Don’t stress … stretch


Sofia Syed

Syed teaches students yoga in Bierce Library.

By Sofia Syed, Arts & Life Editor

With the semester more than halfway over, the amount of homework and exams might seem overwhelming.

A good way to combat that stress and stay motivated for the rest of the semester is to practice yoga.

“Yoga can be helpful for stress because it teaches us to slow down and to breath. By doing this we are choosing peace over stress,” UA graduate student Sara Syed said. “Taking a yoga class is also great for giving yourself a chunk of time that you can dedicate solely to yourself and to your mental, physical and even spiritual health.”

Syed is teaching a free yoga class on Nov. 13 at 9 a.m. in Bierce room 168. She advised that the ground is carpeted, so bringing a mat is optional.

“The practice of yoga is so important to integrate into one’s daily life because it gives the practitioner a chance to reconnect with the innermost self,” Syed said. “This is something that is hard to experience when we go throughout the day focusing on how busy we all are.”

Yoga has multiple benefits for one’s body—physically and mentally.

According to Yoga Journal Magazine, yoga improves flexibility and blood flow, and perfects posture. It also helps make one focus and allows for a deeper sleep.

“Yoga shows us that it’s okay to slow down and trust the process,” Syed said.

Moreover, yoga that is practiced regularly is correlated with an increase in happiness.

Neuroscientist Richard Davidson, in a Yoga Journal Magazine titled “38 Health Benefits of Yoga,” said the “left prefrontal cortex showed heightened activity in meditators, a finding that has been correlated with greater levels of happiness and better immune function. More dramatic left-sided activation was found in dedicated, long-term practitioners.”

For more information about the free yoga classes and to get on the email list, email Syed at [email protected]