Yoga is an ideal exercise for everyone

Imaged by DC studios

Midterms are quickly approaching and tension is in the air for students at Florida A&M. When stress seems unavoidable in life it is important to find healthy ways to remain balanced in our personal, emotional and physical lives. 

Yoga is an ancient exercise that requires a present mind and able body. Full body practice is on the rise, 35 million people (about twice the population of New York state) in the U.S. practice yoga routinely, according to the Gitnux Market data report 2024. 

Yoga can be practiced with a group or in solitude. Regardless of preference, the benefits of stretching and practicing mindfulness are doing wonders for mental health. In an article about the benefits of yoga, “The purpose of yoga is to build strength, awareness and harmony in both the mind and body,” Natalie Nevins, a board-certified osteopathic family physician and certified Kundalini Yoga instructor in Hollywood, California, wrote.

Yoga is an ideal exercise for everyone, from the idler to the enterprising person. Yoga has several types of practices for specific purposes. The most popular yoga is “hot yoga,” performed in a warm environment to burn calories and boost heart health when practiced in moderation. Hatha yoga includes “asanas,” which are breathing techniques that encourage stillness in the body and mind. Yin yoga is great for slowing down and cultivating peace, helping to release physical tension in the body.

Madelynn Moore, a graduating public relations student at FAMU, believes the benefits of yoga extend beyond the physical.

“Yoga has spiritual and physical benefits, the exercise helps with breath work, remaining grounded and present in our daily lives, which is important because we’re connected to our phones majority of the time,” Moore said.

The spiritual essence of yoga has been studied and is frequently connected to mindfulness; mindfulness is a sacred benefit of practicing yoga. 

“I appreciate that there are many types of yoga that cater to diverse needs such as weight loss and trauma healing. Yoga is a great start to one’s fitness journey because it can be done anywhere, the main benefit I noticed is a calm mind and being present in my body,” Moore added. 

The physical benefits of yoga stretching aid in back pain, arthritis, headaches, and circulatory health. 

According to an article published on Fortune Well, engaging in regular yoga sessions intentionally relaxes your body, offering it a respite from the impact of stress on your overall systems.

“The effort of moving and relaxing the body through asana yoga poses relaxes the mind, and all those vagal and sympathetic forces—cytokines and blood pressure and heart rate—learn to relax,” said Barbara Moss, a family medicine specialist in Augusta, Maine.

Practicing yoga is a beginner friendly way to start your fitness journey and alleviate stress from different areas of your life. Your first yoga pose can spark a journey of physical wellness.