Mindfulness meditation and you: An alternative way to cope with stress and anxiety

As exam season quickly approaches and the semester comes to an end, stress is in the air. Mindfulness meditation is an increasingly popular tool recommended by healthcare professionals to help individuals relax the body and the mind, and cope with stress, anxiety, and depression. So what is the truth about mindfulness meditation, and could it actually be beneficial to you? Defining mindfulness Mindfulness can be practiced at any time, anywhere—or all the time and everywhere, as Buddhist monk Thich Nhat Hanh explained in an interview with Oprah Winfrey. Mindfulness is a unique and personalized experience for those who try it, according to Heather MacLean, a neurology professor at the University of Ottawa (U of O). In a November 2016 lecture, […]

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Yoga: cultural appropriation, commercialization, and how the tradition has evolved over time

“Yoga’s not about making money off people . . . You get these perversions happening. It’s not everybody doing it, but the problem is that it is a pervasive problem. The irony is that censoring my class is like making that problem worse,” said Jen Scharf, former yoga instructor at the University of Ottawa (U of O). Last November, Scharf’s free yoga class offered through the University of Ottawa’s Centre for Students with Disabilities was cancelled because of concerns about cultural appropriation. Publications as far-reaching as the Washington Post and the BBC covered the scandal, sparking an international debate about whether or not yoga, as it is practiced in the West, is cultural appropriation. Earlier this week, the Student Federation […]

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Letter: Cultural appropriation is only concerning when it’s harmful

The recent cancelling of a free yoga class at the University of Ottawa (U of O) started many conversations about cultural appropriation, and the validity of commercialized spiritual practices. I’m of the opinion that just about anyone who practices yoga is guilty of cultural appropriation, and if the far left had their way, all of us oppressors would live our lives stiff, stressed, and unable to touch our own toes. I don’t have a problem with practicing yoga. In fact, I’d say the problem isn’t yoga, but yogi. Not yogi as in associated with a religious practice, but the fact that the word is thrown around a lot on social media. It’s in hashtags such as #yogilife, and a lot […]

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Religion Profiles – Hinduism: Tejasvi Desai

For Tejasvi Desai, being a Hindu student is as much about personal and cultural meaning as it is about following rules. “I think I’m more culturally inclined when it comes to religion. I have my beliefs in Hinduism and I follow most of the rituals, but it’s more of a family thing to do.” Desai says many Hindus don’t really have daily observances, or “pujas,” that they follow anymore. “All that really doesn’t happen any more, it’s just there are these festivals, or there are these special occasions,” Desai says. “On those days that you actually dress up and have that special kind of food and go out with your family and pray. It’s not something you do on a […]

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