A HIGH SCHOOL STUDENT ON WHY YOGA IS BENEFICIAL TO HIGH SCHOOL STUDENTS, BY BRIELLE WIENER
A High School Student on Why Yoga is Beneficial to High School Students
When I mention high school to adults I always hear the same phrase: “If I had the chance, I would NEVER go back to high school.” Everyone is aware that these four school years are packed with drama, stress, pressure, and a TON of work. So much is focused on doing well in order to get into a great college, but the toll that high school takes on a student’s mental health is often ignored. I learned this the hard way. From thinking I had to get perfect grades to overworking myself, I ended up cracking from all of the pressure.
After my small, but significant downfall, I was introduced to the practice of yoga by my best friend. I had gone to yoga classes before here and there, but I never took it seriously and I was always concerned with not being able to do the poses right or falling over or looking silly. I didn’t realize that I had dug myself so deep in a perfectionist hole that I had made relaxation stressful!
When I joined BIB, the first lesson I was taught was to stay on my own mat, meaning that my only business was what I was doing and not paying attention to what anyone else was doing. I also learned that there’s no wrong way to do yoga and that even if I think I look silly, no one else thinks so. These few lessons jump-started me into my yoga journey and since then, after I practice yoga, I am my most relaxed and stress-free self. My self-image has also improved significantly since I began taking yoga seriously. I’ve learned so much about being comfortable and confident about my body, and I’ve been strongly influenced by the positivity that radiates from BIB. Yoga at BIB taught me that anyone with any body type can do yoga, which is the main reason why I am so much more comfortable in my own skin. I now realize that my body is my own, and it is perfect exactly how it is.
When BIB came to my high school during a Wellness Week we were having, everyone was on edge and anxious because it was the day of prom. After Jen and Melanie led us in a yoga practice and meditation, everyone’s anxiety and stress melted away. We were taught to let all of our thoughts drift away and to only focus on the present moment. Worrying about the future and dwelling on the past only adds to our daily stress, and being mindful helps the worries drift away. The rest of the school day was a breeze with our new-found relaxation and I wondered why we don’t have yoga in school everyday. Not only was my prom anxiety lifted, but my school anxiety also diminished. My worries, thoughts and nervousness of not doing well went away and the general anxiety and stress of just being in school was gone. Yoga had worked wonders.
Being able to regroup in the middle of the school day by doing yoga benefited so many, including myself, and showed just how helpful and important yoga can be for a high school student. School comes with a plethora of stress and pressure and constantly falling victim to it damages a student’s mental health. Yoga can change that. Yoga can help students cope with their stress and find ways to get through the toughest times.
From fearing imperfection to embracing my individuality, I have grown tremendously as a person and a student due to yoga and any other student can benefit just as much as I have, too!