COLLEGE
10/30/2015 03:53 pm ET Updated Dec 28, 2016

UVA Uses Yoga, Meditation To Help Students Fight Stress

Reading, writing, rhythmic breathing.

Starting college can make you stressed, exhausted, and overwhelmed -- and that's not just in the classroom. 

The Contemplative Science Center at the University of Virginia is combating those freshman year symptoms with three wellness dorms, dedicated to mindfulness, stress management, and well-being.  

David Germano, Professor of Tibetan and Buddhist Studies and director of the Contemplative Sciences Center at UVA, said they are piloting programs that would bring yoga right into the residence.

"The students can just say, 'Ok, I'm going to take some time off and just devote it to myself,'" he said.

The dorms are implementing these programs to help facilitate student wellness, improve performance in the classroom, and spur creativity. Germano hopes that eventually every residence, including Greek housing, will get on board. 

For now, the center is offering retreats -- off-campus activities that take students out of their ordinary environment to focus on personal development. 

Watch the video above to hear more about how Germano hopes to help students manage anxiety and develop resilience on campus, as he explains the wellness programs to Sonia Jones, the co-founder of Sonima Foundation and Sonima Wellness. The Sonima Foundation offers health and wellness programs to students across 89 schools in California, Florida, New York and Texas.

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    <strong>Course Title:</strong>&nbsp;<a href="http://www.brown.edu/academics/religious-studies/COURSES/detail?term=201520&amp;
    Course Title: Philosophy of Mysticism

    School's Description Of Course: Covers important attempts to understand the nature of religious experiences and mysticism. We will look at several philosophical issues surrounding religious experience, including: (a) whether mystical experiences are too private for outsiders to understand or evaluate them; (b) what the relationship between religious experiences, language, and culture is; (c) whether religious experiences justify religious beliefs; and (d) how gender and religious experiences are related. We will treat theorists from various perspectives, including philosophical, historical, theological, psychoanalytic and neuroscientific.
  • Vassar College
    <strong>Course Title:</strong> <a href="http://catalog.vassar.edu/preview_course_nopop.php?catoid=6&amp;coid=30553">An Examin
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    School's Description Of Course: What is a good life? How do we understand dying and death? Does God exist? Is there evil? Why do we suffer? How do we love? What’s the proper way to treat one’s neighbor? This class will explore the variety of ways that religious thinkers have responded to these ancient, persistent, and troubling questions about the nature of human existence. Our focus will be on philosophical texts, however we will also consider filmic representations of these problems.
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    <strong>Course Title:</strong>&nbsp;<a href="http://collegecatalog.uchicago.edu/thecollege/religiousstudies/#courseinventory"
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    Course Title: Interpretations of Myth

    School's Description Of Course: Mythic narratives figure prominently in virtually all religions and depending on one's definition, in much historical, political, and cultural discourse as well. Given the ubiquity of myths, the fascination they exercise, and the privileged position they often enjoy, mythic discourse has received much critical attention, and a wide range of theories have been advanced, treating myths as true stories, false stories, sacred stories, disease of language, means of revelation, the origin of philosophy and poetry alike, second order semiosis and ideology in narrative form. This course will survey some of the most influential theories and test them against a wide range of myths drawn from various cultures, religions and historic eras.
  • University of Southern California
    <strong>Course Title:</strong>&nbsp;<a href="https://dornsife.usc.edu/anth/courses/">Body, Mind And Healing</a><br><br><stron
    Jupiterimages via Getty Images
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    School's Description Of Course: The body, illness and healing from a cultural perspective, including comparative studies of folk healing systems, curing rituals and Western biomedical practices.
  • Harvard University
    <strong>Course Title:</strong>&nbsp;<a href="http://philosophy.fas.harvard.edu/current-courses">Well-Being</a><br><br><strong
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    Course Title: Well-Being

    School's Description Of Course: What makes someone's life go well? Is it pleasure, desire satisfaction or something else? How should questions of well-being bear on one's reasoning about what to do, and on one's relations with other people? Can you assess your well-being by evaluating parts of your life individually, or does it depend on the shape of your life as a whole? Readings will include work by Richard Kraut, Derek Parfit, T. M. Scanlon, J. David Velleman and Susan Wolf, among others.
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    Course Title: Sacred Journeys

    School's Description Of Course: An introduction to the comparative study of religion through the theme of the sacred journey/religious quest in Buddhist, Christian, Hindu and popular literature. Topics include heroic, romantic and/or mystical quests; voyages to the underworld; apocalyptic and post-apocalyptic journeys.
  • University of Chicago
    <strong>Course Title:&nbsp;</strong><a href="http://collegecatalog.uchicago.edu/thecollege/religiousstudies/#courseinventory"
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    School's Description Of Course: Thinking about the nature of wisdom goes back to the Greek philosophers and the classical religious sages, but the concept of wisdom has changed in many ways over the history of thought. While wisdom has received less scholarly attention in modern times, it has recently re-emerged in popular discourse with a growing recognition of its potential importance for addressing complex issues in many domains. But what is wisdom? It’s often used with a meaning more akin to "smart" or "clever." Is it just vast knowledge? This course will examine the nature of wisdom -- how it has been defined, how its meaning has changed, and what its essential components might be. We will examine how current psychological theories conceptualize wisdom and consider whether, and how, wisdom can be studied scientifically; that is, can wisdom be measured and experimentally manipulated to illuminate its underlying mechanisms and understand its functions? Finally, we will explore how concepts of wisdom can be applied in business, education, medicine, the law, and in the course of our everyday lives. Readings will be drawn from a wide array of disciplines including philosophy, classics, history, psychology, behavioral economics, medicine and public policy.
  • Brown University
    <strong>Course Title:</strong>&nbsp;<a href="https://selfservice.brown.edu/ss/bwckctlg.p_disp_course_detail?cat_term_in=20141
    Course Title: Religion Gone Wild: Spirituality and the Environment

    School's Description Of Course: A study of the dynamic relation between religion and nature. Religion, in this course, includes forms of spirituality within and outside the bounds of conventional religious traditions (for example, Buddhism and Christianity, on the one hand; ecofeminism and nature writing on the other). Topics in this study of religion, philosophy and ecology will include environmental justice, environmental degradation, and depictions of humans in relation to the natural world.
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    <strong>Course Title:</strong>&nbsp;<a href="http://www.nyu.edu/gsas/dept/philo/courses/Fall%202015%20UG%20Course%20Descripti
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    School's Description Of Course: An introduction to philosophy through the study of issues bearing on life and death. Topics may include the definition and value of life; grounds for creating, preserving, and taking life; personal identity; ideas of death and immortality; abortion and euthanasia. Gives training in philosophical argument and writing.
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    <strong>Course Title:</strong>&nbsp;<a href="http://catalog.oberlin.edu/search_advanced.php?cur_cat_oid=35&amp;search_databas
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    Wikipedia
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    <strong>Course Title:</strong>&nbsp;<a href="https://registrar.princeton.edu/course-offerings/course_details.xml?courseid=010
    chrisbradshaw
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  • University of Southern California
    <strong>Course Title:</strong>&nbsp;<a href="http://www-bcf.usc.edu/~kleinsch/PhysicalWorld.html">The Physical World And&nbsp
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    <strong>Course Title:</strong>&nbsp;<a href="http://www.registrar.fas.harvard.edu/courses-exams/courses-instruction/culture-a
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    Course Title: Human Being And The Sacred In The History Of The West

    School's Description Of Course: A culture's understanding of what it is to be human interacts with its understanding of what is sacred. Great works of art in the culture typically reflect or articulate these notions. This course will explore the themes of human being and the sacred as they are manifested in some of the greatest works in the history of the West. Readings chosen from among Homer, Aeschylus, Virgil, the New Testament, Augustine, Dante, Luther, Pascal, Kant, Melville and others.
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    <strong>Course Title:</strong>&nbsp;<a href="http://catalog.claremontmckenna.edu/preview_entity.php?catoid=10&amp;ent_oid=536
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  • Vassar College
    <strong>Course Title:</strong>&nbsp;<a href="http://catalog.vassar.edu/preview_course_nopop.php?catoid=6&amp;coid=30877">Inne
    Course Title: Inner Paths: Religion and Contemplative Consciousness

    School's Description Of Course: The academic study of religion spends a lot of time examining religion as a social and cultural phenomenon. This course takes a different approach. Instead of looking at religion extrinsically (through history, philosophy, sociology, scriptural study, etc.) “Inner Paths” looks at the religious experience itself, as seen through the eyes of saints and mystics from a variety of the world’s religious traditions. By listening to and reflecting upon “mystic” and contemplative narratives from adepts of Jewish, Christian, Islamic, Hindu, Daoist and other traditions we learn to appreciate the commonalities, differences, and nuances of various “inner paths.” Readings include John of the Cross, Theresa of Avila, Rabbi Akiba, Rumi, Thich Nhat Hanh, Ramakrishna and Mirabai.
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    <strong>Course Title:</strong>&nbsp;<a href="http://philosophy.yale.edu/undergraduate-program/undergraduate-courses-2015-2016
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    Course Title: Infinity

    School's Description Of Course: The idea of infinity. Traditional and contemporary versions of the paradoxes of space, time, and motion, as well as the paradoxes of classes, chances and truth. Some elementary arithmetic, geometry, probability theory and set theory.
  • Indiana University
    <strong>Course Title:</strong>&nbsp;<a href="http://www.indiana.edu/~iubhonor/courses/FALL13/FALL13.php#empathy">An Interdisc
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    Course Title: An Interdisciplinary History of Empathy

    School's Description Of Course: Our working definition of empathy is the feeling of other people’s feelings. As we study the history of this idea from ancient Greece to the present, we will investigate and complicate that definition. From President Obama, who named empathy a valuable trait in a Supreme Court justice, to an audience at a pole vaulting contest who lean in their seats as the pole vaulter curves over the bar, empathy is a central concept in government, athletics, art, science and the humanities. Empathy has a privileged seat at our human table, but how did it get there? What are its roots? What can the history of empathy tell us about the concept psychologically, socially and physically? Why is empathy such a pervasive and important idea in diverse cultures and disciplines? This course is an interdisciplinary study of the history of empathy. We follow expressions of the concept in philosophy, medicine, literature, psychology, art and aesthetics, social and behavioral science, education, psychotherapy and morality. Beginning with Greek theories of shared feeling as the basis of physical and social organization, we work our way to modern interpretations of empathy in aesthetic appreciation and criticism, attitude, cultural understanding, perspective-taking, human development, interpersonal relationship and neuroscience. Students will write three five-page papers, one on assigned topics, and two on topics of personal choice. All readings are primary documents, and include works of Hippocrates, Plato, Erasmus, Rabelais, Montaigne, Joshua Reynolds, Rousseau, David Hume, Adam Smith, Herder, Keats, Freud, Edith Stein, Charles Cooley and Carl Rogers, among others.
  • Pomona College
    <strong>Course Title:</strong>&nbsp;<a href="http://catalog.pomona.edu/content.php?filter%5B27%5D=-1&amp;filter%5B29%5D=&amp;
    Wikipedia
    Course Title: The Art of Living

    School's Description Of Course: Considers the possibility of a human life itself as a religious practice of aesthetic creativity. By tracking exemplars within the Western tradition in both art and theory, investigates the potential for living such a life successfully, the discipline required to do so and the hazards that it faces.
  • Colorado College
    <strong>Course Title:&nbsp;</strong><a href="https://www.coloradocollege.edu/academics/curriculum/detail.dot?courseid=RE203">
    Wikipedia
    Course Title: Religious Experience

    School's Description Of Course: The out-of-body journey of the shaman, a quiet act of prayer, the ecstasy of the Christian mystic, the enlightenment of the Buddhist monk, the reverie of the nature lover, 'speaking in tongues' among Christian charismatics -- these are examples of what many call 'religious experience' and regard as the very essence of religion. This course will examine primary texts that testify to the reality and power of religious experience in various traditions and will acquaint students with scholarly analyses of the claims of devotees and adepts.
  • Iowa State University
    <strong>Course Title:</strong>&nbsp;<a href="http://catalog.iastate.edu/azcourses/geron/">Death as a Part of Living</a><br><b
    Wikipedia
    Course Title: Death as a Part of Living

    School's Description Of Course: Consideration of death in the life span of the individual and the family with opportunity for exploration of personal and societal attitudes.
  • Emory University
    <strong>Course Title:</strong>&nbsp;<a href="http://atlas.college.emory.edu/fall2013/section/REL/REL358R-000.html">Religion A
    Wikipedia
    Course Title: Religion And Healing

    School's Description Of Course: Designed to explore the mind/body connection as a paradigm to understand religion and healing. Will examine the role of faith, ritual, prayer and meditation in various models of healing.
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    <strong>Course Title:</strong>&nbsp;<a href="https://registrar.princeton.edu/course-offerings/course_details.xml?courseid=004
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    Course Title: Musical Cultures of the World

    School's Description Of Course: Course explores aesthetic principles and social context underlying traditional and popular musics of various world regions, drawing examples from Spain, Cuba, Japan, Bali and India. Issues explored include conception of melody and rhythm in each culture; the impact of language, pedagogical methods, patronage systems, gender and ethnic or class identity have had on musical composition and performance; and the role of identity, migration, globalization, and politics in the development of genres.
  • Vanderbilt University
    <strong>Course Title:&nbsp;</strong><a href="http://as.vanderbilt.edu/philosophy/undergraduate/undergradcourses.php">The Mean
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  • University of San Diego
    <strong>Course Title:</strong>&nbsp;<a href="http://home.sandiego.edu/~komjathy/Homepage_of_Louis_Komjathy/Courses.html">Cont
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    Course Title: Contemplative Traditions 

    School's Description Of Course: Emphasizing peer-directed conversation, this course is a seminar on meditation and contemplative prayer from a historical contextualist, textual, comparative and experiential perspective. The course examines contemplative practice in various religious traditions through close textual analysis of important and representative texts.
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