Midterm Mindfulness

Madelynn Prieboy, Phoenix Staff Writer

Like most students around the middle of Fall, I have been feeling the midterm blues. Stress and anxiety over papers and projects, sleepless nights spent studying, and excessive caffeination hang over all college students. Faculty and Staff can’t escape the stress either, which is why everyone is invited to the GSU Library’s Mindfulness Practice. All of this considered, I had to join the latest meeting.  

The practice is hosted by Dr. Maristela Zell and Dr. Time Pedigo. The weekly Zoom meeting, which is held every Thursday of the Fall semester, engages those attending in a virtual meditation session. Each week attendees are able to volunteer to lead the practice with a different form of meditation. 

On Oct. 22, Dr. Zell lead the meeting in Yoga Nidra, which means “sleep of the yogi.”  

“Yoga Nidra has nothing to do with sleeping or poses,” said Zell. “There is only one pose; “savasana.” Savasana Is “the corpse pose” which is done lying down on the back.  

Zell instructed attendees to get as comfortable as possible and to gather pillows and blankets if they could. “When the body is very relaxed, it cools down a lot,” she said. 

After everybody got comfortable, Zell told everyone to set an intention for the practice. She explained that the intention could be feeling restored, rested, or relaxed. I chose all three.  

Then she told everyone to bring awareness to certain parts of the body. Zell began with the mouth and all aspects of it, then to the eyes, then the whole head, and continued for the rest of the body. All the while attendees were to imagine themselves in a favorite location that made them feel the most calm. For me, that was the rock shelfs of the creek next to where I live.  

As I listened to Zell’s voice, I felt my mind and body at ease. Something along the lines of “right now you have nothing to occupy your mind or concern you” was what sent me into total relaxation. I was so relaxed that I fell asleep for the remainder of the practice until Zell tapped a cowbell to alert everyone that Yoga Nidra had ended. 

I was not the only one to fall asleep as many croaky voices spoke over the call to say they had been very comfortable. Many attendees, including myself, said they felt refreshed after the practice, and also a little chilly. I was ready and motivated to get back into the rest of my work.  

For a restorative and peaceful experience, the Mindfulness Practice is held over Zoom every Thursday from 3 p.m.-4 p.m.