Finding exercise in the summer heat is especially difficult, but going for a swim after biking to and from campus is a great way to cool down and feel fit. It’s amazing what the body can reveal after a brief 30 minutes of the breast-stroke in the SRSC swimming pool.
When I was 16 or 17 years old, I was running half-marathons with my mom. I would argue running is one of the cheapest forms of exercise, but along with three-mile runs comes joint-stress, expensive running shoes and boredom, so I am on a quest to constantly try more forgiving alternatives.
A gentler possibility for physical activity — and one of my personal favorites — is the practice of yoga. Although not necessarily a strenuous activity, I have found the more I practice yoga the stronger my mind and body feel. The first key to following through with any goal, whether it is to hold a plank for three minutes or choosing more green foods to eat, is to have a strong mind.
Yoga can help anyone pursue that, and according to an article written by Harvard Health, practicing yoga can help “reduce the impact of exaggerated stress responses and may be helpful for both anxiety and depression.”
Not to generalize, but in 2018 it seems the number of people who practice some form of yoga has increased, or at least most people are aware of the exercise’s various benefits. So how does one with a limited budget practice yoga when most monthly memberships to yoga studios cost upwards of $100? There are several alternatives, some I have found more helpful than others, and so I’d thought I’d share a few that have sparked my interest.
If you possess a computer, then you’re set. YouTube has a plethora of instructive yoga videos as well as hour-long practice classes. My favorite yogi YouTuber is Adriene Mishler otherwise known by her channel name, “Yoga with Adriene.” In my opinion her videos are the easiest to follow and the most personable. The videos consist of Adriene in her room going through each “asana,” or yoga position, while her dog, Benji, joins for a pose or two. Mishler occasionally posts month-long video series in which she creates a daily theme for viewers to try and get in the habit of practicing everyday.
While YouTube is an amazing tool, especially if I'm short on time, I do like practicing with other people and with an instructor in an actual class.
The SRSC offers yoga classes daily for students, ranging from 7 a.m. morning boost classes to late night Vinyasa classes. The SRSC website offers a monthly schedule for dates and times of each class.
If you don’t own a computer or you’re not a student and still want to give yoga a try, there are yoga studios throughout Bloomington that offer new-member discounts and even volunteer opportunities.
There are so many ways to economically get in shape and feel healthy in these warm months, and yoga, biking and the SRSC pool are a great alternative way to avoid Indiana's humidity.
I challenge everyone to give it a try. Your heart, lungs and mind will benefit the more you consistently stick to these summer sentiments.