The Benefits of Yoga

Whether you’re a seasoned yogi or a first timer, yoga offers many benefits for both physical and mental health. With free UREC classes just around the corner as well as various yoga studios in the Harrisonburg area (The Nest is my personal favorite), there are plenty of opportunities for us college students to take part in this rewarding form of exercise. With that being said, here are the ways in which yoga provides benefits for both your mind and body.

Physically:  

Each pose in yoga, whether it’s basic or more advanced, is designed to stretch certain parts of the body that oftentimes wouldn’t otherwise get stretched out on a day-to-day basis or through other forms of exercise. Yoga stretches out both your muscles and joints, causing an increase in flexibility, which can lead to fewer injuries and an overall healthier body. While yoga is a different form of exercise than cardio and thus may seem less rewarding, its benefits actually help to improve performance in such physical activities because the muscles and joints are working more effectively. In other words, don’t knock it ‘til you try it!

Mentally:

Not only does yoga provide many physical benefits, it’s also great for your mental health! Yoga is all about concentration, relaxation and getting in tune with your body all while keeping your breathing in sync with your body’s movements. Yoga instructors encourage their students at the beginning of each class to clear their minds entirely of any negativity or stress they might be harboring, which allows them to fully engage in the entire process. Such mindfulness can improve memory, alleviate symptoms of depression and anxiety and prevent the onset of mental health conditions.

Plus, there’s always Savasana (AKA naptime)!