We offer courses on Koru Mindfulness to our students and residents/fellows. Dr. Holly Rogers, a psychiatrist from the Duke University Student Counseling Center, and her colleague developed and tested a modified Mindfulness program called Koru Mindfulness specifically targeted to “emerging adults”. Although this course evolved targeting college-age students, it is beneficial to other age groups. The Koru Mindfulness Program includes a 4 week Basic Koru Mindfulness course; an advanced 4 week Koru 2.0 course for those who completed the basic course, and a half-day Koru Silent Retreat. The Koru Mindfulness Program has become very popular and is being widely used in many college campuses in the US.
We also offer the Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction Program (MBSR) which is considered to be the gold standard for a Mindfulness program with strong scientific evidence of efficacy developed by Jon Kabat-Zinn at the University of Massachusetts nearly four decades ago. It is an 8-week class-based program where participants meet once a week for 2.5 hours and participate in an 8-hour retreat at the halfway point. Participants are encouraged to practice 45 minutes daily at home and complete assigned homework.
Basic Koru Mindfulness
The Basic Koru Mindfulness course lasts 4 weeks with a class size of 4-14 students. There is a 75-minute session each week where class participants are taught Mindfulness skills and participate in group discussions. Skills taught include Breath Meditation, Belly Breathing, Dynamic Breathing, Body Scan, Walking Meditation, Gatha, Guided Imagery, Labeling of Thoughts, Eating Meditation, and Labelling of Feelings. The required text for this course is “The Mindful Twenty-Something” by Holly Rogers, M.D.. An eBook version of this is available for access through the UAMS Library.
Participants are expected to practice Mindfulness meditation for at least 10 minutes a day. Koru Mindfulness has an app (free for UAMS participants) that students download to register for a course, use it for a guided meditation to practice skills, enter a daily log of their practice, and communicate with the instructor.
Koru Mindfulness 2.0
Koru Mindfulness 2.0 is an advanced class for participants who have completed the Basic Koru Mindfulness course. This is also a 4-week course, where classes are taught in 75-minute sessions per week. Koru 2.0 builds on the skills developed in Koru Basic and provides an opportunity for students to further their practice and deepen their skills. The required reading for the class is “Real Happiness” by Sharon Salzberg. An eBook version of this will be available for access in the UAMS Library.
Being an advanced course, participants are expected to practice daily meditation for at least 15-20 minutes. A short, chair yoga series is incorporated into each class to encourage participants to incorporate awareness of movement and body sensations into their mindfulness practice. Loving-kindness meditation is introduced during Koru 2.0. The third class will have a 75 minute “silent retreat” to give participants practice with silence and more intense practice.
Koru Silent Retreat
The Koru Silent Retreat is a half-day program where the focus is on practicing various Mindfulness Meditation skills mentioned above, including a series of chair yoga, in silence. It is open to any individual who is interested in Koru.
For more about Koru Mindfulness, visit https://korumindfulness.org/