Student life can be equal parts exciting and overwhelming. It's about that time in the semester where students feel their head spinning. Feeling stressed? Time to yoga.

College students carry a lot of stress and can experience anxiety as a result, due to the demands of classes, clubs, sports, and oftentimes working a full or part-time job on the side. Some non-traditional students even have families of their own and balance their college experience with their everyday life and its responsabilities. 

The resulting stress is oftentimes dealt with by excessive drinking, drugs, and unhealthy foods, just to try and cope. 

Many people turn to yoga to attempt to quiet the mind and ease anxiety. St. Petersburg's popular, The Body Electric Yoga Company to talk with Dani Mae, one of the studio's popular intructors, about the benefits of yoga for stress.

Dani remembers being a busy student at USFSP, and an athletic long-distance runner and skateboarder. But for all her athletic ability, she couldn't even touch her toes. "Yoga fixed my head and my body," she said. "My life is way more manageable and and easier. Yoga has brought that playfulness back," she said. 


beer, coffee, wine, tea, pizza
Amber Wolf


Dani says a big misconception about meditation is the idea of absence of thought. Brains are made to think. The ideal is to become used to detatching yourself from random thoughts that take you for a mental ride. She tries to watch as the thoughts come in, acknowldge them and move on. 

"Think the thought, observe it, and let it do its thing. Eventually you'll find these sweet quiet spots," Dani said.

Breathing is essential. Connecting yourself to your breath.

In for three counts, hold for three, out for five, hold for two.


Dani's practice centers on integrating the breath back in.  "The breath is the number one thing," she said. "Most people don't take in anywhere close to the capacity of air they can take in."

Dani shared three simple poses which are easy and effective to do at home, when you are up to your ears in school work and feel the walls are closing in.

1. Seated Cat Cow

Sit tall, legs crossed, hands resting on your knees. Inhale to open the chest, head and shoulders back, exhale to round the back. Don't just fold in, lean back while tucking to stretch the spine. Repeat.

Martha Rhine
Martha Rhine

2. Side Bends

Sit tall, legs crossed (or stretched out in front for challenge) Breathe in, arm goes up and over the head to open the side through the neck, exhale to stretch the arm and side. Gently press, don't just dump your weight over.

Martha Rhine


Martha Rhine


3. Twists

Sit tall, legs crossed. Rotate the spine by letting the pelvis go first and then gently twist until you are looking back behind you. Remember to breathe. 

Doing this simple routine every morning or evening, or anywhere in between, with concious breath, will ease everyday stress and kindly ease the body into a yoga practice. 

Martha Rhine
Martha Rhine

For more, check out a class at The Body Electric Yoga Company. Fridays at 7 p.m. Dani teaches Yin Yoga, (just $5) for a deep stretch sure to rehab you from the busiest week and get the weekend started right. Fills up fast so don't be late.

If you're interested in one on one classes with Dani, reach out to her through the studio.