Yoga is a practice that has been around for thousands of years, and its benefits have been extolled by practitioners and researchers alike. From improving concentration to reducing stress and anxiety, yoga has been shown to have a positive impact on psychological, mental, and physical well-being.
In today’s fast-paced and stressful world, it’s more important than ever to find ways to calm the mind and gain peace of mind, and yoga offers a powerful solution. Whether you’re struggling with physical or mental traumas, yoga can provide the energy and support you need to overcome challenges and live your best life.
Doctoral studies can be a stressful and challenging experience, and many PhD students struggle with anxiety, burnout, and mental health issues. Fortunately, yoga can offer a powerful tool for reducing stress and promoting well-being during this demanding time.
One of the main ways that yoga helps to reduce PhD stress is by promoting relaxation and reducing the body’s stress response. Practising yoga postures, breathing exercises, and meditation can help to activate the parasympathetic nervous system, which is responsible for the body’s “rest and digest” response. This can lead to a decrease in stress hormones such as cortisol and adrenaline, as well as an increase in feel-good hormones such as serotonin and dopamine.
In addition to its physiological effects, yoga can also help to promote mental and emotional well-being. Many PhD students report feeling overwhelmed, anxious, or stuck in their research, and yoga can help calm the mind and provide clarity and focus. Through the practice of mindfulness and meditation, students can learn to cultivate greater self-awareness, develop coping strategies for stress, and improve their ability to manage their emotions.
Overall, yoga is a powerful tool for reducing PhD stress and promoting well-being. By incorporating yoga into your daily routine, you can improve your physical, mental, and emotional health, and increase your ability to thrive in your doctoral studies.
What are the Effects of Yoga on the Mental and Physical Health of a PhD Research Scholar?
Wavering focus due to physical and mental ailments is one of the main reasons for poor performance in research. Of the various focus improvement options available today, I felt yoga and pranayama are probably some of the oldest and most time-tested methods that can take you closer to your goal.
Though it may seem that yoga is more of a physical workout technique, it works on the mental level too. It makes the body more flexible and improves the immunity level. It also alleviates stress, relieves the nerves and calms the mind.
Yoga is a great combination of body movements, breathing and meditation. It is a powerful therapy to deal with physical pains, stress, anxiety, fatigue and depression. It is a modern way to stay fit in a busy schedule and gain rejuvenation of body and mind.
You can perform yoga anywhere according to the availability of space and time. Yoga helps to gain mental peace and stress reduction and improves the psychological performance of the person. Performing yoga will help a researcher to struggle with difficult situations.
Practising yoga for at least one hour daily will make a great impact on the mood of a researcher. One can notice a significant reduction in depression and anxiety as well. Stress is a hidden enemy which not only affects your mind but also affects the functioning of the body.
Peace of mind is a basic requirement of the researchers and that can be easily achieved with the help of yoga. Regular practice of yoga releases emotional burdens and improves the capacity to focus on the work. Through yoga, you will learn the skill of balance between physical, mental and spiritual functioning.
According to psychological research ‘researchers having low stress can perform better than others. It is already proved that stress and depression always make a negative impact on the academic performance of students.
While researcher goes through various challenging situations, yoga can help them to achieve improved confidence and peace of mind. Apart from mental stress researchers also face many physical problems including loss of sleep due to longer working hours, neck pain due to constant sitting for a long time headache due to continuous thinking and eye burns due to a long time of computer work. Yoga can be a suitable cure for all these physical issues affecting the fitness of the body.
How to Practice Yoga?
While practising yoga can offer numerous benefits, it is important to emphasize the significance of practising under the supervision of a qualified instructor. Yoga involves various postures, breathing techniques, and alignments that require proper guidance to avoid injury and maximize the benefits. A knowledgeable instructor can provide personalized attention, correct alignment, and modifications based on individual needs and limitations. They can also ensure that the practice is safe and tailored to specific goals or concerns.
However, in situations where accessing in-person yoga classes or instructors may be challenging, online yoga courses can serve as a valuable alternative. Online platforms provide convenience, flexibility, and a wide range of options for individuals to practice yoga from the comfort of their own homes. Popular online yoga classes include:
Yoga with Adriene:
Adriene Mishler’s YouTube channel offers a variety of free yoga classes suitable for all levels, with a focus on mindfulness and self-care.
Glo (formerly known as YogaGlo) is an online platform that provides a comprehensive library of yoga classes led by renowned instructors. They offer classes for different levels, styles, and durations.
Alo Moves offers a vast selection of yoga, meditation, and fitness classes taught by expert instructors. Their classes range from beginner-friendly to advanced and cover a wide range of styles and techniques.
Yoga International offers a diverse range of online classes, including yoga, meditation, and philosophy. They also provide educational resources and articles to deepen understanding and knowledge of yoga.
When choosing an online yoga course, it’s important to read reviews, consider the instructor’s credentials and experience, and ensure that the course aligns with your goals and skill level. It’s also advisable to consult with a healthcare professional before starting any new exercise program, including online yoga, particularly if you have any pre-existing health conditions or injuries.
Essential Yoga Equipment and Accessories for an Enhanced Practice
When it comes to practising yoga, there are certain essential equipment and accessories that can enhance your experience and support your practice. These items not only provide comfort but also help in maintaining proper alignment and stability during various yoga postures. Here are a few must-have yoga essentials:
A good-quality yoga mat provides cushioning, grip, and stability during your practice. Look for a mat that is non-slip, durable, and provides adequate thickness for support.
Yoga blocks are versatile props that assist in improving flexibility and alignment. They can be used as extensions of your arms or support for challenging poses, providing stability and allowing you to deepen your practice.
A yoga strap helps in enhancing flexibility and extend reach. It assists in achieving proper alignment in poses where flexibility might be limited, allowing you to gradually improve your range of motion.
A yoga bolster is a supportive cushion that helps in relaxation, restorative poses, and deep stretching. It provides gentle support to different parts of the body, promoting relaxation and release of tension.
A soft and comfortable yoga blanket can be used for additional support, padding, or warmth during seated or lying postures. It can also serve as a prop for certain poses.
A non-slip yoga towel is especially useful during hot yoga or intense workouts. It helps absorb sweat, provides grip, and prevents slippage on your mat.
Remember, these items are not mandatory for practising yoga, but they can enhance your practice and provide added comfort and support. It’s important to choose high-quality products that suit your needs and preferences. Additionally, as an affiliate, you can include your personalized affiliate links to each product to provide your readers with direct access to purchase the items if they choose to do so.
My E-Book on Yoga for PhD Research Scholar
In my KINDLE E-BOOK “UNLOCK YOUR RESEARCH POTENTIAL THROUGH YOGA”,. I have listed and explained a specific set of yogasanas and meditation techniques which can really help a researcher to come out of his research-related issues in a better way.
Incorporating yoga into your daily routine can bring about a multitude of benefits for your overall well-being. From improved concentration and reduced stress to increased self-confidence and enhanced mental and physical health, yoga has the power to positively impact various aspects of your life.
It is important to approach yoga with patience, seeking the guidance of a qualified instructor whenever possible to ensure safe and effective practice. In instances where in-person classes may not be accessible, online yoga courses can serve as a convenient alternative, offering a wide range of classes taught by experienced instructors. Additionally, investing in essential yoga equipment and accessories such as a quality mat, blocks, strap, bolster, blanket, and towel can elevate your practice and provide added comfort and support.
Embrace the practice of yoga, whether in-person or online, and unlock the transformative power it holds for your mind, body, and spirit.
Frequently Asked Questions
What are some good practices for a PhD student to cultivate?
1. Good health ( Necessary as the Researcher has to work for long hours in front of a desktop, which may lead to sleeplessness, cervical spondylosis etc. ).
2. Good memory power ( Researcher has to face doctoral committee members, conference presentations, thesis presentations, and grant proposal presentations;
3. Questions posed in presentations must be answered by recalling the concepts studied at various times).
4. Creative thinking ( Patents or copyrights won’t happen without creative thinking ).
5. Time (4–6 years, at an age when one wants to earn, marry, be independent, and support the family).
6. Sacrifice (All family occasions, tours, remunerative works compromising or tuning your habits with your’s supervisor/teacher)
7. Humble( Keeping aside ego, adjusting to supervisor’s requirements)
8. Skills (usually no one is there to teach you the relevant ones).
9. Consistency (In carrying out work, writeup, in presenting things).
Do PhD students go under depression or mental health issues?
PhD students are at a higher risk for experiencing depression and other mental health issues compared to the general population. The demands of doctoral studies, such as long hours, high workload, and pressure to succeed, can be overwhelming and stressful. Moreover, the isolation and self-directed nature of PhD work can also contribute to feelings of loneliness and isolation.
Studies have found that PhD students experience higher levels of stress, anxiety, and depression compared to other graduate students and the general population. For example, a 2018 study conducted in the UK found that 32% of PhD students reported experiencing depression and 56% reported experiencing anxiety during their studies. Similarly, a 2019 study conducted in the US found that 39% of graduate students reported experiencing moderate to severe symptoms of anxiety and 41% reported experiencing moderate to severe symptoms of depression.
It’s important to recognize the potential risks to mental health that PhD students face and to take steps to promote well-being and seek help if needed. This may involve seeking support from friends, family, or mental health professionals, practising self-care activities such as exercise, mindfulness, and hobbies, and seeking out resources and support services available through the university or graduate program.
How much patience is needed in a PhD?
Patience is an essential quality for success in a PhD program. Doctoral studies are a long and challenging journey that requires a great deal of perseverance and persistence. The process of conducting research, analyzing data, and writing a dissertation can take several years, and progress can be slow and sometimes frustrating.
PhD students must be patient with themselves, their research, and the process. It’s important to recognize that progress can be slow and that setbacks and challenges are a normal part of the process. Research rarely goes according to plan, and it may take several iterations before finding the right approach or methodology. Writing a dissertation can also be a slow and iterative process, requiring multiple drafts and revisions before reaching completion.
In addition to being patient with the research process, PhD students must also be patient with themselves. It’s important to recognize that mistakes and failures are a normal part of the learning process and to be kind and forgiving to oneself.
Overall, patience is a critical quality for success in a PhD program. It allows students to stay motivated and focused, to persevere through setbacks and challenges, and to maintain a positive attitude throughout the process.
As a PhD Researcher, how does Staring at a Computer Screen all day Affects your Brain and Body?
A Researcher has to persistently keep working with either a laptop/desktop constantly looking at the screen. This may lead to many physical and psychological issues at an earlier stage in their life.
Above all, it is a secluded work where a research scholar always feels beleaguered and frazzled. During the course of his/her research work, the researcher may come across a few of the following warning signs which should not be overlooked.
Unable to concentrate and focus on work
Unable to get good sleep
The feeling of insecurity, failure and frustration
Mental and physical exertion
Feeling overwhelmed and confused
We need to identify those negative associations that have tainted the picture of PhD over time and then set them to one aside. There are tools and techniques out there that can help us to restructure our research life and reshape our attitude. We simply need to identify what works
What are the Benefits of Yoga for a PhD Research Scholar?
It improves concentration
It improves the psychological, mental and physical well being
Yoga reduces anxiety, stress and depression
It boosts self-confidence and improves memory power
It helps to calm your mind and alternately helps to gain peace of mind
Yoga provides the energy to struggle with various physical as well as mental traumas.
The process of PhD is definitely time-consuming and stressful but definitely worth investing precious time and effort in. There are lots of hurdles you will face at every step going towards success. Handling difficult situations wisely is an amazing skill.
If the simplest tool like YOGA can help you to gain the most demanding things in your life in a current period like the peace of mind, stressless life and fitness in the body, then it is always preferable to GO FOR IT.
The above benefits are possible only if yoga is practiced under the supervision of some renowned yoga practitioners and using standard props and accessories.