| 03.24.2018

An alternative to stress — UI Meditation club helps relieve stress, improve health for students


Imagine a day that is free of worries and stress. You walk into a morning class and yesterday’s woes are not on your mind. Sitting in your seat, you practice breathing exercises that clear and energize your mind, giving you the capacity and clarity to be educated and retain knowledge.

Students at the University of Idaho have another option than feeling stressed and helpless all the time. There is an alternative, one that most students wouldn’t first think about.

According to project-meditation.org, the art of meditation has been used amongst people of all races and religions for thousands of years. Meditation has been known to improve health, well-being, and brain functions.

Peggy Hamlet, the Director of Fitness and Wellness and the Meditation Club Advisor, said, meditation isn’t always a religious or spiritual thing. One can meditate by simply basking in the beauty around them. Taking a moment to watch a sunrise is a form of meditation.

“Just because a lot of meditation comes from the Buddhists and from Hindu and Tai Chi and there are religions associated with that, it doesn’t mean that the meditation has to be,”Hamlet said.

The club usually meets once a week at various coffee shops to discuss methods of meditation and to organize the schedule. They meet at the TLC White Room to  practice meditation about three times a week. But when the weather permits, instead of sitting in a room, the club will take a walk through the UI Arboretum to practice meditating in different ways.

Hamlet said that there are many ways to meditate.

“I think we all meditate more than we actually realize, we just don’t call it meditation,” she said. “Walking in gratitude can be meditation. We do class sometimes walking through the Arboretum, walking around quietly, looking at the trees and looking at nature, so that was a meditation on beauty.”

Meditation club was started  last year by the current president, Forrest Walker. Walker said one of his favorite meditation practices is called Super Brain, which focuses a lot on breathing patterns.

According to Walker, the purpose of Super Brain is to clear both nasal passages, which have a direct correlation to the left-brain and right-brain functions. By opening both sides of your brain and having an even balance, knowledge is more easily retained.

“There are tons of studies about Super Brain,” Walker said. “It is something the Tibetan Monks use to do for a long time to become more intelligent. It assists with spirituality. They have done studies with neuroscientists and it balances the front and the back of your brain, and the left and the right.”

So far, there are about 15-20 active members, but the club is hoping to grow  in this next year. More information about Meditation Club can be found at orgsync.com, under University of Idaho clubs. Walker said he is always willing to meet with someone curious or interested in meditation.

Alexia Neal can be reached at arg-arts@uidaho.edu


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