Being on vacation this week and next is allowing me to take yoga classes every single day of the week! During the school week, I wind up taking class in the evenings, which means taking class two or three evenings plus Saturday mornings. This week I have taken class every single day, and in 30 minutes I will head to the 8 a.m. Saturday class. For someone like me, who is up and awake early, an 8 a.m. weekend class is a heavenly way to refresh and energize.
Thursday morning, as Ellen guided us in class, she talked about Developmental Sensation, which she described as knowing when your body is ready to receive more sensation in the holding or positioning of a pose. This could mean holding a pose for one breath more than usual or multi-breaths longer; it could mean transitioning from side-plank pose, with both legs together, to side-plank pose with the top leg raised just a little or as much as being perpendicular to the floor.
Developmental sensation is about knowing your body – about taking your body to its gentle level of expression, where any more would be too much, and any less would not be enough, and perhaps discovering your developmental sensation with the gentle assistance of a trained yoga instructor, who verbally guides you or lightly touches you to help you shape the pose.
As Ellen explained developmental sensation, what immediately struck me is that she was describing Vygotsky’s Zone of Proximal Development. And in that instant, as I entered my own level of developmental sensation, I knew that being in the ZPD of kinesthetic learning is as humbling and satisfying as being in the ZPD of cognitive learning.
If you are interested in knowing more about ZPD, I invite you to read these two posts noted below. And I invite you to share your ZPD or your Developmental Sensation experiences by leaving a comment. Cheers!
- Gentle Edge - a post I initially wrote in August, 2010
- Lev Vygotsky & ZPD – a post I wrote on Neurons Firing back in June, 2009