College Student’s Perceptive: Why I do Yoga on the Weekends
In college, it’s hard enough to find time to shower, much less work out. But, at the end of crazy school week, one of the best ways for me to combat stress is to do yoga. I’m the first one to admit that early mornings aren’t my thing so when my alarm goes off in the morning on a Saturday, I’m usually questioning my sanity until I’ve had at least one cup of coffee. However, all my moodiness and early morning blues instantly melt away when I step on a yoga mat.
Yoga is my own little physical and mental haven on a Saturday morning. I’m a big runner, and I get a lot of my daily exercise from running in between classes. Even though I can’t imagine my life without my daily 4 or 5 mile runs, the miles also take a toll on my body. (I also don’t stretch enough which is my personal undoing when walking to class feels like climbing Mt. Everest.)
After all this pounding on my legs, yoga is my time to be kind to my body. An hour yoga class is just the right amount of stretching I need to make my whole body feel strong and healthy again.
Yoga also gives me balance – it pushes my body without making me feel exhausted, and I leave feeling like I got a great workout without the pain I sometimes feel after a run.
Besides the physical benefits, yoga is a great stress reliever. On any given day, I have a mental to-do list so long that I would probably have to cut down a tree for enough paper to write it all down. That overwhelming feeling fades away when I go to yoga.
When I first started yoga, I was a little skeptical about just how relaxing it could be. Then I did my first savasana and felt like I discovered a pot of gold at the end of a rainbow. I can honestly say the savasana is one of the few times my mind feels blank. I’m not worried about the paper I need to write, the groceries I need to pick up, or the grade I have in economics.
It’s one of the greatest feelings in the world to lie completely still and feel your body and mind slip into a totally relaxed state.
At the end of the day, I’m certainly not a yoga master. There are a lot of poses I get wrong; sometimes I don’t stretch as far as I know I can, and sometimes I have a hard time allowing myself to relax. But, that’s also one of the reasons I love yoga – every day is a new chance.
A chance to push myself into a greater stretch, into self-induced relaxation, or a chance to try a new pose that seems challenging. I’m constantly learning in yoga as well. I learn new stretches to try after a challenging run, and I learn new practices for stress-relief. If you’re a little skeptical about yoga like I was my first time, I would go with an open mind, an excitement to learn, and a sense of humor when you wobble through a tree pose.
Don’t turn off your alarm on a Saturday; get up and go to yoga. Your body and your mind will thank you later.
Guest Post by Maddie Crocenzi, a busy college junior at Messiah College.