We’ve all seen the yoga craze all over the place – people walking around with yoga mats in form fitting clothes and Instagram photos of complicated poses accompanied by yoga lingo-filled captions. You think to yourself, how is there even time for that during the busy semester? Well, there is time for it when you enroll in a yoga class at your college as an elective.
Whether you decide to take it during the winter, spring, or even the summer, you will reap in the benefits yoga has. Every student should take advantage of their electives in college – not every class has to be full of stress to be fulfilling. Taking yoga won’t be like any other class you’ve taken before and the next time you see yoga poses on Instagram you’ll know how it’s done. Here’s a few reasons yoga should be on your schedule.
1. You Will Learn Meditation For Relaxation
From the start of the class, your professor will emphasis that meditation is an essential part of yoga that takes practice and concentration. It won’t be easy when you’re told to sit cross legged at the end of a class and not think about anything for 10 minutes. Your breathing is what you’ll need to be focused on because its what helps make yoga movements fluid. Unfortunately, you’ll probably start thinking about the most random moments and you’ll have to work to be present in the moment. But once you’ve mastered this, you won’t regret it.
2. It Will Make You Physically And Mentally Stronger
Yoga is not only good for the soul but also great for the body. Whatever kind of yoga you’re doing, you’ll see the changes in your body. By continuously practicing your chaturanga and downward dog, you’ll eventually see more definition in your arms, abs, and legs. Although yoga is relaxing, it will push your body to its limits in certain poses that require more flexibility and strength. Through breathing you’ll become mentally stronger during poses like Utpluith, where you sit cross legged and lift your entire body off the ground with just your arms. I broke a sweat every time but by the end I could do it…for a few seconds.
3. You’ll Be Learning From A Professional
It’s common for people to do yoga on their own by following along with YouTube videos, but going to a yoga class at school allows you to learn first hand from a professional. My ashtanga yoga professor has been practicing daily for over 20 years. Despite the class having close to 30 students, she was still able to give advice to students while practicing. If there were questions about poses, she was free after class for one-on-one review sessions.
4. You Will Learn And Practice Yoga Simultaneously
It’s still a college class after all so there will be readings, quizzes, and tests. But the upside is you’ll be practicing what you learn. It won’t be like any other class where you’re only there to learn and not put your knowledge to work. If anything it’ll be even more important to hit the books and memorize sequences because that’s what you’ll be doing in class every time. For my midterm and final exams I had a written part as well as a physical exam where the professor judged how well each pose was performed. It was nerve wracking but not nearly as bad as taking a math test.
5. You’ll Make Friends In A New Way
Although yoga can be an individual activity, you’ll still get to interact with others. There were certain poses that were difficult and the professor had us work with partners to achieve them. It’s a new experience to get touchy with someone you just introduced yourself to five seconds ago. But don’t worry, it won’t be awkward as it sounds! Soon enough you’ll be laughing along with them when you both mess up a pose and potentially fall over.