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A spirit that is not afraid

School of Kinesiology offers mindfulness sessions to the campus community

The School of Kinesiology is offering free mindfulness sessions to members of the Auburn community this semester. Located in Room 156 in the Kinesiology building, these sessions, offered at 4 p.m. every Tuesday and Thursday, are open to students, faculty and staff. 

Reita Clanton, coordinator of performance and health optimization center, leads the sessions with graduate students Ford Dyke and Sarah Gascon. Clanton said they don’t try to define mindfulness because it can have different meanings for each person that comes to the sessions.

“Everybody is on that individual journey,” Clanton said. “It’s whatever resonates most with you, and then you just take that to build a practice of awareness that helps enhance your life.”

Clanton said they start with body awareness in the sessions because the most basic form of stress comes from not having your physiological needs met.

“Most people come because life is stressful,” Clanton said. “We offer practices to help come into alignment with all of those aspects of self and then tools for recovery.”

Dyke, graduate student in kinesiology, said he has worked with Clanton for almost 10 semesters and teaches a stress reduction course with her. He said the sessions developed because there was a need for mindfulness sessions on campus.

“(The sessions) developed by way of our experiences together, with community outreach and whatnot,” Dyke said. “There was ... a need for it so we came together, developed a free session open to the Auburn Family.”

In these sessions, Clanton said they focus on the five pillars, which are breathing, exercise, sleep, nutrition and hydration. Dyke calls this trying to achieve and maintain ideal performance state. As human beings we are performers every day when our feet hit the floor from the bed, according to Clanton.

“Through that awareness of our physical body and how it’s feeling and how it’s performing, then we can go into more of how am I feeling mentally [or] how am I feeling emotionally,” Clanton said.

Dyke said the biggest aspect for himself and Clanton is to cultivate awareness for mindfulness in individuals.

“We always mention that mindfulness is really the mortar to it all,” Dyke said. “You can apply it to anything in your life, whether you’re a 5-year-old or a retiree.”

Dyke said they provide individuals with techniques and make suggestions but do not try to change anything in their lives.

“As a student, it’s imperative to eat right, to hydrate properly, to sleep properly, to move or in other words exercise and to pay attention to your breath,” Dyke said. “It’s a stressful environment, being in school, so it’s directly applicable to students. But that being said, that’s not to negate anyone else.” 

For more information about the sessions or questions, contact Kristin Roberts at

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