Yale Health

Mindfulness & Meditation: Less Stress, Better Sleep, More Fulfillment

Stressed?  Trouble sleeping? Burnt out?
You've come to the right place!

Mindfulness is all the buzz these days, though the practice has been around for over 2,500 years -- and for good reason!  According to Jon Kabat-Zinn, the physician responsible for introducing mindfulness practices into Western medicine in the 1970's, mindfulness means "paying attention in a particular way: on purpose, in the present moment, and nonjudgmentally."  Mindfulness and meditation practices have been shown to decrease stress, improve sleep quality, increase compassion towards oneself and others, and improve overall well-being.

There are a number of ways to learn about and practice mindfulness at Yale.  Practice with others or on your own...


Practice with Others

1. Drop in with a weekly group (free, no registration required, beginners welcome)


2. Enroll in Koru Mindfulness 

  • Koru Mindfulness is a free four-week course designed to teach basic mindfulness and meditation skills to busy students, while allowing for in-depth practice and support. Classes meet once weekly for 75-minute sessions. Students are asked to practice just 10 minutes per day and read a companion text (only ~$13 on Amazon).

  • Courses can offered per residential college or department request.  If you're interested in hosting this course, please contact the Health Educator to discuss scheduling.  Courses hold ~15 students and require full attendance at each class.  For more information on the course, visit The Center for Koru Mindfulness

  • Courses and other workshops open to graduate students will be listed in the McDougal Graduate Student Life (GSL) weekly notes email, which you can sign up for here.

3. Attend an Introduction to Mindfulness ~1 hour workshop

  • Introduction to Mindfulness covers basic mindfulness and meditation practices for beginners.  If you're interested in hosting a workshop in your residential college or department, contact the Health Educator to schedule.

4. Join a half-day silent Koru Retreat

  • The Koru Retreat is a ~4 hour silent retreat that covers a number of mindfulness and meditation practices -- think of it as a mindfulness bootcamp!  Open to beginners and seasoned meditators alike. Information for spring retreat will be posted soon.

5. Get involved with the undergraduate student groups YMindful and YUMEI

6. If you're interested in the spiritual origins of meditation practice within Buddhism, check out Buddhist life at Yale through the Chaplain's Office.


Practice On Your Own

1. Meet with the Health Educator one-on-one at Yale Health to get personalized support and meditation instruction

2. Explore free guided meditations from the Center for Koru Mindfulness and the UCLA Mindful Awareness Research Center  (*the Health Educator recommends starting with the 3-minute body scan from UCLA!)

3. Refer to the stress-management page for specific mindfulness skills and other guided meditations

4. Download the Insight Timer app for guided meditations and to connect with other meditators

5. Listen to engaging, topic-specific talks on meditation practice from Dharma Seed

6. Pick up a good book:

 7. Use mindfulness training to help you quit smoking using the evidence-based Craving to Quit program.  Contact the Health Educator for free access to the program as a Yale student.