Be aware of yourself and ignore the stares – Chaminade Silversword
In the bustling courtyard of Henry Hall in Chaminade, students enjoy their limited freedom from the constraints of the classroom. Uuntil a student, soon followed by others, walks over to the white canopy across the courtyard. Sstudents begin to stretch and move their bodies, acting as if they are the protagonist of a kung fu movie. Right now, many may ask, “What is going on in the world? ”
The students across the Henry Hall courtyard are the students of Professor Robert Santee. At the start of each of his psychology courses, the students practice tai chi and qigong to promote focus, self-care, and reinforce content learned in the course.
Health to launch the project tai chi and qigong, two centuries-old Chinese practices that focus on breathing and slow body movements, in his psychology classes to address the increasing levels of stress and anxiety associated with attending college. He explained that while the college is meant to be academic, it lacks a holistic approach.
“Why don’t we deal with the whole person? Santee said. “You go to college, and it’s pretty much academic. … It becomes a problem.
Despite the good intentions, practicing tai chi and qigong in front of passing students leads to persistent inexorable stares, confused looks and even, awkwardly, students recording the class with their phones.
Some students questioned the reasoning behind tai chi practiced outside rather than inside the classroom. Santee responded to this by explaining the importance of focusing in a distracted environment.
“It’s an environment where other people are walking and cars are moving. So it creates distraction, ”Santee said., who has worked at Chaminade for 27 years. “In this distracted environment, are you able to remain calm? Are you able to stay focused?
Asked about the responses of the students and staff watching, Santee explained that spectators might not understand the purpose of the exercises. Thus, they will react to the situation in a way they deem appropriate.
“When you’re looking at something you don’t understand, the only way to deal with anxiety because you don’t understand is to laugh at it. When you laugh at it, you feel better, ”Santee said.
As students continue to participate in regular exercises, some have become accustomed to the practice.
“At first I was a little embarrassed because everyone is always watching us,” said Codi-Lee Reiny, a psychology major and current student in Santee’s Health and Stress Psychology class. “But after that I started not to care too much about it. And if people look at me, I’ll look them back. “
Jordan Miyata, a 2019 Chaminade alumnus, graduated with a bachelor’s degree in psychology and completed several Santee courses.
“I know a lot of us face a lot of stress and anxiety on a daily basis, so I really felt that this course really helped me understand what I was facing and find a balance in it. the way to do everything,“Miyata said.” I actually really enjoyed it and really enjoyed it a lot.t.
According to American Association for Anxiety and Depression, 85% of college students say they have felt overwhelmed by their personal and academic responsibilities at some point during the past year. Additionally, around 41.6% of students said anxiety has become a major concern for them.
“Give it a chance, try to be open-minded about it,” Miyata said. “You might not realize that it could be beneficial.“