Health Benefits of Yoga

While many collegiates make their way to a spinning or Zumba class at the end of a long week, very few grab a mat and head into a yoga class. Yet, there are numerous health and physical benefits that accompany the practice of yoga. So what are you waiting for? Take a break from your favorite treadmill or hour-long spinning session to incorporate a yoga class into your weekly routine for a happier and healthier lifestyle. Join Her Campus Bucknell as we break down the health benefits of yoga. 

If you’ve never taken a yoga class, it’s easy to believe that a session of “glorified stretching” may be the perfect time to give your body a break. But think twice before going into a yoga class with the expectation that your body won’t be getting a “real” workout. A recent study done by the American Council on Exercise on the modern day health benefits of yoga found that the regular practice of yoga significantly improved subjects’ flexibility, muscular strength and endurance, and balance. Just because yoga centers your mind and relaxes your body doesn’t mean you can’t get a great, sweat-inducing workout from this age-old practice.  

Lugging a backpack to and from class filled with heavy textbooks is a workout in itself, but it is also taxing on your back. Relieve that discomfort with one of the many stretches and poses built into a typical yoga class. According to the National Institute of Health, a weekly class involving intensive stretching is directly effective at reducing lower back pain and improving back movement overall. Various yoga stretches can help lengthen your spine, stretch and strengthen your muscles, and return your back to its proper alignment.

As a college student, carrying a heavy backpack around to class is probably the least of your worries. Between classes, homework, clubs and jobs, it is hard to find time to simply relax and check in with our emotions. But carving out time for a yoga class can give your mind the stability it craves after a long, hectic day. In fact, studies at the Duke University School of Medicine have concluded that yoga can be a promising treatment for many mental illnesses including depression, PTSD, and many more. In focusing on controlled breathing, yoga teaches people to take slower, deeper breaths. This helps to improve lung functioning and ultimately trigger the body's relaxation response.

So go on and get out to a yoga class soon! Your body and mind will thank you in no time.