try these relaxation poses before bed. This routine will help your body and your mind unwind for stress-free sleep.
Godse, A. S., Shejwal, B. R., & Godse, A. A. (2015). Effects of suryanamaskar on relaxation among college students with high stress in Pune, India. International Journal of Yoga, 8(1), 15. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4278130/
Goodman, F. R., Kashdan, T. B., Mallard, T. T., & Schumann, M. (2014). A brief mindfulness and yoga intervention with an entire NCAA Division I athletic team: An initial investigation. Psychology of Consciousness: Theory, Research, and Practice, 1(4), 339. Retrieved from https://www.apa.org/pubs/journals/features/cns-cns0000022.pdf
Im, J. (2018, October 6). NFL star Odell Beckham Jr.’s yoga instructor reveals the poses that make him a better athlete. CNBC Make It. Retrieved from https://www.cnbc.com/2018/10/05/nfl-giants-odell-beckhams-yoga-instructor-reveals-performance-poses.html