How to Squeeze Yoga Into a Busy School Day

Wake up. Get ready. Go to Macroeconomics. Take notes during the lecture. Do practice problems. Attend Math for Managerial Sciences. All before noon. As a busy college student, I struggle to find a time of the day when I can step away from my studies and onto my mat. Sometimes I just don’t have the time to make it to the gym to go through not only flows but inversions as well. Not to mention going all the way home to change out of work clothes and into leggings.

However, I’ve found that thinking like this only plays to my lazy side, because you don’t need to take a hike to go to the gym and you don’t even need your mat to be able to practice yoga. When I started to incorporate a forward fold or squat when I’m in the lounge studying, I feel so much better. My brain gets to take a break, my eyes get to close, and my body gets to relax, all without leaving my study space. Also, on days that I know will be busy, I wear GTS leggings, because not only do I always receive compliments on them, but they’re an easy piece to either dress up or dress down, creating an easy transition from my school clothes to my workout clothes. I have a couple go-to yoga poses that I do so that I feel calmer and ready to take on my next task.

My number one pose is forward fold or Uttanasana. To do this pose, go ahead and stand up and step away from your work space. If you’re in a more open space, bring your hands up to the ceiling, if you’re in a tight space, you can just bring your hands to heart center, and hinge at the hips, slowly exhaling and lowering down, bringing your nose to your knees and your hands to the floor. A modification for this pose if you cannot fold over as far, is a rag doll variation. Moving your feet a little wider than hip distance, hinge at the hips, and grab your elbows, swaying from side to side.

The second pose can be done in a number of ways, with multiple modifications. This pose is called bound angle, or Baddha Konasana. Start in a seated position, either on a chair or on the floor. Bring your feet together, and bounce your knees up and down, eventually settling them into a grounded position. Sitting up straight, keeping your back flat, take a few deep breaths.

The third pose is prayer squat, or Namaskarasana. To get into this pose, go from a standing position to a squatting position, making sure your feet are flat on the floor. Keeping your back straight, pull your hands to heart center, using your elbows to push outward on your knees.

These are just three of my go-to poses, but you may find that you can modify most yoga poses to incorporate them into your five-minute study break. It’s not always about how you’re dressed, how long you’re on your mat, or if you’re standing on your head. There’s a quote that’s helped me really focus on my practice that I came across while I was scrolling through Instagram, “Yoga is about coming back, to yourself.” Come back to yourself; focus on you, you deserve it.

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Pennsylvania-born, Oklahoma-raised, Brianna Duda started her own practice in February 2016, and has fallen in love with yoga ever since. She attends yoga classes, furthers her own practice, and helps her young yogi friends along the way. She started off with inversions, but has been working on balance and alignment. Not teacher certified yet, she hopes to be one day. Along with keeping up with her own yoga page, she is also a full-time student, with a Business Administration major.

@okieyogi on Instagram