Students Embrace Mindfulness


Seniors Sophia Panarese and Savannah Harris relax on their mats after guided breathing exercises.

Aidan Johnson, Editor in Chief

From athletics to academics, and even navigating complex social lives, honor societies, clubs, and so on, students face a plethora of responsibilities that may cause them to feel overwhelmed. Finding the right space to refocus and unwind amidst increasingly busy schedules is no easy task, which is why Mrs. Lorie Wacaster has started teaching Mindfulness and Personal Growth during the 2022-2023 school year.

“Our mindfulness class is a space in the day where students can come in and learn mindfulness techniques. And these techniques are to allow us to have a tool when we get overwhelmed by the world and all of the chatter that surrounds us all the time. Sometimes we need to know how to process that. And I think all of us, not just teenagers, sometimes define ourselves or let others define us, rather than focusing on our wants, our desires,” Wacaster said.

Mindfulness is a practice that centers around finding inner peace through mentally and physically calming tasks. In the class, Wacaster teaches breathing exercises, meditation techniques, light stretching, and even coloring meditation. Students each have their own “personal space” in the classroom, their designated area of relaxation,  and a yoga mat for stretching, sitting, or laying on. 

The class is unique in that Wacaster, who primarily teaches in the fine arts department for orchestra and choir, is teaching a course that falls under the physical education department. Wacaster decided to teach the course after her experiences leading Holy Trinity’s Diversity Council. 

“Just sitting there listening to people talk about their experiences as a teenager in school, talking to some of my other students and just COVID has thrown us all for a loop. The world is just not like it was before your pre-COVID. One day, and on the way out, I was with Mrs. Ramos and I looked at her and I said, we need a class that just works on [mindfulness]. And she said absolutely. Would you teach it?”

Wacaster also hopes to make mindfulness lessons more accessible to the school, suggesting that, perhaps during Holy Trinity’s new Wellness Breakouts this year, she will be able to lead workshops.