International Student Blog

Take a breath

In my February 13th post on some of the counseling services at Sammen (formerly SiB) the Student Welfare Organisation in Bergen, I mentioned wanting to attend the Sammen counseling relaxation class. I had hoped to join them last week, but I caught that bug going around, you know the one.

I finally managed to make it today, with minimal coughing during mediation and shavasana (my apologies to all my fellow classmates). The relaxation class felt essentially like a gentle yoga class, which is to say, it was great. Extremely relaxing. I’ve really missed yoga.



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Here’s my top 5 reasons to join the Sammen relaxation class:

1. School is stressful.

No matter how much you do, you feel like you should have done more. You’re never going to feel satisfied. Sometimes you have to figure out how to say, that’s good enough, and take a break.

2. Flexibility

Even a gentle yoga class opens up your body and allows your muscles to stretch and allows your body to move. Some studies suggest that movement is very important to learning, so while your limbs are limbering, your mind may also be expanding. So taking time out from those school projects may actually help you get them done.



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3. Breathing

The types of slow, deep breaths you may be inspired to take in the relaxation class can help activate the parasympathetic nervous system (the ‘rest and digest’ part, that helps reduce stress and anxiety). Go PNS, go! Take that stress away!

4. Focus

A study from University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign suggests yoga, including deep breathing and meditation may help improve focus in practitioners. Yet another excuse that makes this “time off from studies” sound awfully productive.



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5. Be in your body, and in the moment.

In the present moment there are no worries about the past or the future. There is only right now. There is only where you are, the activity you are engaged in, the ground beneath you, the feeling of your body where it touches… the floor, your clothes, the air. Without the cares of the past and the fears of the future, you can just be. There is an inherent freedom in that.

All of these 5 things combine to refresh and clarify, which we all need, because school is stressful.  Did I mention school is stressful? Go to relaxation class!



Ready to get your mat and get started?


SiB’s relaxation course is offered in English and open for both Norwegian and international students. It is Tuesdays from 15:30-17:00 and takes place in the Aerobicarena (aerobics room) in the Sammen trening center located the Student center, it started on 3 February. It is planned to run at least 10 weeks. Free for students. You do not need an Sammen trening center membership to join, just sign in at the front desk.

2018 Update: If you are interested in yoga and meditation classes, you can take a look at Sammen’s group classes information here.

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