Take a breather: How students can claim the benefits of yoga and meditation


As we near the end of the fall semester, stress levels have begun to rise, and procrastination has set in. Take a breather by participating in some light yoga or meditation to refocus, as it they offers benefits to both physical to mental health.

Anyone can claim the benefits of yoga and meditation, as they can be used for multiple reasons. Due to its their multipurpose uses, it they are is relatively easy to pick up. 

From those looking to increase their physical activity to athletes, yoga and meditation are the perfect activitiesy to expand your comfort zone while bettering both physical and mental health. 

According to the American Osteopathic Association (AOA), yoga and meditation incorporate relaxation techniques that help improve one’s physical health. Yoga can be used to treat pain and tensions as well as aid in lowering blood pressure and reducing insomnia.  

In addition to yoga’s ability to help with larger health issues, yoga and meditation can also be used to improve overall physical wellbeing. The AOA claims that yoga and meditation can increase flexibility as well as muscle strength and tone, increase energy, protection from injury, improved athletic performance, maintain metabolism and improve cardiovascular health. 

Yoga can be especially helpful for student-athletes who have been affected by the cancelation of all fall sports by the Ontario University Athletics (OUA). Yoga and meditation can help keep muscles strong and toned and reduce the risk of injury when play resumes. Keeping your body active is important, even if it is low intensity it can make a difference in your overall well-being. 

The physical benefits of yoga and meditation are compelling enough on their own, but it also provides an array of mental health benefits. The unique situation posed by the COVID-19 pandemic has increased the stress levels of everyone. 

Students, in particular, have been affected quite hard by the pandemic with school being moved online and some staying at home. Yoga and meditation can help balance the stressful workload of online classes while balancing a social life. 

Stress can appear in many different ways, most commonly in the form of neck and back pain, headaches, sleeping problems and an inability to concentrate. Yoga and meditation can help reduce stress, regardless of the way it reveals itself.

Students are most likely struggling with at least one of these symptoms of stress due to the shift to online learning. By taking a small break from studying to de-stress with yoga or meditation students can learn behaviors that help cope with stress. 

Dr. Nevins, from the AOA, claims that including yoga and meditation regularly in your daily routine can help improve mental clarity as it relaxes the mind and centres one’s attention. The simple act of repetition can improve your over well-being. 

An additional benefit of yoga and meditation is that they are easily accessible to all. Students have a great resource at Laurier Athletics as they offer online yoga sessions. There are also free yoga tutorials on YouTube and meditation apps that can be used to help guide an at-home yoga or meditation session. 

Maintaining both mental and physical health is extremely important. Yoga and meditation are great, cost-effective activities that can help improve physical abilities while offering a calmness that can improve your abilities to cope with the stress of online school. 

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