Studies show practicing yoga counteracts school stress

Sophomore Grace Boezinger practices silk yoga in a aerial yoga class at Twisted Willow Yoga Studio in Cedar Falls.

With the amount of homework and tests beginning to add up, the stress is also starting to build up with students. They may be inclined to try some ways to relieve stress that are not good or healthy, but there’s a simple and easy way to help, and that’s yoga. 

New studies show yoga can help relieve anxiety, depression and stress, and it is simple, easy and healthy. Yoga promotes a healthy body and mind. Certified Kundalini yoga instructor Natalie Nevins said about yoga, “The purpose of yoga is to build strength, awareness, and harmony in both the mind and body,” One study conducted by the University of Utah showed that yoga practitioners had a much higher pain tolerance, as well as a better-regulated response to stress. 

Yoga is also cheap and can be done at home alone. There are many YouTube videos available online, and many online instructors help students work at their own paces — whether they’re inexperienced or an expert. 

One helpful way for many people to practice yoga is simply by lying down and exercising the lungs with simple breathing patterns that slow the heart rate. It also sends the brain into “rest and digest” mode, which is what helps control every day body functions and gives the brain a break. 

Yoga and relaxation techniques keep the body from releasing cortisol, the body’s distress system when it thinks the body is stressed. These breathing exercises are also an excellent way to help when the body feels sore or achy. By merely breathing and controlling the breath into a specific part of the body, it releases the tension in those muscles.

There are many different ways to practice that are more rigorous or fun, like aerial yoga, which is done by the use of a kite or trapeze that’s hung by the ceiling. This type of yoga is more rigorous but promotes the use of inversion therapy, which stretches and elongates the spine and muscles in the back, legs and abdomen. 

Inversion therapy is a new yoga practice that involves hanging upside down allowing the pressure to release from the nerves roots and disks in the spine, increasing the space between the vertebrae. This kind of therapy helps relieve back pain, stimulates hair growth and helps clear up the GI tract. Aerial yoga is a fun way to practice yoga for those who are bored by regular yoga and meditation. 

Another yoga practice that’s popular is hot yoga. It’s one of the harder kinds of yoga and burns more calories, so it suits those who are looking for a harder workout rather than a way to meditate. 

There are many yoga places scattered throughout Cedar Falls such as State Street Yoga Co-op and Balance Hot Yoga Studio on College Street that have a lot of different classes available for anyone to try.

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