Yoga may help university students deal with stress

A faculty member of State University of New York (SUNY) at Canton “aims to prove yoga can help students battle the stresses of college life”, according to a University release.

Its Assistant Professor Dr. Erica M. Sharpe is seeking student volunteers for a new four-week study, starting April 11, to determine the effects of yoga on anxiety, mood, mindfulness, body awareness and overall mental health, the release points out.

“What makes this study unique is that we are attempting to measure the lasting effects of yoga in the context of academic life”, Sharpe, who teaches chemistry, was quoted as saying. She is the principal investigator for the Yoga for Mental Health in Academia Study Team. “I’m hoping to prove that yoga can affect students’ lives positively and help them handle the stresses of college in a better and more constructive way,” Sharpe indicates.

Meanwhile, distinguished Hindu statesman Rajan Zed, in a statement in Nevada today, called this study effort looking into handling college stress with yoga “a step in the positive direction”. Zed urged all major world universities to explore various benefits yoga offered.

Yoga, referred as “a living fossil”, was a mental and physical discipline, for everybody to share and benefit from, whose traces went back to around 2,000 BCE to Indus Valley civilization, Zed, who is President of Universal Society of Hinduism, noted.

Rajan Zed further said that yoga, although introduced and nourished by Hinduism, was a world heritage and liberation powerhouse to be utilized by all. According to Patanjali who codified it in Yoga Sutra, yoga was a methodical effort to attain perfection, through the control of the different elements of human nature, physical and psychical.

According to US National Institutes of Health, yoga may help one to feel more relaxed, be more flexible, improve posture, breathe deeply, and get rid of stress. According to a “2016 Yoga in America Study”, about 37 million Americans (which included many celebrities) now practice yoga; and yoga is strongly correlated with having a positive self image. Yoga was the repository of something basic in the human soul and psyche, Zed added.

SUNY Canton, Northern New York’s public university founded in 1906 and comprising of 555 acres bordering Grasse River, offers 65 degrees and certificate programs. Its about 3,200 students include students from England, Russia, Japan, China, Canada and Caribbean Islands. Dr. Zvi Szafran is the President of SUNY Canton, whose Vision Statement includes “Educating the leaders of tomorrow”.

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