Thumbs down for TikTok

For this week’s learning project I wanted to see if I could learn yoga from TikTok. I have a lot of classmates that have hyped up TikTok and how they are able to learn so many different things from it so I thought I should give it a shot. I was an avid Vine user when that was the “cool” app and was heart broken when it died? (Does anyone actually know what happened to vine?) Once TikTok became a thing I resisted the urge to download it because 1. I thought I was too old for it and 2. I didn’t want to download another app that would have me glued to my phone even more than I already feel like I am. So, I blame EDTC 300 for making me download TikTok and causing me to spend countless hours watching random TikToks. Thanks you guys. So let’s get it started.. Setting up TikTok was pretty simple. I downloaded the app on my phone, signed up for an account and followed the tutorial steps of following what interests me. Once I had everything all set up it was time to explore. Discover I went to the discover page and searched “yoga” in the search bar at the top and a lot of videos came up right away. Right away I noticed a lot of the videos seemed kinda inappropriate to be practicing and showing you guys (mostly yoga TikToks to improve sex). So I kept scrolling until I came across a yoga account named arina.yoga. Going through her profile, I clicked on a few of her videos that I was interested in like her “yoga for cramps” and “low back love“. After watching a couple more videos and realizing she posts a daily yoga practice for her followers, I ended up following her! @arina.yoga Since I liked a lot of Arina’s videos, I decided to try to learn some yoga from her. Right away I wanted to try her “yoga for happy hips” as anyone who has been keeping up with my blog will know that I have tight hips and chronic lower back pain (ew that sounds like I’m old). Thoughts/Opinions For it only being a 1 minute video, I guess it was alright. I really enjoy those poses/stretches so I didn’t mind it but after I performed the four poses I said “so that’s it?” In order to feel like I performed an actual yoga practice or workout, I would have to line up a bunch of videos watch. That just doesn’t seem like the most practical and efficient way for me to learn yoga. I would recommend following @arina.yoga on TikTok if you are interested in getting your quick daily dose of yoga in for the day! I will probably reference her page for quick stretches to perform when I am feeling a little more tight than usual. She also has an Instagram account that I followed as well. Overall, I think TikTok is a bust when trying to learn yoga. I could see how it could be used to learn other things like cooking or creating DIY crafts, but I would not recommend TikTok for learning how to practice yoga. Impractical and too short of videos for my liking. Back to Fitness+ After feeling unsatisfied from my yoga TikTok experience, I felt like I needed to do a better practice. Because I loved Fitness+ so much last week, I figured I would use it again (and because I only have it for a few more weeks- I better make the most out of the free subscription). Since I loved Jessica’s practice so much last time, I tried out her 45 minute workout. This one was a KILLER! I felt great after performing this yoga sequence. I not only feel like I was really challenged in this practice, but I feel like I have improved in my flexibility and strength. Comment down below! What other resources should I learn yoga from? Do you have any yoga practices that you would recommend? Any recommendations on who to follow on TikTok? Let me know!

Continue reading

Fake news

In EDTC 300, I have learned the importance of integrating technology into the classroom to not only improve teaching instruction, but to enhance the traditional ways of teaching and to better engage students with their learning. With the integration of technology, students must be taught how to take ownership of their digital lives. Not only is it crucial to teach digital citizenship and it’s nine elements, but it’s necessary we teach students to “approach news and information with a critical eye in order to identify intentionally misleading sources” (Couros & Hildebrandt, 2018, para 2). Like it was said in Damon Brown’s video, today the amount of information is limitless and just a click away. With the internet multiplying the amount of information and viewpoints we have access to, comes greater responsibility as consumers to ensure we are not being fooled by fake news and the dangers that accompany it. In Wineburg, McGrew, Breakstone, Ortega’s (2016) article, they described the internet as “both the worlds best fact checker, and the worlds best bias confirmer- often at the same time” (p. 4). In his video, John Spencer stated that in a Stanford study, only 25% of high school students were able to identify an accurate news story compared to a fake news story. Students also had a hard time distinguishing between real and fake photos, as well as authentic and staged videos. This is a concerning reality. As future educators, it is our responsibility to ensure students gain the skills necessary to combat the fake news they will encounter daily. But how? Damon Brown’s advice is to: verify the news before spreading it. This is a really simple way to ensure you are not being lazy about the things you are sharing and spreading to your followers. This is something I wish more of my facebook friends would consider. As Brown mentioned, doing the necessary “work” before sharing the article helps ensure the flow of information does not become a flood- leaving us less informed than before. I also really appreciated John Spencer’s 5 C’s of Critical Consuming method to help students identify fake news: Curriculum connections As I hope to be an early elementary educator, I focused on ways to integrate teaching fake news with grade 3 students. In Health Education, Outcome DM3.1 students are to: “demonstrate the importance of investigating information for making informed decisions related to healthy foods and physical activity, one’s “inner self”, helpful and harmful substances, healthy family and home, safety at home, and impact of violence.” Indicator b: “Determine the kinds of information to gather and investigate for making healthy decisions.” Indicator c: “Examine sources of information/misinformation in the community.” Working with these outcomes and indicators, I was able to find a lesson plan titled: Is Seeing Believing? focussing on how people can alter digital photos and videos. From this, students will be able to: Recognize that photos and videos can be altered digitally. Identify different reasons why someone might alter a photo or video. Analyze altered photos and videos to try to determine why. I was also able to find another resource to use in the grade 3 classroom working with the same outcomes and indicators focussing specifically on fake news. The “Break the Fake” lesson plan will introduce students to the challenges of identifying what is real and fake online. This lesson also includes a fun, interactive quiz. I also found another lesson plan by Media Smarts called “Can you Spot the Ad?” to help students demonstrate an understanding of: what “branding” and “brands” are and how to recognize them how to identify advertisements in different media the goals and tactics of advertising Overall, I believe it is extremely important to ensure we are providing our students the skills that are essential in navigating the constantly evolving online world and their online presence in order to become safe and responsible citizens online. Introducing the younger elementary grades to topics around digital citizenship is essential to ensure they become confident and responsible when using technology. Help me out! What other resources could you suggest I use to help teach K-5 students digital citizenship and navigating fake news online?

Continue reading

Fitness+ deserves two pluses

This is the most accurate representation of myself after using Fitness+ to help with my yoga learning project. Fitness+ is a game changer! Because my sister and I share each others Apple watch fitness information, she sent me a yoga workout she completed and recommended for me to try out using the fitness+ option within the Fitness app (for those who don’t have an apple watch, sharing our information means you can see how active each individual is being as it shows how many calories you are burning, along with how long you have worked out or stood up throughout the day. It also shows any workouts that you have done and tracked with your apple watch). To get a better idea, here is a comparison of mine and my sisters fitness progress for Thursday March 31st at 11am. The one and only down fall to the app: You have to pay for it, a steep $12.99/ month or $99.99/year. Thankfully, I had the option to click on the 1 month free trial and I plan to cancel once my free month is up. Fitness+ tour At the very top of the main page you can see the HIIT, Yoga, Core, and Strength options but if you slide your finger left on those options it provides SO many more workouts to choose from. Once you click on your desired workout, you will see a screen with tons of workouts to choose from with a detailed description. I could scroll for so long there were way too many yoga workout options to choose from, I loved it! I also really appreciated the filter option to help narrow down your options. Following my sisters recommendation, I chose “Yoga with Jessica” The preview option provides a quick 30 second clip of what the yoga practice entails, which I thought was awesome. Theres nothing worse than choosing a yoga sequence and then halfway through it realizing you don’t like it or that it doesn’t match the level of yoga you have been practicing. As you can see, this yoga sequence includes music in the practice. The yoga sequences that I have performed usually have a quiet, tranquil background tune that reminds me of elevator music. This made me love this practice so much more because the playlist included Fleetwood Mac! BONUS: What is also really nice about the music aspect is that you can download a song from this sequence into your music app if you really liked a song. The practice it’s self was WONDERFUL! Jessica was great. She often reassured the audience to not worry if you couldn’t perform a certain pose and encouraged me to try my best without straining my body. To hype up this practice even more, Jessica had two other members performing the flow with her (in the Yoga with Jessica image above, you can see how the guy in the background is performing a variation to Jessica’s pose). As Jessica did her practice, one person showed an easier variation of the poses, while the other showed the more difficult version. This allowed for more visible variations in the practice. Often times the instructor verbally states the variations to the poses but doesn’t perform them. This helped me because I am still not the most flexible and I was able to watch one of the background performers and see how they performed the variation to the pose because she also had tight hips like me. Another bonus is that as soon as I clicked “lets go” it automatically began to track my yoga workout on my apple watch. Overall, Fitness+ gets another plus. It deserves it. I absolutely LOVE this app. I might even consider paying for it monthly. I am also excited to try out the other workout options. I highly recommend anyone who likes to workout, or wants to get into working out to give this app a shot with the free trial! Here’s a quick little video clip I made using the video editing app Animoto: Does anyone recommend any online resources to learn yoga? Comment down below!

Continue reading

Cyber Sleuthin’

This week I had the task of cyber sleuthing my classmate Shana Blenkin. I was looking forward to this opportunity because I love to “creep” people on social media to learn more about them. I often joke I could be an FBI agent because of how good I am with finding information about people. Before I even began my investigation on Shana, she talked to me about the anxiety she was feeling about this activity. She told me how the night we were assigned this task she spent hours going through her social media to get rid of all the “inappropriate things” I might find. She also talked about how she feels so torn between having an open and accessible social media presence due to her online business or if she should be making it inaccessible because of our future careers. As I am someone who is mostly inaccessible online due to my current career, I felt for Shana. Sometimes it really sucks trying to curate your social media accounts with the worry of posting something that someone might not like to see in the back of your mind. Keeping Shana’s anxieties in mind, I began my cyber sleuth. The Google Search First things first, I google searched “Shana Blenkin”. Right away I was able to access her Twitter account. Her twitter account is very professional and it is clear she is working towards building her professional learning network as she shares many educational related resources. So far so good with the online presence, Shana! Following the Google search lineup, her Facebook account was next. Without having to request to be Shana’s friend, I could learn a lot about her. Shana has a very active presence on Facebook, most likely because she runs her own business (check it out and support local!). Going to the “about me” section, I learned that she is from a small community in Saskatchewan, is happily engaged, is a full time student at the University of Regina, and has an adorable dog named Walter- who I have had the honour of meeting through zoom in another class we are in together. Briefly going through Shana’s publicly shared photos, she mainly posts photos related to her business along with a few personal pictures with her fiancé and her dog. I was however, able to spot one photo of Shana with a drink in her hand with a friend. In my opinion, this isn’t a big deal. We all are human, and we all like to have some fun. So far, I think her online presence remains professional. Great work “tidying up” your social media posts Shana! Shana’s Instagram was next. Unfortunately for me, her account is private and I was unable to access the posts she shared. I even requested to follow her, but Shana was smart and did not accept my request lol! Next up, Shana’s Educational blog. If you haven’t checked it out, it’s fantastic! She remains professional while sharing a few personal details in her “about me” page. Her learning project is so entertaining to follow along with and provides really great recipes and tips! Her blog also shares some really great educational related resources. Great work! Lastly, I was able to access Shana’s YouTube channel and see that she has posted 3 professional videos all relating to University projects. Overall, I don’t think Shana has anything to worry about for her online/social media presence! From what I have gathered, Shana cares about what others see in terms of her online presence and proves that she takes pride in displaying herself professionally. I would love to get to know Shana better to become friends. If you would like to see Shana’s post about her cyber sleuthing experience on me, check out her blog post! Reflections on Digital Identity Being able to find out so much about Shana with one quick google search was quite the eye opener. It also made me anxious about what online strangers could easily learn about me. Like Madison Holleran, I am very aware of the image I present to the world. Like it was mentioned in the article, everyone presents an edited, “ideal” version of their lives on social media. I am also guilty of this, I don’t post about my really bad days or my downfalls I experience throughout my life. I usually only post the happy, positive, and fun things that I experience. Although I feel as if I have a professional and secure online presence, what if I make a mistake? Monica Lewinsky bravely came out in her TED talk about how her life changed drastically overnight. She was publicly humiliated to the point of her stating her life was “almost unbearable” once news of her affair with the President of the United States was made public. She mentioned how she deeply regrets her mistake made when she was 22 and is still reminded of it daily. It doesn’t help that her name is mentioned in over 50 rap songs. Hearing her name in rap songs is the only reason why I am familiar with her and the scandal- not the news headlines. This just proves how your online/social media presence and todays society/pop culture are intertwined and how dangerous the online world and social media can really be. It also reminded me of the two lives or one debate from last week that I blogged about. Stories like Monica’s suggest why it is so important and necessary to educate youth about how to use technology responsibly and appropriately. She left me with an eye-opening suggestion that I hope to carry onto my future students: “Imagine walking a mile in someone else’s headline”. In order to break the common cycle of online shaming I hope to educate my future students with online safety as well as online compassion.

Continue reading

Two lives? Or one?

Recently, the debate of whether we should teach our students as if they have two lives or one has been challenging me. Since technology and the internet have advanced, the digital world and the physical world being two separate things has been the norm. Nathan Jurgenson (2012) labeled the phenomenon of viewing the digital world being “virtual” and the physical world being “real” as “Digital Dualism.” Before thinking deeper about these concepts, it makes sense, right? You have your online presence through social media, and you also have your life outside of what you post on the internet. However, Jurgenson made me realize that both worlds are meshed together, forming an “augmented reality,” meaning that our world is enhanced by technology (2012).  Our lives in the physical “real” world are being posted online for everyone and anyone to see. Jurgenson (2012) states: “What is most crucial to our time spent logged on is what happened when logged off; it is the fuel that runs the engine of social media. The photos posted, the opinions expressed, the check-ins that fill our streams are often anchored by what happens when disconnected and logged-off.” This quote hit me hard and made me realize that what we do online and offline is our lived reality, and there is no separation of the two. So, why are we separating online vs. offline in schools? Since technology and social media is a part of our daily lives, why wouldn’t we want students to learn how to use it safely and effectively? In my opinion, school would be the perfect place to help kids become responsible online citizens. Jason Ohler (2011) mentions how problematic it is to not incorporate lessons with or about technology in the classroom as “it says that issues concerning the personal, social, and environmental effects of a technological lifestyle are not important in a school curriculum, and that kids will have to puzzle through issues of cyber safety, technological responsibility, and digital citizenship without the help of teachers or the education system.” As educators, it is our responsibility to teach students how to live one integrated life while empowering our students to be creative with technology while holding a sense of personal, community, and global responsibility. In order to do this, we can start by implementing Ribble’s nine elements of digital citizenship: Digital Access Digital Commerce Digital Communication and Collaboration Digital Etiquette Digital Fluency Digital Health and Welfare Digital Law Digital Rights and Responsibility Digital Security and Privacy Integrating digital citizenship in the classroom As it is my goal to teach elementary students, I chose to focus on ways to integrate a few elements of digital citizenship within the grade 4 classroom. Grade 4 Health Education and # 9 Digital Security and Privacy Outcome: USC4.4: Determine basic personal responsibility for safety and protection in various environments/situations. Indicators: D: Examine cyber safety etiquette and related safety risks and strategies I: Share expectations for personal safety and protection in various situations Here is a fantastic lesson plan made for grade fours about Private and Personal information. Grade 4 Health education and # 6 Digital Health and Welfare Outcome: USC4.4: Determine basic personal responsibility for safety and protection in various environments/situations. Indicator: A: Examine prior knowledge and new information related to safety C: Investigate common personal and community activities/environments to identify those that involve greater safety risks H: Distinguish behaviours that may jeopardize people’s safety and those that increase people’s safety in a variety of situations Here is another great lesson plan regarding healthy choices online for grade 4 students. I highly recommend using Commonsense.org as a resource for teaching/incorprating digital citizenship within the classroom! Comment down below with what other resources have you found to teach digital citizenship!

Continue reading

Acro… oh no!

With both the twitter and the crowd signal polls, we have a winner… ACRO YOGA! First off, I’d like to start by giving a thank you shout out to my voters this week! You guys are the best! To be completely honest, I was a little worried this would happen. The biggest challenge I was worried about facing with this type of yoga was having to convince my partner to perform acro yoga with me. Luckily, he said yes! (I may have used a little bit of a guilt trip because it’s for school) But we actually had SO much fun! I found a great resource this week and was so happy with how I was able to learn from it! Yoga journal has so far been the most beneficial website that I have found and was able to learn from without having to search for a secondary resource! Within the article, it provided numerous links to learn all about acro yoga. The first link I clicked on taught me all about the background information behind acro yoga and why it is practiced. The next link within the article, Acro Yoga 101, provided me 6 beginner acro yoga poses, with pictures to learn from while providing great detail explaining the roles of each partner, the base and the flyer. The base is supposed to be the larger partner who does most of the supporting (my boyfriend Dillon took on the base role) for the flyer (I was the flyer). I have come to realize that pictures are absolutely necessary for me when trying to learn yoga through written instructions, other wise I have no clue if I am performing the poses correctly. Not only did this resource provide instructions and an “alignment tip” for more stability and success performing the poses, but it also provided a link to a beginner sequence video that I found to be extremely beneficial to reference to make sure we were following the written instructions properly. This has been the first time I haven’t had to go back to YouTube to find a yoga sequence to reference or follow along with! YAY! Check out our acro yoga! The bow pose was by far the hardest pose to do so we decided to make a video of it showing how we performed it. Please enjoy our extreme beginner version of the bow pose! I would like to point out that I am smiling SO hard in every picture. Just goes to show how much I enjoyed this weeks acro yoga! Question for my followers: How else would you like me to show my progress for my learning project?

Continue reading

Rejuvenated & Refreshed

Welcome back to another week of learning how to practice yoga! The past few weeks I have been trying out the different types of yoga. This week, I found an article that outlines the 11 Types of Yoga and decided to try out “Restorative Yoga“. This type of yoga reminded me a lot of the hatha yoga I was practicing a couple weeks ago. After a quick google search, I found another article titled: What is Restorative Yoga? that taught me everything about restorative yoga. The article mentioned that restorative yoga is a completely different experience than most other styles of yoga because you hardly move at all! Restorative yoga is a relaxing practice that holds yoga poses for a longer period of time using props like yoga blocks, blankets, and pillows. It is a practice of deep relaxation that emphasizes the meditative aspect of yoga—the union of body and mind. The only work that is required during this practice is paying attention to your breathing. The article provided 5 of the basic poses that are preformed during restorative yoga which include: Child’s pose (Balasana) Bridge pose (Setu Bandha Sarvangasana) Reclined twist (Supta Matsyendrasana) Legs-up-the-wall pose (Viparita Karni) Corpse pose (Savasana) What I loved the most about this article is that it included a write up under each pose that taught you how to preform the pose including how you would preform it with a prop. To start off this weeks practice, I practiced each of the poses following along with how to preform it with a blanket as a prop. I loved preforming these poses with my blankets because it made the practice so comfortable and made me feel so good! After trying out each of the poses with the props, I decided to search for a youtube video to follow along with to feel out how an actual restorative yoga class would be. I loved practicing this type of yoga! I felt so refreshed and relaxed after it. I would highly recommend anyone who is new to yoga try out restorative yoga to relax after a stressful day. I would also recommend this type of yoga to anyone who struggles falling asleep at night because it made me feel so calm, relaxed, and ready for a nap. What type of yoga should I practice next week? Vote down below! Acro yoga: Acro yoga takes familiar yoga poses and makes them double the fun (and sometimes double the work) by adding a partner. One partner serves as the “base” on the ground, while the other is the “flyer” who contorts themselves on the soles of the base’s feet.  (I will have to convince my boyfriend into this one lol) Kundalini yoga: These yoga sequences are carefully designed to stimulate or unlock energy and to reduce stress and negative thinking. This is accomplished by challenging both mind and body with chanting, singing, meditation, and kriyas (specific series of poses paired with breath work and chanting). Typically, a kundalini class starts with a mantra (a focus for the class), then includes breathing exercises, warmups to get the body moving, increasingly more challenging poses, and a final relaxation and meditation Sivananda yoga: Classes are generally relaxing: while most yoga classes end with savasana (a final relaxation/corpse pose), Sivananda starts with this pose, then moves into breathing exercises, sun salutations, and then 12 basic poses.

Continue reading

The World Wide Web

Looking back Before EDTC 300, I was the type of person who romanticized “living in the moment” and not being on my phone. I avoided all the new social media platforms and apps being produced. As mentioned in lecture, social media has had more negative impacts on my mental health than positive. I felt like social media was consuming me, I was worried I was going to miss out on posts that I felt addicted to my phone; switching between each social media app and constantly refreshing my screen. Instagram was, and still is the social media app that I struggle with the most. I got so caught up in all the unrealistic expectations produced by the explore page and the posts I was seeing, I felt like my self-esteem was impacted to the point of feeling inadequate. Noticing this damaging affect of social media, I decided it was best to disconnect. Unfortunately, this lead to me have a poor view on technology all together. Because I needed to disconnect, I found myself completely avoiding new technology or even being interested in it. New perspectives Because of #EDTC300, my perspectives on the internet and social media have changed drastically. I no longer feel like I should have such a negative view point on technology and how it is constantly progressing. I have come to understand that if used the right way, technology is revolutionary, especially for education. Just from participating in a few live twitter chats like #sakedchat, I appreciate how effective technology can be in forming meaningful and healthy connections with fellow classmates and educators. In his video, Michael Wesch stated “the internet is not just about information, it’s about linking people in ways we have never been linked before”. Wesch’s focus on the Numa Numa sensation and the connections that were created out of this participatory culture helped me realize the potential the internet has for me and my future students. Technology in the classroom Learning from my experience with social media, it is my goal to teach students how to use technology with intent. I think it is crucial to teach students to think critically about the reasons and ways they are using technology. Technology, like social media, can a great tool to connect with others around the world, but it can also be a damaging and hurtful space. To balance the challenges that arise with our new digital reality, I believe it is important to teach students both the positive and negative affects that come out of participating online, in order to guide them to be responsible technology users. To help balance the challenges, here’s a lesson from Amanda Brace to teach students about digital literacy. In terms of classroom implications, there are endless opportunities to create more meaningful and enjoyable classroom experiences with the use of technology! The students from EDTC 400 shared this document outlining some really great #edtech tools to use in the classroom. Since assessment is at the heart of the teaching practice, here are 10 tech tools for student assessment. If you would like to see how technology could be implemented to accommodate students with specific needs, check out Laura Fiddler’s blog post. I have also created a “Teaching Resources” section on my blog that shares many other great #edtech tools and resources to check out. Conclusion Despite my negative experience with technology, specifically social media, I have learned that the internet can be a great resource for teachers and students, if used mindfully and with intent. Understanding that the internet can be a positive space to connect with and support others online is huge for the participatory culture we are apart of today. As future educators, it is our responsibility to teach students how to use technology with intent in order to guide students to be responsible citizens online. Thank you #EDTC300 for completely changing my perspectives on our new digital reality, as this not only benefits myself, but my future students. What are your opinions on technology in the classroom? How will you use technology to benefit students learning experiences?

Continue reading

It’s getting hot in here

This week I was interested in practicing Bikram yoga, or what most people know it as.. hot yoga! Bikram yoga is a series of 26 yoga postures practiced in a room heated to 105 degrees F. I have heard so much hype about hot yoga but never had the chance to practice it. So why not try it at home?! To incorporate a new resource, I decided to try using Pinterest for this weeks learning. I simply typed in ‘hot yoga’ in the search bar and had tons of resources pop up. I clicked on this article to learn how to practice hot yoga in my own home. I really appreciated this article because it not only taught me how to create a hot yoga environment, but it gave me background information on the hot yoga practice itself. One downfall of this article is that it didn’t provide an actual flow for me to do so I had to search my own. The ‘hot yoga 101’ section in the article provided me with all the benefits of hot yoga including: cardio improved posture deeper breathing spine protection detox increased blood flow increased flexibility muscle strength SO many great benefits how could I say no to it. My sizzling hot yoga space First off, the article told me I needed a space that could best suit hot, humid temperatures. It suggested to use your bathroom so you could crank the hot water and turn up the heat in your house to really get the hot yoga environment at home if the space is big enough, which mine is not. I was super disappointed I couldn’t try this out because it would be so different and fun to have the heat at a more realistic temperature for bikram yoga but oh well. So, I decided to pick my bedroom. Then it told me the heat needed to be at 105 degrees Fahrenheit. 105 degrees Fahrenheit! Yikes, I almost shut the hot yoga idea down after reading that. To be realistic and fair I decided to turn my heat up to 80 instead of 105 because 1: bills and 2: that’s way too hot for the rest of my house! I closed the door to my bedroom and turned on my humidifiers to make it get a little steamy. I also really appreciated the ‘Tips and Tricks’ section of the article! If I hadn’t read this before practicing I probably would’ve worn my regular workout clothes and gotten way too sweaty. I followed along with the video below of a hot yoga sequence with Adi. I found this sequence to be fairly easy opposed to the power flows I was doing the weeks prior. It probably would’ve been more challenging if I could have actually practiced this yoga sequence in an environment set at 105 degrees Fahrenheit, but I made the best out of my situation. I could have searched for another power flow and really gotten a good sweat/workout in, but now I know for next time! Even though this weeks yoga didn’t feel as challenging or get my heart rate up as much as I wished, I still felt refreshed and energized for my day. The way I feel after is always the best part of practicing yoga. I feel so much better mentally and physically! What type of yoga should I practice next week? What other resources should I learn yoga from?

Continue reading

Levelled up!

You guys asked for it, and you got it! In last weeks blog post I had a poll of what type of yoga to practice this week using the Yoga app and the winner was… MORNING YOGA! Shout out to all my voters! If I’m being completely honest, this was my last choice. Lately, I’ve found myself struggling to wake up early and be productive in the morning so I was hoping for any other option. But, I did it anyways! Starting my day with a quick 10 minute morning yoga session felt great! I felt refreshed and ready to tackle my day! I highly recommend trying morning yoga out if you are like me and feel tired and unmotivated in the morning. Thoughts on the ‘Yoga’ App At first, I was super excited about finding this app. It provides beginner, intermediate and advanced yoga workouts. There is also a “custom” option that allows you to build a workout by choosing 3 out of 90 yoga poses. After you choose your three poses and which order you want to perform them in you have the choice of how long the intervals of each poses are as well as how many times you repeat the circuit. It also tracks your progress totalling the amount of workouts performed, how many minutes spent practicing yoga on top of the calories burned. Out of the 20 provided workouts (which have more than 3 poses) the majority of them are only 7-10 minutes long. I was quite disappointed. To try and fix this, I tried the build your own option and was even more disappointed that I couldn’t create a workout that was long enough and had more than three poses. I was surprised to see that the yoga app considered the morning yoga workout to be an intermediate level. I didn’t feel very challenged or satisfied with the morning yoga. It felt more like a stretching guide rather than an actual yoga practice. There were no transitions between the yoga poses making it feel choppy and weird. I did not feel present in the yoga experience. My suggestions The Yoga app is good for someone who just wants the short yoga workouts with slow static stretches. To make this app better, it needs to be tweaked to make it more of a yoga practice over a series of stretches to follow along with. It could also be improved with better transitions between the stretches and options to create longer more intense yoga flows. Back to the basics After doing a couple follow along videos I felt like it was time to actually learn the names of the poses I was practicing. I wanted to do this to decrease the amount of times I felt like I was unsure of the poses and spending time breaking my focus to watch the video to make sure I was doing the proper pose. I found the 12 Must-Know Yoga Poses for Beginners and decided to give them a go. I already knew a few of the poses but going through these and trying each of them out helped me perform the Vinyasa flow I tried later! Kickin’ it up a notch! After feeling like I have the basics down and feeling like I needed a bigger challenge, I decided to kick it up a notch! So far, what I have been practicing is considered Hatha yoga. This is the basic, slower moving yoga class that challenges your strength and flexibility as you hold the pose for a few breaths to really get that deep stretch. I decided to give Vinyasa yoga a try! Vinyasa is where you move from one pose directly into the next coordinating with your breathing. Right away I noticed a huge difference between the two practices. Vinyasa is tough! The video that I followed along with (which I have attached at the bottom) was very fast-paced and physically challenging. I also noticed that I was struggling to coordinate my breathing with the fast faced flow of the Vinyasa. After I completed the Vinyasa yoga I felt like I just did a sweaty cardio session. I felt great! I also loved how challenging this flow was for me. I definitely have a long journey of improvement ahead with Vinyasa but I feel like I have achieved the next “level” of my yoga practice! I also decided to step out of my comfort zone and record myself doing this power vinyasa flow to show where I am at in my yoga journey! Enjoy!!

Continue reading