Learning to Let Go: Jai Guru Deva Om brings relaxation and mindfulness to Battle


Emily Adams, Newspaper Editor

Senior Leslie Ramirez, like most students, was hit hard this semester by the stress of life. One day, as she was sitting in Mr. Soden’s world religion class, she heard the song “Across the Universe” by the Beatles and found inspiration for a novel idea. In October she began the painstaking process of making her idea a reality. Finally, this month, she achieved her goal. Students in World Religions and the EEE program were invited to attend Battle’s first relaxation day called Jai Guru Deva Om on April twentieth.

The event began as students arrived and were divided into groups to take individual classes on how to reduce stress. As students filed into the PAC Ramirez explained the purpose of the day and it’s correlation with her EEE class. She explained that by learning problem solving and strategic planning in Mr. Leuchtmann’s classes she was able to launch the event schoolwide.

“I am enrolled in advanced seminars and investigative problem solving through EEE. This class allowed me to work and develop my idea that exists through problem solving and engineering” said Ramirez, who also explained the deeper meaning of helping stressed out students.

“They may have access to counselors and therapy, but don’t receive the help they need all the time. It’s important for students to learn how to destress on their own” she said.

Throughout the day students visited four different workshops on relaxation. Workshops included Puppies with Purpose, meditation, a talk on happiness, and yoga. Students played with therapy dogs from Puppies with Purpose to explore the benefits of having a pet. In meditation class students practiced mindfulness with Dr. Joseph McCormack and later listened to a happiness talk by Virginia Intelisano. Students also got to stretch out and destress with guided yoga from Liz Klug.

Later in the day students were treated to hot box cookies and pizza and had the option to buy t-shirts. In order to line up guest speakers from across the state, Ramirez enlisted the help of her World Religions teacher Mr. Soden.

Soden believed the event to be important because “we live in a society that values speed and being busy. Leslie’s event is awesome because students get to slow down and appreciate being alive.”

“We live in this hamster wheel, almost peer pressured into being so busy” he said.

Along this same line of improving mental health Soden believes Jai Guru Deva Om had a positive impact on the student body.

“Overall the day seemed to go very well and I am very happy. I see the students wearing shirts, and they took a risk doing things like yoga and meditating that leaves people vulnerable, and I was impressed with the level of willingness.”

Ramirez shared Sodens feelings of accomplishment and was happy to see everyone enjoy the fruit of her hard work and dedication.