Opinion: Use yoga to stay calm this semester

Mica Pflug

We’re at the point in the semester where our levels of stress, fatigue and coffee consumption are at an all-time high. Classes are swinging into full gear, you may be considering dropping out and you’re probably secretly cursing Kent State for still not having a fall break.

While everything around you can sometimes feel overwhelming and tedious, it is important to remember to take good care of yourself.

One of my favorite ways to remain positive, feeling physically well and in a good state of mind, is to practice yoga: a form of stretching, poses and meditation that can do wonders for your overall well-being.

The word yoga might make you think of the classic “tree pose” where a person places their hands upright with palms together, held either to their chest or above their head, and one leg is bent with that foot being placed against the inner thigh of the opposite leg.

See it, right? While this may be the common conception of what yoga is, there is much to the practice itself aside from just those commonly remembered poses.

Yoga can be beneficial not only for the stretching of muscles and body parts, but also to assist with the controlling of breathing and balance, ultimately providing a well-rounded experience of looseness and peace within the physical body.

Not only can the practice of yoga improve your physical strength and flexibility, but it can prove extremely helpful to balancing positivity in your daily mindset.

No one needs to be a master of the activity in order to practice yoga. In fact, in this day and age of new technology, it is easier than ever to pick up a new skill or hobby such as this.

All you really need is yourself, a good chunk of time to dedicate to the practice every so often and the desire to feel at peace. You don’t even need a mat to begin. A towel, the bare ground or grass is just as good too.

The most comforting aspect of yoga is the individual flexibility for the specific person practicing it. No two people must complete their practice in the exact same way. The art of yoga is about doing what feels good to you and pushing yourself as far as you’d like to go, while also striving for comfort and peace of mind.

Next time stress comes, try starting with a few deep breaths. Work to clear your head of anything that’s overwhelming and begin to stretch your limbs aiming for gentleness, awareness and comfort. When you’re ready, perhaps check out a video online of a yoga practice for beginners (they have plenty of them on YouTube) and follow along as best you can.

You can tailor this experience to be exactly what you need or what you might be looking to get out of the day or night ahead of you.

Listen to your body and soul, and decide what works best for you. Namaste.

Mica Pflug is a columnist, contact her at [email protected]