Yoga: Holistic nourishment for the body and mind

Students doing yoga at Horsebarn Hill. (Jason Jiang/The Daily Campus)

Yoga has proven to have several health benefits and is an accessible activity for all ages.  Those who do yoga on a regular basis are more likely to have an improved mood, as well as increased physical strength and flexibility.

Doing yoga just once per week can help combat a variety of physical ailments.  Because this activity can be tailored to a person’s specific needs, there is no limit to what age or body type can participate. Many yoga studios even offer classes geared to specialized audiences, such as pregnant women or the elderly.

An 85-year-old woman by the name of Anna Pesce lived with scoliosis and osteoporosis for decades, resulting in poor posture and constant pain. After testing out other options and seeing a number of doctors, Pesce decided it was time to try an alternative option: Yoga. Within the first month, she was able to regain her ability to walk, all thanks to weekly visits from her personal instructor.  More details of Pesce’s journey and rehabilitation process can be found in the New York Post

Aside from alleviating physical pain, yoga can improve a person’s posture and core strength, as well as strengthen bones and joints. Yoga has also been shown to reduce stress levels and improve overall mental health by relaxing the mind and improving self-esteem. Lowering stress can consequently reduce a person’s risk for other health problems such as migraines, insomnia, high blood pressure and even heart attacks.

An often-overlooked benefit of doing yoga on a regular basis is that it can be the foundation for a person to improve their overall health. Yoga gives you the ability to commit yourself to making healthful bodily changes, as well as the confidence needed to feel like you’re making improvements. Many people who start doing yoga find that they want to participate in other physical activities or be more conscientious of their diet.  In this way, yoga is great for anyone trying to make their body better, whether that be through weight loss, toning, stress-reduction or improving health in general.

Jillianne Lyon, a UConn student who attends yoga classes twice a week, agrees that yoga can be highly beneficial to a person’s health and well-being. She says, “It does a lot for stress management and muscle strength; I’m so much more flexible than when I started.”

UConn’s Counseling and Mental Health Services offers yoga classes for stress reduction each semester, but they are unavailable until Summer 2017 due to construction.  

UConn’s BodyWise also offers a number of yoga classes throughout the week, which can be found on their website.  Registration opens up 24 hours before the class begins and it is recommended you sign up right away to secure a spot.


Katie Pelkey is a campus correspondent for The Daily Campus.   She can be reached via email at katie.pelkey@uconn.edu.