Yoga Unites the Mind, Body, and Spirit

Yoga Unites the Mind, Body, and Spirit

Reposted from the Spiritual Sunflower's wordpress blog, originally posted on July 5, 2018


I decided to do a bit of research into the health benefits of yoga, specifically for college students, and write a more serious sort of article on it to share with everyone.


Yoga Unites the Mind, Body and Spirit


Yoga is a rewarding activity for the mind, body and spirit, especially for college students.

College is intended to be a time in one’s life to harness and prime the skills and knowledge needed for the real world. It encourages you to try new things and gain new understandings not only through classes, but extracurricular activities as well.

“Yoga is great for college students for the physical and mental health benefits, especially with the stress from trying to balance everything and practicing yoga has been scientifically shown to reduce stress levels and anxiety,” Kylie Torres, yoga instructor at Florida Southern College and the Balance Culture in Lakeland, Florida, said.

The point of yoga is similar to that of college: the practice gives you the tools you need to further engage with and impact the world, according to Shira Engel from Mind Body Green. In yoga, this cultivation of new understandings is known as dharma.

Yoga allows you to live more comfortably in your body.

Yoga was created by Indian Monks, who would meditate all day long. After sitting for such extended periods of time, muscles begin to cramp.

The Monks needed a practice to stretch the muscles, particularly leg, back, and neck, that suffer most from being stationary. By practicing yoga, sitting becomes easier and more relaxing afterwards.

College students also tend to sit for long periods of time, making yoga an extremely beneficial exercise to relieve the restlessness and cramping many students experience after a long day of classes. Discomfort is a distraction from the present moment, and if the present is sitting in class, that means less information is being digested than what could be.

“Practicing yoga has allowed me to take time in my day to reflect on myself without thinking about all the other stressors in my life,” Jerri Hunt, freshman at Florida Southern College, said.

“I’m able to enjoy myself in the present moment and remind myself that there is more to me than being the perfect student or the best employee.”

Specifically, yoga helps alleviate backaches, sore shoulders, and creaks in the back that are common among college students, according to Katherine Carpenter from the OCM Blog. Continuous yoga, such as Vinyasa, goes as far as to improve posture with regular practice as well.

“Yoga allows college students to work out the physical manifestations of stress like sore shoulders and a tight neck from hunching over a desk and textbooks all day,” said Torres. 

Yoga allows you to live more comfortably in your mind.

Engel also explains that yoga improves concentration, which is key because the ability to concentrate determines how much information is digested. In yoga, concentration is essential, especially while holding balance poses such as the tree pose.

Many people are familiar with the relaxation that yoga practice brings, not only to the mind but to the body as well. Carpenter goes into detail, explaining that yoga regulates blood pressure and hormones, and when practiced often yoga actually increases serotonin levels and activates the pleasure centers of the brain so you feel as good emotionally as you do physically.

“Yoga has definitely impacted my overall mental health and stress management,” Torres said.

“It gives me a break from whatever is stressing me out and allows me to zone in and focus on what’s going on in the present moment.”

One of the best things about yoga is that each individual can practice in their own way within the limits of their own body. Bodyweight exercises done in yoga practice mimics strength training with machines.

“Yoga is always changing, it can always adapt to whatever your body can do and you can always change up the poses to accommodate your body that day,” Torres said.

Yoga is for everyone, anywhere.

There are various styles of yoga, from slow flow to Vinyasa, which is a cycle of intense poses and breathing that can increase one’s heart rate to the same as running. For students who want to practice yoga, but may not have time to attend classes, a 30-minute slow flow yoga break during studying helps refresh the mind to refocus on work, according to Carpenter.

“There’s all sorts of different styles, like if more active yoga isn’t your thing there’s plenty of styles for everyone to try and you can find what works for you,” Torres said.

The most beloved pose in yoga, as said by Carpenter, is Savasana or resting pose. In this pose, one simply lays down on their back in a comfortable position and focuses on bringing the mind back to the body and then solely focusing on the breath.

Healthy habits, such as yoga, promote self love. Carpenter explains that yoga is beneficial in relieving negative emotions like anger and frustration, which allows more focus on the positive feelings and boosts self esteem.

Yoga is also spiritual through teaching appreciation for what one’s body can do every day, even as it changes.

“Personally, yoga has helped me appreciate more of the little things in life, like thanking the sun, the universe, and tuning in and redirecting my aura,” Yasmine Goodman, freshman at Florida Southern College, said.

“It’s helped me see things in a ‘what is this telling me/teaching me’ light, rather than ‘why is this happening to me?’”

Furthermore, yoga is a community. According to Engel, yoga is an inherently communal field because people feed off each other’s energy and sharing the experience can make it stronger.

In a life of chaos, yoga is a constant. The mat allows you to feel at home in your body without the influence of any external factors.

Thank you for joining me today.


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