Writing, Movement and Mindfulness

Sritama Chatterjee
2 min readJan 25, 2023


As I reflect tonight on how my pedagogy has changed over the years, it strikes me that as a teacher who takes care in teaching writing and literature to students, I am more intentional about creating mindfulness exercises in classes. I am no expert in meditation and perhaps I am using the word mindfulness somewhat loosely here, but I find mindfulness as a way to invite students to being grounded.

For instance, students often come to class after traveling a lot through rain, snow and sun and they might need the first few minutes of the class to reorient themselves to the classroom. Or they have been constantly switching their brains to attend classes on a wide variety of subjects. Students are human beings and as instructors we need to give them the time to gather themselves and be present in the classroom.

So as a teacher , I try not to immediately launch into the plan of the day. Instead I ask how their energy levels are today, sometimes it include a 2 minute breath work or even a free-writing prompt that gives opportunity to students to refresh their memory about the concepts or readings for today.

It does take a little of the class time but I find it valuable to give students this time because I have found that it increases the engagement level of student .

As a feminist scholar, this is one of the ways in which I acknowledge the importance of embodied learning in the classroom. This might be a small step but one that I find important.

Why do I write and think about this now ?

I spend a substantial part of my day writing on the Indian Ocean. For the last one week, I have only been writing about a specific ship and it’s implications for understanding narrative aesthetics of Chagos. I am also training in a movement form called Waacking and I practice at nights. I find it challenging to make the mental shift from writing about boats to practicing an intense dance form. So I need to have a transition time between my writing and my dance. Setting the mood, putting on some music , cleaning up the bed — - rituals that help me to be mindful and intentional about my dance practice.

I would be curious to hear if you have similar strategies or other mindfulness exercises that you practice in the classroom.