Admittedly, I’m a person who has stress levels that are constantly through the roof. I’m pre-med, in the honors college, have my own blog, and have anxiety to boot — you could say I’m probably not the calmest. The one thing I’ve found that really helps me get out of my own head for a little is yoga.
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I started yoga around my junior year in high school, when my therapist recommended I go. Well, she didn’t just recommend that I go, she sort of told me I absolutely needed to go. I didn’t really go often; I went once every few weeks to a beginner class in my town. I liked it, I was just sort of lazy. I did find that the few times I went were met with immediate gratification: I felt better about my body, and I was able to zone out for about an hour.
When I got to college, I tried to practice yoga more. I’d hop in on some free classes here and there, and I would follow along to yoga videos on YouTube in my dorm. It was really helpful to not listen to my own worried thoughts during that time, and I was able to actually exercise which is something I had wanted to get into. I definitely found that I felt guilty for taking time for myself, but I’ve finally been able to get over that. You always deserve time to relax and take care of yourself and your body! However, I also realized that I wasn’t pushing myself to the fullest exercise-wise. You can definitely just do deep-breathing or meditative yoga, but I wanted to get a better workout as well.
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Flash-forward to junior year, and I’m doing yoga once or twice a week. I have a yoga PDP class and I’ve signed up for classes at CorePower, which is a more intense workout that is also heated. I’ve never felt more confident in my body or more steady in my emotions. I love participating in a practice that is healthy for the mind and the body, yet is also something I look forward to every week.
If you have anxiety or any form of stress, I seriously recommend trying yoga. It may take a few classes to fall in love with it and adapt your body to the positions, but it will make a huge positive impact on your health. Plus, you can try lots of yoga places for free for about a week, and find your favorite studio or classes! What do you have to lose?