Mindfulness, Self-Awareness & Meditation: Applications to Student Life and Well-Being

a Discovery Core Experience

This course may be taken as either a BCORE 107 (Social Sciences) or as a BCORE 104 (Arts & Humanities) course. It also fulfills the DIVERSITY graduation requirement.

About This Course

I want to demystify mindfulness, meditation, breathwork, and the modalities that can help us stay grounded in our day-to-day lives.  Often these techniques have a flavor of privilege and that peace only happens sitting on a rock gazing gratefully at the sunset.  Or that if you are “good at meditation,” you will never be stressed, never cuss out the driver going 50 mph in the left lane, or never feel ungrateful.  You may already know this, but none of those things are true.  The difference is noticing.  What I want to work on in this class is what it takes to develop self-awareness, what the barriers and challenges are and why we resist it, and how self-awareness is critical no matter your major, your career pursuits, or your age.  As part of this work, we will experiment with techniques like mindfulness, meditation, and breathwork, and we will also incorporate art, movement, and whatever else gets you noticing how you show up in your life. 

Why Should I Take This Course?

Starting off at college is a huge transition and can be a double-edged sword.  Sometimes these transitions are exciting: new friends, choosing what you want to learn, more freedom, and possibly an opportunity to start all over again. Sometimes these transitions are also scary: new people, instructor expectations, financial responsibilities and guilt, and feeling more burdened as an adult.  Regardless of your major, career pursuits, or age, being able to notice where you are and being able to center and ground yourself is priceless.  And, as it turns out, life has no shortage of transitions, stresses, and new adventures, so the self-awareness and skills you walk out of class with are yours to keep for life.

But How Will We Learn Together?

We will do a little bit of everything in this class: reading, talking, moving, breathing.  I want this class to be as multi-dimensional as your lives.  My request to you is that you bring your curiosity, your willingness to experiment, some silliness, and an interest in building a skill set to support your well-being. At times we will work in groups, sometimes we will work on our own, and at the end of the course (in collaboration with another class looking at mental health) we will curate our own Art Show. While the work of getting to know yourself better is serious, our approach to it doesn’t need to be. 

Some Activities May Include:

  • Meditation, breathwork, and body scans
  • Physical movement, (i.e., walking groups)
  • Reflective writing and discussion
  • Scavenger Hunts
  • Photo essays
  • Final Art Show

Dr. Sunita Iyer (she/her/hers)

School of Nursing & Health Studies

About Dr. Iyer

I have been an undergraduate, graduate, and doctoral level educator since 2008 and joined the School of Nursing & Health Studies at UW Bothell in 2016. Teaching is something I really do love to do, learn about, and experiment with, and I love to weave my clinical brain into my classrooms and teaching.  My background and primary professional interest is in perinatal and pediatric health, having started in Boston, MA and working in the public health sector. I spent 15 years as the founding Clinical Director of an integrative clinic in Kenmore, WA that still serves as a teaching clinic for students in a variety of medical and healthcare training programs, as well as a site for an accredited 2-year residency program. These days, I am fully engaged in teaching, being a parent and other-cool-adult to middle schoolers, and being really physically active.  I look forward to seeing you in class!


  • Bastyr University Kenmore, WA, Doctorate of Naturopathic Medicine; Certificate of Midwifery
  • University of Chicago Chicago, IL, BA with Honors, Anthropology and Ethnolinguistics