Yoga helps students relax through meditation

Hannah Reed

Kent State and the city of Kent both offer many opportunities for students to participate in yoga.

A recent study done by two Kent State associate psychology professors, Joel Hughes and David Fresco, found that mindfulness-based stress reduction, which includes yoga, can lower high blood pressure. Many local instructors said it’s a great way for students to de-stress.

Tim Huth, owner of One Love Yoga studio in downtown Kent and certified yoga instructor, said yoga is an all-encompassing practice that forms a connection between the mind and the body.

“One good thing we can really do for ourselves is to learn proper breathing,” Huth said. “We can control our emotion by controlling our breath.”

Pamela Hickey, instructor of the six one-credit yoga classes offered in the MACC Annex, also said yoga is beneficial.

“What makes yoga unique from other exercises and other activities is that we talk about how we curb our inner voice and how we listen to our bodies,” Hickey said. “It has an intuitive language that other sports don’t necessarily have.”

Hickey explained that the exercise is both mental and physical.

“Self-evaluation and self-observation would be the mental aspect of yoga,” Hickey said. “The physical aspect is that yoga is a handbook for what your body does, what’s safe and what will keep your body healthy.”

Hickey added that yoga is more of a lifestyle than an exercise.

“Yoga is all kinds of things,” Hickey said. “In some ways you could say that yoga is lots more places than just on your mat.”

Hickey said she started yoga when her son was in Iraq, and she was going through a stressful time.

“The worst activities were going on with car bombs and soldiers dying,” Hickey said. “It was a little hard to be home and wait through all of that.” I started taking yoga classes at that point, and it helped me calm myself down.”

Huth added that yoga is a powerful individual exercise.

“Yoga is one of the best things you can do,” Huth said. “It is very personal, and it allows you to just focus on yourself.”

Contact Hannah Reed at [email protected].