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5 Reasons To Add Yoga Into Your Daily Routine

The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at St. Andrews chapter.

With numerous types of workouts out there, it is exasperating to find one that feels like the perfect fit. A busy schedule in university entails lots of priorities to juggle. Having a consistent fitness routine is always at the back of the mind. I am so grateful that I found myself the perfect one: yoga, which not only keeps me physically fit, but also relaxes my mind. Growing up, my mother and I would do ‘Sun salutations’ every morning during sunrise. To this day, I believe that there is magic in asanas (postures) and the breathing exercises with which they come. 

Yoga can be traced back over 5000 years to an ancient civilisation in North India, where it was practised and designed to rejuvenate the body and prolong life. It remains the secret to a healthy, balanced and mindful life today, in the 21st century. A combination of mindfulness with physical movements, the power that yoga has on your spirit and strength, is boundless. The benefits go way beyond the mat and there is only one way to find out!

Although social media is saturated with pictures of yogis in advanced asanas or headstands, I can confidently say yoga is absolutely for everyone! The images can be daunting when it is common to see yogis being praised for doing complicated stretches and acrobatic stunts. Most people assume it is only for those who are super flexible, or have a certain body shape. Experts say that negative self-talk may be the very reason one might want to give yoga a chance. Little is it known that there are countless variations, types and modifications of yoga, specific to your target goals and body types. The results that I noticed with just fifteen minutes of yoga stretches almost every day for a month, were enlivening. Compliments on my skin and my posture were growing and I could even see myself being more self-aware and content. Other than increasing flexibility and stability, here are some facts you might find interesting. 

1. Improves posture 

Most of the work we do involves us bending or hunching, from using laptop screens, desktops and phones. It deeply affects posture. Doing yoga straightens out your spine, boosts energy levels and improves digestion. Poses like the downward-facing dog, dolphin, wheel and forearm stand help in stretching the neck and shoulder muscles while elongating the spine. 

2. Improves sleep 

‘Pranayama’ in yoga involves breathing exercises. In today’s fast-paced world, slowing down the breath with deep inhalations and exhalations has the power to reduce anxiety, increase focus and clear your mind, thereby improving your sleep. Yin yoga in particular helps in achieving physical exertion that results in fewer sleep disturbances and sleep latency. 

3. reduces cognitive decline 

Healthy aging relies on maintaining a sharp mind. A study by researchers at UCLA showed that when yoga was practiced by those with memory problems, their memory power and connections in the brain’s neutron networks improved. 

4. Aids weight loss 

Research shows that an Ayurvedic diet (an ancient holistic nutrition approach based on body type) paired with yoga can effectively reduce body weight. A study by global advances in Health and Medicine involving overweight adults following yoga therapy results proved an average weight loss of nine pounds in nine months. 

5. Reduces stress and anxiety

At the end of a solid yoga session, my favourite pose is Shavasana (the corpse pose). It simply requires one to lie on the back, flat like a corpse, with closed eyes. Yet, it is said to be the most difficult pose to master. Yogis define it as the posture where natural breathing is targeted to eliminate all tensions and distractions from one’s own mind. Learning to be still, stop fighting the clock and just do nothing is unsurprisingly one of the hardest tasks. The benefits are immense and might be the answer to your anxiety, in the same way that it was for me. That being said, it is fascinating how yoga combines stress-reducing techniques to help you feel more Zen!

So, there’s never a better time to start stretching. With exam stress, deadlines and a million other commitments, there is only one answer. Buy yourself a yoga mat!

Sadhvika Ramji

St. Andrews '24

An average human has more than six-thousand thoughts every day. We see and hear new stories all the time. Stories that interest us, stories that keep us awake, stories that put us to sleep and stories we just cannot help but share. This is my platform to share those stories. Takes a second for you to read but leaves you thinking for a bit longer.