September 29, 2023

National Yoga Month

September is National Yoga Month and CSU is feeling pretty zen about it. We know that yoga and meditation can do wonders for both your mind and your body; adding these practices into your routine can impact so many areas of your life- including studying!

If you’ve never done yoga before, knowing where or how to start can seem a bit daunting. The truth is, starting a yoga practice is easy and enjoyable- you can even start small and from the comfort of your own living room.

By exploring styles and classes you enjoy, you will find that yoga can do wonders not only for your body, but also your overall health, mental wellbeing, relationships, outlook, and more. It requires no equipment and can be done just about anywhere for any length of time. Sounds pretty great, huh?

If you want to start incorporating yoga to improve your body and mind, especially when it comes to studying, try these poses:

  1. Mountain pose

Stand tall and grounded, weight distributed evenly between both feet, with a straight spine and hands either at your sides or in prayer position. It sound simple but it is a powerful pose!

  1. Tree pose

With your gaze at an unmoving spot near the floor in front of you, lift one leg and place it on the inner thigh or calf of the other leg (not on the knee). Place your hands in prayer position and/or lift overhead. Repeat on both sides. If you fall, that’s okay! Your balance will improve and keeping your gaze on one spot will help.

  1. Warrior II

Taking a wide stance, bend your front leg so that your knee is over your ankle at a 90 degree angle with toes pointed forward; your back leg should be strong and straight with your toes pointed out (imagine a line running from the heel of your front foot to the arch of your back foot). Repeat on both sides.

  1. Lotus Pose

Sit cross-legged on the floor, or with your left foot resting on right thigh and vice versa, if this is comfortable for you. Make sure your back is straight and your chest is facing forward, not down. Imagine a string being pulled straight up from the crown of your head. Place your hands on your knees and close your eyes.

  1. Child’s pose

Sit up with your bottom on your knees, either parallel or fanned out to the sides. Straighten your spine then fold forward over your thighs, stretching your arms straight out in front of you. Place your forehead on the ground and close your eyes.

You can begin by holding each pose for 30 seconds, or longer if it comfortable for you. You can practice these poses at home or even at work to boost concentration, lift your mood, and regain motivation.

Once you feel comfortable with these, challenge yourself by finding a class on YouTube or DVD, and maybe even at a local studio in your community. As you begin to practice more and more, you will be amazed at what your body and mind are capable of.

The best part about yoga is there is no prerequisite, body type, ability, age, or gender required. Anyone can practice yoga and everyone can benefit from it.  Try a few poses before you hit the books next time!