We can all agree things have been a bit overwhelming lately. The stress of the pandemic has wreaked havoc on our lives, causing us to change the way we view the world. Life seems so fragile and many of us are still adjusting to the new normal but what if we could finally settle, allowing all the thoughts and anxiousness to suddenly stop? This is where SKY meditation comes in.
Meditation is of growing interest around the globe, especially with the development of mental health concerns. According to Mindworks, it is unclear when meditation was created, however, “the earliest records date from approximately 1500 years BCE and seem to have been an integral part of the earliest forms of the Vedic, or early Hindu, schools in India.”
SKY is an acronym for Sudarshan Kriya Yoga, which was created by Sri Sri Ravishankar, the founder of the Art of Living Foundation, which is a volunteer-based, humanitarian and educational nonprofit organization.
It has been taught and practiced for more than thirty years globally in hospitals, schools, corporations, colleges, prisons and in programs for at-risk populations.
SKY is a technique that focuses on breathwork to improve the quality of mind, by settling thoughts and emotions without mental effort and concentration.
There have been all sorts of misconceptions about the art of meditation, for example, that meditation requires an empty mind. According to The Conversation, “While meditating does often involve quieting the mind, this doesn’t mean the mind goes blank. Meditation involves developing the ability to observe one’s thoughts, emotions and sensations with the quality of non-reactivity – that is being able to notice and pause rather than react – and develop a wider compassionate perspective.”
A compassionate perspective is especially important during the time of a pandemic, where wearing a mask and following new health regulations is for the safety of ourselves but most of all for those around us.
Several studies have been done on SKY meditation, finding scientific evidence that recognizes the change in our molecular structure. According to skymeditation.org, “SKY is associated with enhanced antioxidant status and immune system function. SKY has even been shown to positively impact rapid gene expression alterations suggesting that the effects of SKY Meditation span all levels of the physiology from the DNA within our molecules to organ systems.”
SKY meditation is an easily accessible program that is shown to strengthen both mind and body. As we continue to transition to a more technology-based society, the Art of Living foundation has followed suit, offering SKY meditation courses virtually via Zoom.
This technique is not limited to yogis, gurus, meditation experts, or those that are spiritually/religiously inclined. The SKY meditation course is offered to anyone that desires to take the next steps towards securing a more relaxed and controlled state of mind.
UNCG has its own SKY Campus Happiness Club that welcomes all students. The club meets virtually weekly and offers the SKY course during a three-day retreat that allows students to connect with one another while diving into the art of meditation with the incorporation of specialized breathing techniques.
SKY Campus Happiness Club at UNCG will offer its next virtual retreat on March 5-7. The retreat is $95, however, the club is currently offering scholarships that cover the entire cost of the retreat.
SKY Campus Happiness at UNCG has three major goals, which include: creating a positive community on campus, providing ongoing self-development through breathing techniques, meditation, and yoga and organizing yoga, meditation, and knowledge sessions on-campus to help students to empower themselves and thrive in life.
You do not need prior experience to join the club or to participate in their retreats. The club is organized so that all students from various backgrounds, cultures and religions are able to join each other in promoting a healthy and sustainable lifestyle.
The club has weekly meetings every Thursday at 7pm, which offer a glimpse of the SKY Campus Happiness Retreat. Students play games, practice yoga and meditation along with breathing exercises and discuss meaningful ways to continue to have an impact on the community.
The upcoming retreat will take place nationwide and incorporate several universities from around the country. The event encourages students to connect with one another and learn valuable techniques and wisdom they can practice throughout their lives.
All students that are interested in discovering the hidden treasures in meditation are encouraged to sign up for the SKY Campus Happiness Retreat.