From finding the right teacher to assimilating a new language to using that language in front of strangers—learning a new language can be a stressful experience. But since stress and learning aren’t exactly the best of companions, we try to focus on keeping our classes fun and dynamic. As lovers of yoga, we think that the combination of learning Spanish and yoga is an incredible way to build both mental and physical fortitude! Turns out, according to science, we might not be wrong. Here’s why you should add some yoga practice to your Spanish learning adventure!
IMPROVE YOUR ATTENTION AND MEMORY
There’s plenty of research on the physical, mental, and emotional benefits of yoga. There’s even research on its effect on academic performance. Turns out, even those with attention difficulties found that yoga helped with focus. In our experience, both as teachers and practicers (and with some attention difficulties of our own), yoga is a great way to clear one’s mind before filling it with new vocabulary and conjugations. Even 15 minutes of yoga or breathing exercises before your class can help get your brain right!
INCREASE THE QUALITY OF YOUR SLEEP
Research suggests that yoga can help you sleep better at night. Why is that important for learning a new language? Because improved sleep quality can aid in learning by helping us focus and retain memories longterm. Tired minds aren’t as agile when it comes to learning new information and being able to retrieve or “remember” it later. Calm breathing and gentle stretching are some of my favorite ways to prepare for bed and manage my insomnia! I find that a good night’s sleep always leads to a more clear-headed and productive morning.
INCREASE YOUR SELF CONFIDENCE AND DECREASE STRESS
Years after graduating, I still occasionally wake up from a familiar nightmare with a variety of scenarios. In them, I show up late for an important exam, I fail courses because I didn’t know I was signed up for them, and I am forced to give final presentations I’m unprepared for. Apparently, these sorts of dreams are a thing. School is often looked back on as a time of insecurity and high stress. We’ve found that even in classes as lowkey (and fun) as private language classes over Skype, our students expressed initial nervousness! We try to break that association by making sure our lessons are engaging, dynamic, and fun as possible–to what we think is a great success. But to beat those learning-Spanish-jitters we recommend, you guessed it, yoga. In a study for MIT, students said they felt less stressed out after weeks of a yoga program. Their brain scans even showed less activity in their amygdalas (the part of the brain that’s responsible for fealing fear)!
Whether you’re a hardcore yogi or a beginner, adding some yoga, mindfulness, and or breathing exercises to your toolbox is an easy way to support your language learning. Want the benefits of a full hour of yoga before your Spanish lesson? Marianne is not only an incredible Spanish teacher, but she’s also a bilingual certified Yoga instructor. Contact us now to find out how you can combine private yoga classes with Spanish lessons in Santo Domingo (and online).
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