Take 30 minutes a week to manage stress with this online series

A person in meditation pose

A half hour, once a week, is all you need to learn techniques and practices that will help in managing stress, which we all encounter in our daily lives – especially during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Professor Harvey Skinner
Harvey Skinner

Faculty of Health Professor Harvey Skinner will teach how simple Qi Gong practices can empower us to care for our health and well-being during the 10-week series Stress Busting: 30 Minutes of Magical Practices beginning Jan. 17.

In 2020, students in Skinner’s Global Mental Health fourth-year undergraduate course found Qi Gong and mindfulness practices very helpful for calming down and managing stress, and, at the end of the course they raised a challenge for him: to open the practice to everyone at York.

Skinner previously ran a series of ‘Stress Busting’ practices delivered online via Zoom. Each 30-minute session features Qi Gong, which combines the calming and insight benefits of a meditation session, the flexibility and balance of a yoga class, and the strength and endurance building of a bodywork routine.

For Winter 2022, the initiative has been expanded to run over 10 weeks starting Jan. 17 from 12 to 12:30 p.m. and running until March 24 with three programs:

  • Qi Gong Mind-Body Movement Practices (Mondays and Thursdays) – a typical 30-minute session involves breath work, energizing movements, purging exercises, flowing movements and meditation. This program is led by Skinner and each session is followed by an optional Q-and-A discussion. It runs Jan. 17 to March 24. Register here.
  • Mindfulness Meditation Practices (Tuesdays) – a typical 30-minute session involves mindfulness of breath, awareness of body sensations, loving-kindness and self-compassion practices, RAIN meditation for strong emotions. This program is led by Susan Harris and each session is followed by an optional Q-and-A discussion. It runs Jan. 18 to March 22. Register here.

These programs are offered for free to the York University community. Details about the series and registration are available from the Stress Busting website or by contacting Skinner directly by email at harvey.skinner@yorku.ca.

Skinner is a professor of psychology and global health and was founding dean (2006-16) of the Faculty of Health. His daily wellness routine includes: Qi Gong energy and movement practices, mindfulness meditation and body work exercises.