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PRATT — Teaching yoga face-to-face has rounded out Pratt Community College instructor Trisha Jackson’s schedule.
Three years ago, along with teaching physics, geology, and atmospheric science, Jackson, who holds a Ph.D. in geology from the University of Kansas and teaching credits in yoga, decided to offer yoga. But a few weeks ago, her world turned upside down, along with the rest of the world’s.
Because of the coronavirus shutting down schools and many businesses, she and her children, dogs and husband are all under one roof.
Jackson decided the tumult would not suit a video conferencing platform interchange with her students. So she opted for a YouTube and discussion board approach.
Jackson trusted yoga practitioner Adriene Mishler and her YouTube yoga videos, “Yoga with Adriene” to help her with her class. Mishler’s website states, “Yoga with Adriene provides high quality practices on yoga and mindfulness at no cost to inspire people of all ages, shapes and sizes.”
“My students are familiar with her,” Jackson said. “She has an amazing library of actions.”
Jackson assigns three practices of Adriene’s for her students to watch and do. She then has discussion boards online where her students are to answer questions about their practice with Adriene.
“Last week, I selected pieces that dealt with loneliness and change,” Jackson said. “This helped them deal with stress.”
Jackson asked her students to reflect on several poses and write how these poses changed or did not change how they felt after the pose. Each student was also asked to explain why particular poses were effective.
Jackson was concerned this way of teaching would hurt the community spirit of her class. However, she quickly realized her students, who include traditional students, faculty, staff and community members, remained engaged.
“One of the best things about our class is the sense of community,” Jackson said. “I really enjoy the sense of connection and how they are sharing and responding.”
As for teaching geology and physics labs, Jackson is taking these classes one week at a time.
“There are some good simulation materials out there,” she said. “But it doesn’t capture all those kids that don’t learn well in an online atmosphere.”