I found the second educative experience was enjoyable. I think the way Team Yogi structured the day made sense and I think it was productive to discuss what meditation and yoga mean on a more individual level. The group discussions that took place were interesting as it seemed like each person had a slightly different perspective as to what is considered to be meditation. Once we discussed how meditation can be more than sitting silently and thinking some people talked about playing musical instruments while others talked about reading. I think what is considered to be meditative really varies from person to person. For myself I find being outdoors helps to calm and slow my thoughts and that sometimes when I am outdoors (either hiking, walking, sitting and enjoying myself) I enter a sort of meditative state where I feel calm, at ease and present. To me that is what meditation should feel like, a sense of roundedness, awareness, and calm.
As for the yoga experience, I enjoyed taking part in the class once I got over the initial heat shock and general sweatiness (haha). I don’t know if i would really consider that class to be very calming and meditative for myself as i found I was focussing on my poses and was a bit uncomfortable with the heat and how warm I felt, but i can certainly understand how the class may have been very calming for some. I think at a deeper level yoga can be like a form of meditation for some, with the breathing and awareness that sometimes come with doing yoga it can be a very spiritual practice. I have had this experience in other yoga classes, where the room was cooler and the pace was a bit slower and I can see why people often claim that there is a physical and spiritual aspect of the practice of yoga.
After completing the educative experience I felt like I was a bit more aware of my own definition of meditation and what I consider to be meditative. I hadn’t given the notion of meditation much thought before this educative experience but I thought it was interesting to hear about everyone else’s ideas and also to explore my own ideas. An interesting component of the discussion was whether there is a place for meditative practices within schools. I think this is a complex question as everyone has different thoughts and beliefs about meditation. For myself, when I have a classroom I can see myself incorporating breathing and stretching but that would likely be as far as I take it. I think stretching and breathing allow the opportunity to slow things down a bit and relax and take in the present moment. This could be useful in a classroom setting when the day can often be chaotic to have that moment or two of calm, focussed breathing or stretching.
Overall, I was left thinking about meditation and yoga, I left with some new perspectives and I had the chance to try out a new class so I think Team Yogi was successful in their execution of their educative experience.