Stretching over stressing


Photo used with permission from Nithya Murthy.

Sophomore Nithya Murthy participates in the International Day of Yoga in June 2018.

Anna Mossing, Reporter

Harvard Health has proven health benefits of yoga abundant and significant.  Among them is the overall relaxation of the mind and body.  While not being able to control school, sports or social circumstances, a few students have taken to controlling their minds and bodies through yoga.  

Sophomore Nithya Murthy has been doing yoga for more than a decade, as her parents introduced it to her when she was little.  Yoga helps Murthy feel grounded and relaxed especially while being alone at home due to virtual school. Additionally, it helps her stretch out after a workout and gives her time for herself.  

“It makes my body feel good and gives me some peace of mind, so it’s mainly for self-care,” Murthy said.  

Although Murthy has been doing yoga for most of her life, she sees her yoga practice as something she can constantly be improving, so she prefers to watch a video of an instructor instead of just doing it herself.  The yoga instructor that she watches on YouTube is called Breath and Flow

“It’s helpful for me to have a guide while doing yoga because it gives me the opportunity to learn new poses. Also, since the instructor already lays out the flow, I don’t have to plan it out,”

Murthy said.  

In gym class last year, sophomore Kevin Mcguire discovered yoga as a way for him to stretch out.  He focuses specifically in stretching his hamstrings, a muscle very important in his position for baseball at first base.  As his practices ceased in March, Mcguire took up improving his own skills until practice resumed.  He used this time without his teammates or coaches to boost and focus on his flexibility. 

“A lot of people noticed that I had been working on my flexibility when it came to travel baseball this summer,” Mcguire said.  “I picked a lot more baseballs this year than I did last year.”

Initially, senior Abigail Garrison used yoga as a way to destress from school, add diversity to her workouts and alleviate soreness.  As the lockdown progressed, she started to see it more as a healthy outlet to calm down and clear her mind of what was going on in the world around her.  

“Yoga is great to help take your mind off things and allow you to separate yourself from what is going on in your life,” Garrison said.  

As school has reverted back to virtual, students have started a new period of self-isolation. For these students, introducing yoga to a daily or weekly routine has provided much-needed relaxation and peace.