Campus News

Koru Mindfulness Providing Improved Quality of Life for Students and Staff

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Feb. 19, 2021) — Better sleep, less stress, more self-compassion … all for free. Too good to be true? Not at all! 

Studies have shown that practicing mindfulness for as few as ten minutes daily can have myriad benefits and can improve one’s quality of life. The University of Kentucky is excited to offer the Koru Mindfulness program to students, faculty, and staff at no cost. 

Koru Mindfulness is an empirically tested mindfulness curriculum designed specifically to target the developmental needs and interests of young adults, though individuals of all ages can participate in and benefit from the program. Although there are several benefits from KORU, students often express happiness with seeing a reduction in anxiety and a deeper sense of relaxation.

When asked about the benefits of KORU, one student stated, “I often get overwhelmed and anxious over school, so through mindfulness I am learning to take everything one step at a time. I have found that doing deep breaths and focusing on that for a few seconds or minutes calms down any anxiety that I am experiencing.” 

KORU does not just benefit the participant while they are taking the class. Numerous students, faculty and staff members have found it incredibly beneficial in their daily life. When asked how they have utilized or adapted mindfulness approaches to their life two former KORU students said, “What I have learned from mindfulness practices this semester is to practice it when I feel stressed by taking 10 minutes to myself to not think. I also have been doing the breathing exercises when I get nervous for presentations and exams. I have really enjoyed learning these practices because now I have something to actually calm me and feel relaxed.”

“I have become extremely mindful in the world around me. I have started to notice the simple beauty’s around me. I am more mindful of my stress and knowing when I need to take a break or de-stress. I have become self-aware and realized there are times I need to focus on myself rather than other task that may not be as important.”

No experience with mindfulness or meditation is required, making it a perfect opportunity for those who may think that they are too restless, anxious, or stress-prone to meditate. Don’t worry — these are some of the very issues that this program was created to address! 

The course is composed of weekly 75-minute classes over four weeks. Students will be introduced to a variety of mindful practices and stress management skills, led by one of the 25 trained facilitators from UK’s faculty and staff. Courses are offered throughout the semester, most of which will be held via Zoom. Visit uky.edu/koru to view the full course listings and to register. Please note that Koru Mindfulness is not offered for course credit at this time. 

If you are faculty member and are interested in incorporating Koru into your course curriculum, please reach out to Ashley Hinton at Ashley.Hinton@uky.edu to submit a request. Demonstration, or even offering the full program within your course, are options.

The University of Kentucky is increasingly the first choice for students, faculty and staff to pursue their passions and their professional goals. In the last two years, Forbes has named UK among the best employers for diversity, and INSIGHT into Diversity recognized us as a Diversity Champion four years running. UK is ranked among the top 30 campuses in the nation for LGBTQ* inclusion and safety. UK has been judged a “Great College to Work for" three years in a row, and UK is among only 22 universities in the country on Forbes' list of "America's Best Employers."  We are ranked among the top 10 percent of public institutions for research expenditures — a tangible symbol of our breadth and depth as a university focused on discovery that changes lives and communities. And our patients know and appreciate the fact that UK HealthCare has been named the state’s top hospital for five straight years. Accolades and honors are great. But they are more important for what they represent: the idea that creating a community of belonging and commitment to excellence is how we honor our mission to be not simply the University of Kentucky, but the University for Kentucky.