Almost a month into the fall semester, students are experiencing stress and anxiety stemming from maintaining good grades as well as physical and mental health during the pandemic.
SKY Campus Happiness @ TAMU provides tools and techniques for faculty and students to better their wellness habits through breathing and meditation.
Executive Coach for Leadership Development and SKY breathing and meditation expert Pooja Shrivastava, Ph.D., said SKY is a comprehensive well-being and resilience program designed to help foster growth and happiness.
“It is designed to help faculty and students to help achieve their full potential,” Shrivastava said. “What we teach within the program is SKY practice, which is a rhythmic breathing practice which leads you into meditation. It calms you and keeps you in a peaceful and meditative state of mind.”
Shrivastava said the benefits of practicing the SKY program include relaxation and anxiety relief that can be beneficial to daily life.
“Students on campus feel more connected; their sense of being connected increases this social connection,” Shrivastava said. “If... we feel connected to each other then the communication is improved and there is a sense of belongingness and there is a sense of love for each other. People become more sensitive to each other and I think this is the basis of society — if we have all these components ready then there would be no violence or discrimination.”
Computer engineering Ph.D student, breathing and meditation expert and SKY president Rishabh Singla said his passion for SKY began when he started the practice back in 2010. When he began his undergraduate program in India and decided to take a part in SKY practice, he said he immediately saw a positive change in his life.
“Doing this practice taught me how to feel so comfortable and natural,” Singla said. “I could manage my time very well because doing the practices helped me to become more productive. ... It has also given me deeper connections with everyone around me and all these things brought me feeling content with my life.”
In the future, Singla said he hopes the organization can bring SKY practices to everyone on campus so they can experience its benefits.
“All the Aggies should have this privilege to learn this breathing,” Singla said. “In the next few semesters we would like to work with the university to have more people join academically or different clubs, we are ready to collaborate with them and offer them seminars and offer them workshops.”
Following the most recent retreat, participants shared their experiences and personal testimonies, expressing their thankfulness towards the instructors and the positive influence the retreat had on them.
University studies senior Angelica Mena, a participant in the retreat, said she attended during a time when she was feeling lost through the stresses of being a college student.
“It really did help me find clarity in what I was going through,” Mena said. “This has really helped me find who I am and who I want to become and I strongly recommend this to everyone.”