Humans of Baldwin: Mindfulness, Meditation, and Ms. Koster

Ms. Koster’s take on the impact of meditation on mental health.


Photo courtesy of Grace Brunetto ‘23

Liz Koster, Baldwin’s middle school counselor

Many students know Ms. Liz Koster from hearing her laughter ringing through the halls, playing on her middle school soccer team, or meeting with her at some point over her four years at Baldwin. Ms. Koster was once the upper school counselor, but has since relocated to the Residence as a middle school counselor. She is a certified yogi and enjoys guiding many mindfulness and meditation opportunities. 

Though she does not instruct often, Ms. Koster will step up at any given opportunity. One aspect of meditation that she enjoys is the ability to have a different outlook both as a yoga instructor and as a participant. She has instructed an I2 in which Baldwin students learn about mindfulness and its importance, while also exploring the world of yoga and its history. 

Ms. Koster also enjoys coaching middle school soccer and helping her team to remain calm during tough soccer matches. In my interview with her, we discussed both the benefits of mindfulness activities, and the way her interest in yoga and meditation came to be. 


How did you become interested in the study of yoga? 

My relationship with exercise is complicated because [for some people] it can be seen as, “Oh, I’m just trying to get into a smaller body.” Because yoga is body and spirit, I was able to develop a different relationship with it. So I wanted to be a fat yogi, showing that not only could I do these things that maybe people didn’t think were possible, but that we can show up and just be however we are.


What is your definition of mindfulness? 

It’s paying attention on purpose in the present moment without judgment.


Do you believe that mindfulness and meditation are beneficial to mental health? 

I’d say in upper school you’re constantly thinking about the future, so I think mindfulness and meditation allows you to stay focused on the journey as opposed to the outcome. It’s like that growth mindset.


Do you have any advice for Baldwin students on how to incorporate mindfulness into their daily lives?  

Ask yourself, “Was there a moment today [that you felt mindful]?” It could be a meditation. It could be saying, “I noticed the birds chirping.” It could be mindful eating– saying, “I remember what I ate, and I was present with people.”