Stress reduction class


Registration for our fall 2019 MBSR class is closed! As we anticipated, the class filled up very quickly. We invite you to get on our wait list for the next class, likely to be held in early 2020, by clicking the button to the left. Those on the wait list will get priority registration for our next class. 


MNPS and Vanderbilt’s Osher Center for Integrative Medicine will offer another mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR) course this fall 2019. This highly participatory, practical course includes:


  • Guided instruction in mindfulness meditation practices
  • Gentle stretching and mindful yoga
  • Group discussions aimed at enhancing awareness in everyday life
  • Daily home assignments


What is mindfulness and MBSR?

Mindfulness is a way of learning to relate directly to whatever is happening in your life, a way of taking charge, a way of doing something for yourself that no one else can do for you — consciously and systematically working with your own stress and the challenges and demands of everyday life.


MBSR is an evidence-based intervention used to increase awareness of your thoughts, body and emotions. MBSR uses meditation and gentle movement to encourage present-moment awareness and deep relaxation.


What are the benefits of mindfulness?

Mindfulness-practices can help you heal and cope with many conditions, including:


  • Stress
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Fatigue
  • High blood pressure
  • Gastrointestinal (IBS)
  • Insomnia
  • Chronic pain
  • Headaches
  • Some autoimmune conditions


When is the class?

Registered participants will meet at the Employee Wellness Center at Berry Hill (2694 Fessey Ct.) for nine Tuesdays and one Saturday.


Orientation/first class: September 17 

Eight Tuesdays: September 24 - November 19 (5:30-8 p.m.)

Saturday retreat: November 9 (9 a.m.-4 p.m.)


Who can attend?

All MNPS employees are eligible to register. You’re encouraged to read and understand the time commitment required of the course (detailed below) before registering.


How do I register?

Click here to be notified when registration opens. When you register, you will be required to provide your name, work location, email address and a well-thought-out statement about why you want to attend and why you think MBSR might benefit you (150-300 words). Because space is limited for this popular class, we encourage you to register early.


How much does it cost?

The typical cost at the Osher Center is $375; in some parts of the country, this highly popular course costs as much as $800! However, through this special collaboration with Vanderbilt, MNPS is offering the course at no cost to those who: (1) meet registration requirements (a written essay explaining why you wish to take the class is required) and (2) feel they are able to meet the significant time commitment required of the course.


Who teaches the course?

Betsy Oleksa will facilitate the course. She has been a meditator for over 8 years. After others noticed a change to how she interacted with the world, they wanted to follow a similar path. Knowing that she was looking to bring mindfulness and meditation to the business world, she began to investigate programs and paths. Betsy attended an MBSR course at Osher and decided to continue down the path to becoming a teacher. She completed training with the Center for Mindfulness. She is now a mindfulness teacher for the Osher Center and is excited to share her experience with others.


Amy Black will co-facilitate the course. Amy began her journey into the practice of mindfulness by attending an MBSR course at The Osher Center. She was both surprised and changed by what she experienced, so much so that she made the practice a high priority in her life. Her personal experience led her to explore how she could help others connect with the benefits of mindfulness. She went on to receive facilitation training through Osher’s Professional Development for Mindfulness Facilitation (PDMF) program. She is currently a mindfulness facilitator for The Osher Center’s MBSR program, runs the mindfulness resource website and is on the leadership team for Mindful Nashville. She is especially passionate about providing mindfulness training to communities who might not otherwise have access.  


What else do I need to know?
  • MNPS covers the cost of this course to make it possible for those who might otherwise not be able to attend. Only register if you feel you can meet the commitments of the class, which includes attending class approximately 2.5 hours a week, completing assigned homework and an all-day Saturday retreat.
  • Your registration information, including your statement, is confidential and will not be made public or shared with anyone outside Vanderbilt staff coordinating the course.


What do past participants say about the course?
  • I feel calmer in my daily life and am able to ride the waves of chaos that comes in a typical day at school.
  • The course far exceeded my expectations. It opened my mind at to how my body reacts to stresses.
  • This course has changed my personal and professional life for the better. I regularly teach my students mindfulness exercises.
  • I am able to step back when I am overwhelmed and reassess myself.
  • I honestly thought I was pretty good at dealing with the often-intense stresses of being an educator. But now I realize I only had one or two tools I was using to cope. Now my toolbox is full.
  • Before the course, I would bury the stress without realizing it – to the detriment of my body and mind. I can now handle the stress in a healthy way.
  • I have gained an overwhelming sense of “I can get through it” - whatever “it” is.
  • If you want to bring more awareness to your life and reduce stress, then take the course.
  • This is a wonderful introduction to mindfulness. Be prepared for a significant time commitment.
  • Take The Course!
  • If you are open to meditation and reducing stress in your life, take it.
  • I have already been saying, “Do it! You will be glad you did.” It has given me many tools to manage life.
  • The time commitment is certainly worth it and it will change your life.
  • You won’t believe how beneficial it will be to your personal and professional life.
  • Do it. Stick with it. Your life will thank you.


register now

Mindfulness-based Stress Reduction Course


(for the best experience, please fill out the form on a computer)


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Employee Wellness Center at Berry Hill


Two Rivers Middle


Taylor Stratton Elementary

Mt. View Elementary
Bellevue Middle
Vanderbilt Health at
MNPS Employee & Family Health Care Centers​