By: Sydney Charles
The SKY Campus Happiness Program occurred in the Student Center at UCI from Jan. 24-27. Hosted by the Sky Meditation Club at UCI, the immersive 16-hour event was “an innovative and experiential life-skills training and self-development program for college students,” according to the program’s scholarship application.
Kasia Fraser, who has been an instructor for the program for 14 years, explained that for the past 35 years the SKY Campus Happiness Program has traveled around the world exposing over 175 countries to a different array of stress-relieving techniques. More than 40 universities in the U.S have participated in this international program.
This year is the first time UCI has participated.
Fraser said that the games and exercises practiced during the program bring a sense of “relief and relaxation for students,” as well as teach participants how to “effortlessly let go of stress through breathing and meditation.”
Another instructor of the program, Neha Arora, explained that one of the main focuses of the program is centered around a breathing technique called “SKY,” otherwise known as Sudarshan Kriya Yoga.
“Sudarshan Kriya Yoga is a rhythmic breathing technique that pulls out all the toxins and all the stress from the body, so that you naturally feel, maybe relaxed and comforted,” Arora said.
Eanna Sierra, who participated in the program, stated that her favorite part of the weekend was having such an intimate experience with others from diverse backgrounds.
“I think my favorite part is being able to connect to people from all roots on campus, from different apartments and from different majors, but at the same time we’re doing the same exact thing which is so inspiring,” Sierra said.
Khushi Valia, another student who partook in the program, expressed her eagerness to participate in it again due to the valuable life lessons she took away.
“They had a lot of talks,” she explained. “For every activity we do, they explain the reason behind it and what you can gain out of it. I think that brings you to a greater understanding of what you are doing yourself, and so you try to think of that in everything that you do on a day-to-day basis.”
For students interested in the program, the SKY Meditation Club at UCI offers regular meditations at the university.