Sometimes there are a million things going on in life and it seems as if my head might explode from my non-stop, hectic schedule. Between jobs, internships, projects, homework and whatever else is going on, it’s difficult to balance all of my responsibilities and remain sane. However, over the summer I was able to find an escape from the hustle and bustle of my daily routine and discovered a solution that actually cleared my mind. It was a way for me to relax for an hour each day and work through any problems or stress in my life. Plus, it was a way to tone my muscles, help respiratory flow, stretch and meet new people. So, what was this magical method that allowed me to de-stress while exercising? It’s pretty simple: Yoga.
First, I’m going to start by saying that yoga is not just for girls. Now, I’m not encouraging guys to go out and buy a pair of yoga pants, but don’t immediately write it off. Even I was skeptical about trying it at first. Usually my go-to way to exercise while blowing off some steam is running since it’s a great opportunity to crank up your iPod and disappear from the world until your legs go numb. But, I decided to sign up for yoga classes with a few of my friends and give it a try, and I’m definitely glad I did.
So, if you’re feeling inspired to give yoga a shot, head on over to Walmart and buy a unique yoga mat that best suits your personality. Whether that be a tree or an abstract design that has a deep, inspirational quote is completely up to you. You’ll be looking down at it often while doing positions such as downward dog, so it is crucial to pick a mat that you enjoy looking at. This may sound ridiculous but my friend actually had to exchange her mat because she couldn’t bear to look at the creepy owl that was drawn on it.
Next, you have to find out about any yoga classes that are available. Here at SUNY Oneonta, there are academic yoga classes, which are excellent and allow you to find out some background information about the practice besides just doing the positions. However, if you’re not interested in waking up at 8 a.m. or spending money on credits you can always look on YouTube. Gather a few of your friends, look through different yoga instructional videos and get started!
If you try out yoga and find that you enjoy it, look into meditation or relaxation techniques which are also excellent and easy ways to de-stress throughout the day. Something as simple as finding a quiet area, closing your eyes and counting backwards from ten has been proven to calm your thoughts, reduce your blood pressure and relieve some tension.
So change into some comfy clothes, put on the Peaceful-Water-Noises Pandora station, close your eyes, take a deep breath in and escape from reality for a bit.