Stretching Limits

Ariana Abdulmassih
Senior Reporter

Exercise may be beneficial for helping teens stay fit and maintaining their mental health, but yoga takes it one step further by warding off anxiety and stress and improving breathing and relaxation, according to a new study.

Teens who practiced yoga scored higher on psychological tests for anxiety, mood problems and anger, while teens who did not practice yoga scored worse on the tests, in a 10-week study by Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School.

“It’s a really good way to get to know your body and to take some time to get in touch with your mind,” Purusha yoga instructor Brittany Morman said. “When you’re a teenager and even later in life, your body changes a lot, and yoga can really help you connect with your body even through those changes.”

Senior Connolly Steigerwald has been practicing yoga a couple times a week for about 18 months.

“Yoga helps with the awareness of yourself and your body,” senior Connolly Steigerwald, who has been practicing yoga for about 18 months, said. “It’s a combination of meditation and spirituality with physical activity, which is really helpful for your mind, body and working towards goals about where your body needs to be.”

The practice of yoga can be traced back 5,000 to 10,000 years in India, and still finds relevance in the 21st century.

“We talk about yoga in the abstract, which gives us a chance to really experience a part of the Hindu practice,” sophomore theology teacher Kate McMichael said. “I think anything that allows us the opportunity to take a deep breath, focus and experience stillness in a world that is so busy is very beneficial.”

The tradition and practice of yoga is passed on from teacher to student through oral teaching and practical demonstration.

“You can be pregnant, young or older to do yoga, but overall I really believe anyone can benefit from it,” Heather Wells, who has been practicing yoga for seven years said. “I think one of the great things about yoga is that there is a kind for every stage in your life.”

Students in regular physical education classes tended to have increased scores for mood problems and anxiety where those taking yoga classes stayed the same or showed improvement in the Harvard study. Negative emotions also worsened in students taking regular physical education, while improving in those taking yoga.

“Yoga is a combination of meditation and spirituality with physical activity which is really helpful for your mind, and where your body needs to be,” Steigerwald said.

English department chair Rachel Denny strikes a yoga pose during the weekly faculty yoga class. Yoga can help to relieve stress as well as providing exercise.
English department chair Rachel Denny strikes a yoga pose during the weekly faculty yoga class. Yoga can help to relieve stress as well as providing exercise.

Exercise may be beneficial for helping teens stay fit and maintaining their mental health, but yoga takes it one step further by warding off anxiety and stress and improving breathing and relaxation, according to a new study.
Teens who practiced yoga scored higher on psychological tests for anxiety, mood problems and anger, while teens who did not practice yoga scored worse on the tests, in a 10-week study by Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School.
“It’s a really good way to get to know your body and to take some time to get in touch with your mind,” Purusha yoga instructor Brittany Morman said. “When you’re a teenager and even later in life, your body changes a lot, and yoga can really help you connect with your body even through those changes.”
Senior Connolly Steigerwald has been practicing yoga a couple times a week for about 18 months.
“Yoga helps with the awareness of yourself and your body,” senior Connolly Steigerwald, who has been practicing yoga for about 18 months, said. “It’s a combination of meditation and spirituality with physical activity, which is really helpful for your mind, body and working towards goals about where your body needs to be.”
The practice of yoga can be traced back 5,000 to 10,000 years in India, and still finds relevance in the 21st century.
“We talk about yoga in the abstract, which gives us a chance to really experience a part of the Hindu practice,” sophomore theology teacher Kate McMichael said. “I think anything that allows us the opportunity to take a deep breath, focus and experience stillness in a world that is so busy is very beneficial.”
The tradition and practice of yoga is passed on from teacher to student through oral teaching and practical demonstration.
“You can be pregnant, young or older to do yoga, but overall I really believe anyone can benefit from it,” Heather Wells, who has been practicing yoga for seven years said. “I think one of the great things about yoga is that there is a kind for every stage in your life.”
Students in regular physical education classes tended to have increased scores for mood problems and anxiety where those taking yoga classes stayed the same or showed improvement in the Harvard study. Negative emotions also worsened in students taking regular physical education, while improving in those taking yoga.
“Yoga is a combination of meditation and spirituality with physical activity which is really helpful for your mind, and where your body needs to be,” Steigerwald said.
Print Friendly, PDF & Email
(Visited 104 times, 1 visits today)