Amidst the tumult of a semester with unprecedented restrictions, routines and expectations, Bowdoin Wellness Companies has been nurturing a sanctuary of tranquillity and neighborhood by means of weekly yoga periods, led by Assistant Director of Wellness Companies Kate Nicholson.
These periods, primarily attended by first-year college students, happen on Tuesdays and Fridays in Room 213 on the second flooring of the Peter Buck Heart for Well being and Health. They first occurred over Zoom earlier than transferring to an outside, in-person format. Now, with the arrival of cooler climate, they’ve moved again indoors.
Regardless of the situation adjustments, college students have appreciated the stress-relieving periods.
“The calming, nurturing ambiance that Kate brings to the category has remained fixed,” wrote Madison Evasius ’24 in an e-mail to the Orient. “You’re at all times warmly greeted and welcomed. I can come from probably the most hectic, disturbing day and upon coming into class, my thoughts is immediately relaxed.”
Nicholson, a yoga teacher who has practiced yoga for over 15 years, shared the advantages of yoga, particularly for college kids navigating immediately’s many transitions, each private and political.
“We spend a lot time on campus or in school in our heads, pondering a lot … that [we struggle with] difficult sleep, … run-down immune programs [and] rumination, for instance,” she stated in a Zoom interview with the Orient. “After we can simplify life and produce it right into a felt sense of the bodily physique, we are able to sort of floor the substance of ourselves. And that’s actually, actually, actually essential proper now.”
Nicholson added, nonetheless, that these advantages will not be unique to yoga.
“[All these] advantages of yoga, across the bodily physique, will be true if you happen to go take a hike, will be true if you happen to take a extremely lovely stroll or jog across the trails,” stated Nicholson.“To take [movement] and translate [it] into actions and ways in which you get pleasure from being with your self, to being with others, and [to] being in your physique, is what’s essential.”
Nicholson additionally gives “wellness chats,” which college students can join by means of e-mail or the CampusGroups app. She defined that these are alternatives to speak about topics from “What’s it prefer to be on campus?” to “I’m actually battling my sleep,” to “I’m feeling overwhelmed and anxious.”
For off-campus college students, Nicholson urged them to achieve out to her workplace if there’s any assist wanted in navigating psychological wellbeing.
“I might hope that they’d attain out and make that gesture to plug in and join as a result of we actually very a lot need to … assist and be certain that the Bowdoin neighborhood is right here for them, irrespective of the place they’re,” she added.
Whether or not or not it’s yoga, meditation or dialogue, Nicholson emphasised that it’s essential that college students acknowledge their wants and prioritize their well-being. Mindfulness Over Matter, Peer Well being and Lively Minds are some scholar organizations that present assets to college students relating to psychological well being. The latter two will be discovered on Instagram, together with @bwellbowdoin, which Nicholson runs.
“My hope is that … college students don’t dismiss their well-being on the expense of all of their work. There’ll at all times be a price for that,” Nicholson stated.“Faculty isn’t solely about struggling all through your work. … We wish so that you can get pleasure from your self, to have fulfilling relationships. … Your hearts and your our bodies matter as a lot as your sensible minds.”
The Wellness Companies gives a variety of packages in addition to yoga that cater to the psychological well being of scholars this semester. These embrace bi-weekly discussions on Wednesdays from 7 to eight p.m. about meals, the physique and consuming; “Meditation Labs” on Sundays from eight to eight:30 p.m. and “Physique Talks” with Well being Companies on Tuesdays at midday. All occasions are performed just about, the place questions that college students have about COVID, sexual well being and different subjects are answered.