growth (n.)1550s, “stage in growing,” from grow + -th (2), on model of health, stealth, etc. Compare Old Norse groði, from groa “to grow.” Meaning “that which has grown” is from 1570s; “process of growing” is from 1580s. Old English used grownes “increase, prosperity.”
You can grow a garden, you can grow a baby, you can grow tired and you can grow fond. I am aiming to grow spiritually and mentally during this crisis. Over recent weeks I have taken up yoga (almost) daily and have actively searched for ways to grow my mind. First, we will explore yoga.
I remember having a yoga video about 20 years ago, it was my sister’s and I didn’t tale much interest. My mam fell asleep doing the workout! Yoga has been around since the ancient world, its origins are disputed, but I’m going to go with what I’ve read and understand to be the history of yoga. It is defined as a physical, mental and spiritual practice, rooted in Hinduism. Yoga is a Sanskrit word concerned with ‘to attach, join, harness, yoke’ and it is a cognate with the English word ‘yoke’. I use yoga to take care of my mental health. If I feel like I need to step back and focus, or even just breathe, I find a yoga video (try Yoga with Adriene!) and I make time to complete it. I’ve dabbled in yoga for a few years but I’ve done it more since the schools shut, and here’s why.
Yoga helps to grow my mind. It helps me to grow an awareness of my body, how it feels, what it can do and what its physical limits are (namely, my flexibility). It helps me to grow an awareness of my breath, there are so many times during a normal school day when my breathing is not calm and deep, but shallow and rushed. Most days I’m breathing to live, but what about living to breathe? I’m not suggesting that a primary school classroom can be a place of zen, that is definitely a ‘blue sky thinking’ day dream. However, when I start at my new school in September I’m going to make a conscious effort to apply the theories of yoga to my practice and my environment. This is why I’m making time right now to grow my spiritual awareness of myself and my environment with yoga. If you follow along with Adriene on YouTube, there is also an online community of ‘Kula’ called ‘Find What Feels Good Kula/FWFG Kula where you can learn more about yoga from other people. Find it here.
Finally, I have found my mind thirsty for professional growth. I’ve sought out online CPD and bought a bagful of books, both audio and Kindle, to help me develop my professional practice during this time. I’m reading about teacher wellbeing, vocabulary, reading and even a book that outlines a professional development plan that my new school will be putting me on in September! I’m thirsty for that growth though. I want to be challenged, I want to be pushed to my limit of what I thought I could do and find that I can do even more. This is where the balance between my two forms of growth comes in. I believe I need a calm, balanced, spiritual zen outlet if I am to succeed with a high-demand professional development journey in the coming months.