A Yoga Day Keeps the Stress Away

A Yoga Day Keeps the Stress Away

Find the Light in Practicing Yoga
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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.

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9 Eligible Princes You Need To Know About Now That Prince Harry Is Off The Market

You too could have a Meghan Markle fairytale
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Prince Harry's royal wedding is officially over and there won't be another British royal wedding for quite some time now, as Prince George is way too young to start thinking about that. Fortunately, there are plenty of other countries with plenty of other princes that are still eligible bachelors at the moment. Lucky for you, I did my research and compiled a list of all the eligible princes you need to know about know that Prince Harry has tied the knot with Meghan Markle.

1. Prince Louis of Luxembourg (31)

Prince Louis is the third son of the Grand Duke Henri and Duchess Maria Theresa of Luxembourg. He has recently become a bachelor again after his separation with his wife of 10 years, Princess Tessy.

Fun Fact: He graduated from Richmond, The American International University of London with a BA in Communications. He can also speak Luxembourgish (the fact that's even a language is fun fact by itself), French, German, and English fluently.

2. Prince Sebastien of Luxembourg (26)

Prince Sebastien is the youngest child of the Grand Duke Henri and Duchess Maria Theresa of Luxembourg, so if you marry him, you'll probably never actually be queen because he's pretty far removed from the throne. However, he's relatively young and single, so best of luck.

Fun Fact: For some bizarre reason, this prince actually went to college in Ohio. He played rugby and graduated from Franciscan University of Steubenville in 2015. Now, he is back in his home country and is an officer in the Luxembourg Army.

3. Prince Phillipos of Greece and Denmark (34)

You read that correctly, Prince Phillipos is the prince of not one, but two countries. He is the youngest son of King Constantine and Queen Anne Marie of Greece and Denmark. Unfortunately, Greece abolished their monarchy, so he's a prince in name only there.

Fun Fact: Like Prince Sebastien, Prince Phillipos also went to college in the United States. He earned his B.A. in foreign relations from Georgetown University in 2008. Fortunately, for us American girls, he is actually still living in the US and he works in New York City as an analyst at Ortelius Capital.

4. Prince Albert of Thurn and Taxis (34)

Ever heard of Thurn and Taxis? No? Me neither. Anyways, Prince Albert is from the House of Thurn and Taxis, which is essentially a very old German aristocratic family. He is the son of Prince Johannes XI of Thurn and Taxis and Countess Gloria of Schonburg Glauchau. His family is well known for their breweries and castles, so unless you're gluten-free, you can't really complain.

Fun Fact: He's not just a prince. He's also a racecar driver and 10 years ago he was ranked 11th on Forbes Magazine's List of The 20 Hottest Young Royals.

5. Prince Mateen of Brunei (26)

Prince Mateen is basically like all the guys you already know, except he's royalty. He's the prince of Brunei, which is a small country on the island of Borneo, south of Vietnam. He is one of the five sons of Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah, and he also has seven sisters. Maybe that's a little different than the guys you know, but one thing he takes very seriously, just like most frat guys, is his Instagram.

Fun Fact: Mateen enjoys playing polo, flying in his private plane, cuddling cute wild animals, and keeping up his Insta game with 890k followers. You can follow him @tmski.

6. Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum of Dubai (35)

Sheikh Hamdan also has a killer Instagram with 6.3 million followers. Anyways, Sheikh Hamdan is the billionaire crown prince of Dubai and the second son of Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, who is the prime minister of the United Arab Emirates and essentially the king of Dubai (Emir). He's actually next in line for the throne because his older brother died in 2015.

Fun Fact: Hamdan's hobbies include skydiving, zip lining, and diving, just to name a few, so if you're an adrenaline junkie, Sheikh Hamdan is the prince for you.

7. Prince Hussein of Jordan (23)

Prince Hussain is the son of the extremely beautiful, Queen Rania and Abdullah II of Jordan and next in line for the Jordanian throne. At 23, he's already a second lieutenant in the Jordanian Armed Forces and he was the youngest person ever to chair a UN Security Council Meeting


Fun Fact: Like Prince Phillippos, Prince Hussain also graduated from Georgetown University in Washington D.C.. Also, like Prince Mateen and Prince Hamdan, he's Insta famous with 1.3 million followers and you can follow him @alhusseinjo.

8. Prince Constantine-Alexios of Greece and Denmark (19)

Like Prince Phillipos, Prince Constantine-Alexios also has two countries. Lucky for us though, he is also living in the US right now attending Georgetown University in Washington D.C. (like pretty much every other prince, amirite?) He is the oldest son of Crown Princess Marie-Chantal and Crown Prince Pavlos of Greece.

Fun Fact: He's Prince William's godson, so that's pretty neat. However, if that wasn't cool enough, you might like to know that this Greek/Danish prince was actually born in New York. Oh yeah, you can also follow him on Instagram @alexiosgreece where he has 88.7k followers.

9. Prince Joachim of Belgium (26)

Prince Joachim of Belgium, Archduke of Austria-Este is the third child of Lorenz, Archduke of Austria-Este and Princess Astrid of Belgium. Although he bears the title, "Prince of Belgium," he is also Archduke of Austria-Este, Prince Royal of Hungary and Bohemia, and Prince of Modena. Unfortunately, he'll probably never actually be king in any of these countries as he is ninth in line to the Belgian throne.

Fun Fact: Prince Joachim has degrees in economics, management, and finance, but he decided to join the Nautical School in Brugge after completing college and is currently an officer in the Belgian Navy.

Hope is not lost for all you girls dreaming of finding a Prince Charming that's literally a prince. After reviewing the data, my best advice is to transfer to Georgetown where princes are basically around every corner.

Cover Image Credit: @meghantheduchessofsussexstyle/Instagram

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The Miss America Organization Says 'So Long' To Swimsuits

After almost 100 years, the Miss America Organization has decided to scrap its swimwear portion-here's my thoughts.

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On Tuesday June 5, Miss America Organization executives announced that the pageant would no longer judge contestants on their bodies by eliminating the swimsuit portion of the competition.

As someone who has competed in pageants, as well as in the swimsuit portion of these pageants, this is a breath of fresh air.

Not because I believe that swimsuits are not modest and therefore "not moral," and not because I don't think that this competition can be empowering to some.

But because when you are in a swimsuit walking across the stage, while it is intended to be a confidence-booster that is judged on your attitude onstage along with a little bit of physical fitness, it often did the complete opposite.

When you are in an outfit as revealing as a bikini, a large portion of your body is exposed, allowing people to judge. Not that revealing your body is a bad thing at all, as I come from the world of dance where crop tops and booty shorts are the norms, but here, the shift goes from watching your personality shine through on stage or admiring how the color of the swimsuit compliments her features, to looking solely at the body, despite having the intention not to. That being said, these judgments are usually more critical than positive, as the "perfect middle" is difficult to obtain. Bodies vary greatly from person to person, with people usually being on the smaller or larger side, and no matter what side you're on, there are negative judgments that arise with it.

On the larger side? Needs to workout, eat a salad.

On the smaller side? Obviously doesn't eat, someone feed this girl please.

When I was sixteen, I competed in my first pageant that had a swimsuit portion. Being someone who absolutely hates wearing swimsuits, even a one-piece, this was incredibly nerve-racking for me. Not because the thought of exposing my stomach sounded immoral for a lack of modesty, but because I have just never been comfortable with my body: I'm short and very much on the slim side, which of course brings negative judgments. In fact, though I walked with confidence in my swimsuit in this pageant, I still received comments such as "too thin" and "needs to add muscle" on my scorecard, and received a very low score in this portion of the competition, costing me a large setback in the competition.

Shouldn't I have been judged on my confidence on stage? Shouldn't I have been judged on my choice of swimsuit style and color? (Disclaimer: this is certainly not to say that I should have won the competition or that the judges did their job poorly, I am just seeking to question what is actually being judged in these competitions).

For another example, how many times have you been at the beach and observe others enjoying themselves wearing whatever swim attire they choose? Though they may not be aware of your watching of them, you still slip into judgment mode almost unintentionally:

"I can see her ribs, she needs to eat a sandwich."

"Is that…GASP! Cellulite?"

"Needs to tone up."

Though we all understand that judging others based on their appearance is wrong, we still fall into the trap of judging the bodies of others, which is why I can clearly understand why the bikini portion of any pageant draws controversy. Despite our efforts not to judge, we still can and will.

This does not mean that the Miss America Organization is going to be neglecting the importance of health and physical fitness at all, as all competitors fully recognize the importance of staying active and will continue to do so. What it does mean is that we are recognizing that health is important for well-being and not for the sake of looking "fit" in a bikini. It just means that they have found better ways for women to display their confidence, fitness, and most importantly, character, other than through a bikini portion.

Perhaps the flaw in my argument that one might point out is the fact that we should not care about the judgments, criticisms, and thoughts of others, to which I absolutely agree: one's opinion of an individual does not define that individual. However, if the very picky judgment of the appearance of one's body and incorrect stipulations of their health and fitness arise from it, causing a woman to not receive the earned title, then that is where criticism becomes problematic.

I must conclude and state that this is my own input, and I ask for your opinions on this as well. But if you are a grown man who is upset about this change solely for the fact that you "enjoyed" watching this portion of the competition: you're childish and your opinion is invalid. Time to grow up a little.

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