Monday, April 28, 2014

Blended Learning

I'm taking a course right now in "Blended Learning." Basically, I'm taking an online course in how to offer online courses. Sounds simple enough. But it's not!

Blended learning is different than just learning something online from watching videos and completing assignments. It involves a mix of learning styles and is actually quite dynamic.

In my work as a yoga teacher, I do most of my teaching face-to-face. However, as a student, especially when it comes to self-study of yogic materials, I do a lot of my studies online. The idea of putting the two together is pretty interesting.

The course I'm taking right now seems like it's really aimed at education professionals - people who are more in the mainstream in teaching organizations like schools and universities. I'm not quite sure where I fit in as a yoga teacher, but it's early days in the course yet.

I like Swami J's site, even though it's pretty dense. He's recently posted a Udemy course, which is also online (and free and you should all take it if you feel so inclined), but it is really a curated experience of some of what he has on his site already. Part of why I like his site so much and can freely recommend and use is materials is because I've met him and studied with him. That's a type of blended learning I think.

I'm still exploring how I'd use these tools, but it's a fun experiment. You can take it too if you like. #BlendKit2014 is also on Twitter.

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

The Four Paths of Yoga

As you probably already know if you're reading this blog, yoga is much more than the yoga postures that have become popular. There are many paths of yoga and they all lead to that union, or peaceful place, or stilling of the disturbances of the mind.

In the Bhagavad Gita, Krishna offers different ways to pursue a spiritual path, or a good life. He suggests Karma Yoga, or good actions. He offers up Jnana Yoga, or wisdom and understanding, as a path to the good life. He recommends Bhakti Yoga, or a path of devotion as a quick method to this place of union. There's even Raja Yoga, the Royal Path, that could be used to connect to the divine within and harmonize our external lives with our internal guidance.

In the Yoga Sutras, Patanjali is also very generous with methods that can be used to still the disturbances of the mind. Try this, if that doesn't do it for you, try this. Or this. Or this. So many ways.

Yoga understands that people are different and have different preferences and ways that will work better for them. It's not a one-size-fits-all approach by any means and keen practitioners of yoga will recognize the other paths as not less-than, but just other paths.

In The Four Paths of Yoga course, we will explore what traditionally the Four Paths are and how they show up in practice. We will attempt to find and travel these paths ourselves, with others in the community at times as well, and see how there's yoga all around us, even if we haven't been calling it that.

This course is free and welcome to all. It's tonight from 7-9 and then again in June to see how things have been going.