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Ever since I started college, my love and appreciation for yoga and meditation has grown even stronger. Every week I make it a priority to do yoga, whether I go to a class or do my own routine in my room. In addition, I always take time for quick meditation sessions, especially if I have a big exam coming up or if I’m just having a busy week. Here are three reasons why:

#1. Yoga and meditation are great stress relievers.

When I do yoga, I forget about everything I have going on and solely try to focus on my breathing and the poses. Not only does this clear my mind, but it calms my body and gives me energy for the rest of my day.

#2. Yoga and meditation increase oxygen flow to my muscles and help keep my body loose.

Walking around campus, sitting through class all day, and sleeping on a less than ideal mattress, at least in the dorms, can all cause muscle soreness. Especially during the first couple weeks of classes, yoga and meditation help my body adjust by stretching out my sore muscles and increasing the oxygen flow to my muscles with deep breathing so that my body has the nutrients it needs to recover from a long day.

#3. Yoga and meditation improve my digestion and sleep.

Stress can wreak havoc on your body, therefore, when I do yoga/meditation and my stress levels decrease, I notice a huge improvement in my digestion and sleep. With a clear mind and loose muscles, I fall asleep almost instantly instead of restlessly twisting in my bed worrying about my tasks for tomorrow.

MY FAVORITE BREATHING TECHNIQUE: This breathing technique is called alternate nostril breathing. Start by sitting in a comfortable position. Place your left hand on your left knee with your palm facing up. Bring the index finger and thumb of your left hand together. Next, take your right hand and place the index and middle finger together between your eyebrows. Place your ring and pinky finger on the left nostril and rest your thumb on the right nostril. Press your thumb down and exhale gently through the left nostril. Then, inhale through the left nostril. After inhaling, release your thumb from the right nostril and press your ring and pinky finger down on your left nostril. Exhale and inhale through your right nostril. Repeat this process until your mind feels calm and centered. Remember to inhale through the same nostril from which you exhaled and take long deep breaths. :)

Written by: Kaylee Murphy, Sophomore Wellness Peer Educator

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