Week 6 of the YOGA MOOC- Listening Diary


This is the journal for the “uncommon” practice of listening. I guess it is just an extension of the feel and be present. Making this a directed practice looks just good.

Day 01 – exp 01

Context: I was getting into the coffee machine and there was a work college there that I had not met, and I decided to say hello and listen.

  1. How well am I listening? (I’ll rate in a scale of 1 – not here to 5 – fully here)
    It was more like a 3, in the minutes next to the decision I had to make myself comfortable to the idea.
  2. Am I really listening or am I thinking of the next thing I’m going to say?
    This one was ok, I was really there to listen, only when the theme got better (living in the US vs the UK) I was about to jump ahead
  3. What are my body sensations as I listen?
    So one thing that I saw is that my shoulders and chest should not open, I make a reasonable effort to open my eyes ( I think the ears as well)
  4. Can I allow time for and be comfortable with moments of silent pause?
    In this one not really, still later I’ve “used the silence and it works, I now longer need to fill it up.
  5. Am I really seeing them? (I’ll rate in a scale of 1 – not here to 5 – fully here)
    I did try, I did feel that If I do not talk I can see people skin, teeth, smile, hair and listen better

Day 01 – exp 02

Context: Dealing with a complex issue with my sister

  1. How well am I listening?
    Not that much it went from a 3 to a 1 many times, eventually got back to the 3
  2. Am I really listening or am I thinking of the next thing I’m going to say?
    This was less well done, at the end I could probably have done it better by wiring more silence
  3. What are my body sensations as I listen?
    Again, shoulder go to readiness position (parallel) open chest, hands start working, then re-think and breathe, more calm then.
  4. Can I allow time for and be comfortable with moments of silent pause?
    I’ll have to work more when the issues are more heartily, by letting it go.
  5. Am I really seeing them?
    I need to, and it is still not the case, being far ( the talk was over the phone) let several things go on the tone of voice. Since we do like each other we did agree on what to do.


I did the exercise a couple more times. What fundamentally taught so far is that I should be listening more and that by doing so, here is the catch – I feel more inside their needs and problems and more able to say something that can make a difference. Or probably there are things and times were I should only listen.

Practice – choose 1 day a week of Listening and do it ( Journal)



Week 6 – Course Goal Assessment – Where it stops?

It is time to wrap-up – brief comment on the course

After the 7 weeks of going trough this ( yes if we count week 0) new idea, Yoga, Meditation also known as the Science and Practice of Yoga, the living well in a Digital Age, the Mindfulness and Toolkit for better living, the great classes and insights of Stacy Dockins, the non-expressive looks (sorry) Catherine Spann, that have the “science” shield merged with what seems to be a great will to do things and bring this idea of the whole (Yoga, Meditation, Mindfulness) with reasonable scientific arguments.

Point said – these people got it done! We have a script, techniques, ideas that are and were so far really actionable.

The EdX platform and assistance? Well, Coursera beats it by far in the ease of use and in the response to questions.

The instructors seen from here

If you see the instructors QA they are different people from the ones we had at the short videos and lectures. – the links are here

In a way I can understand and applause (if that matters)

Live QA – 1

Live QA – 2

Final journal assignment

1 – About your experience of setting, monitoring, and implementing your goal

This one is more about the process, and I feel and see that it worked out well, that is, the monitoring and reassessment with the non judgmental side baked in less stress

Setting the Goal

It worked well, I guess by nature of work or life it just did. The goal setting did receive his own page and that was a decision made because of the monitoring and for its key part in here.

Would I set another goal? Yes I now know that the meditation and awareness exercises should have had more focused time.


I could integrate the 15 minutes classes into the morning training- again it just works, then in 2 days having my family do the yoga poses -all good. My critique is that I should worked more on bringing them with me – probably a “family prize” if we had done more than 2 sessions.


This was a good experience – since the use of the Journal and the half-way “formal check in” with the non-judgmental rule gave me some brain space for the failure or sucess -per example this week I knew that we were not training/doing the yoga practice (all of us) and on that day at 6:00 am I could more easily ask only my wife to come along and do 10 minutes morning practice!

Do you feel like you’ve achieved your goal?

No I did not achieve the goal I’ve setup.

I did bring and learn new things that were not even in the goal!

Why or why not?

Why not:

  1. Practicing myself 4 times a week in the morning – 90 to 95%
  2. Making 2 sessions for all of us – 30%
  3. Bringing Meditation, Yoga Exercises into our common domain of thought and doing – 100%

Do you think this goal-setting practice could be used in other areas of your life?

Yes, I’m trying to get it to work for job search, my new Krav Maga club and responsibilities and soon with a combination of Agile and Lean Kanban to projects and teams.

What is the one thing about the goal process that you think worked best for you?

The non-judgmental part, the journaling based on the video requirements – that is it you just have to do it and use the things you’ve done without “fear” of not achieving.

What’s the one thing about the process that you would change?

I would make it more frequent – once a week and I would had somehow a more accountable thing happening. And I will also suggest that (and mostly for me) that this needs to be fun.

And I would leave a door open to add new things to the goal, in my case the last 2 weeks were much more of using things outside of the mat and that was not in my goal. The Listen exercise, Off Switch and Common Humanity are my favorites.

Final Comment

It is not totally illogical to say that the process here was more important than the result, I’ve learned new things and made some pretty interesting changes. So I’m really ok with the result.




Week 5 – Reflection on the goal (part 2) or getting to a common practice – some data

What data does?

With the advent of getting my fitbit I got a much better idea of sleep, exercise, heart rate trough the day and insights on my routine.

From the idea of self-compassion I stopped worrying too much on the less training hours vs having trained even if the minimal set ( one of my Wednesday’ s is just not great to say the least)

What were the things I measured?

From the routine I got effectively (using the 7 to 15 or yoga added to the normal practice):

  • some weight out, minor ( 1 kg) and more things ,
  • the ideas of people common humanity, one of the sessions I did reflect on the fact that everyone passes trough hard stuff.
  • the sense that yoga poses, plus meditation ( as a practice for mindfulness) have a real connectivity ( pause during the day)
  • better balance in my kicking techniques
  • my family touching my day and the same happening to them ( meditation more important here)
  • 3 to 5 moments a day when I did get the switch on and off ( I’ll look for getting the chart for the heart rate)

The data keeps me more humble and quite happy of what does work well for me.

Some days better than the others, I’ve also seen relevant to use the Principles for the days when things were less of the planned.


Activity Steps Duration Calories
Today, 8:28AM Yoga 91 1:12:00 351 cals
Dec 2, 7:57AM Yoga 23 10:46 50 cals
Dec 2, 7:42AM Martial Arts 580 15:11 116 cals
Dec 2, 7:32AM 7 Minute Workout 256 8:48 76 cals
Dec 1, 2:36PM Yoga 1,190 20:29 103 cals
Nov 30, 5:32AM Yoga 26 8:27 38 cals
Nov 30, 5:22AM 7 Minute Workout 268 8:49 75 cals
Nov 29, 5:28AM 7 Minute Workout 253 8:03 76 cals
Nov 28, 6:09AM Warm It Up 428 8:55 70 cals
Nov 27, 6:14AM Yoga 6 13:00 64 cals
Nov 27, 6:00AM Martial Arts 425 14:00 171 cals
Nov 27, 5:54AM 7 Minute Workout 242 8:29 75 cals
Nov 26, 9:59AM 7 Minute Workout 260 8:42 80 cals
Nov 26, 9:49AM Martial Arts 848 9:53 110 cals
Nov 24, 8:45AM Yoga 957 30:43:00 183 cals
Nov 23, 9:04AM Yoga 16 1:08:53 206 cals
Nov 23, 8:51AM Martial Arts 1,080 10:49 129 cals
Nov 22, 12:50PM Martial Arts 1,297 17:03 127 cals

Week 5 – Reflection on the goal (part 1) or getting to a common practice

Getting to a common practice

It started being just a big goal and more centered in myself, the question is that after a certain age and having a family, goals are or should be shared.

So I “dragged” my idea to do this and integrate my family ( wife and son of 10 y.o.)

My practice was planned to be every day of the week for at least 20 minutes, and then have my family other 2 times.

Where am I?


From the 25 days where Yoga ( on the mat ) was possible I’ve done 16.

From the 8 sessions with my family we’ve done 4.


I’m a regular meditator (see Transcendental Meditation technique), this means 2 times per day, early morning and end of day for 20 minutes each session. – All working differently since the compassion meditation and 5 senses were a surprise.

Me and my son done 1 session of compassion, and with my family we’ve done a full session on breathing and meditation ( count from 1 to 10).

Summary (Part 1 of Goal reflections)

There is a lot to do, not only in me, also in bringing my family more into this world.

I do feel and believe that essentially the Breathing and awareness of the postures have been making a big difference, plus the on and off switch and the powerful Common Humanity.

Also the discipline to journal the course and the feelings makes a difference in my accountability to myself.

The science part of the course , I guess it didn’t show so much, having the engineering, training and biomechanics hats probably did not help plus I found it less powerful than the “do approach” of the other areas.

Part 2 of the reflection on the goal will look into the poses, meditation practices and some data that I took from having my Fitbit working and also my family opinion on the idea.


YOGA MOOC Journal Week 4 – day 05 of 5 – Re-wire

The practice – Common Humanity (see earlier post) was just there, I guess I was a bit “afraid” of it, it just looked like that tough to do.

Well it is, like that, I’ve chosen my inability to deal well with negative feedback (since in these days it happened) and broken it down, created a new believe, a process that looked feasible and half-tried, wrote down my emotions (current and new) and after the on-mat practice I took the 30 minutes to go for it.

10 minutes of awareness, breathing and getting into the idea, some flashes of things happening and I’d say post that I let the old view come in, went into the example that was fresh, then visualized and went trough the new emotions – still not working

Then, more of the limiting believe came up, stuff from several years ago, I guess the insecurity came from there, being in front of a class that did use their cleverness, my less preparation and mistakes, and I took it all in, did learn from it, learned that sometimes you listen, others you stand-up.

I guess that now is different, and in the exercise that came in ( that is why having the written new believe is great, we have a new script to followup).

I’ve went to the new steps, listen, ask for details, re-tell and establish rules, make it short and enough, feeling secure ( took a couple of iteration).

What I felt at the end was good, but a lot from coming out of a hard session.

Now is to apply it when it happens, what I believe is really possible starting by the listen feeling secure.

Update post 24 hours: I did have a bit of “epiphany” from the combination of this and the Off-switch when the nearby feelings came up in a friends gathering at home, the OK part is that the result was : use the pause, listen and explain your views ( even with my close family).

On the Mat practice

2 days with the new miniclass from Week 5 -Introduction to Vinyasa one with my son another with my wife the course goals are being kept alive.

On the Vinyasa ( wikipedia for having seen Jimmy Wales talk is a preferred source) that does have a lot to work on soon, it does look like an interesting way to build dynamical strength and mobility.

I’m now thinking how to maintain the practices for all of us.

Overall this has been a very very good week.



YOGA MOOC Journal Week 4 – day 04 of 5 – on closing the limiting beliefs

YOGA MOOC Journal Week 4 – day 04 of 5 – One more step trough the week of complexity and getting on to close limiting beliefs

The name suggests what this week asks for, a set of simple things, and today I’ve taken the off the mat assignment preparation for its conclusion by tomorrow.

Off the Mat

The exercise is simple, write down 3 limiting beliefs and describe the feelings and body reactions to these. Well it looks simple on the surface, later I’ve discovered a second and third layer in it.

With the distinct name of “Assignment: Exploring Common Humanity”, the construct is to deepen into ourselves (not manbo jambo) in the things we see us not doing by belief one of mine’s is – I do not take well negative feedback when passionately talking about the areas where I see myself as an expert –  and deepen means capture the situation, the feelings that that brings, the body changes, any thing that can be aggregated, do this by by writing them and then move out to specify the new believe that will make this reverse and write down the feeling, ambiance, body responses that make that a live situation.

Now do this for 3 limiting believes and its counter measure believe.

Layer 2 : What I found useful was to really close the eyes and be there ( in the “negative” side) then describing well the new believe, getting some facts from there, how do I see myself, how others react, what steps have I followed when facing the challenge/ new situation, then

Layer 3: I’ve jotted down the emotions, for both, things like being embarrassed, “this guys are crazy”, “I’m about to close you down”,   to ( and in no particular order, although found the same number for both), OK I’m really listening, What is the view here?, What is in truly in common for us.

Next step is to use meditation with visualization of the new behaviors. – tomorrow.

I saw this like a very intense practice of re-wiring, getting a new software, while the poses make more “mess” in the hardware.

Simple, not Easy.

On the mat

Redone of the miniclass, better Eagle pose ( the balance is a nice challenge), Yoga came post Krav Maga 25 minutes technical work. In a way I do see this taking care of my back and getting better for rotational kicks and balance for double combinations.

Short reflection on the use of the Off-Switch and On-Switch

Today is Thanksgiving in the US, I was just more aware, this means I’ve stopped to see where I was, take the 3 breaths and captured the sensations of the body, the fact that I was more upright and just easier at talk ( I usually am). I think the more interesting part is to see the awareness of the moments being used in favor of Joy.


YOGA MOOC Journal Week 4 – day 03 of 5 – Done to an extent

YOGA MOOC Journal Week 4 – day 03 of 5

I’ve feel like catching up with all the course needs, today was determined by a later start and a shorter day, still assignments were in the calendar. My progress gets tamed by late hours.

On the mat

did a 7 minutes practice, from the miniclass here, prior to this I kept the momentum going with the kicking and shadow boxing practice from Darebee with the adaptations to the needs in Krav Maga.

From yesterday I had in my mind to review the Eagle Pose and it was good to see how my balance gets affected and needs work – the plan tomorrow is to have practice more deep and obliviously more longer.

Off the mat

The fun part ( and yes it is fun to have new tools and things to learn) below is the gif (animated) – all credits for the video Maintain Self Discipline Daily from InspireDiscipline


On the use of the Off Switch – day 03

It as been more the realization of my insecurities, the rigidness in my jaw and my posture ( it does not get elongated), used it at the work day because of a difficult talk, one of those that makes me think about the perception of others and my actions. I guess it made me be more alert, I’ve also made myself upright and went into a mode of less defensiveness. The cool part is that I could make enjoy more real ( I thought specifically on it) with the On protocol at my first family home cooking for Thanksgiving.

There is still quite a lot to do 🙂