The students at Boston University's School of Medicine are under some serious strain. Between test prep, lecture classes, labs, clinical practice, studying and…well, more studying, the med students at this storied university could certainly use some yoga stretching benefits.
And according to NPR's affiliate in Boston, WBUR, many of them are doing just that. In a story cheekily titled "Downward-Facing Docs," the news radio station described how the students are now taking a weekly half-hour yoga course.
Lest you think that only the holistically-minded are trying out yoga stretching poses at BU, it may help to know that these classes are mandatory. They are part of the school's effort to teach med students about de-stressing through deep breathing, meditation and the "relaxation response."
The classes couldn't have come at a better time:
- A study published in the journal Annals of Internal Medicine found that, due to depression and stress, as many as 11 percent of med students contemplate suicide in a given year.
- In the same report, 50 percent of respondents described having experienced academic burnout.
- And another study, this one appearing in the journal Sleep Medicine, found that the average med student receives just under 2.5 hours of sleep education during their entire academic trajectory.
Somebody get these kids into a yoga class, stat!