Yoga is known to unite mind, body, and spirit through warrior, candlestick, and chaturanga dandasana poses.
SLCC students are benefiting from yoga classes in many surprising ways.
“Too often we focus on our busy, pressure filled days,” said SLCC yoga instructor Trish Stranquist. “Yoga asks us to refocus our attention on our breath and other physical sensations as we practice. “
Stranquist’s students have learned to be more compassionate. Students are surprised to learn that a physical practice can affect the way they understand themselves and others.
Students experience a heightened awareness of themselves and others in addition to the physical benefits of a yoga practice. This kind of realization results in better relationships. Being able to relate to people in a more meaningful way develops a stronger relationship with friends and confidants.
“Feel more at peace”
“[Yoga] has helped me be more patient and able to stabilize my mood,” said SLCC yoga student Gisele Lacerda. “I feel more at peace.”
Confidence is another surprising benefit of a regular yoga practice. It takes a lot of time and willpower to be able to hold certain poses or to even consistently unroll the yoga mat to begin a practice. But once students achieve their yoga goals, they feel they can do anything. They see themselves in a new way that, before, was unclear.
Yoga is also known to enhance digestion and make students more apt to be mindful of their eating habits. For some students whose usual diet consists of no more than chicken fingers and a large soda, practicing yoga has increased cravings for leafy greens and a bottle of water.
“I’m more aware of my body and how the food I eat affects it,” said Lacerda.
Beyond the obvious benefit of increased flexibility, some of the other physiological benefits of yoga include improved posture, an increase in energy levels and improved balance. Practicing yoga can even increase cardiovascular efficiency.
“You also increase lung capacity and improve circulation and all of this can dramatically improve the functioning of the immune system,” said Stranquist.
“Overall stress relief for the body and mind”
Yoga is often used as a treatment to correct posture for people suffering from head aches. According to yogajornal.com, about 75 percent of headaches are a result of muscle tension due to posture problems.
“Regular practice is a natural way to alleviate things like back pain, headaches and arthritis and provide overall stress relief for the body and mind,” said Stranquist.
SLCC offers two yoga classes: HLAC 1057, yoga I, and HLAC 1058, yoga II. Each class is one credit hour.
For more information about the yoga classes offered at SLCC, read through the course descriptions in the course catalog online at www.slcc.edu/catalog.
There is also a Yoga Instructor Training program offered by SLCC’s continuing education department. The program is recognized by the Yoga Alliance and is a 200-hour school. The program is 13 credit hours, containing five different classes.
For more information about Yoga Instructor Training, visit www.slcccontinuinged.com/yoga.
“The more you practice yoga, I think you’ll find yourself naturally wanting to make healthy and positive changes to your life,” said Stranquist.