by Abhay B '20

Yoga For Academically Advanced Students

In challenging schools like BSGE, we know that students have a lot of work to complete, at school and at home. Unfortunately, this tight schedule doesn’t allow for much exercise, possibly causing some unwanted weight and stress to build up. Daytime school and nighttime homework make it hard for a student to use their free time to the best of their ability. Luckily, there is a solution to this problem that has been around for about 4000 years, and the best part is that it doesn’t take much time out of your day.

This solution is yoga, believe it or not. Although many believe that gym is the more ideal option for fitness, which is sometimes true, yoga is actually a great choice for people with tight schedules. While hitting the gym is best for cardiovascular exercise and building up muscle using weights and exercise machines, yoga is considered by many experts to be the best for overall fitness, mentally and physically. Also, yoga is safer than going to a gym as it does not leave people vulnerable to injuries sustained by using the various machinery and equipment incorrectly. Yoga doesn’t require much equipment, meaning it can be done almost anywhere and it is easier on the body than the arduous efforts needed in gym. Yoga’s effects have been evident for quite a long period of time, and yoga clubs are popular in schools as well as fitness centers across the city.

But how do you know whether yoga is right for you? People often seek assurance from a yoga expert or “yogi” to find out more about the difference between gym and yoga, and which one is the better option for them. Luckily, we have a yoga teacher in BSGE to share her opinion on why yoga is great for everyone. Kendra Jackson began her yoga career in 1998, and is one of the few certified high school yoga teachers in NYC. She has had a variety of experiences in yoga, taking 500 hours of teacher training and teaching yoga as well as dance in Brooklyn. When asked whether she felt yoga was better than gym in the sense that you exercise both the mind and body, she said that during yoga “students are more aware of their breath because I’m giving them specific instructions to be conscious of their breath.” When also asked about whether it is possible to lose weight while doing yoga, she explained that “you can definitely lose weight doing yoga because it tones the muscles, and you’re using every part of your body.” One benefit yoga has over gym that she mentioned is that in yoga, “you’re not focused on one part of the body at a time,” which basically means that every part of your body benefits from the workout. So if you find that you are struggling to keep healthy amidst your busy school lifestyle, consider pulling out a yoga mat and exercising!