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Yoga strengthens the mind, body and soul

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Yoga strengthens the mind, body and soul

By Jose Arebola, Scene Editor

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All too often life moves so quickly we rarely take a moment to reflect on our experiences. Whenever stress begins to accumulate, having a reprieve through yoga creates time to relax.
It can be difficult to see the value in a few moments of silent focus.
Those moments, however, can be the difference between a healthy or horrible state of emotional health.
Practicing yoga is a powerful tool that everyone should try at least once.
For those looking to find an outlet of self-reflection or who have never considered that they needed one, yoga can be a rewarding experience.
A few years ago, my life took a downward spiral. I’d lost grip on my sense of self and was ruminating in denial with deep depression and anxiety.
For months I tried to continue as if nothing was wrong. But soon it became obvious I had changed and no longer recognized who I had become.
The idea of communicating vulnerably and honestly with anyone became foreign to me. After spending much time feeling hopeless,
Initially, taking self-improvement seriously can be scary. And while I knew therapy was part of my plan, I needed more to handle the day-to-day fight against depression.
After looking into ways to better my emotional health, I decided to try yoga. Suddenly, reading stories of self-development and mental health became a daily routine.
Within weeks, my body was able to flow into each movement with ease. There’s a calming sense of how meditation can take over an entire moment. Letting all my weight drop and centering balance within my equilibrium let me experience peaceful moments, like no other experience.
I focus on being present, closing my eyes, listening to my breaths, letting my body flow and stretch into each movement. Suddenly, my worries, anxieties and never ending ruminations come to a standstill.
Air fills my body as I focus on stretching and relaxing each muscle in my body.
This process takes me out of my daily cycle of concerns and anxieties, suddenly clearing my mind.
Each time negativity sneaks into my consciousness, it’s an opportunity for me to actively change my state of mind and because of how centered these practices make me,
Mindfulness in a yoga flow does not mean being in full control, but rather being fully aware.
Changing how we feel is a long, painful journey that requires analyzing one’s own common thought process. Yoga provides an outlet during which this kind of analyzing becomes second nature.
Whenever anxiety and negativity invades a flow, question why and how it happened.
A few months ago, I saw no way to regain any sense of contentedness.
In an effort to quiet the rumbling anxieties in my head, I started to look for more peace in life. Yoga creates those moments of peace.
The most difficult part of the process is realizing the journey is a life-long struggle. Each step forward in reclaiming a healthy mindset is accompanied by uncomfortable and negative feelings.
Yoga has become an outlet when, for just a few moments each day, I feel completely in control again.

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The Student Voice Of Contra Costa College, San Pablo, Calif.
Yoga strengthens the mind, body and soul