The Mindfulness and Easy Yoga for College Life program is a 2.5-day opportunity to acquire, or strengthen, the habits of a life well lived—ease with self, awareness of surroundings, freedom from reflexes, respect for our bodies, calmness and clarity of mind, appreciation of others. Students will work with experienced facilitators to create a safe space for personal grounding, before the madness of the semester begins. We will also leave campus for a silent mindful walk in nature.
To learn mindfulness, you will not be asked to take leaps of faith, dim your critical voice, or fit any square pegs into round holes. You will be using the resources and wisdom of your own body and mind, followed by discussions on working together based on the values and perspectives embodied in the practices. Each session will include Q&A and discussion.
Mindfulness is a contemplative practice that quiets the mind in order to cultivate a capacity for deep concentration and insight in the face of the 10,000 distractions of everyday life. It is often defined as the awareness that arises by paying attention on purpose in the present moment non-judgmentally. This course will introduce a series of secular mindfulness practices, including awareness of breathing and body sensations, mindful listening and speaking, mindful emailing, and compassion for self and others.
In each yoga session we will align the physical body, find the breath, and quiet the mind in a safe and supportive way. Yoga practices are designed for all levels of fitness and experience. Special emphasis will be given to the process of linking body moments to the breath for the purpose of promoting present centered awareness. These practices have been taught for hundreds of years as a way of supporting the meditation process, maintaining bodily fitness, and increasing strength and flexibility.
2. Learning Outcomes:
- Concrete tools that will help you relieve stress and increase your resilience throughout the semester
- Cognitive skills for cultivating attention, patience, memory
- Experiences and practices that help you make long-lasting friends and deepen connections to self, others, and the surrounding environment.
For more information about Mirabai, see the following webpages:
- http://www.mirabaibush.com/ (you can contact Mirabai through this site if you have any questions)
For more information on the Holistic Life Foundation: https://hlfinc.org/
3. What To Expect:
- Reduced Stress: Improved ability to manage stress
- Increased Focus:Improved ability to pay attention, focus and concentrate
- Improved Emotion Regulation: Reduced impulsiveness, make better choices
- Increased Emotional Intelligence:Improved conflict resolution skills
- Increased Empathy and Respect: Increased understanding of others
- Increased Resilience: Increased capacity to overcome challenges
- Improved Creativity & Collaboration: Improved expression of creative arts.
- Balancing - Maintaining body equilibrium to prevent falling when walking, standing, crouching, or running on narrow, slippery, or erratically moving surfaces; or maintaining body equilibrium when performing gymnastic feats.
- Exertional activity- One of the primary strength activities (i.e., sitting, standing, walking, lifting, carrying, pushing, and pulling).
- Exertional level- A work classification defining the functional requirements of work in terms of the range of the primary strength activities required (i.e., sedentary, light, medium, heavy, and very heavy).
- Lifting - Raising or lowering an object from one level to another. Includes upward pulling. Include the weight of the object.
- Standing - Remaining on one’s feet in an upright position at a workstation without moving about.
- Walking - Moving about on foot
4. About Us:
Mirabai Bush is Senior Fellow and the founding Director of the Center for Contemplative Mind in Society, whose mission is to encourage contemplative awareness in American life in order to create a more just, compassionate, and reflective society. She has designed and led mindfulness trainings for Google, where she was a key developer of Search Inside Yourself, a training that has now reached more than 4000 Google engineers. She has also developed programs in mindfulness and yoga for journalists, lawyers and judges, college faculty, environmental leaders, social justice activists, and the Army. She is co-author, with Ram Dass, of Compassion in Action: Setting Out on the Path of Service, and editor of Contemplation Nation: How Ancient Practices Are Changing the Way We Live. She is most recently co-author of Contemplative Practices in Higher Education: Powerful Methods to Transform Teaching and Learning.
Jamar Peete is a yoga instructor with the Holistic Life Foundation and was one of the original members involved in the Holistic Life Foundation’s Holistic Me program. He is currently a Mindful Moment Program Specialist at Liberty Elementary School. Jamar has traveled nationally and internationally, leading residencies and conducting speaking engagements on HLF’s vision. Born and raised in West Baltimore, Jamar attended Limestone College in South Carolina. He was honored First Team All-American & Senior Captain of the 2014 National Lacrosse Championship team. He graduated with a BS in Business Administration and Sports Management and later obtained his Health Coaching certification with the Institute for Integrative Heath.
Anthony "Akewi" Barnes is a Yoga and Mindfulness instructor for the Holistic Life Foundation. He is a professional activist and poet who never foresaw yoga in his future, but now, everyday mentors youth in yoga and mindfulness. He is empowered by his work, saying, "I teach my students that they are not simply the future, but the now."