The student news site of Los Altos High School in Los Altos, California

Mindfulness Practices

March 9, 2021

Yoga-lover, former avid marathoner and English teacher Jodi Hwang was the second guest on the Planned Acts of Kindness lunch speaker series. On Thursday March 4, she led a mindfulness workshop, drawing on her past experience as a yoga instructor in Beijing and Shanghai.

The session began with simple breaths focusing on the heart, then transitioned into Ujjayi breathing, which releases tension and helps with concentration through slowing the pace of one’s breath. Ujjayi means “victorious” and is performed by breathing through the nose and tightening one’s throat, creating a “Darth Vader” or “light snore” sound.

The Ujjayi breathing technique was followed by a stand-up exercise with rocking feet forward and back. Hwang then demonstrated transitioning from Tadasana Mountain Pose to exhaling chair pose, as well as the tree pose.

The session ended with an imagination meditation exercise about feeling the kindness and warmth from individuals surrounding oneself and sending it back to them. Hwang referenced a study conducted by Stanford University Center for Compassion and Altruism Research and Education in which individuals who practiced for seven weeks recorded an increase of joy, gratitude and life satisfaction, among other categories.

The next talk in the series led by LAHS Positive Psychology teacher Susana Herrera is scheduled for Thursday, March 18. This upcoming presentation will focus on self care and gratitude. To sign up, visit this link.

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