Flow Jam aims to tackle stress at Skidmore: Fight Club unveils a week of on campus workshops and lectures for wellness

Posted by Sarah Barry

Many students and faculty alike consider stress an inherent part of the college experience, with endless deadlines, workloads and commitments. However, Skidmore's Flow Jam was designed to remind students to step back from the daily struggle and focus on the moment.

Flow Jam consists of a week long series of events, lectures and workshops that promote strategies for energy and well being for the Skidmore community.

Monday marked the start of the campus' first Flow Jam, which will run until Feb. 26. Plans for the event started this October when Chris Lord '12 felt the Skidmore community could benefit from some new perspectives on health and wellness. "Throughout my Skidmore experience, I have seen many of my friends fall into a stressed out way of being," he said.

"Most choices they make are to fit into what they think they should be doing rather than what they are intrinsically motivated to do.  Flow Jam was created with the intention of helping students enjoy the present moment," Lord said.

Flow Jam events include yoga and meditation classes, Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and an access consciousness workshop with Barbra Gilman, a therapist, life coach and the founder of Stress Strategies for Life.

"As a liberal arts institution, it is expected that students have access to as many perspectives as possible. Flow Jam is meant to give students an opportunity to experience a multitude of wellness and healing practices," he said.

Lord worked with several other clubs, groups and individuals to realize the week of events such as Health Promotions, Religious and Spiritual Life and Fight Club. "There are many others who are in the fair on Monday and who are holding workshops throughout the week. Some are student clubs, some faculty, and other practitioners from the area. Almost no one is being paid," he stressed.

Lord found many willing participants for the event, but welcomed anyone who wanted to be involved. "I am open to anyone who wants to share their techniques for peach and happiness with others. It just worked out, all that I needed to do was trust."

One of the week's biggest events is a lecture by Dr. Brian Seaward who will speak on stress management at 7 p.m., Feb. 21 at in Ganett Auditorium. Dr. Seaward is an expert in the field of stress management and head of the Paramount Wellness Institute. The SGA Speakers Bureau supplied most of the money for his fee, $1500 including airfare. "I thought that because he is well respected in academia, his message for wellness might reach some more skeptical students" Lord said.

Flow Jam's mission is to help students reduce and manage stress and maintain wellness in daily life. Lord urged students to take an hour out of their schedules and try and attend any workshop or event.

"Everyone involved in this has given so much time and energy and is so passionate about this. It has been months of work, but if it helps even one person it's worth it" Lord said.

If the week goes well, Lord hopes someone will take up the challenge to continue the event next year. For more information and a full list of events visit the Facebook page.

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