We call out to university students …
For many, university is that first step on a long and uncertain path. You leave behind the comfort and familiarity of home and family, the financial stability that came before and step into a whole new you. And, while the experience can be exciting - the prospect of making friends, the adventure of traveling, the exploration of the person you are and the person you would like to be, it can also be an extremely daunting time and nothing quite prepares you for it. Recent studies have shown that one in four students in the UK suffer from mental health issues and further studies have shown that 26,000 students studying for their first degree do not make it past the first 12 months - this statistic is steadily rising. Here at MahaDevi Yoga Centre we have been working closely with local university students in the hope that we can be that hour of calm that helps you through your day to day challenges.
What can Yoga do to help?
Yoga encompasses everything from the mind to the body and those bits in-between like our hearts and souls. It teaches and instructs us to focus inwards, helping us to strengthen our core and engage our muscles, to encourage us to move with gentle fluidity and purpose and to embrace the calming effect of mediation. It’s an opportunity to declutter the mind and rejuvenate the soul.
We have interviewed Stapleton House and UCL student, So Ching, who join our Hatha Yoga class weekly...
What problems and challenges is yoga helping you solve?
I spend a lot of my time in my room either studying or on my computer or on my phone. I know I need to exercise and I do want to exercise, I think strengthening the body is important but I find exercise hard and boring. With Yoga I find it doesn’t feel like normal exercise. It’s gentle and slowed paced which makes it easier, especially when I’m too tired to actually come to the class. I also know how important the focus of breath is, I particularly enjoy that part of the class where we focus solely on the breath.
How does yoga make you feel?
I really enjoy challenging myself, I like to try the slightly harder poses for example the sun salutation. When I started a class I felt shaky and unsure of how to do it properly, but now my poses have improved immensely and that makes me feel really good, like I’m strengthening my body.
How do you feel when you leave the class?
I look forward to the class because of the way I feel when I leave. I leave every class feeling satisfied, happy and relaxed. Sometimes I arrive feeling demotivated but when I leave I feel as if I’m energised.
How do you feel about your progression?
In Hong Kong I did yoga but not consistently or on a regular basis, but now that I am I feel proud of myself because I’m constantly improving. I think to reap the rewards of yoga you have to keep at it because the benefits are long term. I’m always really happy to do yoga here, the experience is always really fulfilling, it’s so calm in the studio and everyone is happy which is infectious no matter how your feeling.
Is there anything you have gained that you didn’t expect to gain from yoga?
My confidence. Joining your classes I found myself gaining confidence and now I don’t feel embarrassed or worried to try new things in your class. I can see how far I have come and how much I’ve improved and now I enjoy challenging myself.