Written by: Vittoria Joelle Christie-Campolongo (Tory)
In my second semester at Penn State University, Harrisburg, I signed up to take a yoga course. I am in my fifth week of getting to know and love yoga. Now I know what you’re thinking. “Yoga– but doesn’t that hurt your body?” Or, “but I can’t do yoga because I can’t do all those poses.” Fear not. If I can do it—and I can—so can you!
I can also tell you one thing that surprised me. Yoga in college is very different from what I thought it would be. I expected a very structured and highly disciplined class that I would struggle to keep up with , a sort of “boot camp” for the body. To my pleasant surprise, my (beginner) yoga course is more relaxed and so less stressful than I expected.
When my teacher says “anyone can do yoga” it means you can modify the poses to fit your needs and abilities. The teacher also says don’t go past your edge. That means if something in yoga is hurting you, just ease up and don’t try and force yourself to do a pose or you can modify the pose so it doesn’t hurt an area that is weak for you.
For example, at class last Thursday, we had to do a leaning position called a plank pose. When I did that pose my ankles hurt a lot, so the teacher taught us a way to modify the pose by using one knee to prop yourself up instead of only using one hand to support your whole body. As you can see from the pictures, I chose the modified plank pose over the standard one!
My yoga class is at the end of my class day, two days a week. I really look forward to the class, as a means to not only exercise but also to decompress from the purely academic part of the day. I view and do yoga as a sort of mind-body flex transition that I highly recommend to college students and to everyone who likes to relax and revitalize. So, when you have some free time in your busy college schedule, try yoga!! It’s good for the body and for the brain!!
What types of activities do you all like to do to reduce stress?