Spring break had come to a close. It was wonderful: I was able to relax and bake the most delicious food (I know, be jealous). On my return, I decided to revisit my yoga class. I have been going for quite some time, but took a mini-hiatus due to a crazy schedule… oh, the woes of a busy bee.

Photo Courtesy of Rachel Kengle

Let me just tell you, this yoga class kicked my butt. I woke up the next morning with a burning sensation in my legs, back, and arms. Could that relaxing, non-sweat producing yoga class have really left me in such muscular turmoil? Apparently so. Not easily discouraged, I returned to class on Tuesday ready to work out those kinks. Successful? Yes!

If you are anything like me, which I am sure you are since I am a very relatable gal, a hectic, anxiety-inducing schedule is considered just another day in the life. Yoga was my escape from the stressful days. It was beyond nerve-wracking to try a yoga class for the first time. I kept picturing myself grimacing in pain while the yoga instructor tried to get me to fold myself into a pretzel, salt, cook and then serve myself for her benefit. As comical as that would have been, it was far from reality. I learned from that first class that yoga was about focusing on yourself. You do not compare yourself to your neighbor. It does not matter that the girl on the right of you has been doing yoga for thirteen years and has the body of a supermodel. Trust me, you are still welcomed. In Sanskrit, this is referred to a Ham-sa, meaning, “I am that.” Simple, straightforward, but a wonderful guide for meditation.

Yoga also teaches you to focus on this moment – the here and now. Focus on you, today. How are you feeling? How does your body feel? What do you need to take care of health-wise? As college students we are perfectly trained in working for the future, like a swarm of revolutionary robots. If we thought only for today, chances are we would not do so hot on our exams or papers. Really taking the time just to feel today really does wonders for the soul. Suddenly the stress just melts off of you onto a puddle on the floor. Without a soul to haunt, stress tucks its tail between its legs running for shelter, leaving you in solitude.

I advise you, no, encourage you to try a yoga class. The benefits are endless! The easiest way to try yoga is through the gym on campus, but that does not mean there are not other options. If the gym at your University does not offer a yoga class, find a gym off-campus that offers one. Another wonderful way to experience yoga is by doing it in your own home/dorm/apartment. You can always purchase a yoga DVD. If a DVD is what you would like to try, you could always see if the campus library has one that you could rent (which saves precious money that can be used for important things, like Starbucks). There are also several step-by-step book guides that you could purchase. These are a little tricky to understand, after all you do not have anyone guiding you or a live visual representation, just a foggy photograph. There are no limits in finding a way to do yoga, from YouTube to your own campus gym. As the saying goes: where there is a will, there is a way.

Namaste, my friends!

What are your yoga experiences?

Rachel Kengle is a sophomore at the University of South Florida, majoring in Psychology. She loves to be busy and is an avid yoga student, likes to run for fun, the president of a few student organizations and a member of NSCS. However, she is most known for her culinary flair as she is a very talented baker and cook. She cooks and bakes healthful and frugal dishes that energize your body and are reasonably priced. She loves experiencing new things whether it is a new fitness class, a new book, or a new language. Taking part in this blogging experience will only whet her appetite to lead a healthy lifestyle while inspiring others to do the same.