UVA Uses Yoga, Meditation To Help Students Fight Stress

Reading, writing, rhythmic breathing.

Starting college can make you stressed, exhausted, and overwhelmed -- and that's not just in the classroom.

The Contemplative Science Center at the University of Virginia is combating those freshman year symptoms with three wellness dorms, dedicated to mindfulness, stress management, and well-being.

David Germano, Professor of Tibetan and Buddhist Studies and director of the Contemplative Sciences Center at UVA, said they are piloting programs that would bring yoga right into the residence.

"The students can just say, 'Ok, I'm going to take some time off and just devote it to myself,'" he said.

The dorms are implementing these programs to help facilitate student wellness, improve performance in the classroom, and spur creativity. Germano hopes that eventually every residence, including Greek housing, will get on board.

For now, the center is offering retreats -- off-campus activities that take students out of their ordinary environment to focus on personal development.

Watch the video above to hear more about how Germano hopes to help students manage anxiety and develop resilience on campus, as he explains the wellness programs to Sonia Jones, the co-founder of Sonima Foundation and Sonima Wellness. The Sonima Foundation offers health and wellness programs to students across 89 schools in California, Florida, New York and Texas.

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Brown University
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Vassar College
Course Title:An Examined Life: Religious Approaches to Enduring Questions

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University of Chicago
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University of Southern California
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Harvard University
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Boston University
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University of Chicago
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Brown University
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New York University
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Oberlin College
Course Title:Happiness, Death, and the Meaning of Life

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Pomona College
Course Title:Ideas of Love

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Princeton University
Course Title:Mind and Meditation

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University of Southern California
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Harvard University
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Claremont McKenna
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Vassar College
Course Title:Inner Paths: Religion and Contemplative Consciousness

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Yale University
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Indiana University
Course Title:An Interdisciplinary History of Empathy

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Pomona College
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Colorado College
Course Title: Religious Experience

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Iowa State University
Course Title:Death as a Part of Living

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Emory University
Course Title:Religion And Healing

School's Description Of Course: Designed to explore the mind/body connection as a paradigm to understand religion and healing. Will examine the role of faith, ritual, prayer and meditation in various models of healing.
Princeton University
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Course Title:Musical Cultures of the World

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Vanderbilt University
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Course Title: The Meaning of Life

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University of San Diego
Course Title:Contemplative Traditions

School's Description Of Course: Emphasizing peer-directed conversation, this course is a seminar on meditation and contemplative prayer from a historical contextualist, textual, comparative and experiential perspective. The course examines contemplative practice in various religious traditions through close textual analysis of important and representative texts.