At a yoga class I used to attend, my teacher would murmur during the final resting pose: “Let’s take time to integrate our yoga practice.”
Basically: let’s lay here and let the benefits sink into our muscles and connective tissues and sinews.
Well, that’s how I heard it.
Let’s give our bodies time to weave together the known and unknown benefits of the challenging stretching and balancing and twisting we’ve undertaken.
I love savasana (final resting pose) for all the reasons most people do – just laying on the ground without the threat of a five year old pouncing on me is complete release.
But I also love it because it’s a chance for me to let my body “integrate”- to settle down and do something without my effort, without my thoughts or striving. Just allow.
I take the same approach to the end of the semester with my students. To me there comes a point in the semester where it’s time to stop. And integrate.
In these last few classes, I introduce no new material. It is a time to let the material they have learned to absorb and connect in their brain tissue. It is time to dwell, to play, to explore, to practice. I like to design a final project that facilitates this focus- an intentional dwelling in one area and allowing the intellectual stretching and memorizing and contemplation to integrate in our minds.
In Justice in Action, my seniors reflect on the kind of adult they want to be, which justice issues ignite a passionate response in them, and how to engage with these issues in their next phase of life.
In Christian Morality, my juniors select a contemporary moral issue to study deeply and create a product to inform their peers about it.
All the while, they get to practice and play with vocabulary words and concepts from the courses. They get to express their creativity by recording their products as a podcast or designing an infographic or flyer.
And so, as we settle into the month of May, join me and my students as we take time to integrate our practice…