Finding peace on the yoga mat

Finding peace on the yoga mat

: Kaylee Pugliese, Photo Manager

As spring semester sets in and everyone gets back into the groove, it’s easy to fall into temporary stress as workloads come at you like an avalanche. Often, students are unable to find consistent down time which only maximizes stress. With the weather being as chilly as it is, finding time to be active outside is rather slim.

Stress, unfortunately, is not avoidable. Though short term stress can be helpful in certain situations, stress that lingers can get in the way of being academically successful. Prolonged stress can take a toll on us physically and mentally and it is important to know how to deal with the problem in a healthy way.

A great way to combat early semester stress and winter blues is through yoga. Yoga not only strengthens muscles, which protects us from back pains and headaches, but it improves flexibility and balance. If you are just starting off on the not-so flexible side of yoga, much like myself, it may be difficult at first. If you stick with it, however, you will notice yourself becoming looser and less tense which will most likely relieve some aches and pains.

Yoga also raises your heart rate and increases oxygen levels which is said to brighten moods and solidify focus, which is what will keep you in check with your organization. Studies have shown that those who practice yoga regularly solve problems and recall information better because they are less distracted by their thoughts. In correlation, yoga tends to help you sleep deeper, allowing you to wake up feeling refreshed and ready for the day. When combined with meditation, especially, your body has an easier time relaxing.

As all of these elements combine, you will be on the path to a stress reduced life. Your self-esteem will boost and your inner strength will become more prominent in day-to-day life. Mental and physical health are equivalent in daily essentials. Practicing yoga can set you on the right track for consistent success.

There are multiple yoga studios in Bristol, including Beloved: A Yoga Practice located on High Street, Bristol Yoga Studio on State Street, Freedom Yoga on Hope Street, and Rhode Island Hot Yoga (practiced in a room at an average of 92 degrees, bringing yoga to another level) on Gooding Avenue.

Looking to practice yoga for free? Roger Williams University offers Buti Yoga classes on Tuesday and Wednesday at 5 p.m. in Room B in the Recreation Center. RWU also offers Yoga/Meditation Fridays at 12:15 in the same room.

You can also do yoga in the comfort of your dorm. Set up a viewing of an online yoga session in a spacious common area. This is a perfect opportunity to do something active and fun with your roommates and/or friends, as well.

Taking time to unwind is crucial for your health and your academic success this semester. Doing yoga is a fun, fresh way to start the semester off on the right foot.