By Caroline Petersen
This article is exclusive to the online Edition 2 (Wrap Edition) of VARSITY Newspaper.
We all know the stereotype: skinny, white, stay-at-home mommies from Constantia driving their big, fancy cars, smoothie in one hand and yoga mat in the other. It seems ridiculous when I step into my yoga studio and stick out like a sore thumb. For one, I don’t have a bratty kid at Wet Pups as I am only 20 and very, very broke. Already, this is a huge disqualifier for the yoga norm. However, the awkward tumble into the studio and onto the mat is all worth it when, after an hour, I am in a great mood, mind all cleared out, on a natural high, and feeling “zen af”.
Yoga is probably the only thing that gets me productive, gets my mind pulsing with great ideas, and calms me down during even the worst of my anxiety sagas. With exams coming up, there’s no better way to get into beneficial routines than by starting yoga. The biggest perk for university students? Stress alleviation.
Yoga is known to reduce stress and anxiety – that we know for sure. It does this by calming down the mind and letting you focus only on the present moment, relieving all stress and tension from worries for the future and worries from the past. Yoga improves your ability to be less reactive to stressful situations and rather to become more mindful in your actions – this is the best when you feel like throwing your textbook across the library in a complete rage because you feel you have broken your brain. Another joyful little perk is that yoga increases your creativity! So, if you thought you couldn’t do those beautiful and intricate ‘studyblr’ notes…give it a shot after a quick yoga flow! Even when the exam blues and flu has you down, yoga boosts your immune system. And when insomnia hits, yoga helps relax your body, promoting better sleep.
If joining a studio is not your vibe and not conducive to your student budget, don’t fret! YouTube has plenty of amazing yogi instructors, free of charge, who teach easy introductory videos, 30-day challenges and even flows specifically tailored to calm you down or give you energy. If you’re looking for more of a community, SMILE UCT offers yoga on Mondays and Wednesdays from 17:30 to 19:00. Yoga mats are provided, all you need to do is wear comfy clothes, bring a bottle of water and yourself.