Energize or Unwind With Yoga


Photo Originally published in the Jetstream in 2019. Julia Helle and Anna Duffy pose in the Yoga Room.

Stress, both mental and physical, weighs down on every individual. Whether the stress comes from school, people, or life in general, it exists in the body and can prevent one from achieving at their highest level.

Yoga is a practice that was developed thousands of years ago designed to cope with and relieve stress. It can assist in managing emotional and physical tension and has been recognized as a form of mind-to-body medicine that improves everyday living.

It’s also been proven to help with managing stress and becoming more resilient to stressful situations in general. Yoga isn’t just about relaxing, however.

Sophomore Ella Mitchler said, “Yoga makes me feel more energized but less anxious. I follow a video or do as my teacher instructs, and by exercising/meditating I feel less stressed because I’ve done something active that day.”

Activities like yoga are important for helping to maintain focus during classes, especially now. Sitting at a computer without an outlet for energy is, unfortunately, the reality for plenty of Air Academy students during the 2020 school year.

Athletes in particular know that stretching before beginning practice is important, but a regular yoga session outside of that can improve their performance in their sport. With learning moved to an online setting, it can be difficult to maintain a healthy posture and lifestyle in general, but a short yoga session can help with that.

“When the kids are there with me (in person), I try to do a lot of stretches to open the heart since they’re hunched over at their computers all day,” said health and wellness teacher Julie Millhauser.

In general, a few stretches a day is important, but especially now with the country’s altered way of living and working it is vital to maintain a healthy way of living.

Many students are either not engaged in any physical activity or aren’t getting the recommended 60 minutes of activity currently this school year. Yoga is an easy way to get in missed exercise and can be done between classes throughout the day with minimal effort.

The benefits of yoga aren’t limited physically. Yoga increases productivity in school. It makes students more attentive throughout the day and helps to keep energy levels from flagging through afternoon classes according to Vantage Fit.

An energizing session at the beginning of the day can do wonders for motivation, but that’s not all yoga can do to improve the day-to-day experience.

Millhauser said during her interview that she prefers to do yoga to end the day. A slow session with long stretches relaxes the muscles and improves sleep.

“I bet you can look up anything and it will give you poses to help you,” Millhauser said. “For me, it’s more injury prevention, but there are so many health benefits to yoga.”

A quick search on the internet revealed that was indeed the case. There are plenty of yoga poses recommended to help with anxiety and panic attacks, stress, morning motivation, and even motion sickness. The mental benefits of yoga are shocking and vary widely across multiple sources, but the physical side of the recommended stretches should never be overlooked.

Every consulted individual participating in a yoga class has recommended a regular yoga session for those who currently don’t. The improvement in their lifestyle is almost immediate for students and adults alike. The mental and physical benefits of just a short daily session can last a lifetime.