I’m always looking for ways to stay fit without resorting to the boring everyday gym routine. I had wanted to try yoga for a while since I knew it had great benefits and I was curious to find out what they were. I found out that Charlotte offers plenty of classes, and I decided to give some a try. I was amazed at how easily yoga fit into my busy college life and how much I noticed it benefiting me mentally and physically.
1. It can relieve stress
Between long days spent sitting through lectures and attempting to balances grades, relationships, and a social life, it can be hard to find the time to unwind. Sometimes the only thing getting me through a tough week is knowing that I will give my mind and body that one hour of peace.
Yoga is meant to isolate your mind and teach you how to avoid letting stress take over your body. The more you practice, the more you learn to control your mind and stay calm when stress presents itself throughout the day.
If I’m having trouble falling asleep because my mind is still racing from a busy day, I will literally get into child’s pose on my bedroom floor. Pressing your forehead against the ground relaxes your central nervous system and it always does the trick for me.
2. It’s judgment free
If you’re a person who tends to fumble around the gym, going to random machines and acting like you’re counting a set of reps in your head, yoga might be the structured work out that you need.
The instruction of yoga is slow-paced and easy to follow. Usually, the teacher will demonstrate the pose and then explain the harder and easier variations of it in order to make sure that is suitable for any level of yogi. In yoga there is no “right” way to do a pose, you are simply supposed to do what is right for your body. If you still think you’re going to be intimidated, just remember that most people will close their eyes during the class.
3. It’s actually a workout
A common misconception I’ve heard about yoga is that you don’t actually get a workout from doing it. While the intensity depends on the class, yoga generally incorporates arm, abdominal and leg muscles. Some poses have had me using muscles that I didn’t even know I had!
Nothing feels better than a nice detoxing yoga session after a weekend spent consuming more calories than planned. Everyone knows that a good workout will make you feel less guilty about the Cook Out tray you ate at 2 a.m.
4. It can be done by anyone
Yogis come in all shapes, sizes and ages. I’ve even been to classes where majority of the crowd was men. If you’re underweight, overweight, inflexible, out of shape or a fitness nut, yoga can be adapted to fit your needs.
Unlike other sports, you don’t need to train for it and you can start at any point in your life. It isn’t something that you can outgrow!
5. It has immense health benefits
The average college student would probably agree that they don’t always treat their bodies as well as they should. I will be the first to admit that I don’t eat as nutritiously, drink as much water or get enough sleep as I should.
Yoga can help protect your joints, muscles, and heart, which will help prevent issues that can arise with age. It is also commonly used to relieve pains and pressures caused by everyday activities.
6. It’s not expensive
And behold, the words every college student wants to hear: it’s affordable. You can pay $30+ per month for a gym membership you may not use as frequently as you’d like to. Or you can pay $5 for a well-instructed workout that you know you will benefit from. Class schedules and prices are easily found online; memberships for unlimited classes are also offered at most places. Some can be pricey, but I’ve found that the bargain yoga classes do just the same. Pro tip: See if your university’s gym offers free classes for students.
If you are in the Charlotte area and are interested in trying yoga, check out my good friend Chloe Bryce’s class on Wednesday nights. She is a great teacher, especially if you are a beginner. Her classes are fun, affordable and a good workout. Go see for yourself why she has the best class in the University Area, and was as inspiration for me to write this article!
For more information: follow her Instagram, @chloetheyogi