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This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Drexel chapter.

Life can be stressful. Whether it’s your upcoming tests, money complications, or anxiety over the spread of a global pandemic, we each have our own ways of dealing with these pressures in our lives. For me, my escape is on my yoga mat. When I step on that mat, I can leave everything behind and just focus on myself. Here are the reasons I practice yoga and meditation, and maybe they can help you in these confusing times.

Meditation and yoga are not rigid. You can change your practice as you wish, and do what makes you feel right. Don’t ever let anyone tell you that your practice is wrong, because everyone’s practice is unique. This is one of the reasons that I love meditation and yoga. It is flexible (pun intended), and you can change your practice based on how you feel that day. The only thing that is necessary is your attention to your breath. Yoga is all about combining your breath with your flow, which allows you to release all other thoughts and focus on that alone.

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Tessa Pesicka / Her Campus

I do my practice at night before bed so that I can wind down from what is usually a pretty stressful day. I always listen to music because I usually can’t stand the silence of my apartment, but also because it helps center me. Choosing music that is specific to your taste and mood can help make the time doing yoga more personal and enjoyable. If you like to listen to punk rock music through your flow, then you do you. It is all about what makes you feel the most comfortable and steady. I vary what music I listen to during my yoga practice depending on my mood, but for meditation, it stays pretty consistent. For me, I need soothing music or nature sounds to calm my thoughts and allow me to enter a state of relaxation. It may take time to find your groove, but once you do it is smooth sailing.

Another reason I do yoga is that it can be as long or as short as you want, and it is pretty accessible. There are tons of videos online that you can follow, then once you have some experience with different poses you can create your own flow based on the tension in your body. You can focus on your back or legs and really personalize your practice. If you want more of a workout, then you can increase the duration and modify the poses accordingly. Whatever the reason for your practice, you can tailor it to what you want and you are sure to find support online.

Meditation is typically perceived as a practice where you sit in silence with a clear mind. For me, this is nearly impossible. My ears will ring, and I will not be able to focus on anything besides the anxiety that surrounds me. This is why I avoided meditation for so long. But the idea that meditation is an empty mind is just one big misconception. Allowing thoughts to come into your head is fine, but learning to let those thoughts go with your breath is the integral part. Meditation is about calming the mind, and sometimes just sitting for five minutes, eyes closed, without technological distractions is good enough to accomplish that.

Todd Kent

A good friend once said that he wants to replace action with thought at the end of the day. However your reflection may manifest itself, it is important to take time out of our day to pause, relax, reflect, and ultimately replace action with thought. Without that time our lives are just in constant motion, and we can forget the real reasons why we are doing the things we do. If meditation and yoga aren’t your things, I encourage you to find this time and space for relaxation and reflection elsewhere because it can help put us on the right path for our lives and ease some of the tension. 

Hi everyone! I am a senior majoring in Global Studies with a concentration in Global Justice and Human Rights, a minor in Spanish, and a hope to get my Masters of Social Work in the future. I love going to concerts and listening to all different types of music. I am excited to be able to express my creativity and interests while writing for Her Campus!
Her Campus Drexel contributor.