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Guest Blog – With thanks to Echo Wang- McCusker Centre for Citizenship Intern 2022

With increased pressure to succeed in academics, financial stress, uncertainty about which primary or career path to choose, and increased social media use, many university students face mental-health challenges—anxiety, depression, and chronic emotional stress. 

Mindfulness and yoga are more and more popular around the universities/colleges these years. So, how do yoga and mindfulness actually support university students?

Yoga can enhance muscle strength, improve physical function, flexibility and balance as well as generate psychological effects such as inner awareness, concentration, and mental stability for university students. 

Practising yoga can improve the physical function of university students. On the one hand, yoga emphasizes the coordination of breathing, movement, and applying breathing methods such as natural breathing, diaphragmatic breathing, and complete yoga breathing. As the difficulty of yoga poses increases, students need to adjust their breathing to complete the yoga poses. On the other hand, yoga places significant priority on the unity of body and mind, focusing on “mind cultivation”, focusing and guiding attention through concentration and meditation so as to achieve inner balance, thereby reducing the practitioner’s slow heart rate.

Block muscles are fully stretched by different yoga poses such as side bending poses, kneeling poses, twist poses, standing poses and more, thereby improving the body’s flexibility. Yoga trains students to control their bodies and has a high degree of self-control of their minds. In the process of practising yoga, they need to concentrate and cooperate with breathing, which is conducive to enhancing students’ balance.

Moreover, yoga helps students destress. Research has shown that “yoga has a positive effect on psychophysiological levels and can reduce stress levels in college students.” Negative emotions of university students are prone to lead to problems such as endocrine disorders. Meditation and yoga practice help students eliminate anxiety by adjusting the endocrine and nervous systems, focusing on themselves as well as helping students maintain inner stability, balance and self-confidence.

Yoga practice requires the cooperation of breathing. Breathing naturally and evenly is conducive to the practitioners controlling their own bodies and to the practitioners to relax their minds.  Teaching students to expel the negative emotions from the body with the exhalation will help the practitioners. For students to control their own body and emotions, improve students’ impetuous and impulsive state of mind, and improve students mental health.

Guest blogger and university student Echo shares what she enjoys the most about Yoga:

 “I value well-being and yoga makes me feel happier and healthier” 

 

Yogazeit provides FREE Mental health Yoga Classes for young adults with thanks to the City of Fremantle.  Further information can be found here:

References:

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6630857/pdf/ajpe7001.pdf 

https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fpsyt.2019.00193/full 

https://www.yogaresearchandbeyond.com/yoga-stress-university-students/

https://news.ucdenver.edu/the-effects-of-yoga-on-student-mental-health/