In-Depth Post #5

Progress Report:

Wow…I can’t believe that this is my second to last in-depth blog post. So far, the experience has been one to remember, and I definitely plan on keeping yoga in my life. During spring break, I practiced some yoga on my own and attended a class. It was a little difficult to meet up with my mentor since she was away during the break, but I plan on seeing her again this week. Also, throughout the last four weeks, I continued my research on how yoga relaxes the mind. I wanted to focus on how it physically reduces stress and anxiety, but I also found some information on how it “spiritually” relaxes oneself. Since I presented my in-depth project with a learning center last year, I hope to share this information I learned on In-depth Night in a performance-style presentation this year. My plan is to present my yoga skills (doing yoga poses, showing a proper breathing tempo, techniques, etc.) while explaining what I have learned about reducing stress and anxiety with yoga. If I have enough time, I would prefer to talk about my learnings first, then present the yoga poses. However, I am flexible with time restrictions.

Here are some photos that I took during the first month of in-depth compared to now. Yoga helps to increase flexibility and improves posture. There is little visible progress, as you can see, but I personally feel much more comfortable doing these poses now compared to before. I won’t be explaining each pose in detail since I plan on presenting these on In-depth Night.

  1. Adho mukha svanasana (downward dog pose)

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  1. Warrior 1

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  1. Warrior 2

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  1. Trikonasana (triangle pose)

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How To Have A Beautiful Mind

Since my mentor had plans during spring break, I was unable to physically meet up with her. However, we communicated sometimes via email. I will be using one of our email “conversations” as an example for the Six Thinking Hats.

(white, red, black, yellow, green, blue)

Mentor: How is your progress? Have you been practicing at home?

[…]

Me: Yes, I have been practicing! The poses feel a lot easier now, compared to before. I was just wondering, are these poses supposed to reach a point where they aren’t difficult to achieve? Or are they supposed to remain challenging for the body, despite the many practices?

Mentor: Good question, Kailey. Because yoga is similar to stretching exercises, poses do eventually become easier when you become more flexible. If you prefer to keep up the challenge for your body, I suggest trying to increase the time each pose is held or explore different variations of the movement.

[…]

Me: I understand that many yogi (or jogi) practice yoga at Yoga Generation many times a week. As a student who isn’t able to afford that much time, what do you recommend? Is investing once per week to yoga going to be effective?

Mentor: Yoga will definitely be effective, even if you come in once per week, as long as it’s consistent. Keeping yoga in your routine can help maintain your flexibility, core, and strength.

[…]

Mentor: Great questions today! I hope I was able to help. Keep up with the practices and ask more questions if you have any.


Thank you for reading my in-depth blog post! Stay tuned for more yoga photos. 😊

Is Canada a post-national state?

“Is Canada a nation, simply a country, or a ‘post-national’ state?”


I believe that Canada’s diverse and multicultural population forms a country with multiple regional nations. We may be heading in the direction of a post-national state, however, “Canada has borders, where guards check passports, and an army” (Foran, 2017), so we have not yet reached the time when our physical borders are insignificant. Now, the debate over Canada being either a nation or simply a country is quite subjective, in my opinion. We live in a country where there is so much diversity that it is hard to argue for a specific “Canadian identity”. Since Canada is home to immigrants and refugees, a common value we share is to respect others with “multiple identities and multiple loyalties” (McLuhan). With this common value, many seem to think that Canada is a nation in which our differences are what makes us the same. “75 percent of residents believe there is a “unique Canadian culture” (Todd, 2016), and although this “unique Canadian culture” exists, it’s what defined us a country, not a nation. A nation is a group of people who are united by culture, language, or shared values and beliefs. Canada, being a welcoming country to multiple cultures, has no issue with people who don’t share the exact values as everyone else, as long as their individuality doesn’t go against the Canadian law or government. Our wide range of ethnicities, religions, and people with contrasting political views make it so that regardless of our few similar values, we are not united as a single nation. Trudeau, along with many Canadians, recognizes the culture of indigenous peoples, immigrants, refugees, and other minorities. Even so, we are not a “place where respect for minorities trumps any one group’s way of doing things” (Todd, 2016). We do appreciate and hold value to the multiculturalism in Canada, but these minorities are still considered unequal to the rest of Canada. In that sense, the smaller nations within Canada are what makes up parts of our country, but our country is not yet a post-national state or a unified nation.

In-Depth Post #4

Progress:

 As we are nearing two months into in-depth, I am becoming more and more inquisitive about yoga. Last week, I had another meeting with my mentor, and we discussed my previous yoga classes. During the beginning of our meeting, I was the main speaker. I told my mentor about my experiences with Hatha, Vinyasa, and Aerial yoga. After explaining the observations I made of my own strengths and weaknesses, I allowed my mentor to give me advice. While she talked, I thought about How To Have A Beautiful Mind, and how Edward De Bono talks about being a good listener.

As she talked about her recommendations to help me improve, I took detailed notes and nodded to show that I understood. Since I read the chapters of the book that talk about good listening prior to the meeting, I knew about listening attentively and not interrupting the speaker. When my mentor finished giving me advice, I paraphrased some of the information she explained to me and asked questions regarding her advice. I also recorded our conversation so I could use the exact wording she used in my transcription. Here are some of the pieces of advice she gave me and how they relate to How To Have A Beautiful Mind.

How To Have A Beautiful Mind:

 How to be a good listener:

 

“I took my first Aerial yoga class last week, and it was a little stressful because I’m afraid of being upside down or getting injured. Do you have any recommendations for me on how to overcome those problems?”

Mentor: Yeah, lots of people are worried about getting injured. My advice is to try another class because usually, it gets easier the second time. […] There’s less anxiety.

“Is there anything you advise me to do to help improve my yoga poses on my own time?”

Mentor: Just do more yoga. I mean, there are tons of great videos online, Gaia TV is a really good one, where you can find classes you can practice with online if you’re at home. Or you can just do little sequences. […] But really, just come in for a class, like, three times a week and you’ll start to see some improvements. Usually, when you do a yoga class you will feel the effects for an hour or two or maybe the rest of the day, but then it fades. […] It just has to be a regular practice.

 

Throughout this Q&A session, I took notes that I believed were important to my overall inquiry. Making sure that I showed interest and curiosity, I also smiled and nodded while she spoke. After her advice, I would always ask a few more questions to probe deeper and gain more knowledge/advice.

How to ask questions:

 

“I noticed in Vinyasa yoga and Hatha yoga a lot of the same poses are repeated throughout the class, so I was wondering if there are any specific poses that are commonly executed?”

Mentor: Definitely, sun salutation is one of them, which is a series of poses that are practiced with the breath. Those are done in almost every class. Also the warriors: warrior one, two, and three are done in almost every class. And then, of course, savasana.

“Right, I remember that term. Could you please remind me what savasana was again?”

Mentor: Savasana is the corpses pose. It’s the pose that you do at the very end of every class. Some people call it the ‘yoga nap’. It’s not actually a nap though, it’s a meditation, but it kind of has the same effect.

 

During our meeting, we touched on the topic of poses that are commonly done in almost every class. When my mentor brought up the names of a few poses, I questioned which one of them was. I remember hearing the name before, but I didn’t recall which exact movement it was. The importance of asking questions is for clarification because I don’t want to be unsure of the information I am taking note of.

Thanks for reading! Namaste.

True Love or Puppy Love?

Based on our readings so far, I believe that that in Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet, the young lovers share a puppy love relationship. I don’t think that the love between them is genuine since they have only met for a couple of days and they want to get married. To be honest, I think that everyone’s perspective of this question could be different because some people believe in “love at first sight”, while others might not. Personally, I don’t believe in love at first sight. Love cannot be achieved within a matter of seconds of looking at somebody but over time and interaction. It’s possible to have “infatuation at first sight” or “attraction at first sight”, however, I do not believe in love at first sight. Romeo exclaims that “[Juliet] doth teach the torches to burn bright! […] Beauty too rich for use, for earth too dear” (1.5.44/47). Not so long after, he questions if he “love[d] till now? Forswear it, sight!” (1.5.52), and we can see that he mentions the word “sight”. Everything up until what we have read so far is based on his love for her beauty. He states his love for Juliet, however, all he talks about is how beautiful she is and how much she stands out in women.

Looking through a historical lens, I can infer that the main idea of Romeo and Juliet’s love is historically accurate. This is because the norms in the past were that women of high status would be married off to men who’s families are prestigious and wealthy. Additionally, most women don’t have a say at all in their marriage partner. During the Elizabethan era, it was legal for boys to marry at the age of 14, and girls at the age of 12 (see works cited). We can see this concept being perpetuated in the story, although we can also see that Juliet has much more of a say compared to other women in history. Since Juliet does not want to marry her “chosen partner” and Romeo falls in infatuation very quickly, they spring into a love based on appearance. Their love is forbidden, which in truth, makes it more desirable. In the past, people at Juliet and Romeo’s age are already considered adults, as we can see that it is common when people at their age are married. Paris also mentioned that “younger than she are happy mothers made” (1.2.12). This shows that who we would consider young children today were considered adults old enough for marriage in history.

Works Cited:

http://www.william-shakespeare.info/elizabethan-wedding-customs.htm

https://www.bl.uk/shakespeare/articles/marriage-and-courtship

http://www.elizabethan-era.org.uk/elizabethan-marriages-and-weddings.htm

In-Depth Post #3

Time is passing by quickly as we are already in our fifth week of in-depth. During the past couple of weeks, I was lucky enough to attend two yoga classes at Yoga Generation. Both classes included a yoga style that was completely new to me. Three weeks ago, I took a Hatha yoga class after my first meeting with my mentor. Two weeks ago, I took a Vinyasa yoga class just for a different experience. Last week, I took an Aerial yoga class with Sarah Johnson, which was a slightly uncomfortable but enjoyable class. Aerial yoga is extremely difficult, much to my surprise. I thought it would be quite easy for me, but instead, I struggled greatly. I realized how afraid I was to take risks. During the Vinyasa yoga class, I was able to experience yoga that is a faster pace compared to Hatha yoga. The two types of yoga are quite different in difficulty, however, a similarity I found was that both types involve the downward dog position. It seems like this pose is commonly executed in yoga. Vinyasa yoga required a bit more flexibility, although I was quite surprised how simple it was for me to stretch out my muscles. Sometime during the next couple of weeks, I will post some photos on my blog to show my improvement. I am hoping to try Yin yoga next!

How To Have A Beautiful Mind

How to be interesting:

Edward De Bono talks about making and finding connections that link matters together and generates interest. After experiencing both Hatha and Vinyasa yoga, I was able to find some differences and similarities between to two. During the following meeting with my mentor, I asked a “what if” question about the relation between the yoga styles.

Me: I realized in both Hatha and Vinyasa yoga, the downward dog movement was repeated constantly. There are also a few other poses that are executed in both types of yoga.
[…]
Is it possible that the downward dog pose has a certain purpose for the body?

Mentor: Actually, I am not too sure about that. I’m sure you can find some information online. Although I do know that a lot of poses are in Hatha and Vinyasa yoga because they don’t differ much in poses, but in movement pace.
[…]
So basically, Vinyasa is similar to Hatha, just quicker between movements.

Me: Oh, I see. […] I will definitely search it up.

How to respond:

One of the points that is discussed in the book is asking for clarification whenever you are unclear or in doubt about something the mentor tells you. Often, there is a piece of our conversation (between my mentor and me) that I did not record because I didn’t feel like it was necessary. However, I am always proven wrong when I later realize that I need a certain piece of information that my mentor mentioned, but I failed to record. As a result, I emailed my mentor to ask about my doubt.

Me (through email): […] During our last meeting, you talked a bit about Hatha yoga, Vinyasa yoga, and Yin yoga. I believe you also mentioned some other terminology regarding the poses. Would you mind please emailing me the details? Thank you very much.

Mentor (through email): Thanks for reaching out. The term I referenced was “Yoga Chitta Vritti Nirodaha”, which is the essence of Yoga in all of its varied forms. You can read a bit more about that, and the text from which it is from here: https://www.yogapedia.com/2/8458/meditation/silence/yogas-chitta-vritti-nirodha.

Thank you for reading my blog post! Photos of my improvement executing yoga poses will be posted shortly. Namaste.

In-Depth Post #2

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.

Progress:

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!

ZIP Final DOL

“How does the use of cultural language impact the authenticity and realism of children’s movies?”

disney

Everyone has watched a children’s movie at some point in their life. In a lot of these movies, people of different culture are represented, which makes each one worth appreciating and acknowledging. At the beginning of my ZIP, I struggled with deciding on which area to do my research project on. Last year, my chosen topic was focused around slam poetry and how it is written and performed. This year, I thought about going further with poems and possibly writing a book of poetry; however, I also wanted to experience something completely different from last year. I decided to direct my learning towards something else I am deeply interested in: children’s movies. Animated movies are a big part of my life, and I have always enjoyed watching them. Now the only question is, how do I incorporate my interest in children’s movies into ZIP? There are many sections I could focus on, such as scriptwriting, story plotlines, character development, etc. In the end, I chose to look at the cultural perspectives that are presented in some Disney movies. Throughout the course of this project, my inquiry question did change a bit. The initial question still remained, however, I also looked into the topic of cultural appropriation. Overall, I just analyzed the cultural behavior and language represented in a few Disney movies.

During this inquiry process, I was able to take something that I love to do and make it useful in my school learnings. I think that this is very important for me not only as a student but also as a learner in general. It’s important to be able to take something that is enjoyable for me and turn it into something that can help me with other successes. Another specific skill that I expanded on was researching and gaining a greater understanding of cultures and languages. When people watch Disney movies, we mostly focus on the characters themselves or the story that it is telling. Although, how often do we truly look at the cultural background that is shown? A deeper meaning is integrated within the exciting stories and unique songs. This inquiry process has taught me to appreciate the multiple cultures represented in Disney movies, and how to use my curiosity when watching new movies.

cocoThe inquiry question that I proposed has no specifically correct answer, although there are many points that I found which are related and similar to an answer I was looking for. As an overview, I can say that characters of a different culture who speak some of their cultural dialects add a lot to a movie. Without any representation of cultural behavior, the movie seems less authentic and, in some cases, stereotypical and inaccurate. One of the movies that are used in my project (that I have just recently watched), Coco, is a wonderful example of cultural representation in children’s movies. The characters speak quite a great amount of Spanish since the setting is in Mexico. All of the characters refer to each other in common Spanish terms. For example, Miguel, who is the main character in the movie, is referred to as “chico” by his family, meaning “boy” or “son”. Words such as “alebrijes” (spirit animals) and “ofrendas” (altars, used to honor the dead) are also commonly heard. Many of the songs are in Spanish, and it really makes the storyline more realistic and authentic. On another note, this movie is specially produced to educate and display a real Mexican holiday, Dia de los Muertos (also known as Day of the Dead). This holiday is all about honoring the dead. In every home, an “ofrenda” is set up with the family ancestor’s pictures to ensure they are not forgotten. Since Dia de los Muertos is an authentic holiday that is celebrated, it makes complete sense to portray the links between the dead and the alive, the “ofrendas”, and the characters the way they would be in reality. There are also other movies that are similar to Coco that I will be explaining in depth during my presentation.

My final learning artifact is a Pecha Kucha presentation. I understand that our presentation is not supposed to be a lesson; however, I believe that this is the best way to demonstrate my learning because I will be able to verbally explain my findings with a slideshow as a visual aid. For my ZIP project, it is a little difficult to show my learning with a single, physical artifact. Unlike other areas of interest such as scriptwriting or trailer-making, a project solely based on research and perspective cannot be simply demonstrated with an object. Since my Pecha Kucha will definitely not take up 5-6 minutes, I am hoping to have an interactive portion with my audience member. I will have a few cards face down on the desk, each with a character from a movie on it. My audience member will choose a card, and I will then talk specifically about that movie and its cultural references. If there is time, the audience member can also ask questions regarding my project.

These are the core competencies I have chosen:

  • Recognize how language constructs personal, social, and cultural identity.

The language that is spoken in the films I have researched shape the characters and society portrayed by that culture. It demonstrates how much the words and language we speak construct our identity.

  • Apply appropriate strategies to comprehend written, oral, and visual texts, guide inquiry, and extend thinking.

My Pecha Kucha provides visual texts and photos which I will be further explaining verbally. The second part of my presentation will include more interaction between me and the audience member, which will challenge my understanding of my topic.

  • Recognize and identify the role of personal, social, and cultural contexts, values, and perspectives in texts.

In all the movies I have chosen, cultural values, perspectives, and beliefs are present. Most of these ideas impact the entire plotline. I will do my best to identify and explain how these roles affect our view of the movies.

Helpful sources:

https://www.k-international.com/blog/the-languages-of-moana/

This website includes the description of the Polynesian languages spoken in the movie Moana. It tells us how the soundtrack includes both the languages Samoan and Tokelauan. It also mentions that “one common challenge with language preservation is making the language seem relevant and attractive to children”. In general, most of the cultural language used in the movie is shown on this website.

https://slate.com/culture/2017/11/alebrijes-ofrendas-and-more-mexican-cultural-traditions-in-coco-explained.html

This is one of my favorite websites, mainly because Coco is currently one of my favorite Disney movies. The site gives an insightful definition of certain Spanish terms that are not commonly known. It also gives a nice description of the correct use of Dia de Muertos vs. Dia de los Muertos.

https://lakotachildren.org/2015/09/reservations-about-films-disneys-pocahontas/

This was an interesting read. The website provided me with a long and in-depth history lesson of the movie Pocahontas, and the origin of the story. This website also showed what the filmmaker did to “morph” the story into a fictional love story that did not actually occur in the past.

https://themagicofreligionindisney.weebly.com/mulan.html

This website gave a brief but informative outlook on the movie Mulan. The film reflects the nature of the Chinese religion and culture by making many references to and emphasizing “upholding the family honor”. In general, it describes the cultural (and religious) practices and values from the movie.

While researching my inquiry question, I often run into websites that don’t necessarily talk about the answer I am looking for, but the content interests me. The subject of cultural appropriation and misrepresentation popped up a lot, and unfortunately, I wasn’t able to go too far down that path for research. It does spark my interest in how a lot of these movie producers and directors are not actually from the place they are basing the movie off of. This causes me to wonder if they have a deep enough understanding of the culture, or if some parts are based on stereotypes. For the future, I would like to have more time to explore that subject.

This concludes my inquiry project. Goodbye, ZIP 2019!

pocahontas-gif

ZIP DOL #4

Describe the ups and downs you have encountered to date in your inquiry. Specifically, when you were frustrated or struggling in your inquiry, what did you do to address the situation?


So far along my inquiry, I have run into a few obstacles, although I would consider them a blessing. These obstacles have helped me uncover a new topic related to the cultural aspects of Disney movies. On the internet, I found it a little difficult finding the information I was looking for. For example, when researching ethnic/cultural behavior that is expressed in specific Disney movies, I only read articles about how Disney misrepresented the culture. Most of the information on the websites explained the issue of cultural appropriation. Although this is technically an obstacle because it is not directly helping me achieve the answer to my question, it is still useful information to have. I will definitely include this topic in my final presentation.

fnewsmagazine.com/2016/11/disneys-cultural-appropriation-in-moana/

This website is not exactly formal or reliable, but it was still an interesting read. It describes cultural appropriation in the movie Moana. Apparently, the movie started as an appreciation for the beauty of Polynesian culture but somehow ended up with backlash for misrepresentation of Maui. It also states how the Maui costume may be offensive to people. Overall, it was an eye-opening article that can be referred to in my presentation.

ZIP DOL #3

Take a moment to reflect on your inquiry plan (calendar). Do you need to make any revisions to your original plan? If so, why? If you haven’t made any changes to your plan, why do you feel you have been so successful in sticking to it?


My original inquiry plan:

January 6: Complete proposal and rubric, post on my blog

January 7 – 13: Research and take notes

January 14 – 18: Research, compile notes, start planning presentation

January 19 – 20: Decide and plan presentation (how I want the product to be)

January 21 – 27: Create and edit video or Pecha Kucha, review notes resources

January 28 – 29: Present!

I feel that I need to revise my original schedule because my research took up a few more days than expected. Instead of compiling notes and starting my presentation on January 14th, I have used the last couple of classes for further research. Although I did not completely follow through with my original plan, I don’t regret using my time for extra research. My notes are quite detailed and thorough now, and I plan to compile and review my notes today and tomorrow during class. Today is January 15th, and originally, I was supposed to start compiling my notes yesterday and start organizing my presentation today. However, because of the slight shift in my schedule, I will not start my presentation until January 18th (this Friday). Other than this revision, I believe that my schedule is reasonable, and I am able to keep up with it.

In-depth 2019: Introduction

Greetings!

This year for in-depth, I will be studying the art of yoga. Yoga is a mental and physical practice that not only relaxes the body but the mind as well. For the first couple of months along the learning process, I will mainly conduct research regarding the purpose of yoga, and how it helps relieves stress for students, such as myself. The next couple of months will be dedicated to specifically practicing the yoga poses and creating a presentation that effectively showcases my learning.

yogaThroughout the four months of this project, I will attend yoga classes every two weeks at Yoga Generation. An instructor who teaches there, Prestonne, will be my mentor. After every yoga class, I will have the opportunity to ask her about my inquiries. In my own time, I will also review the yoga poses that I learn from her. I am hoping to take photos to track my progress (balance, posture, flexibility, etc.).

I want to learn about yoga because it is a lifelong skill that can be applicable to my daily life. I would also like to be capable of sharing my knowledge of yoga with my peers. Yoga is known to be a calming form of exercise; the benefits of this exercise are both mental and physical. I believe that simple yoga should be known and taught internationally, providing a healthy stress-reliever to many people around the world.