Yoga gains popularity as a stress relief exercise

Julia Duran, Assistant Features Editor

From power yoga to Bikram to hatha, yoga has become an integral part of life for many students and staff.

“I wanted to try something new when I was working on losing weight in college,” German teacher Kenneth Kuchta said. “I was tired of lifting weights, jogging and using the elliptical, and my brother had been doing yoga, so I tried [it] and loved it.”

One of the main reasons for its popularity is its numerous mental and physical benefits.

“[Yoga has] so many benefits; it is hard to name all of them. Yoga helps you clear up your mental chaos and traffic [and] helps straighten out your thoughts,” Kuchta said. “Physically, it does wonders for your internal organs and muscles because it is not just about stretching; it is about building muscles too.”

In addition, practicing yoga can also bring people with common thoughts and points of views together.

“It is great socially because when you do yoga, you meet new people who care about their health, the planet and peaceful existence,” Kuchta said.

Yoga can be a source of distraction and relaxation, so people often practice it after tiring and stressful days.

“Yoga and exercise are just ways for me to relieve my stress and take care of my body,” junior Jennifer Cheung said. “I always make it a priority, especially during busy times of the year.”
Although there are many gyms that offer yoga classes, as well as studios that specialize in different yoga styles, some find it easier to practice by themselves on YouTube.

“I like practicing in a class because I love my yoga teacher,” junior Carolan Corcoran said. “But I’ve been very busy lately and have been doing a lot on my own with videos.”

Oftentimes, people classify yoga as merely a philosophy; however, power yoga and other more intense styles can also be considered as a sport.

“Yoga is such a great reminder of what the human body is capable of,” Cheung said. “The ability to move, to express yourself and to become stronger and healthier should never be taken for granted.”

Overall, yoga has improved and changed many lives by encouraging unity between body and mind, which leads to a more active and healthier life.

“The more yoga I do, the more likely I am to eat healthy because I can feel my body craving things that are good for it,” Corcoran said. “Yoga is my favorite way to unwind after a long day; it clears your mind because you have to focus on what your body is doing.”