Image by (Luke Wrin Piper/The Citizen)

April 26, 2021

By Tayler Shaw, Staff Writer

On Wednesday April 21st, Laney College held another “Wellness Wednesday” workshop. Each Wednesday of April, the workshop has gone over different topics along with useful tips, while taking time for meditation and dance sessions. In this particular meeting we touched on the benefits of meditation. Originally, the topic was going to be on bullying but that subject has been moved to a future workshop at a different date. 

We began by watching a short video that featured late NBA Hall of Famer Kobe Bryant, who talked about meditation and its benefits. Bryant spoke about the importance of having the correct sleep pattern, relaxing your mind, and how doing all of this in addition to meditation can significantly switch up your mood and energy. The video also featured several others who spoke up about the benefits of meditation, one of which you can watch here.

After the video, we dug deeper into the meaning of meditation and described some of its psychological and spiritual rewards. Meditation is a tool meant to develop your mind, and it can create a greater calming environment while bringing more insight into your experience. From insight comes greater freedom to live more wisely and happily. For me, doing meditation in front of people (especially on camera) is not uncomfortable but does make me self-conscious. I have to open my eyes sometimes because it feels like I’m being watched. With the amount of times I’ve attended Wellness Wednesday, it’s something to get used to. I feel much more relaxed now compared to my first session. 

Prolonging your life is one of the potential benefits of meditation, especially during COVID times, and it can also improve your greater physical energy and stamina. It releases any physical tightness that we might have. Then, of course, you want to have a quiet environment, put your cell phone away or in another room. If you want, you can set yourself a five to ten minute alarm and thank yourself later. 

Once you get into doing meditation practices daily, the key is to always focus on your breathing. Where do you notice it the most? Is it in your belly, in your upper chest, or lungs? Pick the point that you are drawn towards and focus more on that area.This allows you to feel and experience what is going on inside you. You can sit or lay down in a comfortable position; in some meditation practices, palms are open. If you are sitting in a chair, your spine should be straight as if there is a string pulling you up, feet flat on the floor or in a lotus position (a cross-legged meditation pose).

Meditation is also a space where you can relax and try to enter your happy place if you have one. If not, try to think of positive things or positive places. Take your mind into a space of positive light and energy. Meditating helps us to become more mindful, it helps us to focus on one thing at a time, and has tremendous psychological and physiological benefits.

All in all, Wellness Wednesday workshops are full of learning and direction on how to distance yourself from negative light. From the times I’ve attended, I have always felt very comforted and relaxed. Hopefully you will give meditation a try if you never have.. The next workshop session discussion is “Tips to Improve your Mental Health” which will be on April 28th. The workshops continue until May 12, the topic isn’t determined yet for that day and you can always reach out for more information. The sessions are from 12 noon to 1pm for anyone who wants to check it out. 

Wellness Wednesday is hosted by Laney College Health Services Coordinator and College nurse, Indra “Mz. T” Thadani. You can reach out to Mz. T at [email protected] or look at the Laney College website for details at this link