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

Yoga. A practice that has gained popularity in the United States especially in a pandemic. “Why is everyone hopping on the yoga train?”, you may ask. Well in this article I’ll try to break down the science and power behind the worldwide phenomenon of yoga.

Yoga is an ancient practice that is more than 5,000 years old originating in India. According to Yoga Basics, the first recordings of the practice were transcribed on fragile palm leaves and from there onto sacred texts. There were many eras of yoga and as it morphed it grew in popularity and complexity. Techniques and staples of the yoga practice began to form. For example, pranayama, which incorporates breath control while in shapes or movements, formed and flourished in the practice. 

The beauty behind yoga is that it exercises the mind, body, and spirit. According to an article by Healthline there are thirteen benefits of practicing yoga. These benefits range from increasing strength and balance to lowering stress and anxiety. Healthline writes about a study that measures cortisol, our main stress hormone, and how after three months women who were self-diagnosed as “emotionally distressed” had a significant drop in the amount of cortisol compared to before practicing yoga. In another study, women who were diagnosed with post -traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) began practicing yoga once a week, and after 10 weeks, “the women who practiced yoga once weekly had fewer symptoms of PTSD. In fact, 52% of participants no longer met the criteria for PTSD at all.” More benefits include improved sleep quality, better breathing, and yoga may help relieve migraines and chronic pain. 

The thing to also consider is that yoga is an all-natural medication that anyone can do. The varying levels of complexity allow for all to enjoy the benefits of this beautiful and inclusive practice. Another perk of yoga is how little equipment is needed to practice, just a mat or a towel and the only other thing you need is your own body weight. This allows for individuals to easily practice anywhere and allows people of all economic classes to participate in the practice. It is truly a unifying thing to think about how many people across the world have access to yoga. 

The perfect time to practice yoga is in a pandemic when we all have a bit more alone time, especially thanks to helpful yogis on the Internet (I recommend Yoga with Adriene on Youtube, she truly knows how to heal). So the next time you’re feeling blue or stressed or joyful go get on that mat!

Tess Garvin

K State '23

My name is Tess Garvin and I'm going to be a sophomore studying music education with a vocal emphasis at K-State!