What I learned from meditation coach, Davidji, and more on mindfulness

It is time to have a serious talk about meditation. Maybe it seems too scary to engage in, or too pretentious to even consider. Maybe the thought of it is embarrassing because, come on, you are not some kind of hippy.

Forget every stigma that the world has placed around the idea of mindfulness. Meditating is a practical way to improve quality of life, especially that #studentlife.

There is no question that college causes stress; whether it is learning the ropes as a freshman or taking on finals as a seasoned upperclassman, students are always searching for ways to deal with their stress, and we deserve to do it in a healthy manner.

If you are clueless about meditation altogether, do not worry. Here is your crash course:

for thousands of years, cultures and religions across the globe have practiced meditation. Many have used it as a means to get in touch with the Divine. For some, it is less spiritual and more clinical (slow down the heart rate, alleviate anxiety, etc.) No matter the intentions, the main goal of meditation is to breath and suppress thought until eventually, you are a peaceful ball of thoughtlessness. Stress hormones are reduced, and little by little, it becomes easier to let go of the past and focus on the perfect, present moment.

For almost a year, I have practiced meditation, sometimes following a short yoga routine or an evening run. My preferred time for meditating is right before bed. There is something beautiful about clearing away the day’s struggles before laying down to start a brand new one. I call it my “reset button.”

Meditation is this magical, healing ritual that makes all of the bad thoughts go away, right? Can it get any better? The answer is yes, because it can be is so easy to do.

This summer, I was privileged enough to attend Wanderlust, a traveling yoga festival where I took classes and sat in on lectures taught by none other than the world-famous celebrity mindful master Davidji. I took rapid notes as I sat crisscross on the floor directly in front of Ariana Grande’s meditation coach (um, yeah) and soaked in all of his knowledge like a nerdy yogi sponge. The information that I took away was groundbreaking, and I want to share it.

The basics go like this: sit in a space with no distractions and focus on the breath. Imagine inhaling through only one nostril and exhaling out of the other.

“When thoughts come to mind, treat them like clouds,” Davidji said. Allow the thought to float by. Watch it, and let it pass.

The most valuable piece of knowledge I took away -- perfect for the college rookie -- is take advantage of mornings. When you hit the snooze button, use those fleeting moments to meditate in rather than trying to fall back asleep. Realistically, those few extras minutes will not make you feel anymore rested, so why not take that time to create a tranquil head space for the day, instead? When in doubt, RPM (rise, pee, meditate.)

Before those dreaded 10 a.m. lectures, take a few minutes or even a few seconds to meditate. Notice that every day, your mind will seem lighter and your heart will be happier.