Galloway: Yoga can be beneficial for mind, body


Jackie Norman/Iowa State Daily

Students, faculty and community members gather to do yoga on the lawn in front of the Campanile on Aug 30 as a part of the Live Green! Initiative and its partnership with ISU Recreation Services. 

Noah Galloway

Yoga stretches, tones and strengthens your muscles at the same time. You will leave the workout feeling taller and leaner while others hobble out of the gym. 

You can also do it anywhere, all you need is a yoga mat and a little bit of space. Yoga connects the mind and spirit.  All you need to do is search “Sean Vigue Yoga” and you’ll discover a plethora of options for workouts.

Yoga promotes healthier and stronger bones. It helps you focus and relax your system. Yoga relieves tension in your limbs and it allows you to sleep more deeply. It allows you to make progress in personal flexibility and balance. It protects your spine and perfects your posture. It’s a full body workout that offers many benefits to the human body.

Yoga is important for balance and flexibility, yet there are some benefits that aren’t quite as obvious.

Yoga can be the perfect antidote for weight lifters. The Yoga Journal said, “Each time you practice yoga, you take your joints through their full range of motion. This can help prevent degenerative arthritis or mitigate disability by ‘squeezing and soaking’ areas of cartilage that normally aren’t used. Joint cartilage is like a sponge; it receives fresh nutrients only when its fluid is squeezed out and a new supply can be soaked up. Without proper sustenance, neglected areas of cartilage can eventually wear out, exposing the underlying bone like worn-out brake pads.”

Yoga is also great for the mind. According to the American Osteopathic Association (AOA,) “Aside from the physical benefits, one of the best benefits of yoga is how it helps a person manage stress, which is known to have devastating effects on the body and mind. 

“Stress can reveal itself in many ways, including back or neck pain, sleeping problems, headaches, drug abuse and an inability to concentrate,” Dr. Natalie Nevins, a board-certified osteopathic family physician and certified Kundalini Yoga instructor in Hollywood, said in the AOA. “Yoga can be very effective in developing coping skills and reaching a more positive outlook on life.”

Yoga is also excellent for heart health. Health Line states,  “A study followed 113 patients with heart disease, looking at the effects of a lifestyle change that included one year of yoga training combined with dietary modifications and stress management. Participants saw a 23 percent decrease in total cholesterol and a 26 percent reduction in “bad” LDL cholesterol. Additionally, the progression of heart disease stopped in 47 percent percent of patients.”

Yoga gives us so many physical and mental health benefits. I highly encourage college students to partake in this activity because it’s perfect for coping with high stress as we near the end of the semester.