Exploring the benefits of yoga

There are many benefits to yoga, and they can be yours for free if you are a full-time UVU student. The yoga class helps students “move through relaxing routines to help ease stress, by focusing on breathing and performing fluid body movements.”

Pictured: yoga mats that help keep students comfortable during yoga. Photo by Joshua Sperry.

Yoga has provided mental and physical relief to individuals for years, states the Mental Health Association in Delaware. Now, as a UVU student, you can experience this relief as well. 

Guided yoga classes happen Monday through Friday in the Student Life and Wellness gym and are part of UVU’s recurring fitness class schedule. According to the UVU Student Life and Wellness Center website, each yoga session is an hour long class where you “move through relaxing routines to help ease your stress, by focusing on your breathing and performing fluid body movements.”

Julianna Fotheringham, a UVU student double majoring in Computer Science and Business, sets aside time every day to go to yoga. She says, “Yoga is so amazing because it nourishes your mind, body and soul. It takes care of [your] emotional, spiritual, and physical health, and it’s for everybody!” 

To those who may feel insecure about trying yoga, Fotheringham reassured that “You don’t have to be good [at yoga], you just have to be willing to try it.” She then stated, “I always feel so relaxed and refreshed but also strong after a yoga class,” and that despite what type of a day she had, yoga always makes her feel better. 

Kimberly Reynolds, the program director of the Outdoor Adventure Center and yoga instructor at UVU, agrees that there are many benefits to yoga. She explained that although “people [often] start their yoga journey as a physical practice to tone and build their strength,” there are more benefits to be gained from it. To prove this, Reynolds explained that yoga could be used to mobilize stiff joints, increase flexibility, and establish mindfulness, in addition to strength training. “The more flexible you are, the less prone to injury you are, ” Reynolds stated. “[Yoga] is very beneficial for those reasons.”

Reynolds also emphasized that for her personally, yoga’s main benefit was bringing “balance” to her life. “As a society, we are stressed, [but] what yoga does is give you an hour to focus on your breath and let go of stress outside,” she explained. “People are often in this fight or flight … and they never take time to just stop and think. What yoga does is it gives you that hour or whatever [time you need] to just focus on your breath and let go of all the stress.”

Similar to the words of Reynolds, John Hopkins Medicine states that yoga can improve strength, balance, and flexibility; decrease back pain; ease arthritis symptoms; provide heart health benefits; relax you and assist with better sleep; provide more energy and brighter moods; help you manage stress; connect you with a supportive community, and promote better self-care. For full-time students at UVU, all of these benefits are free! 

Visit the UVU Student Life and Wellness Center website to fit yoga into your schedule today.

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