Meditation 101

Sophie Stoddart, Reporter

Meditation is a perfect option for those who are looking for a way to improve their emotional wellbeing, lower stress levels, and cultivate a deeper understanding and awareness of themselves. 

Leah Bernstein, a yoga and meditation instructor located in Lunada Bay, has shared her personal experience with meditation. 

“I started meditating about 18 years ago in my yoga practice without really realizing it. I just noticed that I felt better after Savasana which is the final meditation of a yoga practice. I have really deepened my meditation practice over the past eight years,” she said.

Additionally, meditation has been proven to reduce negative and overly self-critical thoughts. Bernstein shares how meditation has changed her in life, saying, “I have always had a busy mind and been a high energy person. I noticed that after focused breath and stillness I felt so much more calm and centered. I try to start each day with a morning meditation. Sometimes I don’t fit it in, but I notice that everything feels more manageable when I meditate. I would say that meditating has shifted my energy level and focus allowing me to be more present and peaceful.”

There are many people who struggle with school-induced stress. 

Luckily, there is a place where students can go on campus to reduce this stress. Wellness counselor and PVHS teacher Tammi Sheridan has shared what she notices about students who visit the wellness center. 

“Meditation has allowed our students to slow down and be more present to what’s going on in their lives – in and out of the classroom. This allows our students to make better and more conscious choices for themselves. Many students face pressure to look, feel and think a certain way… Meditation can be a wonderful way to clear your mind, focus on the present moment, and regain perspective of worries and challenges you may be facing.

Meditation is accessible anywhere and requires no preparation or materials. 

Anyone can try meditation, and find what they enjoy. 

As Bernstein has said, “I definitely feel that meditation can be transformative and an incredible tool. A way of more deeply connecting with our inner calm and [a way of] centering ourselves. I also feel that the choice to meditate is a personal one. I definitely think that anyone who has a curiosity or interest in meditating should absolutely give it a try.”