This post is not actually going to be an ode, because I am not a poet and I don’t really know what an ode is (I’m sure I will by the end of term though; I’m taking second-year poetry at the moment). I am, however, going to tell you why I love yoga so much:
- Building strength. Depending on what type of class you choose, some yoga classes can be really intense and build all sorts of muscles you didn’t you you had! And in a more relaxed environment instead of a a loud, bustling environment of a gym or sport. If you want an intense muscle workout try vinyasa or power yoga!
- Increasing flexibility. We tend to ignore our bodies. But really, do you think that hours hunched over a desk are good for you? Stretching and opening your body makes you feel good, less stressed out, and in less pain from sore muscles. (This part is especially good for me since I have chronic muscle pain in various areas.) If you want even more stretching, try a yin class! They hold stretching poses for 3-7 minutes.
- Time to focus on the present. Yoga incorporates a lot of elements of a technique called mindfulness (which I’m also learning about in my stress management class with Counselling Services – post on that to come). Basically, you get to set aside an hour and just focus on the present moment. Concentrate on your breath, on your muscles as they hold a pose. Stress can get us overwhelmed, but if you take some time to focus on the here and now, it can really calm you down and ground you. Not to mention, our lives can be pretty darn hectic and taking a moment to slow things down can really help your mental health.
Interested in trying yoga? I’d suggest starting out with a hatha class, as it’s more gentle and is a good way to start out. On campus, you can take a class with UBC REC, or try the UBC Yoga Club. REC classes average $80-$100 for one term for UBC students. The UBC Yoga Club charges $10 for a membership, and then all classes are drop-in and cost $2. I’ve done both, but this term I joined the Yoga Club and I like it way more because it costs less, there are more types of classes at more times, and if I have to miss one it’s no big deal since I haven’t already paid for it.