August 13, 2020
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Classic Signals: Yoga reduces students’ stress, anxiety

By Viktoria Ristanovic
Features Editor

Yoga is a popular and powerful way to release stress and anxiety and help people get into better shape one “Om” at a time. Although students have youth on their side, that doesn’t mean they are immune to neck and back pain. High stress levels can lead to tense muscles, headaches, stomach aches and other physical symptoms in young people. Whether you’re a student or not, yoga can have compelling benefits. 

The practice helps an individual’s mental and physical health (Photo courtesy of the TCNJ Digital Archives).

In this October 1998 issue of The Signal, a reporter wrote about how yoga was becoming a popular trend that could help with physical and mental health.

Yoga isn’t just an option for those looking for increased flexibility, it is a new exercise possibility for students physically restricted by a small dorm room. 

And after a few months of practice, I’ve found it’s more than just sitting in the lotus position without pulling important muscles. 

Any prescriber of yoga can tell you that the more serious you are about it, the more control it can have over your lifestyle. 

A yoga practitioner learns breathing control to relax the entire body, ways to increase metabolism through certain stretches and which foods to eat to live a more balanced lifestyle. 

Yoga has also become one of the newest trends. Artists from Madonna to Mike D of the Beastie Boys to Woody Harrelson have taken up the practice, claiming that it has changed their lives. 

Madonna claimed on her last appearance on the Oprah Winfrey Show that yoga changes the molecules in your body and that if you want to be thin, you’ll be thin. 

According to the Sivananda Yoga Vendanta Centre’s book “101 Essential Tips on Yoga,” the word yoga means ‘union.’ 

The book defines the exercise as “based on the belief that the body and breath are intimately connected with the mind. By controlling the breath and holding the body in steady poses, or asanas, yoga creates harmony.” 

In the Roscoe L. West library, there are 147 yoga books (found though a subject search) ranging from how-to guides to stories of famous yogis to books on how yoga relates to sex. (The book “Beyond Sex,” found by a subject search for yoga, is curiously “reported missing”). 

The web is also flooded with yoga clubs, publications and advertising for classes. One of the more descriptive sites, http://globalthink.com/yoga/ contains information such as breathing guides, tips on perfecting or working up to postures. The site can help you to find a teacher who is located in your home area. 

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