Who knew that deciding to do yoga for my learning project for EDTC300 would be so… horribly enlightening? Well, let’s be honest, my counsellor probably knew, but I, naively, thought that this would be a wholesome endeavour with the help of my curvy teachers at “Curvy Yoga”, and I would blithely “namaste” my way through this project.
But no. Even in spite of having a “get ‘r done” mantra in place, my avoidance techniques have have once again proven to be “Olympic-like” in their tenacity and ability to convince me to, well, …. avoid.
(what avoidance looks like in my life!)
And while I have been extending kindness to myself and not beating myself up for once again falling prey to these avoidance strategies so deeply ingrained in me, I’m also not willing to let myself off the hook either.
What does that mean? I guess it means that this learning project has become bigger, in a sense, than “learning yoga”. Yes, I’ll continue to learn yoga but I also want to reflect on “avoidance” and how that manifests in my life. And I’m inviting you into that process.
On a very practical level, I am doing some yoga and the folks at Curvy Yoga are brilliant. Anna Guest-Jelley has a super manner and it’s evident she really gets what it means to be a full figured person trying to do yoga. I love this,
When I first started practicing yoga nearly 20 years ago, I was almost always the biggest person in the room. So when the teacher would say something like “put your belly on your thighs in this forward bend,” I would think “Ummm, I don’t really need to move to do that. Does anyone else? – Anna Guest- Jelly
This is my sister from another mister! She gets me! Deeper than that, Guest-Jelley talks about the adversarial and disconnected relationship she’s had with her body and how practicing yoga has helped her “come home” to her body. This speaks to me right where I’m at.
Why the avoidance in this area for me? Because although I’ve come a long way in really appreciating the woman I have become (I’m fabulous, truth be told), I recognize that I still have a long way to go to appreciate the physical part of who I am. It’s not that I hate my body, it’s more that I ignore it. And now I’m realizing that yoga forces me to spend time with that part of me, my body, that I’m basically a stranger to and uncomfortable with. Hmmm, so much to ponder and grow in…
Wait, there’s more! In the midst of this learning project I also want to reflect on what this means for me as an educator.
It hasn’t escaped me that I am experiencing the same things that any one of my students may be feeling any given day! Desperately uncomfortable and motivated to avoid the challenges in front of them! My “EMPATH-O-METER” is getting a tune up as I struggle through my own learning.
So today? My job as a I support the students?
- Remember how it feels to be “stuck”, “intimidated”, “unmotivated”, “uncomfortable”
- Provide them the space to explore what the underlying causes are
- Give them the tools to keep trying and then cheer them on in making valiant attempts in their learning!
So, off to work I go, I’ll chat with you soon!