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College students study the facility of the (downward dealing with) canine > Information > USC Dornsife

By a summer season course in Tulum, Mexico, USC college students study yoga and mindfulness. It’s a part of a brand new minor meant to assist college students take management of their well being.

College students within the Maymester course took a yoga class every morning and afternoon, then spent the night time meditating. (Photograph: Courtesy of Isabelle Pilliere Mazumdar)

About 800 years in the past, the Mayans worshiped the god of honey within the sacred city of Tulum, Mexico. Murals of Ah-Muzen-Cab, who resembles a stingless bee that dives into the Earth and is named the “descending god,” nonetheless stay on the partitions of a temple there.

The worship of Ah-Muzen-Cab could have diminished in current centuries, however Tulum’s significance as a spot of non secular apply stays. 1000’s of individuals now go to the world yearly to attend yoga and meditation retreats.

If working towards 5,000-year-old Indian traditions in Mexico appears a bit uncommon, yoga trainer Isabelle Pilliere Mazumdar says the attraction to fashionable guests might be the identical motive the traditional Mayans constructed Tulum the place they did, on the Yucatan peninsula.

“It is the particular vitality of the world,” says Mazumdar, a full professor within the division of bodily schooling and mind-body well being at USC’s Dornsife Faculty of Letters, Arts and Sciences. “We do not have this perception in Western society, however many cultures consider within the significance of vitality, whether or not it is the Chinese language, Japanese or Mayan tradition.”

Mazumdar not too long ago led a small group of USC college students on a week-long Maymester journey to Tulum, the place they took yoga classes, meditated and explored the historical past of the area. It’s an elective course for the not too long ago launched Thoughts-Physique Research Minor, which trains college students within the fundamentals of excellent well being, from sleep to mindfulness to bodily train. With rising ranges of tension and despair, in addition to excessive charges of weight problems amongst school college students, this can be a well timed and essential course.

Rise and shine, it is yoga time

The brand new Thoughts-Physique Research Minor goals to assist college students deal with stress and keep match. (Photograph: Courtesy of Isabelle Pilliere Mazumdar)

A yoga retreat in Mexico could sound like a calming trip, however Mazumdar’s Maymester course had a busy schedule. Every day, the scholars took two yoga lessons, participated in group discussions and settled right down to meditate at night time. In addition they made time for excursions, exploring the ruins of the Mayan civilization and the spectacular caves at Gran Cenote.

The scholars ranged from novices to budding yoga fans. They ate collectively and practiced yoga collectively within the morning and within the night, so the journey was additionally an train in coexistence between folks of various origins and beliefs. “I had a really various group, completely different ethnicities, religions, sexual orientations. It was very good that all of them acquired alongside as a result of they’re virtually collectively 24/7,” says Mazumdar.

Thoughts and physique

Launching this fall, the brand new Thoughts-Physique observe additionally consists of programs on human anatomy, diet and the mind, in addition to different electives like swimming and mountain climbing. Greater than 20 college students have already enrolled within the minor, which was designed to fulfill pupil demand for extra instruments to handle their stress and well being.

The minor additionally helps college students planning a profession in drugs study strategies to assist folks that do not contain prescriptions or surgical procedure; a rising development in well being care.

For Christina Maineri, who’s majoring in neuroscience and cognitive science, the brand new minor connects straight together with her profession pursuits. “I hope to make use of what I study from the Thoughts-Physique Research specialty, significantly with reference to how we prepare our brains, to assist dementia sufferers,” says Ella Maineri.

Mazumdar could possibly be the poster lady for a way yoga could be a fulfilling apply for a lifetime. She first encountered it some 40 years in the past, when she was vacationing at a resort resort within the late Nineteen Seventies, when yoga was not but a mainstay in gyms. “Yoga was type of on the market, it was experimental,” she says. As a dancer, she was interested in the way in which she stretched and lengthened her physique, and he or she has been working towards this sport ever since.

College students within the Maymester course, like Anya Khurana, who’s pursuing a level in schooling and public well being promotion on the Keck Faculty of Medication of USC, are planning an analogous path.

“Yoga and mindfulness practices are nice instruments for stress administration and normal wellness, however this course taught me the best way to apply these expertise to my very own life, which I’ll take with me after I attend skilled faculty and begin my profession,” Khurana says.

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