Mindful Mondays has been offered weekly either in person in the STEM Center, or virtually on Zoom, since Fall 2019. It has created a safe environment for students, faculty and classified employees to take a break, share their struggles and the techniques they use to lower their anxiety.
Mindful Mondays has been hosted by Emilie Hein, Physics Professor at Skyline College, who has been offering a range of guided mindfulness activities, including the creation of gratitude trees, guided meditations, breathing exercises and mindful eating. The activities change weekly based on the needs of the attending community and current events. This semester, we are excited to also include special guests, who are experts in mindfulness awareness. Although it has mostly been attended by the STEM community, it is open to all.
We were honored to have our first guest speaker on September 27, 2021. Wini Linguvic is the boss lady at The Elevate Practice, a yoga subscription service that takes the guesswork out of HOW to practice yoga at home. A New York Times best-selling author, Wini specializes in making yoga useful and usable for all levels.
She led a wonderful session of stretching and breathing, which left us feeling relaxed and ready to tackle a new week. Attendee Professor Maryam Khan described the session as “wonderful! I loved how she was able to make her practice so relatable to ours.”
We also asked Wini about how our students and community can benefit from dedicating some time to mindfulness in their lives.
What does mindfulness mean to you?
Wini: “Mindfulness is paying attention. In day to day life it means not rushing your mind to the next thing but attending to the moment. This is not the easiest thing to do but the best way to start is to heed the old Buddhist saying…Feel your feet in your shoes.”
How can students in STEM relate to the work that you do? Your approach seems very scientific in many ways.
Wini: “I always say be a researcher and not a judge. In other words as you start to integrate yoga and mindfulness do not be so quick to evaluate. Instead experiment and see what works. Add in three minutes of alternate nostril breathing and see how you feel. Sign up for an excellent yoga class once a week and see if you feel better.”
What are your strategies for dealing with anxiety, especially as we all navigate through a global health crisis and trying times?
Wini: “There are SO many things we can’t control we need to focus on the things we CAN. Identify what you can control, such as the water you drink, turning OFF the news, spending time with goof friends, or spending five minutes practicing simple breathing exercises. when you can identify what you CAN control and what you can’t the pressure is off to try to manage everything.”
What kind of teacher do you strive to be?
Wini: “I want to be the teacher that gets you fascinated by your yoga practice. That inspires curiosity about how a simple combination of stretching and breathing can really help you feel better. “
What do you expect from your students?
Wini: “I expect students to show up and to remember the three goals of class. Number one is that first and foremost the goal is to FEEL better. Number two is that each time we practice yoga we have a chance to learn something new about a body we have lived in ALL our life. And number three is to discover for ourselves how one good practice a week really does make the WHOLE week better.”
Interested in joining us for our next session?
Start the week right and join us on Mondays from 12:30p.m. to 1:00 p.m.. https://smccd.zoom.us/j/98991907714
Meeting ID: 989 9190 7714
Pass code: 403526
Feel free to log in at any point and leave as you need. No judgment here. We understand your schedule needs and want to offer a place of serenity and comfort.
If you are interested in participating as a facilitator or have any questions, please contact Emilie Hein (firstname.lastname@example.org).
You can also follow the STEM Center on Facebook and Instagram to get weekly updates.
Article by Emilie Hein
Photo by Wini Linguvic