It has already been six weeks of this project? I have learned so much about yoga and my mentor that it is hard to believe that all of that information could be compacted into only six sessions. I just looked at my In-Depth blog post #3 from last year to compare the progress I have made this year. Last year, this time, I had only just found a mentor while this year, I have already met with my mentor six times! I definitely think my project this year is coming along a lot nicer than my project last year.

During the last six yoga classes with my mentor Shelley, she has taught me many new poses and a lot about breathing.

Three Legged Dog Pose in yoga ( I wish I looked like this ) - Google Images

Three Legged Dog Pose (I wish I looked like this) – Google Images

She has taught me the some basic ones and not so basic ones including downward dog, child’s pose, tree, eagle, boat, three legged dog, and many, many, more. Each pose has a different purpose and different focus on muscles. After each class I will feel that my entire body and all of my muscles have been stretched. About twice a week I will get my yoga mat and try some of the poses that Shelley has taught me at home. I don’t get quite the same effect if I were to go to a proper class because I usually miss some poses/muscle groups. Hopefully by the end of the project I will be able to identify all the poses that she teaches me and be able to use that for my own personal use.

In my last post I said I would talk more about what I have learned breathing-wise. Last class Shelley talked about breathing and it’s importance for about five minutes. I wish I could have recorded it, but I was in the middle in the class and couldn’t really get my phone out. I will summarize what she said though. The one thing that really stood out from what she said was “breathing connects the body and the mind”. She says that when we are consciously breathing and concentrating on our breathing we are are put into the present moment and letting go of the past and not looking into the future. She says it is supposed to help make all of our worries and stresses wash away so we can then just focus on ourselves and task at hand, which is yoga in this case. I was thinking after class how breathing the way we do in yoga can be used in everyday stressful situations like presentations. Now that I have learned more about breathing in yoga, I can apply that knowledge everyday, whenever I need it.

Now to address some of the mentoring questions that Ms. Mulder asked.

1. What went particularly well during your mentoring sessions?

During the mentoring sessions, I get to learn a lot about Shelley and basically everything I need to know about yoga. She has so much knowledge and experience with yoga that it makes it really easy to learn from her. During the class, she mainly speaks and then we listen, but afterwards I am able to ask her further questions about what she talked about. This gives both of us a chance to listen and speak to each other which I think is really important in mentorship.

4. What logical challenges affected your communication?

a. What factors affected your ability to interact effectively?

I think the main challenge is that I am in a class with other girls, so I can’t ask one-on-one questions with Shelley during the class. I do have about ten minutes before and after class to talk to her and ask her questions, but that isn’t really a lot of time. It doesn’t affect our ability to interact too much, but it would definitely help if it were a one-on-one class.

5. What three strategies could improve the quality of your mentoring interactions?

  1. Ask for advice – A lot of the time I ask about what she talks about in class like breathing techniques, her experiences, and just general yoga knowledge. I don’t often ask how I could personally improve or what I could do outside of class to make me better at yoga. I think if I ask more one-on-one personal questions like this, it could definitely improve our mentor and mentee relationship
  2. Talk for a longer period of time – As I stated before, I usually only talk to her for about 10 minutes before/after class. I am going to try and arrange a time before-hand if she doesn’t have any other classes to teach to see if we can talk for maybe twenty minutes instead of ten. That way I could learn twice as much!
  3. Come prepared with more questions – I usually talk to her after class, and that is because I don’t usually have questions before-hand. I think that if I bring questions to discuss before everyone arrives then she can answer anything I am curious about.

That is all for this week! I am really enjoying this project so far and kind of don’t want it to end :( . Don’t forget to “breath” and always stay in the moment.

-Christine