Imagine the atmosphere of a high school knee-deep in exam season. Students are hunched over laptops, cafeteria tables, and even whiteboards, all seeming to hang onto the last few weeks of school. Going for a run? Spending time with classmates? Eating something besides a go-to bag of chips? It becomes far too easy to neglect all of that when your next chemistry final is the next morning.

Through our project event, Cookie Yoga, students could relax and take a breather amidst all their stress. Our project, Cookie Yoga, was our way of disrupting this atmosphere. During our school’s personal learning time (PLT), students joined us in the school gym for a free, instructed yoga session with healthy snacks and beverages. Students of all grades and ages participated in beginner-friendly poses and exercises.

My friend Samiksha and I decided to end the neglect of self-care that is so normalized at our school– we founded our school’s first mental health awareness and self-care club, called Cookie Care Club. We decided to take the comforting and cozy idea of cookies and tie it with our self-care-inspired club. By providing a safe space for over 60 students of all grades to embrace and communicate self-care, we can strengthen our school community and mindset. And finally, as it was the end of the school year, we wanted to remind students of the importance of self-care with our final event, Cookie Yoga.

Our idea for Cookie Yoga included input from members all across our club. We first brainstormed ideas for an end-of-the-year activity. Some of the members suggested doing yoga, as it ties in with physical and mental well-being. We had yoga mats at school and a gym, and we only needed funding for an instructor and food. We loved this idea, and it took a lot of coordinating with our club executive team, teachers, and club members to set everything up. We had volunteers create promotional posters, we booked the gym, and we contacted a local yoga instructor. One of the hardest aspects of this event was planning out all the materials. We had a lot of food to buy.

On the day of the event, the set-up was chaotic and stressful. We had to find tables to lay out the food and there was a mix-up in the gym where equipment from a sport was not put away. But we managed to take everything down in time and set up the mats for the instructor. Our instructor was wonderful- she navigated us through a relaxing and easy-going session where we could stretch and calm ourselves in a quiet area. Many students said it was peaceful to be able to take care of themselves physically after long hours of studying.

We are forever grateful to NSG for providing us with the funds and making our project possible. Our cozy corner of a yoga session, tucked away in the school’s gym, was the safe space that students needed during exam season.

“This was the first yoga event Cookie Care has held, it was a great success and we are thankful to all of the volunteers, members, and especially to our sponsor and yoga instructor. Cookie Care Club can’t wait to hold more events like this in the future!”

Samiksha Sah, my co-project leader and the Cookie Care Club Co-president.

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