One of the reasons I chose to do yoga as my In-Depth was because I believed it would positively impact my stress and ability to control it. Seeing and feeling the effects months later, I think that this has been a good decision. I feel much less tense than I did near the beginning of the year, and I think I have yoga to thank for that. Restorative yoga is extremely calming, and it feels amazing to be able to clear your mind and focus on something as simple as your movements. Despite this, it still took me quite a few classes to feel the effects of the “restorative” portion of the yoga.
I utilized my free time over Spring Break to practice my yoga poses and HRM, and I’m starting to blend them together in what I like to call HRR yoga or Heart Rhythm Restorative yoga. This combination is a mix of what I’ve learned from both activities and have synthesized into what I feel I was really looking for when I started In-Depth. It’s still in its early stages, but I want to make everything I’ve learned into some sort of book, video, or physical representation. This is one of the things I want to show during In-Depth night, in addition to possibly holding an RRM yoga class!
- What kinds of learning opportunities does the mentor provide to expose you to new learning?
Susanne provides me with learning opportunities by allowing me to assume creative freedom with my yoga. I’ve started to look at the different poses and put them together in my own ways to maintain smooth transitions and mix-and-match. There are some poses that are meant to help you with exercise and sore muscles, and others for stress relief and anxiety. I feel that if these were put together the overall effect would be more impactful. This is one of the sequence ideas I had (a sequence is a collection of five poses meant to be performed together for a specific outcome):
- Child’s Pose
- Supported Shoulder Stretch
- Supported Prone Twist
- Pigeon Pose
- Savasana (Corpse Pose)
Susanne helps me in all of this by allowing me to try and experiment with this on my own while giving me her insight and keeping me on the right path. For example, in the sequence above she suggested I replace a Child’s Pose without any props to one that uses a blanket and is more supported.
2. What kinds of learning opportunities exist to reinforce new learning?
I am by no means an expert at yoga, so the feedback from Susanne on my sequences, ideas for classes, and my own personal improvement in yoga is extremely helpful. Constructive criticism is healthy, and it helps me improve the quality of my work and reinforce the things I’ve already learned. If I can work to make it better, it’ll stick with me longer.
3. What kinds of opportunities exist that might accelerate learning?
Something I can do to accelerate my learning is to keep a more accurate written log and jot down notes, poses and definitions. Thre are a lot of poses in restorative yoga, and I need to know what they are if I’ll ever have any hope of doing a class. A class may be a physical representation, but it’s not the only thing I want to be able to show. If I’m going to make some sort of video or book, then I’m going to need a solid source of information and notes to use. In addition, I want to make the transitions between HRM and restorative yoga smoother than the ideas I currently have.
4. When you get together what do you talk about?
When we’re together Susanne and I exchange pleasantries before we get down to business and start doing yoga. As I’m part of her class and there are others who are there to learn yoga as well, I don’t get to talk much with her during the classes themselves. She does make sure to give me the typical adjustments or tips on how I can improve my technique (release your breath and relax, straighten your back, etc.). After the classes, I show Susanne whatever I’ve been working on (like my sequences or my class ideas) and she gives me feedback. As mentioned in my previous post, I’ve been trying to maximize the amount of time I have with her.
5. What is going particularly well in your mentoring relationship right now?
Something going well in our mentoring relationship is the balance between us. In my last post I said that I wanted to show her that I’ve been putting an equal amount of effort in, and I’ve done that by making sequences and coming up with class plans. This shows her that I’ve been thinking about yoga outside our class and that I’m willing to take what she’s taught me and apply it.
Susanne is helping me improve at my yoga bit by bit. In restorative yoga you can hold the same position for five to ten minutes, and as you can imagine, my being a fourteen-year-old with a limited attention span doesn’t really help matters when it comes to being still. Susanne is patient, and through practice I have finally been able to hold the corpse pose for ten minutes without falling asleep! All of my acheivements are thanks to her great teaching.
6. What are you learning about one another?
Susane and I have gotten to know a lot about each other. She speaks of her family often when we meet, and I talk about school and my personal life. I know that she has a daughter and that after taking her first yoga class she knew that that was what she wanted to do and teach others about. Susanne knows that yoga isn’t necessarily my number one priority, so she emails me occasionally to check in and see if I’m making steady progress. This really motivates me to keep working on my In-Depth, and I’m glad that she’s gotten to know me through our time together.