The integrative yoga project was created as a space for yoga students to engage with their practice from a holistic perspective within the container of an online wellbeing course. The course lasted 10 weeks and combined live sessions on Zoom with online content that participants could work through at their own pace. Participants were encouraged to reflect on their yoga practices and other practices they may have, examining the role they play in their wellbeing. They were then coached to add additional practices to bring about a balanced schedule that enhanced wellbeing across the realms of the mental, physical, emotional, spiritual and interpersonal.
Meeting the participants in the live sessions and hearing about each other’s lives and existing practices was wonderful. When creating the course I tried to think of really diverse examples of what could be considered a wellbeing practice (juggling and sudoku anyone?), but was thrilled to hear from some participants that they planned to learn French and to practice the violin!
Whilst some participants were energised by the process of creating a wellbeing schedule, it did not turn out to be such a great fit for others who found it hard to make time, or simply felt that they preferred a more unstructured approach to life. Indeed, the structure of the course placed a large amount of responsibility on the participants to engage with the content and to reflect on their processes individually. In hindsight, increasing the proportion of live sessions to individual learning would likely have created more opportunity for connection between participants, as well as increased engagement from participants who favoured a more interactive approach.
Looking to the future, it would be interesting to run the course again with more live sessions, perhaps even with in-person sessions, and integrating group practice sessions would be a wonderful addition as well. If there was an opportunity to continue to work with the same group of participants, it would be fascinating to understand more deeply what it is that makes someone choose to keep going with certain practices and why it is that others choose to stop.
Some feedback from participants:
“It has taught me that I need to weave well-being into all I do.”
“Walking in nature has allowed me to have more in common with some friends and walk together which I would never have done. These walks in particular have helped me to discover new green spaces in London and share this with others.”
“Planning time for yourself is important. Well-being is improved when adding additional practises.It would be good to have some group practice.”
“It’s a great concept, it was good to plan some time for myself.”