Back to Yoga

Now that the badminton season is over, I decided to continue with yoga, so that I could keep on working on my goals for this activity, which I set earlier on this year.

Starting yoga again reminded me again how different this activity was from ones such as badminton, which is what I’m used to. While strategy and coordination are a big part of badminton, yoga focuses more on endurance. I never really knew how long 30 seconds were, before I had to hold the ‘downward dog’ pose for that amount of time!

However, since I’m familiar with the basic positions now, I can focus more on holding them and pushing myself to try more complex poses. Something that really helps me push through is seeing my friends try the poses themselves, and competing with them to see who can achieve it the fastest – of course, Miss Morse, our instructor, always lets us know that we should focus more on our body, and whether we feel it can handle the kind of exertion of a particular exercise.

As painful as it sometimes is as I try to keep up with all the different exercises, I always end up feeling relaxed and refreshed after each session. With exams and deadlines approaching, this is a great way to relieve stress and stay positive, which makes this activity a great way to end my action this semester.

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Gecko Factor 2017

Every year, Gecko Factor brings to life the entertaining and unique talents of our student body, allowing us to see our friends in a whole new way.

This year, our class’s love of Bollywood music and dancing resulted in a group of us planning and initiating a dance for the talent show. During lunch, after school and during the weekends, 10 of the senior students could be found dancing, and in my case, occasionally losing balance.

Ariana and Amit were our main choreographers, but we were all equally invested in the group, singling out the competition during the auditions, and urging all our other classmates to watch us (and be amazed!) To add to the element of surprise, we started of dancing to ‘Cheap Thrills’ by Sia, and transitioning into Badtameez Dil by Benny Dayal.

Despite having never taken part in a talent show before, I was not too nervous before the performance, mostly because I would be dancing with my friends, and all our awesome ‘Dance Crew’ pictures we took backstage distracted me.

We had challenges to overcome, even while on stage in the spotlight – due to a initial version of our dance track being played instead of the final, we had a few seconds of improvisation in the middle, which I think we handled well. Our competitive spirits were also rewarded when we won third place. We ended the day with more awesome group pictures and splitting the third place brownie price.

Match Point

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With badminton SAISA fast approaching, we’re all training hard. Usually, badminton starts out with a demonstration of various techniques, by our coach, Mr. Pradeep, such as a drop shot or a smash. We then work on our skills in these techniques until we have warmed up, and are ready to play against each other. It’s really helpful to practice our skills, as one of my goals for the sport is to improve my ‘smash’ technique.

The part of practice I enjoy most however, is the matches we play against each other – especially when they are so intense and competitive that the ‘match point’ basically lasts forever! Additionally, these matches give me more experience and a better eye for strategy, and wear to aim my shots in order to make them hard to hit back.

I’m looking forward to the progress I will make as the SAISA season approaches.

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Doubles match with Shivangi, against Sadira and Nicholas – Photo Credits: Ika Zakaria

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Dancers of 2017

Having recently started my own CAS Project, it’s really exciting to hear about what my friends are doing, and how they’ve approached it.

A project that a majority of our senior class is excited about being involved in is a Bollywood dance routine, organized by Amit and Ariana, for our school talent show, ‘Gecko Factor’. As our whole class has fond memories of dancing to hindi songs, I think this will be a great way to celebrate our senior class while engaging in a CAS Activity.

Back To The Courts…

One of the most exciting things for me this quarter is the start of badminton, which I also committed to last year. After doing yoga last quarter, I’m ready for the more fast paced and competitive atmosphere of the badminton courts. I’m also looking forward to improving my technical knowledge of the sport and playing against my friends (it’s always fun debating who won a particular point!)

My aims for badminton this quarter are…

(a) Successfully performing more challenging badminton shots (such as ‘the smash’)

(b) Improving my footwork so that I can reach the shuttlecock easier for shots

(c) Improving my strategy (for example, hitting clear shots when my opponent is on the front court)

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Photo Credits: Ika Zakaria

Yoga – End of Quarter Reflection

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Photo Credits: Miss Rebecca Morse

As this quarter comes to a close, all my progress and memories in yoga class are experiences I look back on fondly. As the pictures on my yoga posts reflect, our class grew in size and energy as the term went on, and it was a nice reminder of how far we had all come.

Looking back on the goals I set for this quarter, I am happy with the progress I made, especially since achieving these objectives were more of an enjoyment and challenge rather than a mandatory task. At the beginning of the semester, I had hoped yoga would be more physically challenging this time around, and this certainly proved to be the case. Almost as difficult as assuming poses was holding them for 10 (very long) seconds! The challenge, however, made my aching muscles worth it.

Every yoga class, we started with a routine called the ‘Sun Salutations’, which consisted of key yoga poses, such as the ‘Downward dog’ and ‘The log’. While this proved challenging at first, as most yoga routines did, processing it every day in class really helped me improve, while also ensuring that I knew the names and positions of many more yoga poses. (Once you manage to stay in ‘Downward dog’ for 10 seconds, it is very hard to forget its name!) As a major part of my goals focused on retaining knowledge about this action in order to practice and improve in the future, this was a great help to me.

Hopefully, even though I won’t be continuing yoga next quarter, I will keep practicing it at home and carry the skills I learnt into the future!

Yoga – DP2 Objectives

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Having done yoga last year, I was happy to join again, especially since I’m really interested to try different forms of yoga. This year, our new teacher, Miss. Rebecca Morse, has decided to practice more challenging and physical aspects of yoga.

Last year, I talked about how different yoga was from the sports I normally took part in, like badminton, with a strong focus on healthy living and a clear mind. This year, while a strong mind is still given emphasis, we are also exploring the harder poses and really challenging our bodies. Additionally, a really great aspect of yoga is endurance – holding a pose is as important as being able to do it, making it a very different form of action from badminton, and one that I am excited to improve.

My aims for yoga this semester are…

(a) To learn the basic poses of yoga, so that I can practice yoga at home, and improve my skills. For example, I learnt that the ‘rest’ pose in yoga is called the ‘child’s’ pose.

(b) Improve my skills in the harder yoga poses by holding it better and for a little bit longer each class.

(c) Use the breathing techniques we learn to improve my endurance and strength while doing yoga – it is very easy to forget to do so throughout the session.