College is hard enough. Learning to balance school work, multiple majors, jobs, internships, and a social life can begin to feel overwhelming. When I first started my freshman year, I remember feeling up to my shoulders in work that I was stressed out all the time, not to mention how overwhelming the whole transition to college process can be. Now that I have three years of college experience under my belt, I can recognize what has helped me grow during these last few years.
In my time so far, I have tried so many new things and learned how to make this time my own. But the one thing that changed my whole college experience forever? Yoga.
Yoga for me has been the best thing I have given my time to while in college. When I was in high school, I did yoga at my dance studio as a way to stretch. I was familiar with it but hadn't taken the time to explore. Halfway through my freshman year of college, as the overwhelming feelings continued to grow, I decided one night to take a yoga class. And I had no idea how that one decision would change the course of not only my college career, but my life in general.
Leaving class that night, I felt so much more connected to myself than I had in years. In just one hour I was able to rediscover what I needed in my life. From then on, I made active yoga practice a part of my life routine. I went to class, practiced meditations, and overall tried to carry mantras with me through my daily schedules.
On the outside, yoga can look like a weird, earthy workout that only flexible, spiritual people do. That is so far from the truth. There is something for every person in yoga. It is not only a way to strengthen your body, but your mind and spirit as well. Physical health is important, but mental health is equally important, and yoga is a way to care for both.
College is a time of many unexpected bumps, turns, decisions, friends, and obstacles. It is inevitable that it will be a time of growth and trial and error. Since this time is hard enough, why make it harder on yourself? I think there is value in finding something that can help not only relief stress, but make your life fuller overall.
Yoga has helped me grow as a person, a student, and a writer. I am so happy to have rediscovered it during a time of such personal development. If I could give any advice to someone either in college already or just starting out, it would be to give yoga a try. Even if you don't like it at first, maybe it will spark some interest in yourself. Maybe it will inspire you to do something you were too scared to do before. Maybe, if you allow, it will simply change your life.