Thank you!

Alas I’m late again. It is with gratitude that I express my appreciation to all of those teachers that took part in the Science and Practice of Yoga. They have shared their wisdom and time, translated into beautiful and understandable chunks of information that my mind could grasp and digest. It was a lot and I hope that I can go back and revisit it over and over. Thank you for not being afraid to put it all out there.

My goal for the course was to be more comfortable sharing my thoughts with others. I believe I have reached that goal. Learning the science behind the effects that breath and yoga have on our minds and bodies has given validation to the things that I have experienced through my own personal yoga practice. I feel more confident teaching a yoga class and sharing things like, “now bring your focus back to your breath, to calm your mind”, because I know how the vagus nerve functions in bringing calmness to the mind. I have brought more focus on breath into my yoga classes. I have learned about the importance and power of proper breathing, and excitedly teach the 4-7-8 breath method, but wish my voice was as mellow and buttery as Dr. Weil’s, to everyone I come into contact with, at church, in school, on the airplane. I have developed a deeper love and appreciation for breath and will continue my study and teaching of breathing techniques.

When you find something you love and that has made a huge impact for the better on your life, that has helped you to a state of joy and happiness, you want to share that. Yoga is something that I will continue to share. I love it. The importance of breath is something that I will continue to share with everyone, it’s free, everyone has the right equipment and its always accessible.

FAILURE and my learnings

Well, sadly that awesome course was an epic fail for me. There are many reasons why and I’m going to explore them here, honestly and openly.

1. Failure to plan. I have a newborn and mentally I had committed to studying while he was feeding. I couldn’t do anything else while sitting there so it seemed a sure thing, however I didn’t count on the physical part of the course. That threw my mental picture out the window and annoyingly now in retrospect, I never adjusted. I just kept saying to myself “I’ll do that part later”, and “I can’t do that now, I’ll do it altogether later” and never did. I lost momentum, and started avoiding the learning part of the course as I didn’t want to do it all out of order. There were to many other things happening around me that I never applied this insight.

2. Too focussed on housework! This one is true, had I planned better (see failure 1) I had plenty of time to do the physical part of the course but instead I chose housework when my baby was sleeping/playing peacefully. I had said at the start of the course that I was excited to spend time on me, however I never applied that intention.

3. My OCD tendencies. Urgh, why can’t I just be whimsical or have a ‘near enough is good enough” attitude?! No, in my brain I had to do each section one after the other in perfect order and then I could tick it off on my little study plan checkbox.

So there you have it. Now I’ve taken some time to reflect, I’m going to change my behaviour for this next online course I’m doing… because failure number 4 is ‘too much, too soon’. I’m already 3/4 of the way through another course. Like, the timing of the course puts us 3/4 of the way through the material, however I have only completed on component. I’m going back to the drawing board and planning it out a bit better. And sticking to my study times – sorry Hay Day, it’s not working out. While you give me instant endorphins when I feed my cows or shear my sheep or bake my cakes, you are not actually adding any value to my life!

I can add more things to the #4 bucket too, I made a commitment to my husband that I’ll be cooking more – one new recipe per week. That’s huge for me because I’m a terrible cook. Like, you have to throw it out kind of cooking. I wish I was joking. But to get better, you have to practice, right?! And thankfully so far I’ve had a couple of wins, but again I could have been using that time to do the physical component of my yoga course and started cooking next year. It was also my daughters 2nd birthday, so spare time went to party planning and shopping. And it’s nearly Christmas so more shopping and wrapping of presents.

Maybe my biggest learning is that I’m a master procrastinator… my course was always in the back of my mind. Hmmmm… what else am I avoiding? What are you avoiding?


Course goal assessment

I would like to believe that I have reached the goal of The Science and Practice of Yoga. I have committed to the goal of completing the course and "showing up" each week to perform the assigned tasks and reflect on matters significant to a mindful existence on this world. The course has continuously reminded me of why I am here in the first place. The process has humbled me. And it is enlightening to look back and recall how I first got into yoga: to heal. These days, I have become consumed by career and academic growth that I have neglected my spiritual growth. The program reminded me to reflect on the core of my being and be more mindful of my thoughts and actions. There is so much hate in this world that I have to consciously remind myself not to add up to it.
The most challenging part of the exercise on goal setting is committing to the goal. Sometimes, it's so easy to set goals. But keeping it and working towards achieving that goal proves to be the hardest bit. The goal setting exercise is a reminder that we can always willfully work towards achieving the goals we have set for ourselves. But we have to be mindful of our thoughts and actions and muster enough compassion for ourselves should we encounter hurdles and detours along the way.
I really learned a lot in the The Science and Practice of Yoga---lessons that I will take with me in my day-to-day activities. If I would change anything about the course, I would definitely include more live sessions. The first live session that I attended made me realize how big this community is. It was a surreal experience in that I was able to interact with my co-learners from different parts of the world. Also, I wish I had not been that busy so that I would have more time engaging with the other learners and the faculty.
Having said that, I would like to thank all the teachers and the rest of the individuals who devoted their hearts and minds in designing the course. The program has enabled me to connect with other learners, gain a few friends a long the way, and hopefully, create ripples more of stories and exchanges on how yoga has changed our lives for the better.

Reflecting over the course experience

Today, the MOOC is over. My life is also changed it’s focus so now I can reflect over my experience of this 5 weeks.

I know that I learned a lot. And this knowledge help me in everyday life and make me more inspired. I also learned what I have been wanting for a long time: I’ve got basic instructions about how to do yoga.

I tried a lot new practices and another lifestyle. My basic lifestyle do not include everyday practices (but on workdays I do Sun Salutations in the morning). That time I tried more lifelong practices and did meditations more often and now can use this experience when I regulate my state.

I also have seen a lot of yoga-inspired people and now understand the world of yogis better.

I achieved my goal and became more calm. I also changed my poor self-esteem to better. I do not sure about my future goals in this subject, right now all my goals are about my new job and ending of two another courses, but I know that well-being is a style of life which I will support anyway.

So this experience was very nice. I do not know if I will repeat the experience of active yoga practice with some community but I think that I want to. These weeks were very nice and interesting. Now and the end I want to say huuuge “Thank you” for all creators, for Stacey and Catherine, for all participants of the course. It was amazing. May the light of the world be with you!

YogaMOOc w5: Sharing my goals

Until this day, I feel I made an amazing progress. I really feel committed to my own expectations, and for the first time in my life I do not over think about the future, I am here.

The first week I felt exhausted, not only of my environment, but also I was tired of myself. I tried some many times to take discipline about something and in the middle I got demotivated, I always thought about “how long and complicated” the journey could be. I also made up this tragic scenarios in my head, and I actually invented full dialogues where people I know, they were talking about the terrible work I made.

I am different now, because I think different. Instead of focusing on my weaknesses, I take my skills and enhance them. I am aware of my presence in this planet, and how every decision I take will affect others. Being able to do my yoga practice 6 times per week makes me so happy. I remember when I was so concentrated in not being observed that I forgot the importance of put enough attention to my body, my breathe and my feelings.

I am more than grateful for this huge opportunity you guys gave to the entire world through this MOOC. You are saving the world with this amazing program, with your love and knowledge, and I could give testimony of it.

YogaMOOC w6: The end :’)

After these 6 weeks, I really notice a change in myself:

-Observation of Interpersonal Interactions:
I noticed a difference of how I perceive the people around me. I live in huge and chaotic city, I usually hate using the public transport, I hated everyone in my way to work and returning from it. When I did the Awareness Meditation, it really turn on something in me. It was like I stopped being me, I got out of my cocoon and see myself as one with the people.  I am not mad anymore with the rest of the people. I felt like a light appeared inside of my chest. I am more patient, tolerant with my mother in law, and I am being so open with this :O. We had a terrible relationship, I don’t get involve with her aggressions anymore, I just let them passed, and it helped even her own behaviour with me.

-Course Goal Assesment:
I am happy of my results, I know that I have to keep on track with meditation, it is a completely new practice for me. I am happy that I accomplished my own expectations, from this point I know I can be better and use this approximation for many others goals I want to pursue in my life.

-End of Course Reflections from above:
I feel different. My mind feels different, I feel calm and I think I can manage my problems from a different approach now.  I am grateful of my life, instead of all this frustration I used to feel. My chest was filled with anxiety from the goals or dreams I didn’t know how to get or could not get. I learnt my life is happening now, and I have to be aware of it. I can not let go the details.

I was the type of person who do multitasking and lost keys, money, directions, and incredibly impuntual; It really is so amazing how in this time I changed, I act consciously. I love it.

Thank you guys, Stacy, Catherine, Dave and George, all your time, knowledge and effort will leave a mark in everyone of us :)

Hearing without listening?

Observe your breath, observe sensations, observe your mind, so you can observe people objectively. Here is my observations:

1st observation
I can listen quite well when I just talk to my ex-girl friend whom I haven’t met for a few months and she has been having a boy friend for about a year. My listening is without judgement or impulse response. I am just listening without even thinking to answer. I am calm with regular breath and normal body sensation. I absolutely absorb the moment, hearing the speech or silent pause. I am actually writing the above during the conversation and I think the writing or observation does help me during the conversation.

2nd observation
It was a conversation with someone I used to be angry with. Opposite to the 1st observation, I was quick to respond, answer with bad attitude. And lose my concentration of my observation at last. Looking back, I found my listening is selective based on a number of factors, like my interest, my body sensations, the speaker manner and intentions, my state of moods. But the more I pay attention to the awareness of my listening the more focused and attentive it becomes. Hence, the more focused and attentive my listening is, the more I am really listening instead of flighting back.

Course Goal Assessment

Well, finally I am here on the final journal assessment. What do I think about my goal practice now when I end?

My goal (again) was:
To use the course
and every part of it
that I think is good for me
to increase my calmness
and well-being. 

  1. Do you feel like to have achieved your goal? Why or why not?
    Yes. I see that I am more calm and self-compassionate. Also my life is finally changed a lot! I became more confident and open and I think this worked. I also have learned everything that I found here and did all the practices, in better or worse fashion.
  2. Do you think this goal setting practice could be used in other areas of your life?
    In the relevant post I found that this practice is already with me. It was quite surprising!
  3. What is the one thing about the goal process you think worked best for you? What is the one thing about the goal process you would change?
    I think that my cards and board system is the best thing. And think that I would change is, maybe, my attitude to more general (vs. specific) goals like “increase calmness”. This weeks I often felt guilty that I do not remember about it all the time and this thing is not good for my health.

Observation of Interpersonal Interactions (2)

This time I want to reflect on my conversation with my father today.

How well am I listening?
9/10 I guess. I was just listening and enjoying, sometimes trying not to lose one of 2 thoughts were in the interaction that time.

Am I really listening or am I thinking of the next thing I’m going to say?
I was really listening.

What are my body sensations as I listen?
I did not noticed enough, just remember it was warm.

Can I allow time for and be comfortable with moments of silent pause?
Yes.  There were no much such moments.

Am I really seeing them?
I think yes.

This practice was not very interesting for me because firstly I need to create my green zone in my life, and only after this think about my exterior. Naturally, this week I understood how small is my space where I can rest and recover. That inspires me for working on creation of my own space, for moving towards my future flat where I could have really private room. So this practice were not for me very much, but I now know about in and can use it later when I grow up in my green zone enough.