Beach Yoga

Please provide a brief description of your STEP Signature Project. Write two or three sentences describing the main activities your STEP Signature Project entailed.

For one week I was able to travel to Clearwater, Florida to participate in yoga classes on the beach. This was such an enlightening experience in which I was able to learn more about my body and ways that I can connect my body, mind and spirit.

What about your understanding of yourself, your assumptions, or your view of the world changed/transformed while completing your STEP Signature Project? Write one or two paragraphs to describe the change or transformation that took place.

One thing that was always stressed during our classes was to honor your body. There was always variations for different poses because all bodies do not move the same. That, I believed, was very important and can be used in everyday life. Always honor your body. In addition, we were always taught to go through a flow. We did not jump from pose to pose, but instead there was fluidity within our movements. This is also important and goes hand and hand with honoring your body. Let your body take you where it wants to go, let it tell you what feels good and what doesn’t feel good. During this trip, I was also able to take time for myself which meant not working, doing homework, or dealing with the hustle and bustle of everyday life which was great relaxation for me. Not only did my body feel free, but my mind felt free as well. I felt like all the stress and tension in my mind and body was let go. I was able to do things I haven’t been able to do in months. There was an alignment of my mind, body, and spirit. I was able to understand and become in touch with self love and learn more about what I like to do and what I want to change. Last, I was happy, I found what made me happy and I want to keep that joyfulness alive.

What events, interactions, relationships, or activities during your STEP Signature Project led to the change/transformation that you discussed in #2, and how did those affect you? Write three or four paragraphs describing the key aspects of your experiences completing your STEP Signature Project that led to this change/transformation.

The yoga instructors I was fortunate to learn from, were the biggest interactions that contributed to my change discussed in part 2. During the project I was fortunate to be able to learn under 3 different yoga instructors, each bringing to class a different form and variation of yoga. From their teachings, I was able to experience my learnings from the paragraph above. I am so grateful to have crossed their paths and was able to learn from them. They were very enjoyable and a blessing to meet.They taught me how to honor my body, the variations in yoga, and how to connect your mind body and spirit. This project was only for one week, but I hope sometime soon I am able to learn more from these teachers to expand my knowledge of the yoga world.

In my STEP proposal, the biggest reason why I wanted to go and do yoga on the beach was to learn how it can help in the medical setting in regards to non pharmacological ways to deal with pain, for example. During my STEP signature project, I was blessed to have met a lady that had recently had a mastectomy and decided to go on vacation and participate in yoga. She explained to me how much yoga was helping her with her pain. Not only did she feel less pain then she did before, but she also stated that the yoga helped with stiffness that occurs because of the surgery. She explained how happy she was to make the decision to do yoga. Hearing this added to my passion of increasing my knowledge about yoga and hopefully one day being able to teach yoga. This lady that I met during my trip will not be forgotten.

It is so important to learn how to relax, especially in stressful times. This trip allowed me to relax, to enjoy the outside and the company I’m surrounded with. I learned different yoga poses that help relieve stress in various areas on my body. I learned to take time for myself and to love myself because both are so important when it comes to being able to relax, love yourself, and to love others. This trip brought so much joy to me. My hope is that I can keep these techniques that I learned and continue to use them especially in my more stressful periods. Overall, great experience.

Why is this change/transformation significant or valuable for your life? Write one or two paragraphs discussing why this change or development matters and/or relates to your academic, personal, and/or professional goals and future plans.

This change is very important to my life because I do live a very stressful life. Not only am I a full time student, but I also work two jobs, so learning how to correctly relieve stress is essential. Last school year before I took this trip, school by itself was very stressful to me. I did not know how to let go of that stress or correctly handle it until my STEP signature project. That is why I am grateful for the learnings I had during this trip. Beyond personal appreciation for this change/transformation, I am also grateful for it on a professional level as well. As a nursing student and a future nurse, I want to be able to provide non pharmacological ways for my patients to deal with stress, pain, etc. I don’t want my patients to have to rely on medication to do this job for them. This, I believe, is how many people become addicted to drugs and much more. My plan for the upcoming school year is to learn more about yoga and eventually teach it at the RPAC for my peers to come and have a stress free hour of yoga and relaxation. Looking even more into the distant future, I want to be able to hold my own yoga classes at a hospital where I work not only for my patients but for my coworkers as well. This trip holds so much value to my life and I am very grateful I was able to embark on such a journey. I cannot wait to see what the future holds.

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