Final Blog Post

 

Twenty Time was a really incredible experience for many reasons. My favorite part of the experience was that I was able to do yoga, which is something I’m passionate about, in school. It was a chance to relax and get to do something I don’t always have time for otherwise. I also loved that I was able to expand my practice because I have wanted to improve my practice for a long time, I just don’t get the opportunity very often. But, there were some challenges that came with Twenty Time. One of them was that I would get to the yoga room and realize I had a test in a few periods or some homework I wanted to get done and it was sometimes hard to focus on my practice. I think the reason for that was because I was practicing at school so it was occasionally hard to feel in the moment because of homework and general stress. Something I learned about myself during Twenty Time was just how passionate I am about yoga. When I did get over the distraction of schoolwork or other things and I just practiced yoga, it was a time where I just let all my stress go. It was really cool to see how much I love doing yoga and how much that love only increased over the year. Another thing I learned about myself is that when I am passionate about something, I am willing to work really hard to achieve it. There was one pose, called “crow pose”, that I have never been able to do. But, through time and effort I was able to achieve it. This was very meaningful because it showed my commitment and effort that I had put into the project and my practice over the year. I am most proud of being able to get over the distraction of schoolwork. This is because I often get very stressed about school and I can’t focus on anything else. So, I was very proud that I was able to get in the mindset of just doing something to focus on myself. I don’t always put my needs first so being able to stop myself from stressing about school and just motivating myself to focus on yoga was a huge achievement. I had a lot of successes throughout this project. I’d say the biggest one was the huge improvement and expansion of my practice that I made. Because of this success, I learned that I was not only incredibly passionate about yoga, but that I was good at it too! Although I knew before that I loved yoga, this past year had just increased my passion so much more and I’m really happy that I learned just how much I love yoga. I also had some failures in this project. I large one was that I tried at the beginning of the project to go to a class that my mom takes with her every Tuesday afternoon. But, because of school, laziness or life in general, I did not stick to that schedule. So, I learned that sometimes when it comes to school, I do not put my own priorities first and I get dragged down by stress. I don’t think I realized at the time that if I did go to a Tuesday class, I felt so much more relaxed and happy afterwards. But, because I do realize that now, I wish I had taken that opportunity more. I think something I will remember about this project for a long time is when I had been planning my “class” that I could teach and it was pretty much finished. My sisters and cousins were in town and we were all sitting in my backyard. My cousin suggested that my sister should lead us in some yoga because she’s an employed yoga teacher. But, she suggested that I teach instead because she knew I had been working on a class. So, I led my sisters and cousins through my yoga class I had been working on. To have the capability to teach others what I had learned this year was so amazing because it showed me my growth and strength that developed through Twenty Time. This project was so incredible and I loved both the time it gave us and the relaxation it gave me. I think if there was one thing that I would say could be improved about this project, it would be more frequent check-ins. There were times when I felt a little lost and unmotivated and I think just a few more reflective times and meetings could be helpful. Overall I would say that this was an incredible experience and I am so grateful for Twenty Time, and our World Lit class in general. Thank you Ms. Wittman!

April 26, 2016

Today during the class period of twenty time, I worked on my outline for the Things Fall Apart in-class essay. But, when I got home I ran through my final finished product of my class with my mom without stopping. It went okay, but I got stressed sometimes because I  still sometimes struggle with explaining things. Luckily, I am not a professional yoga teacher, so my class doesn’t have to be perfect. But, it was really fun to see how far I’ve come this year. I started Twenty Time knowing the foundation of yoga and the simple poses, but only if I was following along in a class. Because of Twenty Time, I have learned to really deconstruct my practice and expand it as well. I have had the time to break down each pose and really get it right and to figure out how to teach each pose as well. My passion for yoga has grown so much this year. Twenty Time has encouraged me to go to a yoga class every Tuesday (and Fridays/Mondays) if we don’t have school which has helped a lot with learning about teaching. I’m super excited to present my project, but I am worried about what I am going to say because I think the only way I can demonstrate what I’ve learned is to teach and show my practice to others.

April 19, 2016

This week during twenty time I debated between starting to work on my presentation or going through my class another time. I decided to run through my class again because even though my presentation is important, I think the main way I will be able to demonstrate what I have learned throughout this project is by teaching my class. So, I just pretty much ran through my class again to really solidify each step so that I will have a solid routine to run through. I think because I feel very comfortable with my class now and how it is structured, in the next and (final?) twenty time I will work on my presentation and take a few pictures to include as well. I have loved this twenty time experience and I wish we could continue it longer because it is so incredible to be able to do one of my favorite things in the middle of the school day. But, this twenty time has definitely improved my practice and deepened my passion for yoga.

April 7th, 2016

Today during twenty time I started off with doing something a little strange, but it actually really helped my practice and made me feel like I was making more progress. I made a yoga playlist of songs on iTunes so that when I’m practicing, I can pace the music to my practice to help motivate the students when I’m teaching my class. This way, when things get more active in the class, faster and more upbeat songs with play, and when it’s time to cool down, slower and more relaxing songs will play. After picking out a playlist, I went back to my regular routine of my class, but I took each pose very slow and though about how exactly I do each pose so that I can describe them. I realized that because I have done yoga for so long, the poses are such muscle memory that it is hard to even break them down and think about what I’m doing because it comes so easily by now. But, I figured out how to walk myself through some poses, and next twenty time I will continue to do so. Breaking the poses down and doing them in slow motion is tedious, but I think it will help me improve as a teacher.

March 24th, 2016

Today in twenty time, I was feeling very energetic so I strayed from my basic class routine and did some more pilates infused yoga. I felt the need to work out, and because I feel very comfortable with my class structure already, I decided to have a day where I just did the yoga that I felt like doing. This was extremely helpful, and I had sort of forgotten how yoga can not only be a relaxing thing, but also a great exercise method and energy releaser. So, I did yoga poses that can be seen as basic moves, but with variations to increase the challenge. For example, instead of going into a plank and then instantly going back into a downward facing dog, I held the plank for 30 seconds each time I did a rotation. It was still yoga, just my own personal twist to maximize the effort required for each pose. Next, week, I will go back to my regular teaching yoga routine.

March 8th, 2016

Today in twenty time I finalized my yoga class. I walked through it and timed it so that it would fit into my time limit. I think my class is going to be very fun and educational for beginners and even more experienced yogis and I’m so excited to teach it. I am trying to make each pose a little easier and each movement shorter so that people stay engaged with my class. This is because I am a little concerned that people might get bored or feel too challenged. I am hoping that the class with embrace yoga and approach it with an open mind. Next class, I will try to get more people into the yoga room so that I can have a class to teach. This will help me practice and see if the class I put together flows as well as I hoped. I feel like my practice is really improving by practicing teaching and I continue to enjoy the stress release of twenty time.

February 24th, 2016

Today during twenty time I studied for a world cultures test that I had a couple periods later. This is because I knew I was doing yoga when I got home and I felt I could be more productive with my time if I studied during class. I have just finished an hour of yoga after I got home from school because I have nothing better to do considering I’m trapped in my basement because of the tornado. I think my practice went very well despite the distracting circumstances. I mostly worked on refining my techniques this time because I think I have mostly gotten teaching the poses down. It was another fun week to just do yoga and not worry about the detail of my teaching. Next week I will definitely go back to practicing teaching to hone in on that skill as well. I think I used my twenty time block very productively and I got do yoga anyway today so everything went well.

February 12th, 2016

For my twenty time today, I actually did not do any yoga because I had missed a whole week of school prior to twenty time and had a lot of work to catch up on. So, during class time I just did homework and studied for tests. This was very helpful and essential to me because I was very productive and felt like many weights were lifted during that time. After I got home from school that day however, I did yoga with my mom who tends to do yoga almost every evening. This was very fun because I got to be the “instructor” but it felt a little more relaxed than the average twenty time class. Next time, I think I will be fully caught up so I will go back to my usual twenty time routine of doing yoga in the yoga room and practicing my class. I think that although I did not make very much headway in the twenty time project realm, I made a lot of headway in other things which helped me a lot. And, I did get to practice yoga that day anyways so everything worked out very nicely.

January 27th, 2016

For my twenty time today I had my friend Lizzie come in and help me with my twenty time because I wanted to practice teaching my class to someone. It was a very interesting and helped me realize that I need to go into much more detail than I think I need to because although I know what I mean, my students won’t. It was very fun to give someone else the experience of yoga and share what I’ve been doing during twenty time and it helped her to relax and get a sense of yoga. Because Lizzie had a little bit of prior experience in yoga, it was slightly easier for her to understand what I wanted her to do in my class simulation. But, I think that people who had never done yoga before would not have known what was going on and so I need to work on explaining each pose like I had never done it before.

January 12th, 2016

Today in twenty time, I practiced yoga based on a class I went to last week. I tried to follow the structure that the class had led to see how different it was from the way I had been practicing. One interesting difference I found was that in the professional class, the transitions between poses and sections of practice were much more fluid and thought out. I also thought it was interesting that the teacher gave a little opening speech in the beginning of the class just to settle everyone in. So, this week I practiced a little opening thing to say that could start my class, just to get everyone in the right mindset and ready for yoga. Then, I basically continued doing the practice I normally do in preparation for my class, but with added transitions and fluidity that I hadn’t had before. This made it feel more planned and relaxing and I think it will help convey the information that in yoga, everything is one, and it is just a sequence. Next twenty time, I plan to continue with my transitions and revise my opening speech thing a little, and make sure that while I am practicing, I say what I am doing aloud just to help see what it will be like to teach a class.