-Photo courtesy of Andie Glanzer

With all the stressors high school students face daily, sometimes taking a step back is necessary to maintain health and sanity. Students in the Mindfulness class experienced just that when they visited the MNDFL meditation studio located in Williamsburg, Brooklyn on Mar. 28 with Health and Mindfulness Teacher Deborah DeBetta. There, students partook in a meditation session aimed to help them relax and enjoy time in the present moment.

After arriving at the studio, students were free to enjoy several perks provided to them in the lobby. Mainly, students headed to the lobby’s kitchen to prepare tea prior to their meditation while others opted to relax and take pictures in the aesthetically pleasing studio. Junior Natalie Cardoso stated, “Even the lobby was beautiful in the mindfulness studio, and I really liked how it was run in such a relaxed way so everyone could enjoy the company of others before the actual meditation, which, of course, is very individual.”

Although free tea and conversing with friends is always pleasant, students truly enjoyed themselves during their meditation. Once comfortably seated, the students were led by a meditation instructor in an hour-long “sound bath,” in which the instructor created different sounds through several instruments. The students were mesmerized by focusing their attention on the resonances. At several points in the meditation, the instructor even moved around to different parts of the room when playing the sounds, so each participant experienced the noises at different volumes.

While some may question how differences in sounds would help one stay mindful, the instructor explained that auditory stimuli act as a catalyst in meditation and referred to sound as “candy meditation.” The rationale is that during mediation, one wants to develop resiliency in his/her thought processes to help return to the present moment if one finds him/herself caught up in thought. Sounds make this process easier by providing a sensory stimuli for participants to focus their attention to. Junior Maria Russotti stated, “That was one of the best meditations I have ever experienced. It was really easy to focus on the different sounds, and I was able to stay in the present moment by blocking out fears I have for past and future events.”

This practice ultimately served to help participants concentrate on the present moment to prevent worrying and regret from plaguing their thoughts. Through mindfulness, unnecessary stress is reduced, leaving one calmer, and even happier. Junior Caitlin Buchala stated, “I felt extremely relaxed after the meditation and was in an overall better mood afterwards. In my free time, I hope to go back to this studio, or one like it because the experience was very rewarding mentally.”

After leaving the meditation studio, students traveled to several designated restaurants nearby for lunch. From pizza, to salads, to chicken and waffles, students indulged in a wide-range of meals, and the majority appeared to be very satisfied with their choice. Russotti stated, “I ordered chicken and waffles at Sweet Chicken, and the food was excellent. Overall, the day was amazing and I cannot wait for next year’s trip.”