Saturday, January 31, 2015

DePaul Students Explore and Blog About Chicago Yoga

Natalie Tomlin, TC

During last year's holiday break, I proposed a new course for DePaul University's first year experiential learning program entitled "Exploring Chicago's Yoga Community." Designing and later executing this course in the fall of 2014 was the meeting of my two passions: writing and yoga. I have been teaching yoga since 2012 and have been practicing around Chicago since 2010. Since the experiential program focuses on getting students familiar with Chicago, as part of the course, I planned 5 excursions around the city, where students would practice together and interview teachers and studio owners. I envisioned the course as not just a passive tourism of yoga in the city but rather a journey informed by a critical lens. Therefore, I adopted a core text, entitled 21st Century Yoga, which is a compilation of mostly bloggers presenting different points of view on contemporary yoga.

And because the critical conversations about yoga most often start online, I thought it logical that my students were to create their own blog as part of the class! I knew that their writing would be interesting to the online community, so my own ambitious goal for my students was that they share their work on our course page, and several took me up on that: After the conclusion of the course, I received the news that a magazine was interested in publishing my student's work:

Although I am not sure yet if I will teach the course again in the fall, I have been invited to contribute to a workshop on experiential learning at the 2015 Conference on College Composition and Communication in Tampa.

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