Being a college student is an extremely stressful venture, especially when it comes time for exams. You may feel like you have no free time for yourself, low on sleep and struggling to remember what you’ve studied.
Lucky for you, there’s an easy and quick way to reduce your stress and help you focus: yoga!
According to Tamara Woods, an educator at Big Assignments and State of Writing, “studies have found that only one yoga session is sufficient to increase someone’s speed and accuracy when they were tested afterward on memory and concentration. In fact, even 20 minutes of yoga a day is enough to keep stress and tension at a minimum and help you improve your marks.” (1)
Yoga poses to regain focus, memory, and energy
Here are some easy and simple yoga poses that you can do at home for a few minutes a day and you’ll find your focus, recollection, and energy levels are significantly improved after just one day of attempting this.
Downward dog, or down dog, is one of the most well-known yoga poses and it’s a really good way to get a full body stretch after spending all day in class or at the library. When doing this pose, you should be feeling the stretch in your thighs, calves, the middle of your back, arms, and neck.
This is a favorite because it’s so easy and relaxing to do. Once you’re in the pose, allow yourself to fully relax and focus on breathing deeply.
Bridge pose is more than just a relaxing stretch because it can increase your flexibility in your back and the strength of your legs. There are different ways to do this pose depending on what feels right for you; you can hold one leg up in the air while doing this and then switching legs, or just doing a backbend which is the more advanced pose.
This is a great pose to work out your whole body from top to bottom. You can do it with each leg, and change your arm positioning to work out your entire core.
This pose suggestion comes from Anna Peterson, a health writer at Academized and Ox Essays: “Pigeon pose is an extremely helpful pose for students because it allows you to stretch out your hips and lower backs, which need it the most after carrying heavy school bags all day. It’s also great for improving flexibility.”
Downward dog split
When you’re in the downward dog position explained in point 1, lift one of your legs in the air to increase your stretch and try this with both legs. Trust us, it feels amazing!
Lotus pose is a great starting place in a yoga routine or practice. For students, it’s excellent because it helps to improve your posture. When you’re sitting down, cross your legs and keep your back straight (no slouching!) with your hands on your knees. Breathe in and out deeply and focus on clearing your mind of stresses.
Tree pose is very simple and works on your balance. If you find this one too easy and your mind starts wandering, try lifting your arms up higher, or doing it with your eyes closed.
This is not just a yoga pose but a common workout pose. If you include this one in your routine, you’ll have a strong core in no time.
Boat pose works on your balancing skills and your core strength. Put your legs as high as you can have them while still being comfortable and hold them there straight, with your arms reaching out straight to your legs. If you want to increase this to a workout, consider doing crunches in this position.
This pose, also known as forward bend, gives your legs and calves a good stretch while increasing your flexibility. Don’t worry if you can’t reach your hands to the ground, just stretch the most you can.
Final say on yoga and stress relief for students
If you’re in a dorm, the best way to get started is to do a yoga session first thing in the morning. Spending just 20-30 minutes stretching and doing yoga may just end up improving your days like you’ve never thought possible.
Whether you do it first thing in the morning when you wake up or at the end of a long day, yoga is a fantastic way to take a few minutes of your day to yourself so you can reconnect, recharge, and come out of it more energized and focused.
Related: 10 Best Exercise Balls for Yoga
The above poses are a great start to your yoga journey, they’ll get your body and mind to a place of less stress and anxiety, helping you tackle whatever school throws your way!