There’s No Place Like “Om”
“Ten minutes a day can transform your life,” said Professor Leah Christensen as she welcomed students, faculty and staff to the First Fabulous Friday session. “That’s my Mantra.”
And Professor Christensen, who is also TJSL’s Assistant Dean of Academic Success and Bar Preparation, hopes it will become every law student’s mantra by teaching them yoga, relaxation and meditation techniques.
“We want you to incorporate balance into your law school studies,” said Dean Christensen. “We want to teach you to control your emotions so you can sleep better, feel better and perform better. We don’t want you to go through half of your career before you get these skills – we want you to have them now.”
The first session was really an introduction to the types of techniques they will learn. The facilitator was Tammy Moretti, who is a yoga teacher and health coach. She works with groups of attorneys who belong to the Lawyers Club of San Diego. She knows how stressful the legal profession can be and how it can throw their lives out of balance.
“These tools can help lead you to an amazing career, without sacrificing your health or your relationships,” she told the group.
Moretti began by asking students to express what the practice of yoga is. Some answers: “Relaxation,” “Inner peace,” “Balance,” “It’s for flexible people.”
She also asked about their feelings about the up-coming mid-term exams, and many said they felt anxious, scared, unprepared and overwhelmed.
“It’s just a feeling,” Moretti said. “Tell yourself ‘I feel, not I am’ - that you feel anxious, not that you are anxious. Then it loses its power.”
“If you don’t learn to manage your emotions, you’re going to have trouble down the road.” She noted that studies have shown that 24 percent of people in the legal profession are alcoholic.
Moretti got the group to participate in a series of group exercises – breathing, calming and stretching exercises. They seemed to work well for everyone.
“These are simple exercises with big results,” Moretti said.
If you ask some of the people who attended what they thought of the First Fabulous Friday event, they think it was, well, fabulous!
“I love it,” said 3L Diana Malkin. “It’s great and I can’t wait to come back.”
“This sounded interesting,” said 2L Mike Klitzke. “I like the idea of not needing caffeine. This is a good idea.”
Professor Jennifer Cooper, who is part of the Academic Support Team, says she does yoga regularly because it helps her to filter out daily annoyances, allowing her to focus on what’s important.
“It’s really great,” she said of the class. “It’s really timely because students are starting to get anxious over mid-terms.”
Professor Christensen announced that the next Fabulous Friday will be on October 5 on the 8th floor, where there’s plenty of room to spread the yoga mats she will provide.
“Our goal is to have a little bit of fun and to feel better,” she said.
Again, take a deep breath. Hold it. Now let it out. Do you feel better?