The usual morning rush is set aside as a group of students settle on mats and meditation pillows, ready to start their day with mindfulness for teens.
Students fall silent as a teacher taps a Tibetan “singing bowl”. “Allow yourself to settle into the experience of being here, in this moment,” teacher Caverly Morgan tells two dozen students at Wilson High School.
The year long mindfulness class is for credit, and the intent is to ease youth anxiety and depression. Three days a week, for 90 minutes, students practice yoga, sitting and walking meditation, visualization techniques, deep breathing, journaling and non-judgmental listening.
Mindfulness focuses the person on the present moment. This helps to better deal with stress, difficult emotions, and negative thoughts.
Yoga, meditation, and mindfulness have become popular in the USA recently, as studies show their benefits in emotional, mental, and physical health. Although rooted in Eastern religion, Western culture has focused on physical postures, breathing, and relaxation techniques.