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The Benefits Of Practicing Yoga In College

The Benefits Of Practicing Yoga In College

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Practicing yoga in college is good because it is an excellent way to improve mental health (plus, you get to wear cute comfy clothes during your workout).

Not many activities have both mental and physical benefits, as well as can be practiced by any body type, age, and ability. Just like humans, the practice of yoga is unique. There are over 14 different types of yoga ranging from advanced practices to beginner. Granted, mindfulness and mantras are not for everyone. Many people are turned off by the meditation aspect of yoga and the complex poses.  Yoga In College

Also, people tend to have preconceived ideas about what the practice of yoga all entails, but all I am asking for is for those who are afraid to revisit yoga with an open mind. Yoga is valuable for everyone, college students in particular, because it is an excellent way to improve mental health, practicing yoga increases academic performance and brain function, and it increases overall physical health and athletic performance. (Plus, you get to wear super comfy clothes during your workout, so it is a win win situation!)

1. The Brain Benefits of Yoga

Finals got you down, or maybe they screwed up your order at the coffee shop on campus? Well young scholar, if you are feeling like your brain is going to explode, or a dark cloud is looming inside your head, make your way to the nearest yoga studio. Better yet, yoga classes can be found for free online (great bonding experience for you and your roommate am I right?). Yoga has been scientifically proven to improve mental health by increasing serotonin levels (the happy hormone) while decreasing cortisol (the stress hormone).

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A study done by Richard Davidson, Ph. D., at the University of Wisconsin found that there was heightened activity in the left prefrontal cortex mediators. This increase in brain activity has been linked to increased happiness as well as better immune function. Are you thinking to yourself, “How do I have time for a whole hour of yoga if I am already staying up till 4 a.m. cramming for my next exam?” Don’t fret, sitting in a simple cross-legged position for a few minutes while concentrating on your breath gives you the exact same mental benefits as an hour of yoga. If only college worked the same way.

 

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2. Boosting your GPA

Along with the booming mental heath benefits of yoga, it also increases your academic success. A study conducted by the MGN College of Education took 800 adolescents and had them practice yoga throughout the school year. The study found that all 800 students who participated in yoga had an increase in academic performance. The study also found significant changes in the test subjects’ perception, attention, and cognition.


Further studies done on the topic found an increase in students problem-solving abilities. Part of the increase in academic success can be a result of yoga’s focus on the present. According to Timothy McCall, M.D., by focusing on the present moment through meditation, students have been found to acquire and recall information more efficiently. They also have an increase in memory, coordination, reaction time, and IQ. Put that text book down and get your yoga pants doing what they were made for.

3. Witness the Fitness

Although the best part of yoga is the 5-minute mini nap called shavasana you get at the end. There are also many physical benefits from practicing yoga. A study conducted by the University of Colorado found that your flexibility increases immediately following a 20-minute yoga session. This increase in flexibility leads to greater deadlift strength and a decrease in overall body fat. By increasing flexibility and strengthening your muscles simultaneously during your yoga practice, you protect yourself from injuries, protect your spine, and prevent cartilage and joint break down. Practicing yoga increases lung capacity as well as increasing flexible.

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By increasing your lung capacity you also increase your endurance, which allows you to partake in more intense cardiovascular exercise for longer periods of time. Practicing yoga can also ease pain you currently have. Several studies have concluded that yoga has reduced chronic pain in participants. This eliminates or lowers the amount of medication needed to control pain.

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By releasing tension during your yoga practice you build an awareness of where your body carries stress and you can eliminate subconscious tension that causes pain. Overall, yoga tones your muscles while increasing your flexibility, builds endurance, and reduces pain. Practicing yoga will not only benefit you in every day activities, but it will also improve your performance in other athletic activities, along with your overall physical health.

 

As you can see there is more to yoga than fancy words and stretchy pants. Yoga has many psychological as well as physical benefits not only for college students, but humans of any age. Even though yoga benefits everyone, it is especially valuable students. Yoga is of value to all college students because it improves overall mental heath. It has been scientifically proven to increase academic performance and brain function. As well as improves overall physical health and athletic performance. Now is the time to say Namaste.

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Do you know any other benefits for practicing yoga in college? Let us know in the comments below!
Featured image source: weheartit.com