KSL Breathe Sessions help students relax

Ellen Chen, Contributing reporter

First launched at the end of fall 2016, “Breathe” at Kelvin Smith Library (KSL) has now been extended into a semester-long program to help students destress and relax throughout the school year.

The series, sponsored by ConnectCWRU, University Health and Counseling Services (UHCS) and KSL, consists of mini interactive relaxation sessions that aim to help students reduce stress and promote resilience. “Breathe” will take place at KSL every Friday from 1 p.m.-1:30 p.m., starting Jan. 27 and ending on May 12. Students have the options to either drop-in for few minutes or attend the whole 30 minute session.

According to Patricia Sinclair, associate director of the Services for Outreach, Prevention and Care for Trauma-affected Students at UHCS, the sessions incorporate a variety of relaxation techniques including peer-led yoga, mindfulness meditation, guided imagery, deep breathing and progressive muscle relaxation.

There are two different “Breathe” programs listed on the KSL website: the more active “Sun Salutation Yoga” that requires moving and the static “Mindfulness Relaxation” that induces inner peace. The “Sun Salutation Yoga” is peer-led to help students build mind-body interactions. Sometimes there will be some non-yoga body movements that further enhance mind-body connections. On the other hand, “Mindfulness Relaxation” is a guided meditation led by a range of persons, from associate directors to clinical staff to trained students. These meditations employ “Lion Mind,” which helps students become aware of how easily they get distracted and show them ways to focus.

The “Breathe” series also take special requests to present their programs to classes, organizations and workshops.

“Last Saturday, we had a workshop in which we incorporated Yoga and 45 minutes of medication techniques,” said Sinclair.  

According to Sinclair, “Breathe” was established to help students relax, take a break from their work and to actively “breathe.”

“That [the program] sounds interesting. If I had the time, I would definitely go and check it out,” said first-year student Jiahui Ma.

Sinclair stressed the importance of the initiative, as it not only helps students relax, but also provides techniques they can use on their own.