Students find yoga practice beneficial

Erin Elfeldt

Yoga has had a major impact on Jaclyn Gallinaro, sophomore and business management major at Quinnipiac University. “My life has been changed significantly because of the things yoga has done for my body” Gallinaro said.

Yoga, which means “union” in Hindu, originated in India over 5,000 years ago. The practice unites the mind, body and soul.

“Yoga can affect you physically, mentally and spiritually in the most positive ways,” Gallinaro said. Yoga has been proven to treat people with back pain, respiratory problems, high blood pressure, arthritis and many other health ailments.

Gallinaro did not begin practicing yoga until she was in the ninth grade and just recently started taking classes on a daily basis. Gallinaro participates in is the physical education “Power Yoga” class that is being offered this semester at Quinnipiac University and is taught by Maureen McGuire.

“I think Mrs. McGuire knows a lot about yoga and its background,” Gallinaro said. “The class is a good challenge and one of the best yoga classes I have taken.”

Many people who participate in yoga say that the practice allows them to explore themselves in a completely new way.

“Once you settle down to begin your practice, you forget about the world around you and the people next to you. You are free to love yourself unconditionally and you become happy in your own body,” Gallinaro said.

It is very important that one breathes properly when practicing yoga and perform what Gallinaro calls “Yoga breathes.” Participants must breathe through their nose from deep within the stomach. They then have to pull the stomach in as they inhale and push it out upon exhalation. The main thing to remember when breathing during a yoga class is to keep breaths smooth and constant.

Gallinaro feels yoga has taught her a lot about herself and ways to be a better person.

“Yoga has helped me build a greater amount of respect for myself and others. I now base my everyday decisions on what is healthiest for my body,” Gallinaro said.

There are many different yoga positions which are intended to work different parts of the body. There are also modified positions to accommodate everyone’s abilities.

“My favorite yoga pose is Halasana, also known as Plow Pose,” Gallinaro said. “It’s my favorite because this pose is intended to stretch out your shoulders and spine. I have scoliosis, which led to other back problems, and this pose helps me to relax into my spine and calm my mind at the same time.”

Gallinaro encourages everyone to practice yoga because she feels it will make them feel much more at ease with themselves. “Anyone can do it, you just have to stick with it, and in the end you will be much more comfortable in your body,” Gallinaro said.