Moving from novelty to patterns… Hidden deep within, buried beneath your ego and starved of creativity is a version of you that is dying to be fed. It’s your inner learner. Carol Dweck, Ph.D, the mindset maestro phrased it best when she said “people are all born with a love of learning, but the fixed mindset can undo it.” It is also innately human to feel exhaustively overwhelmed and defeated before you even start. If your love for learning has gone lackluster, here are some simple patterns you might find in a Yoga Tune Up® class that can excite your learning potentiality.
Stop to Start
A lifetime of acquired biases and assumptions swirl in your skull. Influencing or swaying your perceptions and ultimately determining your decisions. So set yourself up to win by intentionally pausing and allow yourself to purge the mental and physical landscapes of the old and acquired so you can instead occupy your center. Your Why. Your sankalpa. Before you start, stop, and visualize your destination but acknowledge there are many ways to get there.
Manage your Mindset
If I had a quarter for every time I heard someone say, “I can’t do balancing poses, I have terrible balance.” I could be sipping a cool cocktail on a beach instead of writing this blog. A fixed, rigid mindset is the breeding grounds for self-sabotage; and rarely expedites learning. Instead move your thoughts positively towards the obstacles and challenges. Know that your tolerance of uncertainty is in fact the same space where you’re learning potential resides. All creative endeavors begin with uncertainty. If you are going to create a change in your mind or body that you haven’t before, it will require that you spend time in the space of uncertainty. Here, is where your mindset matters most.
Satiate the Senses
From the deep proprioceptive pressures of the Roll Model® Therapy Balls, to the visual demonstrations, to the verbal cues that promote precision, integrating as many of our senses into our practice is a sure way to set up the areas around the hippocampus for reception. Taken out of context, some of the techniques and movements may seem meaningless but when our brain physically interacts with sensory data, it makes movement meaningful and thus, memorable.
To Vinyasa-ers, the stop-and-go of a Yoga Tune Up® class may feel foreign, but there is good reason behind it. Turns out our brains learn best in chunks. They are more likely to devour new patterns when we practice in intervals of concentration and rest. When we are learning something that requires focus, we are actually teaching the brain (and the body in this case) to endure suffering, temporarily that is. The short-lived suffering of your efforts is balanced by a self-soothing rest pose. Ardha savasana, artfully placed in-between transitions is vital to our absorption and retention. This rhythm of learn and lull is the practice that helps your synaptic gap to become shorter, your coordination improves, and the patterns integrate.
Lastly, learning and failure go together. You can’t learn without failing and hopefully you never fail without learning. Failure can be a sign that you are at your limit, your edge. So when taking on any learning challenge; don’t fret failure. Embrace the discomfort. Learn to interweave it into your process and you will prosper.
Gonna bookmark & keep re-reading as I keep hustling in YTY training… simplicity, vulnerability
I just discovered Yoga Tune Up but i feel more and more drawn to it. It really makes sense and very close to my belief system. Even though i’ve been doing yoga for almost 15 years and read a lot of scientific and philosophical books im so surprised to learn more essential things from Yoga Tune Up! Its amazing!
Life long learning! “A fixed, rigid mindset is the breeding grounds for self-sabotage”. There are so many nuggets of knowledge / quotable moments in this article. Mindset and learning without assumption are so important in the movement practice but also in life in general. I love the theme of leaning into uncertainty and discomfort not only in this article but in all of Baylea’s articles. She does such a great job of leading students towards a path of inquiry and also encouraging the reader to embrace failure/suffering in a very practical way. As someone who self proclaims to be a life long learner, it’s amazing to read this articles and be reminded of all the ways we short-change ourselves before we even start. The act of saying “I don’t know” takes courage and self awareness. Thank you for this article!
“Embrace the discomfort” is a simple but very powerful statement. So often we run from the things that make us uncomfortable because they’re inconvenient. This is a great reminder to incorporate more transition poses so that students have more time to integrate and absorb what they’ve done before moving on.
Ah, the challenge of uncertainty… As a yoga teacher, I’ve had numerous students declare they “can’t DO this” or that, only to find that by ignoring the inner voice of fear, they can. And do they ever! Thanks for the important reminder that learning and failure go together.
I love the explaination of the “chunk” concept. Although my sports are to me like yoga is for “vinyasa-ers” yoga has actually seemed to me like the chunk concept because I am still a beginner and learning to piece the movements together as one. However, now that I have been learning more yoga, I can see the drastic difference between it and the stop and go of the tune up. I think its a fun and useful way for yogis to mix it up a little! I also think it helps the non-yogis practice their rolling!
So true! Thanks for sharing!
I find such a difference in students who can stop and start in a connected way. There are so many psychological factors that come up when moving. I find those who begin talking right after a pose ends or within transitions are using this as a defense mechanism or a way of staying further away from themselves.
What a lovely blog. I can honestly say, I was a can’t person for years. Until recently, I never considered that not only is failure a learning opportunity it’s also a marker for progress. Knowing are limits allows us to set reasonable goals in the moment. The idea of working in blocks makes sense. I compare it to the education system. You don’t learn challenging subjects until you learn the basics. Stopping and breaking down the information to be received is key for retention.
Lovely blog! I like how you have gone deep into the mindset which one can have and how to go about it. I liked what you said, “Embrace the discomfort” as we often tend to avoid this. Thank you for sharing your insights it was really helpful.
I’ve loved your blog posts Baylea. I think knowing that we learn in these “chunks” can also be helpful in a vinyasa class. I’ve built flow classes around “mini sequences” and I’m going to try to incorporate something restorative now in between each of these mini flows. Im curious about the sensory response to – would this apply to music as well? Could a playlist or live music aid in learning movement patterns if it becomes associated with our practice??
Baylea, thank you so much for this post. This is great reminder, not only for myself as a practitioner, but also as an instructor, and my role in incorporating stopping before starting and intervals of concentration and rest into my classes. I also really appreciated your mention of the tolerance for uncertainty. Learning inherently involves occupying spaces that are unfamiliar and uncertain, and our ability to learn is directly related to our tolerance for being in these often uncomfortable spaces.
Cannot agree more! First, you have to believe you can do it then you do it, when you do it, you take it slow, do it right. A Sankalpa is there as a motivation, a motto to keep us moving yet people really needs to Stop to Start. Failure is to set us up for success. We all learnt from our experiences…
Wonderful blog. I have had people question why the sequencing is stop-and-go and the chunk method makes sense. Management of mindset is a game-changer.
Loved what you said about the Vinyasa-ers. We tend to forget how important it is to just stop, breakdown information in order to absorb and move woth a purpose.
Loved what you said about the Vinyasa-ers. We tend to forget how important it is to just stop, breakdown information in order to absorb and move with a purpose.
Very good observations here
A good reminder that a good practice includes the mind as well as body.
I have never considered applying Carol Dweck’s growth mindset approach to life outside of education but it’s fascinating to see (once again) how our minds and our bodies are so interconnected. Just like we should not limit our minds from being able to learn more, we should not limit our bodies by holding these rigid parameters. Thanks for shedding this light!
Its interesting how we all bring our biases with us, and coming as a weightlifter to Yoga for my Level 1 Cert I was able to provide a different perspective to the class. Having just had casual encounters with yoga I never understood the spiritual aspect of it. I appreciated how this was explored and truly part a of Yoga Tuneup. And I think both our bodies and our minds, unfortunately, can fall into the trap of poor patterns and bias. The Oatmeal did a comic called You will not Beleive what I am going to tell you and its based on a podcast called you are not so smart. I think its worth considering if you are intrigued by the notion of how often we fall into poor patterns – unconsiously and to our determinate at that. https://youarenotsosmart.com/2017/01/13/yanss-093-the-neuroscience-of-changing-your-mind/
I especially like the explanation how tune up classes in their format are better suited for us from information absorption. As you remarked, very fluid classes are hard to break away from. Thanks
Makes sense. I learn the best that way. Thank you for this blog. A reminder to incorporate these rhythms into class more purposely.
Thanks for bringing to light the importance of stopping, resting and absorbing. I remember from my hatha teaching training in India that we would take short savasanas throughout the class. Then as I started to teach, savasanas became fewer and shorter. It’s time to bring it back!
What a thoughtful piece. Thank you. So well said. “o Vinyasa-ers, the stop-and-go of a Yoga Tune Up® class may feel foreign, but there is good reason behind it. Turns out our brains learn best in chunks. They are more likely to devour new patterns when we practice in intervals of concentration and rest. When we are learning something that requires focus, we are actually teaching the brain (and the body in this case) to endure suffering, temporarily that is. The short-lived suffering of your efforts is balanced by a self-soothing rest pose. Ardha savasana, artfully placed in-between transitions is vital to our absorption and retention. This rhythm of learn and lull is the practice that helps your synaptic gap to become shorter, your coordination improves, and the patterns integrate.”
Balea, a lovely piece. I especially liked “rhythm of learn and lull is the practice that helps your synaptic gap to become shorter, your coordination improves, and the patterns integrate.” Thank you.
Management of mindset is key, not just in yoga but in everything. This is an amazing blog. Thank you Baylea.