Wednesday, 18 March 2015

Expectation vs Reality or Product vs Process: My #tieyoga update

       A while back I made a Haiku Deck to document my #learningproject progress (or lack thereof) and changes to my plan in my #tieyoga practice.  Often in learning and teaching, we need to assess and reassess our progress  as we move through any given lesson, task, or project. I'm taking a bit of time today to reflect on this particular reassessment of my #tieyoga plan..
       The idea of dropping into a community or studio class once weekly is a great one. It allows me to access an environment that is more conducive to true yoga practice and mindfulness and provides access to the ever important yoga instructor, an expert, to monitor my postures and make corrections as necessary. This strategy has been difficult to implement due to the limitations of time in my life, largely due to my responsibilities as a mother, daughter, student, dog-owner, and full time teacher.
       Five at-home sessions each week is my ideal goal; it's a goal that will see observable results over a relatively short amount of time. Some weeks this has been achievable and other weeks it has not, for exactly the reasons noted above.

       I chose to focus on five key postures that directed my yoga attention to my "problem areas". Plagued by runner's hips and hamstrings (ie. tight), I included hip opening and hamstring stretching postures and feel that I've been successful in increasing my flexibility in these specific areas. I also wanted to target back bends because they are incorporated into many of the postures I am in awe of, such as standing bow and floor bow. Seeing a master yogi perform these postures is a beautiful thing and I wanted to feel the exhilaration of seeing the wall behind me during camel pose. In reality, however, I'm a little bit fearful. I would appreciate some help and guidance through the back bending postures and find them difficult to do at home on my own. Maybe I'm just not ready or maybe it's something that will be more achievable when I can actually practice 5 or more times per week. The other obstacle to my overall achievement of this goal has been the fact that I don't always know what is specifically covered in the yoga video I use (until I use it) and, while I have repeated my use of some videos, I have tried to really explore the different videos available to figure out what I like and don't like. This has been helpful in gaining insight to what's available, but it has slowed the general progress of my identified targeted areas.
       My expectation was to record my #tieyoga practice in my "Accountability Log". This is where expectation and reality actually met! I have been consistently committed to keeping a log of my practice, including time of day, video used, length of practice session, how I felt and goal(s) for next time.
       At times the fact that I have not been achieving my #tieyoga goals has caused me great stress, but I always go back to this script: My learning process is more important than my learning outcome. And, I have learned a lot. I've learned that life has limitations and distractions that are out of my control. I've learned that it's okay to change the game plan, adjust the route, or switch topics completely. I've learned what helps my practice and what doesn't. I've learned that I can do yoga at home, and I can do it enough that I actually notice the benefits. I've learned to have a sense of humour when the dog comes over and licks my face when I am in downward dog or when my kids are being so lovingly loud and fiercely physical with each other that I can't even hear the yogi's serene, rhythmic voice reminding me to breathe.  I've learned that I can reorganize my priorities to a great degree and that it's okay to sometimes just let things go--for awhile--even things I never thought I could, like social engagements and putting clean laundry away.  I've learned that logs and reflections do work and that my #tieyoga community is just me and, at the end of the day, that can be hard. Not impossible. But hard. 
       So, what does this all mean? How can I transfer this learning and insight to my own practice as a teacher? How can I use this information to enable me to better support my learners?  I can follow my own advice: My learning process is more important than my learning outcome and ask students, "But what have you learned? How has this decision or that mistake enlightened you? Explain your thinking."
Merriam-Webster's definition of "process"
       The learning process is what shapes us as learners and what influences our decision-making and skill development as we participate in future learning tasks.  The end, of course, can matter greatly, and as many of us have seen firsthand both in our classrooms and in our #learningprojects, it may or may not be reached by all learners. However, my #tieyoga #learningproject has stressed the importance of the journey for me and that's what I hope I can take to my students; I want them to understand that growth is not only possible, but likely, as an outcome, regardless of reaching a destination. Get on board, keep trekking on your path (as twisted and switchback as it can sometimes seem) and make the most of your journey.

1 comment:

  1. I feel the exact same Tanya.... maybe fitbit and a lit review are not the right combination. My house is a disaster, and I have papers everywhere!!!! I mean everywhere!!!!! Thanks for sharing. It's nice to know that everyone else is in the same boat and that balance is hard to find sometimes!!!!!