BY THERESA TUMMINELLO
Monika Lupean, owner of Salisbury Yoga, has been stopping by Salisbury University to lead meditation classes for members of the student body, as well as locals, on Monday nights. By stimulating senses and coaching deep breathing, Lupean offers a great way to unwind and clear your mind. Each week she focuses on different types of meditation.
The first week she focused on mantra meditation, followed by the second week with a specialized type of mantra meditation, “Love and Kindness,” for Valentine’s Day. With this type of meditation, you are encouraged to associate words with each breath. For example, you could breathe in “hope” and breathe out “love,” imagining scenes associated with the chosen words as you continue your breathing.
“Mantra meditation is the most accessible because it gives your mind something to do,” Lupean said. Her third session was centered on mindfulness meditation. Exercises included centering your mind and body, deep breathing and becoming aware of your surroundings.
Throughout the time that your eyes are closed, Lupean taps into your senses by giving suggestions on what to focus on. In between breaths, she urges you to continue escorting distractive thoughts out of your mind. She also reads some of her favorite quotes, including the following by the Dalai Lama: “The ultimate source of comfort and peace is within ourselves.”
Each activity is around 10 minutes long, followed by about five minutes of information about each exercise. During the periods of information, Lupean identifies benefits of meditation, which include increases in levels of “feel good” chemicals in your brain. She explains how meditation helps your brain adapt to new circumstances, reduces blood pressure, lessens the effects of a cold and can help reduce chronic pain, stress and fatigue. She even correlated meditation and physical health, saying, “Meditation can help you lose weight because you become more mindful in what you do.”
There is an elementary school in Baltimore, Md. that has adopted meditation into their code of conduct. At Robert W. Coleman Elementary School, the detention room has been renamed and turned into a “Mindful Moment Room.” Now, when a child acts out or displays bad behavior, they are taken to this room and coached through breathing and centering exercises.
In her article titled “Instead of Detention, These Students Get Meditation,” Deborah Bloom says, “Those at the school say it’s done wonders for their learning environment and productivity.”
Children attending Coleman Elementary School are more calm and mindful than ever before and the school is seeing a great change in their overall atmosphere.
With the exhilarating results that a simple 30 minutes to one hour of meditation shows, it is hard not to be intrigued. “There is no way to do meditation wrong,” Lupean explains. “Set a timer, close your eyes and breathe.”
Lupean is offering one more class on Monday, March 6th from 5pm-6pm. Bring a towel and bring a friend! Classes are located in Holloway Hall, Great Hall. I guarantee that you will leave feeling relaxed and ready to tackle the week ahead!