Meditation Club Brings Relaxation Opportunities to Campus Community

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Meditation Club Brings Relaxation Opportunities to Campus Community

Members of Meditation Club meet on Edward's Parade. (Julia Comerford/ The Fordham Ram)

Members of Meditation Club meet on Edward's Parade. (Julia Comerford/ The Fordham Ram)

Members of Meditation Club meet on Edward's Parade. (Julia Comerford/ The Fordham Ram)

Members of Meditation Club meet on Edward's Parade. (Julia Comerford/ The Fordham Ram)

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By Clay Walters

Students at Fordham University are finishing up their classes this week. While the end of classes may seem like a blessing, this is a time where many students are highly stressed due to final exams being just a daunting week away. However, one club on campus is working to combat that stress.

Final exams are often considered one of the major reasons why college can be a time of immense anxiety. In fact, a scientific report released a week ago by researchers at University of California Berkeley found that rates of anxiety among 18 to 26-year-old students have doubled since 2008. The report labeled student anxiety on college campuses as a “national epidemic.”

One scientifically proven way for students to relieve stress and anxiety is by meditating. Meditation cannot only reduce anxiety, but it also has many other proven benefits including reducing implicit race and age bias, preventing depression, increasing body satisfaction, improving cognition and helping the brain ignore distractions.

Fordham students interested in practicing or beginning meditation can join the Fordham Mediation Club. The Meditation Club hosts weekly 30 minute meditation sessions at Fordham every Wednesday.

“It’s an opportunity for students to meet other people that like to mediate and also introduce a practice that might be unfamiliar to some,” said Meditation Club President Isha Khawaja, FCRH ’19. “We also host off-campus excursions to Om Factory to practice aerial yoga.”

For Khawaja, the best experiences in the meditation club are doing these off campus aerial yoga trips downtown at Om Factory.

“I’ve never tried aerial yoga before, and flipping and flowing around in a hammock was definitely something new and scary to me,” said Khawaja. “It reminded me how important it is to try new things. I tend to get stuck in my habits and routines, so the aerial yoga sessions definitely refreshed my week.”

Khawaja’s favorite part of a meditation session is doing the savasana. The savasana is the meditative pose where one lies on their back, face-up. This pose requires one’s legs to be comfortably spread and their arms to be relaxed alongside their body with their palms facing either up or down.

“You traditionally do this at the end of every yoga class,” mentioned Khawaja. “But at Om Factory we did savasana in the hammocks which was incredibly comforting.”

Khawaja had been practicing yoga ever since she was 14 in high school and considers it an important part of her life.

“One of the communities that provided a space was Fordham’s Meditation Club,” said Khawaja.

She said she signed up at the club fair her spring semester of freshman year and began instructing weekly yoga classes.

“Ever since then, I’ve been involved with the club,” she said.

Khawaja believes that her club is valuable for the Fordham community because it provides a space for like-minded, mindful individuals to practice.

“A lot of people tend to practice their meditation alone, which is completely fine and often easier to do,” said Khawaja. “But community is a really powerful thing and showing up to practice even once a week with other people can really transform your practice.”

Khawaja hopes to see the club’s weekly sessions get bigger and stronger. “The goal is to have a vibrant active meditating community at Fordham,” said Khawaja.

Fordham students interested in joining the Meditation Club should send an email expressing their interest in signing up for the club’s newsletter to the email address: meditationclub@fordham.edu.