May is National Meditation Month

Meditation is done around the world to clear minds and calm inner emotions. ESN-LA students recently took a break from their books and joined a NYFA meditation class. Learning to cook, getting around your new city, and learning a language can be a bit stressful. Let’s see how ESN-LA students learned to ease the stress and make daily life even more enjoyable.

“Meditation is an invitation to connect with our hearts and to go inward,” Kathia, one of NYFA’s counselors, told the students. Some common hopes are to be more patient, peaceful, or tolerant.

The ESN-LA students gathered in a screening room with NYFA students and Kathia dimmed the lights. She instructed the class to sit up straight with their feet flat on the floor (which helps with concentration), close their eyes, and breathe deeply. Her soothing voice gave them various instructions throughout the exercise. The students were amazed when she told them to open their eyes: they had just meditated for 10 minutes! It felt more like two minutes!

Kelsey, an ESN-LA instructor, added, “Students deal with a large amount of stress, and meditation is a tool for dealing with that stress. It’s a moment to let all those worries and assignments fall away, and to check in with yourself. The students came away from this meditation class feeling calm and relaxed. Knowing how to meditate gives students a daily chance to deal with their feelings in a calm and productive manner.”

Jacob, a Level 5 student remarked, “During the class I felt something really magical, because it was the first time that I could feel everything around me. When I was meditating, it was like I was asleep but actually I was conscious about what was happening.”

Quinn, a Level 4 student, said that he could feel the blood in his body.

It’s amazing what is possible when we allow ourselves to pause and “connect with our hearts,” as Kathia said. ESN-LA students learned that you don’t need to leave the hustle and bustle of the city to find inner-peace; just take a moment to think about what you do, or can do, to disconnect from the busy world around you. Relaxation can be a simple breath away.

Take a look at the following TedTalk to understand how powerful meditation can be:


counselor (n.)- a person who gives assistance or advice

screening room (n.)- a room with a large screen to show films

soothing (adj.)- gentle and calm effect

hustle and bustle (n.)- busy and noisy environment