Hello and welcome to my first post about mental health! Mental health is a struggle for college students worldwide. With that being said, there are different ways and strategies to cope. This post is going to be focused on one of the many strategies: Yoga!
Yoga is a form of mind and body connection that makes it one. It has been clinically proven to help one relax, reduce stress, as well as many other benefits. The reason that I will be using it and focusing on it today is because of its help with relaxation.
Yoga is something that can be done almost anywhere. Although ideal, you don’t even need a yoga mat. Just a good, quite, comfortable space free from distractions and the outside world.
Personally, I have done yoga with a class to begin. Within the class, the teacher had us free our minds of any thoughts or worries. As someone who struggles with mental health issues, that sounds almost impossible as your mind — like mine– is always going a hundred miles a minute with no off switch. Clearing your mind and being open to doing this is essential to continue with the practice.
Once your mind is clear, you focus on your breathing. Getting your breath in a rhythm, calm and slow, is extremely relaxing in itself, and you haven’t even started the body part yet, that is just the minds first connection with the body.
Once you start the movement, the feeling of just being at one with your body and breath is stress reducing, not having your mind in five-hundred different places and just being present. Being present and not worrying about the past and future and the outside world is something that I had not thought possible before my first yoga class. After, I realized it is an essential way to help prioritize and rank the important things in my life.
While life is trying to throw a million things at you, sometimes just taking a step back to be present can be calming. Forgetting the outside world, although it is still there and won’t be stopping, is a great mind clearer. Once you come back, it makes it easier to look at the things that were stressing you out, making a list in order of most importance to least importance, then taking it one thing at a time.