Yoga classes can relieve stress

College students are among the most stressed out people in the world.

Between exams, lectures, homework, commuting, parking and the other responsibilities students face daily, many students fi nd it hard to keep stress in check.

Cal Poly Pomona should do more to help students manage and reduce their stress by making yoga classes mandatory for all students.

(Valerie Mancia | The Poly Post)

This form of exercise contributes to stress relief, relaxation and improvement of overall health, all which are pertinent to academic success.

Constantly being in a state of stress can have very negative effects.

According to an article by mental health expert Dr. Harry Mills, stress has a major negative impact on one’s immune system.

Mills wrote: “In some instances, stress causes existing conditions to worsen. In other cases, stress seems to be a major factor creating vulnerability to developing new conditions.”

Without a strong immune system, students are susceptible to illnesses that could take them out of the classroom for days.

Yoga has the unique ability to help people reduce stress by practicing for just minutes a day.

Once mastered, some stretches are easy to do in any setting, including during an exam or lecture.

Practicing and utilizing these stretches can help students relax and perform better academically.

Skeptics argue enrolling every student in yoga would cause an increase in tuition.

However, many people do not realize that there is already a mandatory “auxiliary fee” that covers the use of the Bronco Recreation and Intramural Complex.

The university could fold the cost of yoga into the auxiliary fee students are already paying or into any of the other fees that students are currently unknowingly paying into, but not using.

Mandatory yoga classes would also be beneficial for the university as an institution because the academic health benefits would contribute to better grades and higher graduation rates.

A study published in the International Journal of Yoga called “Effect of yoga on academic performance in relation to stress” by Amit Kauts and Neelam Sharma found: “Students, who practiced yoga performed better in academics…Low-stress students performed better than high-stress students, meaning thereby that stress affects the students’ performance.”

Adding yoga university-wide would contribute to a positive image of the university.

Attending CPP would seem more appealing because mandatory yoga could be perceived as a sign the university is willing to go beyond traditional methods to facilitate yoga while investing in a student’s overall wellness.

The university would have a unique selling point to its degree programs that it classifi es good health in students as an essential component in receiving the most out of their education.

Some people believe this could deter male students from enrolling at CPP because mainly females are interested in yoga.

However, research published on Seattle Yoga News said of the 36.7 million Americans who practiced yoga in 2016, 10 million were male.

If practicing yoga became the norm among all genders, the stigma that it is a primarily meant for women would diminish.

People argue students are under enough stress already and adding one more school-based obligation would not give them enough time for their own lives.

If the yoga class was designed as another academic class with assignments, deadlines and exams, then this argument would be true.

However, if the class were designed to easily and appropriately fi t into any student’s schedule and was purely focused on stress-relieving and relaxation techniques without further assigning take-home responsibilities, the class would serve as more of a reprieve from stress without contributing to it.

CPP should utilize yoga as a tool to treat students with respect.

Students need to be nurtured, not treated as studying robots and essay-generating machines.

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