A Yoga Day Keeps the Stress Away

A Yoga Day Keeps the Stress Away

Find the Light in Practicing Yoga
5534
views

At the beginning of every semester, I start preparing for what's ahead and set goals for myself. Whether that is eating a healthier diet, focusing more on my fitness goals, or taking naps between my classes, I always try to set objectives in order to balance my mental and physical state of mind. This semester, I decided to focus carefully on myself despite everything else going on around me.

To do so effectively, I became determined to pursue a passion for yoga.


Until I tested the waters myself, I always heard people talking of the satisfaction they received after completing a yoga class and all the healthy benefits that came with it. Not only did they feel better physically, but the art of stretching and expanding the mind allowed them to alter their mental state as well.

Even while hearing about these positives experiences, I always thought that practicing yoga was the equivalent of taking a supplement for weight loss; pointless and ineffective.

However, after completing my first yoga class, I realized that the focus on your body and mind is much more powerful than torturing yourself lifting heavy weights in the gym or struggling to catch your breath running outside. Yoga goes beyond simply trying to adopt a new, fit lifestyle. It allows you to focus more intently on breathing and listening to yourself, causing you to become a more conscious and mindful individual.

Before I found my inner passion for yoga, I relied too heavily on working out and the company of my friends and family to keep me happy. After a long, stressful day of classes, I would drain my body even more by attempting to hit the gym. I was not listening to myself and did not realize that the one thing I needed was relaxation. So, I was doing quite the opposite. And, just like my attitude was negative when I walked into the gym, I walked out feeling the same way.

I couldn’t keep feeling so down about myself. It was after seeing no positive change in my mental and even physical state that I had to find another way to maintain my health goals. I thought, “you know what, why don’t I just TRY yoga and see for myself.” I began reading articles about different types of yoga, inspiring yoga quotes, and the ways in which each position triggers the mind.

Two days into this, I was officially hooked. Through this practice, I learned how to more easily cope with stressful situations and work to make progress on my mental health. The beauty of yoga is that it allows you to expand your mind and see the light at the end of the tunnel.

There are many positives that come with practicing yoga. However, one of the greatest parts about it is the fact that you are doing it for you, and you only. Participating in yoga is solely for your own benefit. It is not about the cute yoga mat you bought, the work out clothes you wear, the expensive classes or whether you are better or worse than the person practicing next to you.

Yoga allows you to escape reality for an hour or two and listen to yourself, something we don’t naturally do often. With that being said, find the yoga practice that fit your goals and promise yourself to stick to it.

Whether you seek out yoga to benefit your mental health, physical health, or simply to try something new for a change, taking the initiative and testing your limits is rewarding. Allow the practice of yoga to expand your mind and became a new part of your life. You’d be surprised at the outcome.

Popular Right Now

An Open Letter To The Girl Trying To Get Healthy Again

"I see you eating whatever you want and not exercising" - Pants
187629
views

Dear girl trying to get back in shape,

I know it's hard. I know the hardest thing you may do all day is walk into the gym. I know how easy it is to want to give up and go eat Chicken McNuggets, but don't do it. I know it feels like you work so hard and get no where. I know how frustrating it is to see that person across the table from you eat a Big Mac every day while you eat your carrots and still be half of your size. I know that awful feeling where you don't want to go to the gym because you know how out of shape you are. Trust me, I know.

SEE ALSO: To The Girl Trying To Lose Weight In College


The important thing is you are doing something about it. I'm sure you get mad at yourself for letting your body get this out of shape, but life happens. You have made a huge accomplishment by not having a soda in over a month, and those small changes are huge. I understand how hard it is, I understand how frustrating it is to not see results and I understand why you want to give up. Being healthy and fit takes so much time. As much as I wish you could wake up the day after a good workout with the 6 pack of your dreams, that just isn't the reality. If being healthy was easy, everyone would do it, and it wouldn't feel so good when you got there.

Remember how last January your resolution was to get back in the gym and get healthy again? Think about how incredible you would look right now if you would have stuck with it. The great thing is that you can start any time, and you can prove yourself wrong.

Tired of starting over? Then don't give up.

You are only as strong as your mind. You will get there one day. Just be patient and keep working.

Nothing worth having comes easy. If you want abs more than anything, and one day you woke up with them, it wouldn't be nearly as satisfying as watching your body get stronger.

Mental toughness is half the battle. If you think you are strong, and believe you are strong, you will be strong. Soon, when you look back on the struggle and these hard days, you will be so thankful you didn't give up.

Don't forget that weight is just a number. What is really important is how you feel, and that you like how you look. But girl, shout out to you for working on loving your body, because that shit is hard.

To the girl trying to get healthy again, I am so proud of you. It won't be easy, it will take time. But keep working out, eating right, and just be patient. You will be amazed with what your body is capable of doing.

Cover Image Credit: Stock Snap

Related Content

Connect with a generation
of new voices.

We are students, thinkers, influencers, and communities sharing our ideas with the world. Join our platform to create and discover content that actually matters to you.

Learn more Start Creating

Here's A Big 'F*#@ You' To The Family Members Who Degrade You Because Of Your Weight

Oh yes, Aunt Karen, I'm looking at you, sweetie.

278
views

We've all been there. Grandma *insert generic name* waltzes into the Thanksgiving gathering like she owns the damn place while you're minding your own business. You feel pretty freaking good about the new, orange sweater you just bought that was on sale AND looks perfect for this pleasant event.

She walks straight up to you and gives you a giant hug, looks you up and down multiple times, and says "look at you!" with an awkward side eye of trying not to show that she can tell you've gained a few extra pounds after leaving for college. You know you have, but holy smokes she didn't have to make it that obvious, did she?

Yes, I do enjoy three bowls of cereal at 10 pm when I'm stressing over my student debt, Grandma Sally.

She struts over to your sister and compliments her on how she's grown taller, lost weight, and how her makeup is #onpoint. But OK, I've stopped growing and I can't do winged eyeliner #getoverit.

https://gph.is/2mJRUNC

You shake it off and walk away as though that didn't hurt your feelings in the slightest.

The whole time you're at the dinner/family gathering you feel completely uncomfortable and fill your head with self-doubt and thoughts of "should I even eat that slice of pie?"

When you think about it, would you dare question that her sweater makes her look frumpier than usual? NO, because you love her and she is beautiful to you no matter how her shape has changed (even though you now wish you could just tell her that her mascara smudged and looks dreadful #Yikes).

Girl, I cannot tell you the number of times I have turned down an extra serving during these food-filled events all because of one disapproving look about how I did gain a bit of weight. I thought one unhealthy item would make me gain ANOTHER five pounds (that's not how that happens I finally learned, that would take a lot more than one slice of pumpkin pie).

I have been surrounded by multiple, more male than female, family members who have said, "Do you need that?" "You eat like a pig," or the worst "Go on, eat it, it's not like you'll be able to stop."

This is where I drew the damn line.

I have had an issue with binge eating in the recent past, and the fact that a male family member had the nerve to voice their opinion on how I cannot control myself revolving around a mental issue I possess is absolutely disgusting.

The fact that a family member, whether it be a father, grandmother, or even a second cousin twice removed (does their opinion really matter though?), can make you feel uncomfortable or worthless because of a change in your appearance does not possess unconditional love for you #FACT.

How dare anyone, especially the people closest to you, give you disapproval due to the number on a scale?

To all the family members who have voiced their opinion on my weight, this article is me flipping you off in the nicest way, OK? So take this with a grain of salt.

SO, my advice next time Aunt Karen gives you a rough time or disapproving side eye if the freshman 15 is starting to kick in, EAT THAT EXTRA CUPCAKE. As though it's a big middle finger to how she views you, it'll feel and taste great while making them feel as though they have no power over you!

Related Content

Facebook Comments