Yoga MOOC: The Science and Practice of Yoga – First Week

This week I started a MOOC on edX on Yoga “The Science and Practice of Yoga”. Since I am doing Yoga for three years now, more and more I wanted to know why the different asanas and pranayamas have a good effect on my overall fitness and body and my mental state.

So I started a MOOC on the platform edX. The first week had following topics:

  • Try to give a definition of yoga and letting the students know that there is not one defintion, there are many definitions
  • Letting the students know that yoga is not just the widely know asanas, it is a way of life and you can do yoga everywhere, not just on a mat
  • Give a introduction into meditation and different styles and emphasize that meditation is also an aspect of yoga.
  • Here you will find the Path of Patanjali very helpful to understand why yoga is more than just some asanas and breathing exercises on a mat in a yoga studio.
  • New for me was the Wheel of Awareness, the wheel is divided into four aspects:
    • Your five senses, as touch, smelling and hearing etc.
    • The sixth sense, meaning listening into your body e.g. hearing your breath or your heart beating
    • The seventh sense, all mental abilities, e.g. the awareness of your emotions
    • The eight sense, the interconnectedness of all beings, e.g. the beings around you in nature, other people.
  • This wheel of awareness I find very helpful for a yoga practice and handling your emotions or the feelings you have in your body while doing asanas or meditate.
  • Also there were many videos
    • A whole yoga class
    • A videos on props you can use and preparing a place for your yoga practice
    • Videos on different styles of meditation as Body Scan

I learned quite a lot in the first week and I am curious on the more scientific approaches which are following.



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