Does Meditation Mean I’m Turning My Back On My Religion?

"Yael inspires me, how candidly she confesses to how it feels to be human: happiness juxtaposed with sadness, and a mix of emotions ranging from anxiety to jealousy and anger. She’s searching for answers, and prodding us to do the same. She shares fears about the complicated and stressful world we live in, collectively searching for coping mechanisms. She finds solace in contemplation, and invites all of us to take a special time for ourselves, focusing on our breath, allowing the thoughts that crowd our brains to rest for a little while. I have been yearning for, and finally found, spiritualism unconnected to a specific shul."

Originally published by Candy Shulman on Read the full story here.

10% Happier with Dan Harris Ep. #119: Yael Shy, Helping College Students Fight Stress and FOMO

Yael Shy, the author of "What Now? Meditation for Your Twenties and Beyond," says she came to meditation from "a lot of suffering" as a student at New York University in 2001 -- the same year the World Trade Center towers fell near her New York City dorm during the 9/11 terrorist attacks. Today, Shy helps college students tackle stress, anger and FOMO (fear of missing out) around academics, relationships, sex and social media in her role as the senior director of NYU Global Spiritual Life and the founder and director of MindfulNYU.

Originally published on January 24, 2018. Listen to the podcast here.

Not Another Anxiety Show Ep 113. Meditation and Anxiety with Yael Shy

Join Kelli and guest Yael Shy as they explore the topic of meditation and how it can help us move through anxiety. Do you get distracted when you meditate? Do you have trouble "clearing your mind" during a medication exercise? Does meditation feel too woo-woo or un-relatable? If yes, you're not alone! Kelli and Yael share how they're not "natural" meditators, and yet mediation has still been incredibly valuable to them. 

Published on January 1, 2018. Listen to the podcast here.

The Newish Jewish Podcast- Ep. 5 Meditation and this Generation with Yael Shy


Yael Shy is the founder and director of Mindful NYU and the senior director at NYU Global Spiritual Life. Growing up Jewish and being a student of Buddhist and Zen practices, Yael has become a bold leader in New York City, touching the lives of students every day from incredibly diverse cultural and religious backgrounds. Her new book is “What Now? Meditation For Your Twenties And Beyond.”

Listen to the podcast here

News You Can Use: How to Achieve Stress Relief Through Meditation

According to a study done by Yael Shy in her new book “What Now? Meditation for Your Twenties and Beyond,” stress has overtaken depression as the number one problem in students. In response to this, colleges are investing in new types of programs directly aimed at this problem.

Shy is actually the founder of MindfulNYU, the largest campus-wide meditation initiative in the country. UNR’s meditation rooms in the PSAC mirror the goals of this program on a smaller scale.

“Data shows that students who meditate experience less stress, greater well-being, and even higher GPA’s than their non-meditating counterparts,” Shy wrote in a press release.

In an interview Shy also spoke to why she believes meditation and mindfulness are so important to college-aged students. “This is usually a period of life when things are in flux and we are still figuring out who we are. Why do we form relationships in the way that we do? Why do we suffer in certain ways? How can we make a difference? Meditation can open up doors to understanding ourselves and give us the wisdom to understand the world at this time in life.”

Originally Published on November 7,  2017 on the Nevada Sagebrush by Emily Fisher.


#NoFilter Interview: Yael Shy, Author and Meditation Teacher

Yael Shy tackles mindfulness and meditation in a refreshing way that makes it accessible to a pretty frazzled demographic: young people living in New York City. I was so thrilled to learn more about her and snag some of her insights on how to start and maintain a meditation practice. And if you’re as into what she has to say as I am, you’ll definitely want to check out her new book: What Now? Meditation for Your Twenties and Beyond.

Originally Published on November 6,  2017 on by Alex Edwards.


The Next Generation of Meditation Teachers

These eight young meditation teachers are so gifted, bringing a unique integrity, open-heartedness and wisdom to their work, that they've already earned a strong following...

Yael Shy:

Why she’s wonderful: Twenty pages into reading an advanced copy of Shy’s new book (see below), I did something that I’ve never done before: I requested to write the foreword. It was an honor to be the opening act to a book this good. Shy is no stranger to high praise: In 2010, the Jewish Week newspaper named her one of the “36 Under 36” change-makers, transforming the Jewish world, largely at NYU where she is the senior director of the NYU Global Spiritual Life Center, and ‘Of Many’ Institute for Multifaith Leadership. She is also the founder and director of MindfulNYU, an award-winning, campus-wide initiative that hosts yoga, meditation, and large-scale events for students, faculty, and staff.

Lineage: She was raised Jewish, but has practiced and studied Zen from a young age.

A book of hers I’d recommend: What Now? Meditation for Your Twenties and Beyond (November 2017)

You would love her if: You want to explore Judaism, Zen, or both; she can speak to all of it in a way that makes these ancient traditions relevant for our modern world. Better yet, to see Yael is to know kindness. She just embodies it in her teaching style.

Originally Published on September 22, 2017 in Sonima

Retired Sen. Barbara Boxer to headline Jewish Book Festival

A longtime Democratic senator from California will be the November keynote speaker for this year's St. Louis Jewish Book Festival. 

Retired Sen. Barbara Boxer's memoir, "The Art of Tough," was published in June. She'll talk about her experiences Nov. 5 at the Jewish Community Center. A description of her book says, "raised in a Jewish, working-class neighborhood in Brooklyn, NY, Boxer was a journalist who decided she could make a difference and ran for local office in California, inspired to fight tooth and nail to help bring that American dream of 'a more perfect union' into fruition."

Before she first became a senator in 1993, she spent a decade in the U.S. House of Representatives.

The book festival, which is in its 39th year, will run from Nov. 5-19. 


Not every author has been announced for the November lineup, but those confirmed include Ellen Stern, who has written a biography of artist Al Hirschfeld, Lincoln biographer Sidney Blumenthal, and meditation teacher Yael Shy. 

Originally Published on August 15, 2017 in the St Louis Post-Dispatch


Patient, Heal Thyself

In an unconventional experiment some 30 years ago, psychologist Ellen Langer (ARTS ’70) brought two groups of elderly men to a weekend retreat in New Hampshire. While there, she asked the first group to reminisce about their lives in 1959, aided by old issues of Life magazine, screenings of Jimmy Stewart films, and conversations about Mickey Mantle and Fidel Castro. She put the second group in the same surroundings, but with one crucial difference: Rather than just talk or read about the good old days, she asked them to pretend they were young men actually experiencing that year as if for the first time.

Originally published in NYU Alumni Magazine in Spring 2011 by Jascha Hoffman

Watch: CBS News: Meditation, Mindfulness & Spirituality

Today mindfulness meditation is practiced in schools, prisons and even in corporate America. This show looks at the spiritual roots of the practice and how it can be used to transform society. Featured are Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche, spiritual leader of the Shambhala Buddhist tradition and Sharon Salzberg, Buddhist meditation teacher and cofounder of the Insight Meditation Society.

Originally published on CBS News on June 28, 2015. 

8 Meditation Experts Share What They Do Each Morning to Stay Chill All Day

When it’s basically your job to be Zen all the time—as is the case with the instructors at MNDFL, a new meditation studio in New York City—you pick up a few tricks that help you keep stress at bay (or at least not flip out when life’s little tensions creep up on you). Since our morning routines usually involve hitting snooze, reaching for our phones to check e-mail, and rushing out the door in a frenzy—not exactly a great way to start the day on a calm, collected note—we asked several of the teachers at MNDFL to let us in on what they do each a.m. to set the tone for a more mindful, relaxed state. Let their tips inspire you to have a more peaceful holiday season this year.

Originally published on November 30, 2015 in Women's Health Magazine by Robin Hilmantel

Scientists Have Finally Proven What Yoga Lovers Have Known for Centuries

The news: When regularly practiced, periods of intense mindfulness can combat aging and reshape certain sections of the brain — no Lululemon required.

It was a simple, but enlightening discovery: When scientists looked at the brains of expert meditators, they found some startling physical changes. Extra wrinkles (which in the case of the brain happens to be a good thing) lined the cortex, the outer portion of the brain responsible for complex thinking like abstraction and introspection. The hippocampus, the seahorse-shaped brain structures that help us process memories, was generally bigger and more dense.

Originally published on July 3, 2014 in News.Mic by Erin Brodwin

Meditate This! Podcast About the Meaning of Life, Episodes 17 & 18

In a gripping two-parter, Yael Shy gives both beginner and long-time meditators sound advice on what to expect from a practice—and how to be sure it's right for you. As director of NYU's Center for Spiritual Life and The Mindfulness Project at NYU, Shy has years of experience teaching meditation and creating safe spaces for those who just want to dip a toe into this spiritual ocean. Hear her own story of triumph over serious anxiety and discover what she means when she poses the notion: "So much of our life is spent"

Originally published by Meditate This! in 2016. 

Meditation: What Are We Talking About?

We all know that meditation, mindfulness and contemplation are good for us – in fact it has become almost a panacea for all that ails us – from our personal stress, to better education, and even more effective business leaders. But really do we mean when we talk about meditation? Where does it come from and what does it do?

Originally published in 2015 on HuffPost Religion

Bringing Spirituality to Brooklyn — Alison Laichter, 29, and Yael Shy, 28

For Yael Shy and Alison Laichter, sitting down together for a morning meditation was just part of their daily routine as roommates. Two years ago, nearly a decade after meeting on a Birthright Israel trip, Shy and Laichter both got jobs in New York — Shy as director of development and education at the NYU Center on Violence and Recovery, and Laichter as an urban planner for the city — and they decided to room together.

Originally published on June 15, 2010 in The New York Jewish Week by Sharon Udasin