As my steady readers know, I have wanted to look like a cool kid at yoga since…well since I started doing it 20 years ago. By cool kid, I mean that I want to be able to do inversions, and I want to be able to do the twisty poses. While I am not able to do the twisty poses yet, I have been working on my inversions. Tonight I stayed after my class to practice…and I did it. I did a headstand three times, and was able to hold it.
Before I got it completely, this funny thing would happen. I would get to the top and then get so excited I was upside down and vertical that I would come out of it. It’s like I would do a little happy dance in my brain, so it wouldn’t allow me to stay the course.
Once I breathed into it, I was able to do it. Once I engaged my core and sort of let go of the outcome, I was able to do it.
This is a lot like my students this year. I had some students who were extremely tied to their grades. I had to be very careful that their skill level was tied to how they were doing in class. In reflecting about my year, I realized that in making the grades align with their skills for this group made it worse in some ways. They worked for the grade, but did not move their thinking beyond the score they wanted in class. They did what they had to do to and no more. The interesting part? Their ACT scores we did in class at periodic times in the semester were flat. In short. they did not improve in the ways I would have liked to see.
However, my other class that was engaged and would debate topics out of the blue, and were passionate about what they were learning, scored on average 10 points higher on their tests. The lesson?
Those students who engaged in their core, in their learning process, were able to stay the course and improve their skills.