From Worrier to Warrior: Yoga Helps in Relieving Stress

By Jonathan Theros

The Tower (Grosse Pointe, Michigan)

She feels healthier and appreciates life a little more every time she leaves a session. Yoga has changed life for Emma Peters ’16, and many oth­ers who participate regularly in yoga session agree.

To relieve stress about tests and school or to gain a little more flexibility, yoga is a way to aid people in theses areas and improve your overall health said Peters.

One of the major, and most obvious, benefits from yoga is an increase in flex­ibility. Doing yoga stretches muscles which can help them feel less stiff and tired.

Most people who participate in yoga improve their flexibil­ity by 35 percent in 8 weeks ac­cording to doctors with the In­ternational Association of Yoga Therapists. Yoga instructor and Grosse Pointe North student Ju­lia Babcock ’16 agrees.

“The beauty of yoga is that you can take it at your own pace and before you know it your flexibility has drastically increased,” Babcock said.

Another of the many major benefits is strength and relaxation. Yoga focuses on breathing tech­niques and patterns which can help lead to more relaxation according to Peters. Peters participates in yoga around six days a week.

“I just love being able to feel myself getting stronger, and it gives me the relaxing time every­one needs in their day,” Pe­ters said.

Peters does her yoga at Living Waters Yoga, a yoga studio in Grosse Pointe, usually with instructors Jackie Stevens or Babcock. Another popular studio for South stu­dents is Yoga Shelter, also located in Grosse Pointe.

Yoga is great way to improve your heart health and your circulatory system according to a recent Harvard study. It can lower heart rate which helps many lower blood pressure and lesson risk of heart disease. It also may boost your immune system and lower cholesterol and triglyceride (type of fat) lev­els in the blood.

Against the typical stereotype that yoga is only for women, the athletes on the South boys la­crosse team are participating in some yoga classes through­out the offseason. There is a lot of benefits from yoga even for men, according to South varsity lacrosse player Michael Coyle ’16.

“It helps you relieve stress that you do not need on the field in a bad way. Your temper is greatly cut which is es­pecially beneficial to my brother Jerry and I,” Coyle said. “It is also great bonding time. All your boys trying to see who can get the furthest stretch is a lot of fun.”

Yoga has many health benefits from stronger muscles to a stronger heart said Babcock. Yoga stu­dios like Yoga Shelter and Living Waters Yoga are no more than a short car ride or call away, and of­fer an assortment of styles ranging from a type of intense bikram to vinyasa.

“There is a variety of classes to try–ranging from strengthening, hot classes to gentle, restora­tive classes.” Babcock said. “Yoga has something for everyone.”

 

About Grace Masback

Grace Masback, 17, aspires to give voice to the voiceless and holds the modest ambition of becoming the voice of Gen Z. Frustrated by the dearth of impactful platforms for teen journalists, she founded WANT, a news, sports, and entertainment website that aggregates the best in high school journalism from school newspapers and teen bloggers around the world (www.wantnewsforteens.com).

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