1. About This LEAP:

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.

Links:

For more information about Mirabai, see the following webpages:

For more information about Brandt: http://www.breathingdeeply.com/

Field trip:  https://newenglandpeacepagoda.org/

 

3. What To Expect:

Yoga and mindfulness work directly to improve the following:  

  •         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).
  •         Hearing - Perceiving the nature of sounds by ear.
  •         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

 

Mindful Walk in Nature:  The walk is on an easy-to-moderate path, passing by woods and streams.  If you cannot walk, you can sit by a stream or enjoy the fields right from the parking lot. 

 

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. 

Brandt Passalaqua is the creator of Breathing Deeply Yoga Therapy. He is trained as a Yoga Therapist as well as a Medical Massage Therapist. He has studied eastern modalities such as shiatsu, acupressure, and Thai massage. And he is well versed in eastern and western nutritional approaches and plain-old common sense to help people realize their goals.