College is always a new and fresh start for everyone. It’s the time when we finally begin to get serious and work on our careers but at the same time, we also know how grueling the workload and schedule can be.
It is doable, but with everything–all the long hours, sleepless nights, cups of coffee, and energy drinks, will, one way or another, wear you down, even to the point of burnout.
Some of you might even have a job on the side to earn some cash and being able to juggle all these things is just amazing, but the exhaustion could come double or even triple.
Worry not because we’ve got a remedy for you to try and ease all that stress – Get ready for these yoga poses for a hectic college schedule!
Stay in good shape while working towards the diploma
It may seem hard for some to squeeze in a workout session every now and then, when even 24 hours is not enough to finish our daily tasks. But, it is proven that exercising can give us the energy we need to last throughout the day.
You’ll never know, maybe an hour’s worth of yoga is the key for you to stay in focus and finish your tasks faster and with better efficiency!
We will tackle how even the simplest yoga poses can help you get a night of good sleep, an energizing morning stretch, an outlet for you to relieve stress, unwind, and of course, as college students, relieve some of the pain caused by sitting for long periods of time.
Keeping your emotions in can be very unhealthy and counterproductive. To relieve stress and boost energy, try to allot 30-minutes to an hour flow every day and we’ll start from there.
What are the benefits of Yoga?
According to Johns Hopkins Medicine, there are several major benefits we can gain from doing yoga:
- Improves strength, balance, and flexibility.
- It helps in relieving back pain.
- Can ease arthritis symptoms.
- Contributes to a healthy heart.
- Relaxes you to get good quality sleep.
- Induces energy leading to brighter moods.
- Helps in stress management.
- Connect with a supportive community.
- Discover self-care.
Wow! All of those by just getting into some poses and holding them for a time?
For the worked-up college student who just wants to have an outlet far from the hustle and bustle of the academe, doing yoga is definitely something worth getting yourself into.
Yet, you might also be one of those people who’s already into yoga or have tried doing it before and maybe wants to spice things up, there’s always aerial yoga for you!
Aerial yoga is a practice where we incorporate the use of an aerial hammock or yoga swing, just like our Gravotonics Bali Yoga Swings, into your usual yoga practice.
Having the support of the suspension or being suspended itself can help us elevate literally and figuratively the benefits as mentioned earlier by helping us train our body to find calm in the more complicated poses, longer and more satisfying stretches, may it be our body or the silence, the steadiness of our breathing, and the overall unity of our body and soul as one.
With all the stress of having to keep up with the deadlines and readings, taking a break to ground yourself can be your outlet and help minimize the stress, even in the comforts of your own dorm room.
Yoga poses to kick start or to end a school day for beginners
The flow that we will be doing is not just for the morning or at night before going to bed. You can also do yoga in between studying, whenever you feel like you are near overloading and just need to de-clutter your mind.
This flow does not include the usage of yoga swings yet, since this is just for starters. Feel free to navigate to find ideas about doing yoga and using a prop such as the aerial hammock to assist you.
Before starting with the exercise, unite your body, mind, and soul by clarifying your intentions. As students who power through pages and pages of readings, it is essential for you to have some peace before starting or ending a long, strenuous day.
According to the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) David Geffen School of Medicine, “Meditation is believed to help relieve stress, lessen depression, lower blood pressure and improve sleep [while boosting] memory, mood, and even social intelligence.” Knowing and stating your intentions for the exercise and the day itself will help you focus and do more.
Begin by standing or sitting on your mat, whichever position you are comfortable with. Put yourself in a relaxed position while keeping in mind proper posture. A good start for the flow is steering your mind clear of any stray thoughts and only focusing on what you feel at the present and what you are aiming for.
Put your hands together, as if praying. Start with the breathing exercises. Slowly, inhale then exhale. You can do this for a minute up to five. Once you start feeling relaxed, we can now proceed to the next pose.
Tip: You can also include your daily affirmations in meditation!
Mountain Pose (Tadasana)
Stand up with your feet slightly apart. Keep your feet grounded, arms on your sides, and slowly raise them up tucking in your tailbone, and engaging your thighs in the process.
Elongate your body, particularly your torso, as you inhale and reach your arms out further. Release your shoulder blades from you and towards your waist as you exhale and put your arms back down to your side.
This mountain pose is considered the mother of all poses as most poses originate from it. It may look easy, but people often do it wrong. It is important to keep in mind your posture, body alignment, and your breathing. Stay for at least 20-30 seconds before proceeding.
Warrior I (Virabhadrasana I)
From the mountain pose, step back your left foot until your right leg is in a lunge. Do this slowly, as this is still just for beginners. Turn your left foot for about 90 degrees, making sure your left heel is still perpendicular to your right heel and not in line with each other. If they are, it will be tight and you will have a harder time.
Then, raise your arms up straight and reach. Your biceps should be just beside your ears. Breathe. Then, reach down onto the floor, and raise your arms up again as you stretch up. Make sure to rise going inside then up (back arched like a concave), then outside (back shaped like a convex), or straight then up.
Stay in this pose for at least 20-30 seconds before proceeding.
Warrior II (Virabhadrasana II)
Now, the next pose is another variation of the warrior pose. To do it, using the same feet position as Warrior I, turn your head and torso towards your left foot and raise your arms to your side.
Once you are in this position, make sure that your hips are not raising on either side. Use your hands to level your hips making them neutral. Also, make sure that you are reaching equally on both of your arms, not leaning too much in any one direction.
Stay in this pose for at least 20-30 seconds before proceeding.
Downward Facing Dog (Adho Mukha Svanansana)
This pose is probably one of those you often see in yoga ads because it does work and live up to your expectations. This simple pose stretches your arms, shoulders, back, and legs.
From the last pose, slowly reach down, put your feet back together and stand up. Then, with your both arms reach down keeping your legs straight until you create a triangle. Your feet should be hip-wide apart, not too far apart or too close together.
Spread all of your ten fingers and bring your chest towards your knees. Remember, since you are just a beginner, it is okay if you can’t keep the soles of your feet firm on the ground.
As you continue doing yoga, you’ll get stronger and more flexible. Stay in this pose for at least 20-30 seconds before proceeding.
Cat-Cow Pose (Marjaysana to Bitilasana)
This pose can be done before the Downward Facing Dog or the two Warrior poses, whichever flow works for you best. The stretch in this pose is best for those who have long sitting hours, *coughs* university students, and for working adults as well.
From the last position, slowly get on all fours. Make sure that your knees and arms are aligned straight down and not too far from your shoulders or hips, or what we also call as a table pose. Straighten your back, engage your abdomen, and get comfortable with the pose first before moving.
Arch your back out, forming a concave-like shape along with your head as you exhale tucking your tailbone and chin in. Then, exhale as you arch your back in forming a convex-like shape along with your head, releasing the pressure in your neck.
Alternate both poses slowly, making sure that you are tucking in what needs to be tucked in, and what needs to be released. Remember to practice proper breathing, or else the exercises are not as effective. Do this for at least 30 seconds.
Child’s Pose (Balasana)
Move, give way! The crowd favorite is here to save the day!
Probably one of the best yoga poses for a hectic college schedule is the child’s pose. This part is where you can feel the cool-down and reset you might be looking for especially for a good stretch and readies your body at the start of a new day, or for resting as a way to end an exhausting one.
From the last pose, go to a table pose then to a sitting position on your heels. Then, stretch your arms forward as you bring your forehead onto the floor while keeping your glutes down on your heel. You can also spread your knees apart, only for a little bit, and not until it goes too far from your chest.
Reach your arms forward and breathe. Allow for some space between your ears and your arms. Stay in this pose for at least 30 seconds or up to a minute. Allow your body to relax and feel the stretch.
You can actually do this pose whenever you like, along with the corpse pose which we will tackle last, even without a complete flow. This pose is good for clarifying the mind and giving yourself a much-needed reset especially even in the midst of non-stop studying.
Corpse Pose (Shavasana)
You might be thinking, what do you mean corpse pose? Am I supposed to just lie around and play dead?
Actually, yes! This pose is great for grounding yourself, like literally, and letting your mind connect to your surroundings in a relaxed way with clarity and purpose.
From the last pose, simply lie down on the ground and let your limbs lie on your sides quite apart from your torso. Keep your head straight. You can close your eyes for better relaxation. Practice your breathing and let your body rest after doing all of the exercises.
Think good thoughts, they say. You can stay in this pose for up to a minute or two then slowly rise back up.
That was so fun I want to do more!
Of course, there is a lot more to yoga than what is in this blog! You can incorporate new poses and improve your range by leveling up and doing more complex ones as days go by. But remember, the key to doing yoga is to start and go slow, master centering your mind and self, and find peace within the reaches of your body.
Since we are talking about leveling up, as we mentioned earlier, you can also level up your yoga experience by doing aerial yoga! With the use of suspended Yoga Swings or Yoga Hammocks, you can expand and do more.
This type of yoga is definitely on another level, but the question is, are you ready for it?
Read here if you want to know more!
If you are still not sure about leveling up, you can still stick with this flow and use it either to kick start your day or to get a nice good night’s sleep. You can also modify the sequence however you want, whatever works best for you and your body.
You can add more beginner poses like Extended Side Angle (Utthita Parvakonasana), Triangle Pose (Utthita Trikonasana), Reverse Warrior (Viparita Virabhadrasana), Garland Pose (Malasana), Pyramid Pose (Parsvottanasana), Cobra Pose (Bhujangasana), and many others.
There is a lot to explore in yoga poses whether it is standing, sitting, resting, balancing, or backbend poses – but as we said earlier, do not rush into it and just progress slowly.
Yoga Poses For A Hectic College Schedule
College is hard and keeping up with the deadlines can be excruciating and draining. Exercising is one of the ways for you to help yourself to release stress rather than preventing and keeping it in altogether.
If you feel alone in your new yoga journey, then worry not because there is a community waiting for you!
Don’t be shy to share this article with a classmate who you think is also struggling to find an outlet for all the stress.
You can exercise together and even build a yoga community at your own university! Let yoga help sweep the way to getting that degree.