The topic of physical health have become really popular last years, but what about mental health?
For 10 days 25 youngsters from Romania, Latvia, Macedonia, Czech Republic and Croatia met up for the Erasmus plus Youth Exchange “reMind” in Vrchlabi, Czech Republic, from 13 – 22 June 2018, to understand what mental and physical health is. They practiced many different kinds of activities, like yoga, meditation, hiking, tai-chi, visualization, team building activities, creative craft works and many more.
During our Youth Exchange we did a day long 12km hike in the national park Krkonoše, enjoying nature, getting to know each other better, playing games and even picking forest fruits. At the end we finished the hike with a walking meditation back to our venue.
Practicing yoga and meditation can help you to calm down and clear your mind, and put everything into perspective. Sitting meditation is like returning home to give full attention to and care for our self. We sit upright with dignity, and return to our breathing. We bring our full attention to what is within and around us. We let our mind become spacious and our heart soft and kind. We are with whatever is there without being carried away by it. Let it come, let it stay, then let it go. No need to push, to oppress, or to pretend our thoughts are not there. Observe the thoughts and images of our mind with an accepting and loving eye. We are free to be still and calm despite the storms that might arise in us.
Another great way to deal with stress is doing arts and crafts. Our Erasmus+ Youth Exchange “reMind” provided the space and atmosphere to the participants to express themselves in many different ways: painting mandalas, creating their diaries, creating a “galaxy in a jar”, stress release ball, friendship bracelets and a lot of freestyle creative outcomes.
One very special workshop we had was the Djembe drumming session, led by JAN VORLÍČEK who has been playing the djembe drums for over 20 years. During the session we tried different ways of playing the drums, different beats and different combinations of beats with the whole group. It was a very special experience for all of us that boosted the group cohesion and energy flow!
These are just some of the workshops that the participants experienced on the YE “reMind”, through which they strengthened their body and mind and made great, long lasting new friendships.
Impressions from participants:
This project and being in nature made me question why people even decided to start living in cities!
These several days have been the least stressful days of my life
Kitty (Czech Republic)
I have learned not to think so much about what people think about me.
Vendula (Czech Republic)
This was the best experience of my life! I have met so many people here and we are all friends now. The activities were great and I loved the positive energy here. The organizers were also extremely kind!
This was my first project and I did not expect it to be like this! All these friendships, all that we have learned and how creative it was – it was really outstanding.
People here are very open, they don’t fear the future, they are just free. I feel like myself and I am myself here.
This project made me think about myself more, about my past and my future. I changed my mind about what is healthy for me and when I go home I will change some of the habits regarding my mind. I will try to make healthier decisions for myself from now on. Also, the people around me are really inspiring. I will go home with a lot of positivity.