By Jake Huffcutt —

College puts heavy stress on students, and it’s important for them to develop adequate stress-relieving habits.  A number of issues contribute to anxiety of college students, including the financial pressure they’re putting on their parents, potential college debt and possibly bleak job prospects upon graduation. Indeed, the percentage of students who say that their emotional health was above average is currently at only 52 percent according to “The American Freshman: National Forms Fall 2010” survey.

Fear not though, there are ways to reduce stress, and yoga has been a proven example.  A 2011 volume of the International Journal of Yoga states that “yoga has been shown to increase the quality of life for people who practice it regularly; specific benefits include muscular strength and flexibility, reduced strength and anxiety, improved sleep patterns and enhanced overall well-being.” The journal also goes on to say, “With growing scientific evidence, yoga is emerging as an important health behavior-modifying practice to achieve states of health, both at physical and mental levels.”

One way that students can learn basic yoga techniques is by enlisting in a class at the Mayo Health Clinic from Nov. 10 to Dec. 17 every Tuesday and Thursday at 1 p.m.  The class will aim to increase one’s self-care and increase strength and flexibility in the back.

With many students having unhealthy physical and stress-management habits, the importance of having a reliable form of exercise and meditation is crucial. Students who have enrolled in a class that includes yoga report increased levels of relaxation, greater perspectives of their lives, more focus and feelings of empowerment. On top of this, it’s been found that there is a direct correlation between reduced perceived stress for undergraduate students, and test anxiety was diminished for graduate students according to the same journal.

Registration for the Mayo Clinic class costs 20 dollars, and prior registration is required.

More information can be found on the clinic’s community events webpage at

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