Yoga for Stress Management?

First of all, some personal news: I just got a wonderful internship at butter LONDON makeup company based here in Seattle. Super pumped about that. Also, planning a super awesome trip to Europe in the summer. Also, I think I’ll die of stress very soon.

I have finally found something to do besides homework and driving back and forth between school and home. Yoga! Gosh, it has so many wonderful benefits that I simply couldn’t not share them with you guys. If you are prone to anxiety of stress, I think this could definitely be your solution! Yoga gives you both great exercise and a way to relax your body and mind, which is what attracted me to it in the first place. After two horribly stressful midterm weeks and a few nervous breakdowns, I decided that I need to get myself together and find an activity to get involved in. Having a minimal amount of money to spare for this stuff, I looked through Groupon for yoga deals in my area. The one I found was 10 classes for $40, as compared to $99 regular price. This was definitely a steal, so I bought it almost without thinking (as always) and headed for the studio.

If you are like me and are worried that you don’t know anything, chances are that you’re not the only one. Yoga is a very accommodating activity, which means that every excercise has variations suitable for your level of skills. Of course, at my first class I tried to do every pose and failed miserably. It must have been kind of funny to the instructor, but she was super sweet and even helped me get into the poses I wanted while everyone else was doing headstands and whatnot. Anyways, I am now on class #7 and have improved immensely. Here are some poses for inspiration:

If you are a stressed student or simply want to try out a couple classes, I’d recommend starting simple. Vinyasa is a flowy type yoga, where you switch poses very gracefully (I have yet to master this skill) and breathe in a special pattern. I also went to a Meditation class, which was a whole other level of experience – I’ve never felt so peaceful in my whole life. This one I’m definitely going back to. The instructor guided me and one other student throughout the entire class, but in such way that it wasn’t distracting. In a way, mediation is supposed to help you let go of all your thoughts and worries and just focus on one thing, like your breath. If you concentrate on how you breathe, you feel like you’re slowly flowing into deep, deep trans. As much as I’d like to say that I was totally enlightened, that didn’t happen. I think I still have 30-40 years to go. If you are looking for a more work-out type yoga, you can test out Power Yoga or Bikram and Hatha. Power yoga focuses on your muscles and core, and you hold a few difficult positions for some time. Bikram or Hatha yoga are types of hot yoga. These are made for you to sweat your worries away in a 104° F room. I usually get crazy light headed, but I think it’s because I don’t drink enough water before the practice.

Anyways, that’s my experience right there. I love having an activity, especially one that helps me feel less stressed and more relaxed, besides school. with only a 15-minute drive, I enjoy a whole hour of peace and some much needed exercise three times a week. If you have such an option – try it out. Yoga classes are often offered by independent studios and fitness centers. Check Groupon for some possible deals in your area. Do you do yoga? What’s your experience? What do you do besides school? Tell us in the comments below!

Also, thank you all for sending me such wonderful messages and questions! I promise I read through all of them and try my best to answer them :c It seems like Tumblr is working much, much better than this site, so I’ll see what I can do. Maybe transferring back will be a good idea. What do you all think?

Stress Relief

Some notes on stress relief: how to deal with test anxiety and long-term stress.

More on relaxation and sleep: meditation , Best time to sleep at night, Power naps, more on sleep cycles.

(Learned this today in BioPsych lecture (Dr. Lauren Graham)).

On Meditation

MEDITATION: it can help you relax, improve concentration and even your mood! Doesn’t take too long and can be done at any time/place.

-Last time I was waiting for a ride on a bus stop for just about 5 minutes, and took that time to relax :) I was so calm afterwards!

Everyone can do it differently, but the key is to relax and try not to think of anything.
1) Take a comfortable position and put on some gentle, calming music
2) Close your eyes, straighten up. You can lean against a wall.
3) Let your thoughts come and go. If something starts to bother you, think “I can totally do it later, it can wait.”
4) Only 5-10 minutes a day is all it takes!

Here are some sources and more info on that: 1, 2
For beginners: 1 2
Some music: 1 and Songza and Spotify

 

Yoga for Eyes

A set of exercises to help relax your eyes. This would be helpful during a long study session when your eyes are all red and hurting. Do each exercise for 2-3 minutes every couple of hours, it was it will only take you 10 minutes max- a nice short break!

eyes 1 eyes 2
eyes 3