Wrapping up my learning project

Going back to the beginning of this semester, I chose to learn Yoga for my learning project. Reasons I wanted to learn yoga were to increase my flexibility, decrease stress, and help with my balance. All of these things would contribute to my every day life as a dancer and a University student.

Week 1

When I started, I decided to video tape myself trying a headstand to see if my form was okay before I got up into it, but then this happened…

Week 2

The following week I decided it was time to try to go up into a headstand. This was my best try, and although I could not hold it or get my legs straight, I noticed that my form was really good.

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Week 3

I wasn’t sure if I would be able to go right up into a headstand this week because I was a little afraid. I came up with the great idea to use the wall, and it worked! I started by kicking my legs straight and holding them on the wall, and once that felt good I took them off and held them there as long as I could.

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Week 4

This week was a fun one. I got together with a friend and we spent some time in the dance studio on campus. Near the end of our time in their, I asked if she could take a picture of me doing a headstand, and I put a mat down so I could try it without a wall. I had worked on it over the weekend with a friend who spotted me so I wouldn’t land on my back, and so I began to feel good about it. After she got the picture, we tried out some other yoga poses just for fun and came up with this picture.

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Week 5

Since I had “mastered” the headstand, I decided to move on to another yoga pose. This one was tricky because I found it hurt the wrists a lot, and from driving back and forth between Saskatoon and Regina, I find that my wrists hurt from holding the steering wheel for so long. I tried it in the dance studio I teach classes in between classes, and found that it was pretty tricky. I could not hold it too long, but knew I could work on it some more.

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Week 6

The crow pose is hard to show, and do in variation. You kind of just have to get up in to it and hold it if you can. This week I felt that I was able to get more comfortable into the pose, and could hold it a little longer. This pose was not my favourite, and so this was the last time I did it.

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Week 7

This week I did not really work on anything specific, but instead enjoyed some nice rollerblading in November! I love to roller blade, and normally my season ends early October, but this year it is going all the way through to today so far give or take a couple of snow days. I decided to try some yoga poses while moving on my roller blades, and although my form didn’t look too good with it being pretty difficult, I had a lot of fun doing it!

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Week 8

During this week, I had so many things going on. I got a bad flu and was home alone during it for two days, and was also teaching a lot of dance. With this, I found I was a little stressed and worried from being sick, and I decided to focus on my breathing. I did a couple yoga practices that helped calm my body, and I felt a lot better the next day.

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Week 9

As a final pose, I tried out the eagle pose. This one looked fairly simple, but had a couple small details to it that I was not able to master. I worked on it a little more after this picture was taken, but I think I need to do some more practices to open my hips up before I can get any better at this pose.

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Week 10

To end it off, I wanted to show you how close I am to having all of my splits! I should have taken a before picture, but I did not actually work on them, and did not know that yoga was going to help me so much. This is the best my splits have ever been in my whole life. A large part of this is due to yoga, as it helped me stretch my muscles and connective tissue for long amounts of time. I have never had my middle splits anywhere close to this before so this is pretty exciting, and going back to my three goals at the beginning, flexibility was one.hhnnll

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Thanks for following my journey with yoga, and hopefully some of you will give it a try!

Here I made a list of all of the videos and yoga practices I took part in, in no particular order. I did some of these videos numerous times depending on their length, and what I needed to work on the most.

 

  1. Yoga for weight loss
  2. Abs and Arms
  3. Butt and thighs
  4. Hamstrings
  5. Day 2
  6. Day 3
  7. Crow Pose
  8. Hips and Hammies
  9. 30 Days
  10. Day 4
  11. Day 5
  12. 6 PACK ABS
  13. Day 1
  14. Breath and Body
  15. Heart Practice
  16. Eagle Pose
  17. Headstands

 

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Sally dreams of leaving the city…

Sally and Bob walked outside through the fields of green, and forests with trees filled with fruit. Sally had fallen in love, and it wasn’t with Bob. The sight and smell of nature was something Sally was not familiar with, but Bob could see she was not happy with the city she lived in.

Sally and Bob found a nice tree to sit under, and shared a bag of nuts which they picked in the forest earlier that day. It all seemed too good to be true, and soon enough it was.

Sally then awoke from her sleep realizing that she had been dreaming about her walk with Bob. She looked at her window and saw that she was still in the city.

As she went downstairs her mom got her to take the trash outside. Sally of course did this for her mother, but made the decision that today would be the day. Today she would leave the city and go explore nature.

Sally picked Bob up and they drove to the closest park they could find in their concrete jungle. Bob was unsure why Sally was taking her to this park, but he went along with it. Sally looked forward to continuing her dream of nature the following night.

 

 

 

Photo credits:

(1) bionicteaching (2) Serenae (3) bionicteaching (4) bionicteaching (5) bionicteachin

#socialjustice

Last week in my ecmp 355 class, we talked about social justice and what our role as future/current educators is. Do you post your opinion so that people know you care?  Or do you keep quiet and try not to get involved. I find that this is a dilemma that is tough with social media, because people tend to speak up more over the Internet than they do in real life. 

I do think it is important to share articles and show support when there are issues being brought up online. Although I don’t think that by just sharing an article on Twitter you become a full supporter. I think that you should model what you believe in both in your social media posts, and also in real life. As a teacher you are able to have discussions with your class on certain social justice subjects which is great! I think as long as you are able to back up what you post online, then it is totally a good thing to post about social justice topics. 

Now the other thought I have about this really depends on who you are sharing your posts with. If you have many followers/ friends and you post a very one sided opinion, be aware that you are about to have a full blown argument in the comment section. I have noticed this with many issues, and especially with the refugee crisis going on right now. Some people believe we should let the Syrian refugees in, some people don’t, and some people are somewhere in he middle. With a topic like this one, I think it is sometimes best to keep quiet. Not because it is not important, because I think it is very important, but because controversy over deep topics like this one can create worse things than better. In a case like this, it is more important to educate than to state a personal opinion. Instead of sharing what you think is right/ wrong, you could instead share news articles that explain the situation and what people are doing to help. I say this because I see many people post their opinion and not facts, and soon enough it seems as if that one post has created many enemies. 

Last thought, is what do you do if someone you follow posts one sided, ignorant posts about a social justice topic. We have all seen someone post something we do not agree with before, which is fine because everyone is allowed to have their own opinion, but what should you do about it? Should you try to privately message them and ask why they feel that way if you know them well enough? Are you worried that people will think you think that way as well if they see that you follow them? My thoughts on this are that it will depend on the situation entirely. Sometimes it may be the best to unfriend/ unfollow this person, while other times it may be a one time comment from this person and it is not worth ruining a friendship over. 

Overall, what you post/ do not post about social justice is completely up to you. In my own opinion, I like to wait a little bit after an event and think about whether I should post about it rather than post an opinion while I am feeling angry/sad. 

-I

 

Scratch that

This week, we were to try out scratch and make an animation. I found this to be quite a hassle, as I was not able to figure out how to do it on my own. I ended up making an animation on Code Academy and enjoyed it much more because the tutorials do not let you move on to the next step unless you have done the first one properly. Unfortunately, when it came to sharing my animation on there it would not work. From that I decided to try scratch again, and this time followed one of their tutorials.

Here is a link to my animation. It is very simple, and nothing fancy at all, but I figured I should post what I had before I got frustrated. As far as it goes for using code in schools, I am not sure what I think about it. I never learned any code until my first year of University, and I learned how to use html to make a website. It was interesting, but with all the previously made websites, you are able to make a website by using templates which can save a lot of time.

I can’t think back to a time where coding would have been helpful to know in high school, and I yet to have come across a time where I would have liked to know it now. I think it is a good thing to have in an elective class such as computers, but I don’t think it would be beneficial to have it mandatory for every student to take. I think it would cause quite a bit of frustration, and may not go over well. I would be willing though to observe and learn about how it could be used in schools if it were to be tried. Until then, I will not worry about coding anymore and leave it to the pros. 😉

-I

Getting technology in with the schools

Since I am hoping to teach Dance in high schools as my career, I looked at the Saskatchewan Dance curriculum to see where technology could be integrated. I also used the digital citizenship continuum to compare and see how they could work together.

For the dance curriculum in the levels 10, 20, and 30 one of the goals is for students to understand how art is used to express. Expression through an art form is not just used in class, but can be used throughout. Something I noticed in the continuum was that it mentioned for students grades 10-12 they must learn how posting something online has potential to go viral, and can come with both negative and positive feedback. I think that this is something very important to teach in the dance curriculum because many dancers post videos of themselves dancing.

Earlier today, I was watching old videos of myself from 2-4 years ago dancing. Most of them were from when I was making up choreography either just for fun, or for a class I had to teach. Thank goodness I was not the type of person to post these videos years ago, because I cannot even imagine the comments I would have gotten. Not that I made these videos to post, but you do see some young boys and girls post videos like this.

It is important especially for teenagers to understand that not everything they do must be posted online. If I were to example this in my dance class, I would show students appropriate videos of both great professional dancers, and also the dancers (myself including) who video ourselves in our kitchens when we are trying to remember what we just did. I would show the students the comments on both, and show them how both get positive and negative comments. YouTube has an option to disable comments making it so that people can only view your video and nothing else, so I would make sure they understood that as well.

Here is a video by one of my favourite dancers. The video is from a couple years ago, and there is no denying she is an amazing dancer, but still there are negative comments. For some reason people discover a different side of them online, and say things they would never in person. Since that is just how it is, we need to make sure we educate our students to understand and accept this, and be able to use technology without letting it control them.

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Residential Schools were not cool

As a part of my ECS 100 class, we are taking a look at Residential schools this week. Apart of this topic was to watch a biography about a man named Garnet. He is a survivor from the Residential schools, and lives to tell his story of how that changed him and many others in this country.

From watching his biography, one of the biggest things I learned was that Aboriginal children today are still suffering from the impact of these Residential schools. One of those reasons is because their parents, grandparents, and so on were not treated how they should have been when they were younger, and therefore they were not taught how to be a good parent. Garnet mentions this in his biography that it is hard for those who were treated so badly as children to be able to treat their own children well. These people who suffered in the schools were not shown sincerity, love, compassion, or kindness. They were shown that they had no voice, no power, and were not allowed to be themselves. Hopefully if we can all work together, our future will be brighter for those growing up in an Aboriginal family.

The other big point that stuck with me, was that it is not up to Aboriginals to fix the issue. It is up to each and every one of us. Just because the Residential schools were designed for Aboriginals, the Canadian government was the reason why this happened. I do not believe we should still be blaming the government, as that won’t get us far, but instead we need to come together and work together. We need to form a true Canadian family and fight for our future to insure everyone is equal.

I never fully understood why Aboriginal youth did not have all of the same opportunities as those who are not Aboriginal. As I am getting to know more about the topics related to racism, Residential schools, treaties and so on, I feel that I am learning more and more. I would not say I fully understand yet why we still have separation between each race, but I believe as my journey to become a teacher grows, I will become more familiar with not only the why, but also how we can fix it.

-I00

Second go at the crow

Lately as I have been working on the crow pose, I have found it is harder to get step by step progress compared to the headstand. Since I have not felt that I improved, I was not posting about it.

Tonight I did a yoga practice focusing on the abdominal muscles, and at the end the instructor mentioned that since our muscles were engaged it would be a good time to try the crow pose. So I thought what the heck let’s give it a go. This time, I felt much more sturdy in this pose. I felt that I was more balanced, as more aware of my body, and could hold it a little longer.

If you have checked out any of the links I have posted to the yoga videos I am learning from, this ab workout is in the playlist of 30 days of yoga, and is day 6.

If any one has tried yoga, or is interested in it, leave me a comment of some things you wild like me to try! I will be moving onto another pose next week!

 -I