Life gets hard. Life gets challenging…especially in college. It can be tough to balance school, work, a social life, and maintain your physical, mental, and spiritual health while operating on caffeine and wondering if you’ll meet an 11:59 PM deadline. But I have good news for you, yoga is a great way to handle stress and manage the demanding and daunting tasks of a college student. As a college student, yoga helped me learn patience with myself (does everything have to get done right now?), compassion for myself (that one bad grade won’t be the end of my college or professional career), and grace (moments of self-care are just as crucial as the grind). My yoga practice peaked in college and I honestly don’t know if I could have handled schoolwork, teachers, relationships, and coming-of-age without it.
Benefits of practicing yoga include improved mood, better sleep, improved focus and concentration, and reduced stress. If these are some areas you can use a boost in, keep reading for tips on developing a college-friendly yoga practice.
Tip #1 Start small
Don’t let your yoga practice become another thing to stress about. Find 2-3 days out of your week when you can commit to a practice. Your practice can range from 30 minutes to an hour. Alternatively, you can commit to 5 to 10 minutes of practice every day using YouTube videos, Instagram reels, or a sequence on Pinterest. Once you’ve laid a foundation for consistent practice, you can build it by adding more days or more time to practice!
Tip #2 Use your student benefits
Many yoga studios offer a student discount rate for a single class or membership. In addition to this, if your college campus has a gym, inquire about yoga classes. Many campuses offer free yoga classes for students. Take advantage of college benefits while you can!
Tip #3 Find an accountability partner
Ask one of your friends to take a yoga class with you and schedule it beforehand. This decreases the chance of someone “flaking” and acts as a great hangout. You can also find a community online to do a 7-day to 30-day challenge with or tell someone your goals. It helps to have the support of other people.
Tip #4 Fit a class into your schedule
A great time to fit your yoga practice in is before or after a class. Make the intention to bring a change of clothes and go to a yoga class right after. Then have lunch (or breakfast or dinner)! Trust me, you’ll feel great. Alternatively, commit to giving yourself enough time before a class to do a yoga practice. If you’re going to a studio, shower and get ready for class there. If you’re practicing at home, schedule how much time you need to practice and get ready. Remember, your practice doesn’t have to be super long. Lastly, another great time to practice is right before bed to release the day’s stressors or first thing in the morning to create good energy for your day.
Tip #5 Look for free classes
Do a quick Google or Eventbrite search in your area for free community yoga classes. Teachers host yoga in the park as the weather gets warmer and there are many donation-based, virtual class offerings. In addition to this, many yoga studios offer a free week to try out their studio or occasional community discounted classes. This allows you an opportunity to explore different styles of yoga and teachers. If you become committed to your practice, you can ask about work-trade opportunities so you can practice at a discounted rate.
The biggest thing to remember is to make your yoga practice enjoyable. Yoga should be a positive way to move your body and a designated time for self-care. Find a realistic time for you to commit to your practice and give yourself grace with building consistency and balancing all of your life’s other demands.
I believe in you! Happy yoga!
I started yoga as a form of stretching and physical benefits but discovered the spiritual and mental benefits of yoga while practicing. After what I experienced, I wanted to share it with the world so I began teaching. I studied sequencing and anatomy, rocket, power, and restorative yoga and my goal is to make it accessible to everyone, especially melanated women regardless of financial background. I incorporate a variety of yoga teachings in my classes/sessions to allow you to discover new things about yourself, self-heal and leave feeling liberated.