By Tara Greene, Contributor.
Lately, it seems like Yoga has been filling up our news feeds. Everyone from celebrities, models, or even some of our friends have been posting pictures about their new-found addiction to the craze. However, as students, we may wonder if this is really worthy of our time?
It isn’t a surprise that many of us choose to take part in higher impact exercises like spinning or boxercise when we have some spare time to de-stress. However, the type of exercise we choose can really affect how we de-stress and, moreover, how we look after our mental health.
Yoga is not only praised for its physical benefits such as increasing flexibility and helping to tone and strengthen muscle, but also for its incredible relaxation qualities.
Recently, final year Drama student Emily Lamey set up the first Yoga Society at Queen’s University. Speaking on the topic of Yoga and mental health, she praises yoga stating, ”Yoga has many different benefits, whether that be mental, spiritual or physical.”
She went on to add, ”specifically, in regard to mental health, Yoga helps to calm the mind through different poses and breathing techniques.”
If you are someone who suffers from a mental health illness like anxiety or depression or is really starting to feel the heat of essays and exams, Yoga could be the perfect opportunity to aid you in recovery and rehabilitation. Emily also stated, ”classes give students a sense of belonging and togetherness, and deep breathing calms the nervous system, which helps to reduce anxiety.”
When I asked more specifically on the benefits of Yoga for students, she said, ”classes will reduce stress and hopefully help students to form relationships with people they may not normally meet on a regular basis. It improves mental and physical aspects of their student life and will help them gain control and balance in daily life too.”
Emily trained in Rishikesh in India last summer in a school called ‘Rishikul Yogshala.’ When I asked her about it she told me, ”we learnt Hatha Yoga, Ashtanga, philosophy, mantra, mudra and meditation. Each day began with a 5 am start and ended at 7 pm. It was honestly one of the best experiences of my life, but it was equally one of the most challenging.”
Emily’s vast experience in Yoga and passion about it is clear. So, if you are someone who is contemplating the idea, why not join her society? Start with a teacher who has trained with the best, you could find your next favourite hobby and become a more mindful person at the same time, what’s not to like?
For more information on classes and times, join Queen’s University Yoga society Facebook group.