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Learn mindfulness, reduce stress

Symposium focused on well-being is connected to ‘Thrive to 25,’ which ties into ‘Drive to 25’ initiative

Yoga+is+a+way+to+exercise+and+practice+engaging+in+the+present+moment+rather+than+having+a+wondering+or+worrisome+mind%2C+%0Aas+well+as+lowering+stress+levels.+An+optional+yoga+session+will+be+held+right+before+the+symposium.
Yoga is a way to exercise and practice engaging in the present moment rather than having a wondering or worrisome mind, 
as well as lowering stress levels. An optional yoga session will be held right before the symposium.

Yoga is a way to exercise and practice engaging in the present moment rather than having a wondering or worrisome mind, as well as lowering stress levels. An optional yoga session will be held right before the symposium.

LUKE HOLLISTER | Daily Evergreen file

LUKE HOLLISTER | Daily Evergreen file

Yoga is a way to exercise and practice engaging in the present moment rather than having a wondering or worrisome mind, as well as lowering stress levels. An optional yoga session will be held right before the symposium.

KAYLA SIMONSON, Evergreen reporter

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Registration is now open for the second annual Mindfulness Symposium where mindfulness, a concept and practice of the quality state of being conscious and aware, will be explored.

Lydia Gerber, professor and facilitator of the event, said there is a lot of stress in our campus community and the symposium is important, especially to college students.

“Many people that go to mindfulness classes are older and attend because of serious conditions,” she said. “I thought how nice it would be to provide helpful techniques and information in advance for students, who don’t already have 30 years of stress-related health problems to combat.”

There will be a single lecture about mindfulness and its role in a variety of religions and faiths.

Efforts to improve the symposium include a greater focus on experiential activities rather than only lecture-like material, Gerber said.

There will be a yoga session before the event and qigong, an exercise technique working with energy in your body to promote healthfulness.

“It is important to train the mind to be observational of thoughts, emotions and sounds,” she said. “And being in the moment and not editing ahead by thinking ‘this moment could be so much better if I … ’ ”

Gerber said she turned to mindfulness and meditation to reduce the stress in her life and after experiencing its impact, she wanted to teach it to others.

“The long-term goal is to see the WSU community move toward mindfulness in a bigger way,” Gerber said, reflecting the larger goal of “Thrive to 25.”

The Center for Transformational Learning and Leadership website states the event is a part of “Thrive to 25,” a series of programs centered on mindfulness designed to help the WSU community flourish.

“In the collective efforts to ‘strive and drive [to 25],’ we anticipate that many of us will experience increasing stress … and additional pressures to perform,” the website states.

Courtney Sheldon, a junior studying biochemistry, enjoys self-care, including meditation, both large aspects of mindfulness.

Sheldon said mindfulness is an interesting topic in which she could easily stay engaged, because it is about personal awareness and reflection.

Although, students may have trouble paying the $10 fee.

“As college students, learning mindfulness is imperative to doing well in classes with less stress,” she said. “It is something everyone should learn without having to worry about coming up with money to pay for it.”

Gerber said the cost was added after last year’s symposium because over 200 students enrolled to attend but a large portion did not show up.

The $10 cost for students and $15 cost for others was added to assure that students who are interested and willing to attend the symposium will have their place at the event, Gerber said.

Mindfulness is a continuing discussion and experience in the WSU community.

At noon Friday, the Anthropology colloquium is having a presentation on mindfulness and ethics, Gerber said. More details regarding this event can be found online.

Drop-in sessions on mindfulness are also offered throughout the fall on a weekly basis, according to the website. Weekly sessions are from 12:10 – 12:40 p.m. Wednesdays in Smith Gym, Room 213A, from 12:10 – 12:40 p.m. Thursdays in Johnson Tower, Room 507 and from 10 – 10:30 a.m. Fridays at the Museum of Art.

For students interested in making mindfulness an integrated part of their academia, there is also a Mindfulness Club.

The Mindfulness Symposium is from 9 a.m. to noon Saturday in Chinook Student Center, Room 150.

“Most importantly, bring yourself into the present moment and just be what is.”

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