Yoga for Mind, Body, and Soul

    Posted on Tuesday, Oct 02, 2018
    June 4, 2018 – almost past 6.30 p.m. Banerjee research lab office
    A conversation between me and my friend.
    Me – Hey, are you gonna work late tonight?
    My friend – Nope. Not that late. But, I’ll be here till like 7.30 at most. I’m going for yoga afterwards.
    Me – Oh really? (curious)
    My friend – Yah! You wanna join? (making that face you can’t deny to) It’s so cool.
    Me – O..kay. I’ve never done yoga before. How is it like? A workout?
    My friend -  It’s not like you do a heavy workout. But we do a lot of moves and altogether at the end you feel so good as if you’ve been working out. You should definitely try. It’s so cool.

    Meditation is one of those few things that I commit myself fully with no complains at all.  And I had seen and heard here n there that yoga is similar to meditation with more physical work involved. While all these thoughts were crowding my mind, the verbal bribing went on for a while and say what….she was successful in dragging me to REC yoga that night.

    The student rec center offers a really good yoga class throughout the entire semester for a reasonable pass of only $60. And not only yoga, with this pass you can participate in many other group activities including pilates, Zumba, indoor cycling, and if you like more adventure may be body blaster.   

    I was a bit nervous at first but, thanks to my friend so started the yoga chapter of my life.

    The origin of yoga dates back to the fifth and sixth centuries BCE in ancient India as a practice intertwined with the religion. However, the western world greeted Yoga as a system of physical exercises in the early 80’s.

    The student REC center offers basic entry level yoga classes for beginners and whenever you feel comfortable you can explore more with a specialty class or under a personal instructor. REC yoga is mainly centered on Hatha yoga – including a 10 min warm-up session in which you would slowly tone your body. The next 40 minutes involve physical exercises that improve flexibility, endurance, and balance. My favorite is the last 10 mins of Shavasana when you lie down and meditate concentrating your mind on breathing. Depending on the instructor the set of movements would change but trust me the all of them are great at what they do.

    It’s believed that yoga has a positive effect on relieving many ailments including cancer, asthma, and heart diseases. Despite the counter-arguments on how obscure these claims can be, I have to agree that it definitely calms your mind and relieves physical pains. Me and my friend have been attending REC yoga 5 days a week for over a semester now and in that timescale, we had major deadlines to meet, goals to reach-that kept us awake overnight at times. Even though, we never missed the yoga session once. There were instances when my friend came to yoga right after her SEM measurements. Simply we used it as one-hour break from our grad school routine and I must say that never failed us. Instead we became more energetic and fresh.

    Again, thanks to my friend, yoga has become an essential part of my daily routine and my stressful long days in the lab are now decorated with an hour of energizing physical and mental exercises. If you are a grad student seeking opportunities to take your mind away from overwhelming research studies, REC center yoga is something you should try.

    Malsha Udayakantha
    Malsha is a doctoral student in the Chemistry department.

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