The How and Why of My Yoga Project

Why did I choose Yoga as my Learning Project? What are my goals and how will I know when I have achieved them?

Why Yoga?

It is not about vanity. The purpose of increasing my activity is to improve my energy, focus and positivity so I can be more effective in every aspect of my life. I will not be measuring weight lost, inches lost, or even gains in muscle tone, although those would be a welcome bonus.
Life is busy. I have two kids and a husband who depend on me. As my kids get older I find that more time is spent running them around to activities. I have a job which requires a lot of emotional, mental and physical energy and many personal hours of work at home. Adding in classes means there is really no free time and I must be highly organized. All of these aspects of my life are conscious choices that I strive to excel at. In order to be most effective, I need to stay healthy.  Stephen Covey’s Seventh Habit of the 7 Habits of Highly Effective People is to sharpen the saw. (I am a big fan of Stephen Covey’s work).
I find that I am often tired and have little desire to exercise. My hope is that a short session of gentle yoga will not seem too daunting and will be easier to commit to than some other forms of exercise. I also did not want to have to purchase a gym membership that I knew would just go to waste. I prefer to exercise at home. Yoga is something that is easy to do from home. There are many YouTube videos to learn from as well (see below).
I believe self-care is a huge problem in our society, especially for working parents. Hopefully others can benefit from my experiences.
The history of yoga has always intrigued me as well. I see this as an opportunity to learn more about this topic as well.

How will I measure my success?

Every great teacher knows that a well-made rubric is an excellent way to measure growth. So I decided to create a rubric to clarify what it is that I wanted to improve (see below). I will complete the rubric every Saturday to evaluate my week and note whether there is progress. Although I will also include running and walking on my treadmill as part of my exercise routine, the rubric will focus on the number of weekly yoga sessions I complete. I decided I would also keep a personal journal on Google Docs to reflect on how I feel and any my thoughts about my yoga practice as I go. I hope to fit in at least three sessions each week.

Rubric to Measure Effects of Regular Exercise on Mental Focus, Energy & Positivity

 

1 2 3 4
Mental Focus

(And Time Management)

– had difficulty focusing on tasks all week – had difficulty focusing on tasks sometimes – had difficulty focusing on tasks occasionally – able to focus on mental tasks any time of day
Energy level – felt tired all week

– unable to complete many necessary tasks  this week

– felt tired 2 or more days this week

– unable to complete some of the tasks this week

– felt tired 1 day this week

– able to complete most of the tasks in my week

– felt energetic throughout the week

– able to complete all of the tasks in my week easily

Positivity & Stress Management – had many negative thoughts and emotions

– felt anxious, worried or stressed much of the time

– had some negative thoughts and emotions occassionally

– felt anxious, worried or stressed some of the time

– had positive thoughts and emotions most of the week

– felt calm and confident most of the week

– had positive thoughts and emotions  almost all week

– felt calm and confident almost all week

 

What did I look for in a YouTube Yoga video?

I decided to use YouTube videos to guide my yoga practice. Luckily, I have a Smart TV in my basement for this purpose. I searched YouTube for Yoga for Energy. Of course, there were over 1 000 000 results!

My personal criteria for a yoga video consists of five parts. First, there must be relaxing music. Secondly the challenge needs to be just right for me. Next, the instructor must have a voice that is easy to listen to and explain the movements in a clear, easy to follow manner. Also I look for differing variations on the poses, so that I will have options for those days when I am feeling more lethargic, more energetic or more flexible than usual. Lastly, the pacing should be just right – not slow and boring, but not too fast either.
Fortunately, the second video I previewed met all these criteria. Yoga for Better Energy with Jason Crandell is the current choice. Of course, if I tire of this one, there is certainly not a lack of other options!

I think this is a great start to my project! After three yoga sessions in eight days I am already feeling more energetic! I gave myself a 3 in Mental Focus, a 2 in Energy level and  a 2 in Positivity on my rubric for the first week.

Stay tuned to see if I can fit in my three sessions of Yoga for Energy, and whether or not it indeed increases my energy for the week.

6 thoughts on “The How and Why of My Yoga Project

  1. I agree about your comment about self care and I know as LRT’s we have a pretty mentally draining job sometimes which leaves me for less energy than I would like for my own family so I congratulate you on your project and journey!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I really like your rubric! Glad you are taking some time for yourself. It is so easy to loose ourselves in our bust lives! Best of luck! excited to follow your journey!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Love the rubric! Such an easy way to access your progress and reflect. I’m sure you will find yoga to be extremely helpful in relieving stress. Enjoy!

    Liked by 1 person

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