No one likes New Year’s resolutions. If, and especially when, they are set up for disappointment. Instead, my best friend and I (both teachers) talk over a coffee date. We reflect on the past year and set hopes and goals for the coming year. We go through each branch of our lives: family, relationships, self-care, spirituality, professionalism, etc. With each branch, we brainstorm a few aspirations. This is our way of being reflective, intentional but also a way to help each other stay accountable.
This is often a time where the idea of learning a new hobby pops up or when we reflect on habits we want to change. “Stay realistic but also give yourself grace,” her voice rings in my ear.
We usually write it down in journals or Google Keep. Recently, when thinking about this week’s assignment, I came across my notes from years past and noticed an unfulfilled ambition: start a daily yoga practice.
Why? It’s a simple answer: to be good to my body and mind. This NY Times article is a good place for all the basics, including learning yoga online. The article suggests, “Ten or 15 minutes a day of yoga may be more valuable than going to one class a week.” I plan to keep this statement close.
Yoga is great because it’s a practice that can be done by anyone, at any age and at any time- even during a global pandemic. This may be an especially important opportunity to learn yoga during the COVID pandemic. Yoga, and the breathing practices associated, can reduce anxiety and stress. I can also incorporate yoga at home under quarantine and with my kids.
Below you can find a family favorite for yoga at home.
These are my steps of action for a daily yoga practice.
- Follow inspirational yogi’s on social media
- Ensure I have the necessary equipment
- Practice yoga for at least 15 minutes a day for 1 year
- Take a photo or journal my journey at least 1x per week.
- Use online videos available on Youtube or consider a subscription
- Seek out tips from my relative who’s a certified yoga instructor
Mindfulness: Yoga in Schools
As a teacher, yoga can be incorporated into school life. Maybe, power poses before individual presentations or debates? Or as an ECA (extra-curriculum activity)? Yes, please. See the video below for how a teacher brings meditation into her classroom culture.
So what could be bad about all this good? Well, there is this.
Yoga isn’t anything new but it has become wildly popular, or even trendy in the Western world. It may quality as cultural appropriation or could be insensitive in the way it is deconstructed by the West and regurgitated as the latest health trend, available for purchase and consumption. But with all that being said, there are ways to mitigate the colonization of yoga.
I’ll stay here in a child’s pose thinking about that one.