Hawkeye

Reduce the stress of college by practicing yoga

Kirsten Tate/Staff

Kirsten Tate/Staff

Kirsten Tate

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  TAMPA, Fla.—Teaching for 11 years, Hillsborough Community College instructor Hope Johnson explains the benefits of practicing yoga. This form of exercise can be one of the most beneficial if approached properly. Not only does it strengthen your muscles but it soothes and stills your mind. Students should adopt the regular practice of yoga into this critical and sometimes stressful period of their lives. Yoga is a great way to slow down a fast paced lifestyle and to bring back some control.

  With the stresses of starting a new semester of classes, many HCC students can feel overwhelmed and are looking for a way to relax in a healthy manner. Johnson’s approach to yoga will do just that with the added benefit of a muscle work out. On practicing yoga for the first time, Johnson said, “It made me get really sore, which I liked. It seemed very therapeutic for your body.”

  In addition to yoga, Johnson teaches several classes at HCC including aerobics, volleyball, and weight training. Her yoga class is usually full every semester and is caplled at 20 students. Spread out on their mats, many of the students have never practiced yoga before and want to try something new. On her teaching method, Johnson said, “It looks easy until you do it.”

  A common perception of yoga is that it is very self-centered. HCC graduate Julie Campbell said,” I would never try yoga. All it is are skinny women showing off how flexible they are.” Campbell has never practiced yoga and instead channeled her stress into several study sessions.

  Upon hearing this perception of her beloved yoga, Johnson said, “I think it is very narcissistic.” Many gyms around Tampa Bay have mirror filled rooms where all of the people are so focused on having the perfect pose. “A lot of people missed the boat…it doesn’t have to be the perfect pose.” Yoga is about centering yourself and not about being perfect.

  College is a great time to adopt yoga into a lifestyle because students can reap the benefits of the stress reduction that it can provide. College also is a time where students try to figure out who they are. Mackenzie Bolles, a current HCC student, said, “I’m looking for something to help me find myself. I think regular yoga practice can help with that.” Yoga does just that. Johnson said, “[yoga] is about being who you are in your own space and just being comfortable with yourself. It really helps you pinpoint things you want to change.”

  Johnson promotes the regular practice of yoga and thinks that everyone should try her class at least once.

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Reduce the stress of college by practicing yoga