As I am not a great fan of sports but still want to stay active, I decided to join Yoga this school year. At first, I was unsure about a lot of the poses and my ability to complete them. However, throughout the year I have become more confident, comfortable and able to complete each of the poses.
As we are such a small group, it was easy to adapt the yoga sessions to what our energy level was like and how we were feeling mentally. This was useful as we then did what was appropriate to how we were feeling.
What I learned most about in yoga is that there are many different ways to do different, helpful things to your body, such as stretching your back or opening your chest. I enjoyed learning this and can now do this in my own life. Another reason why attending this type of yoga was helpful is because it is simple and never so challenging that we give up. This means that we did poses we can do alone at home when we feel like we need it.
Something else I have experienced physically during yoga is the strengthening of my ankles. I generally have very weak ankles and yoga has helped me improve the strength here. A pose that is especially helpful is the downward dog. The way this pose helps me is that it is a very adaptable pose. This means that you can change and adapt the pose to fit your needs. For me, I used to never be able to get my heels all the way to the floor (like the figure in the picture below). Now I can do it without being in too much pain. The pose hurts a lot less in my entire body now but the main chance has been in my ankles. I am now a lot more sturdy in my poses and am shaking less in my legs. This improvement has also been evident in other parts of my life. I used to twist my ankles very frequently but ever since I started yoga, it has been happening a lot less. I am glad that this change has happened.
I am incredibly glad that I joined yoga this year as I now know a lot more ways to stretch and relax when I am feeling stressed or down. Also, I know about things that affect our mood and what we can do to stop outside forces from influencing us too much. And even when I did not feel like going to yoga, either because I had too much homework or wanted to just go home and relax, I always went and always left the room feeling better than I did coming in. I think this is a valuable lesson to learn. Spending time on and with yourself and your mind is important for your mental and emotional wellbeing. I will most definitely continue practicing yoga throughout my life as it has already taught me so much but I still think there is more to learn.
Where am I from? Where is my home?
This year in PSHE we asked ourselves these questions. For a multicultural kid, this is a difficult question to answer. At first I really struggled with trying to answer this, however, once we were told that we don’t need to answer with one sentence but can write a whole poem about it, it became a lot easier. Here is the poem I wrote:
The process of doing this was interesting. At first, I was worried because I am not a particularly good poet but once I had an idea on my structure it was ok and relatively easy to do. Then came the actual writing. I decided to start off with the actual locations I am from or where I have lived. As I wrote this at the very beginning of the year I had not considered adding Yokohama yet. This first verse was easy as it was just stating facts but the rest was slightly more challenging. For this, I chose locations I enjoy being, people I like being around and things I enjoy. The last line of each verse was always slightly confusing and now looking back at it I see there are a few things wrong with them. However I decided to keep them the way they originally were as I am sure I had good reasons to write what I did, plus they still mean something to me.
I feel this activity really helped me understand that it is ok to be from multiple places and that most people are. It is hard to say that you are just from one place and only one experience made you who you are. Everyone is made out of many parts and it is important to know that to really understand the way people are and behave.
I think this is something everyone should try, especially multicultural kids as we are the ones often confused about where we are really from. Also, I think I might make this into a yearly activity as my locations, people and interests do change every once in a while but I will slightly change the structure as I am not longer happy with the way the last line of each verse is laid out.
Reflecting on where I am from is important because for many people this is a major part of their identity. As a student who has moved around, however, there is no set home for me and I am not from a single place. I am made up of many different places and homes. This is important for me to know and appreciate and make sure that I don’t obsess on who I am and where I am from. This is important for my wellness as I do not want to focus on questions that don’t have a set answer and will just make me feel bad.
This year we did the MBTI Test to further understand ourselves. My results are in the following PDF and I’d like to use this as an opportunity to look deeper into this and to try to really understand the information this offers me.
I find that looking at this has helped me understand myself on a deeper level. For ISFJ I was already aware that I am an introvert as I get my energy from being alone, not from being with others. For S (Sensors) I had to think about it more deeply. I know I like to think about what could be, I think everyone does, but in the end, I do tend to come back to what is and how I could realistically change that to what I want. Also, I do often find that when trying to solve a problem that I look at past problems I faced and how solving them worked out. Based on this I then make a decision. For F (Feelers) think this was and still is something important for me to know. I already knew that I liked helping others and work in a supportive rather than a competitive environment and that I always try my best to understand others and see things from their perspective. What surprised me more was the fact that I seem to make decisions based on my values. In retrospect it makes sense based on my answers, I guess I just wasn’t completely aware of this before. Finally J (Judgers). When I first saw that I was a “Judger” I thought it was going to be something negative but reading through the explanation, it made sense. I do tend to dislike surprises in my work and relax only after I am done with my work. One thing I did know previously, however, is how much I like control over things I am working on. It is important to me that I know exactly when and how I will be able to finish my project and what the steps are for me to complete this project.
The results show a lot more than just the MBTI score but just looking at the meaning of each of the letters I got helped me understand myself a lot better. I think the MBTI is a very interesting way to explore and understand who you are as a person and I am glad that we do this as a school.
I think it was important for me to reflect on to see what my strengths and weaknesses are. Seeing these helps me see where I can improve and what I am already doing well, can help me improve my general life style. However, I also need to stay aware that I can not be perfect at everything and don’t have to be.
For the Criterion Fit for Life I decided to observe my sleep for the month of May. I did this by using the iPhone app Sleep Cycle. It has movement sensors so it knows when you are in deep and light sleep and how well you are sleeping.
link to presentation
Through this I started to learn that I actually get a lot more sleep than I thought. The worst habit of mine that I discovered is that my family eats late. This is bad for sleep as your stomach needs at least a few hours to empty after you eat. If you go lay down before this process is over it is easy for acids to spill out of your stomach which can lead to acid reflux. I should definitely work on this and try to eat earlier as just sleeping later would decrease the efficiency of my sleep.
Whilst doing this whole process I also checked to see how listening to music would effect the quality of my sleep. The result was that I slept just as well with as without music. This was a great result as I now know that I can listen to music whilst I sleep without effecting how well I will sleep.
From this experiment I conducted on myself I learned a lot about how sleep effects you during the day and what effects simple things like if your in your own bed or not have on the quality of your sleep. I will now add a few more careful steps my daily sleep routine to further improve my sleep quality and maybe even get my sleep quality to 100% efficient.