Mondays are to meditate


Anya Raval

With short 40-minute class periods, Monday anchor days give 9th & 10th-grade gym students a chance to relax and reset through Meditation Mondays.

Anya Raval, Staff Writer

Math unit tests. History presentations. CS labs. English timed essays. AP tests. Finals. IBET projects. Bio quizzes. Retakes. 

Take a deep breath in. 

And breathe out. 

Assignments and grades weigh down TJ students, but taking just a few minutes to breathe in and breathe out can make all the difference. In a six-week study conducted for the American Journal of Pharmaceutical Education, participants reported decreased anxiety and stress scores with an increase in mindfulness. 

Ninth & tenth-grade gym students regularly participate in Meditation Mondays, a 40-minute class period in a dimly lit room with calming music playing. Not only do these freshmen and sophomores get a chance to stretch their bodies, but also their minds. 

“I thoroughly enjoy Meditation Mondays because it offers me a chance to calm down in the already chaotic environment of Mondays,” sophomore Samikksha Prabhu said. 

Start off by simply counting your breaths and creating a steady rhythm. 

Meditation Mondays have become a weekly ritual for TJ gym students. 

“I noticed that a lot of students needed an outlet of relaxation and kind of clearing their mind. So I thought that Monday would be a perfect opportunity to do that without taking away from things in other classes,” Health & PE teacher David Arthur said. 

Mindfulness meditation has many benefits, especially for teenage students. Meditation helps with many aspects of mental health such as self-esteem, emotional intelligence, anxiety, and stress. In a report of a study published in April 2021 for the journal of Global Advances in Health and Medicine, 76% of the participants reported decreased anxiety while 80% also reported decreased stress. 

“There are definitely small-scale improvements. Knowing that I can use meditation to calm myself down definitely provides a sense of comfort,” Prabhu added. 

Keep your attention to your breaths, as it is the only constant in the environment.

Participating in Meditation Mondays allows underclassmen to see improvements to their overall mood and a chance to relax during the day. 

Distractions are natural; it’s important to just acknowledge them and let them go. 

“I like meditation a lot because it’s a place for me to not be stressed about what else is happening with my other classes. If I have a bad grade in a different class, Meditation Mondays help me focus on me,” freshman Lavanya Krishna said. 

Focus on each breath. Let silence fill the air of the room. Let your meditation act as a guide to relaxation and being in the present. 

Being aware of each breath and movement allows students to live in the present moment. 

“I think the biggest takeaway is just having my students be more aware of what’s going on now than worrying about what happened in the past or what might happen in the future,” Arthur said. 

As the session comes to an end, I hope you leave this space feeling recharged and with a sense of gratitude and calmness.