We are currently three weeks into in-depth now, and I am already enjoying the yoga experience. Last week, I was actually able to visit Yoga Generation – the yoga studio where my mentor works – and meet her for the first time. We politely introduced ourselves and started having a conversation about the studio. Our personalities seemed to be similar so getting along was not difficult. She gave me a rundown about how the classes work, her past in learning/teaching yoga, and allowed me to ask her a few questions.
After having a conversation with my mentor, I attended my first yoga class. It was a Hatha Yoga class, which is semi-active. At the very beginning of class, my body was so relaxed and comfortable I felt as though I could fall asleep. However, soon we got into the physically-demanding poses and I realized how inflexible I was. I am not naturally flexible so a lot of the movements that are taught are quite difficult for me. For example, between every few poses, we will return to a downward dog pose. This pose requires flexibility in the hamstrings, which I lack. Halfway through the class, I was already sweating tremendously.
Although the poses were challenging, I was determined to maintain the positions for as long as possible, even if it means being in some pain. Nearing the end of the class, everyone was instructed to lie down on their yoga mats in a relaxing position and close their eyes. Calming music played in the background. I felt so exhausted by then and was ready to sleep. Finally, we sat up in a bound angle pose and concluded the class with “Namaste”.
How to agree:
#7. See if there are any circumstances in which the other person’s views might be right.
Since my mentor and I have only met and talked once, most of our conversation consisted of factual information. Because of this, I believe that her points are right. My mentor has more experience in yoga as she has been doing it professionally, so it is reasonable for me to listen and take notes of her experiences. Everyone has their own “logic bubble”, which states that we all believe we are acting logically based on our values, perspectives, and experiences. I try to understand my mentor’s logic bubble and her way of teaching yoga, even if I have my own opinion. After some time, I see her point of view and learn to agree with her teaching style.
How to disagree:
#2. Do not disagree just to show how clever you are or to boost your ego.
Yoga is completely new for me, so it may be hard for me to have a different personal experience to begin with. In Edward De Bono’s How To Have A Beautiful Mind, he states that we should disagree with people “politely and gently rather than rudely and aggressively” (pg. 26). There has not been much for me to disagree with my mentor on, so I will talk about the yoga class instead. During the yoga class, the instructor (who was not my mentor), mostly spoke the names of the yoga poses while walking around the room. Luckily, I was near the back so I could look at other students in the room. I hoped that the instructor would go to the front of the room and demonstrate the poses for the class, but she did not. I disagree with her teaching style, but that doesn’t mean she is a bad instructor. In fact, she has more knowledge than I do, so I trust her ways of expressing and teaching yoga.
How to differ:
When a difference arises, try to figure out what this difference is based on.
Often during the conversation between me and my mentor, we would bring up the subject of “purpose”. My mentor explains to me what her personal purpose of doing yoga is, and it differs from mine. We both have lead and experienced different lives. Of course, it is likely for the two of us to have different motives for learning yoga. Other than learning yoga for the purpose of this in-depth project, I also want to learn it to better my health both physically and mentally. I have always been interested in how yoga can greatly improve your body and clear your mind. My mentor wanted to learn yoga for different reasons, and that is totally valid. I accept her reasoning for pursuing yoga as it is not just her opinion, but her personal life experience.
I am looking forward to more classes at Yoga Generation!