Welcome to the Joyful Living Course Syllabus! We welcome your interest.
Please see more information about the Course in "Course Description". Also, please review the following important notices related to registering for this Course.
Are you ready for this Course? Is this Course right for you now? Do you feel aligned? Maybe ponder on the following and see :)
*Do you want to gain a deeper understanding of self?
This Course is primarily about exploring and evolving the self through weekly wellness explorations and yoga and mindfulness practices. Students who are interested in these topics or are open to learning new concepts may find this Course more suitable, interesting and useful. Deeper self-exploration poses a different challenge than a typical University course. Please consider how you feel about this. Professor Mala is happy to discuss this with you if you are unsure.
*Do you have the time?
This Course involves time and effort outside of the actual class time. This can be a challenge for students who are already too busy or overloaded with many credits. If you do not have the time for the outside of class activities, it may feel more like a burden when you already have other things to do. Please evaluate whether you can make this time commitment. While most students do well, it is not an easy A; you do have to earn it. You will do well in this Course if you do what is required.
*Can you be authentic?
You can share as much as you want or feel comfortable with. Authentic reflections are about your experiences. You are not expected to "like" anything just because you think that will get you a better grade. We are here to support your experience, whatever it is. How much and what you share is up to you :) Also, from past experiences, we HIGHLY discourage the following:
-pretend or write false or irrelevant reflections
-copy, then edit or recycle past reflections into new reflections
These will not be accepted and points will be deducted. Thank you for your understanding.
*Do you have space and privacy to practice?
If you have limited space where you cannot roll out a yoga mat- please think about how / where you can access yoga and movement practices each week.
*Will you engage?
While videos are recorded, with online classes there can be a tendency to procrastinate and not watch videos or watch them later. This often results in students falling behind or not being able to write a clear reflection. Each week the modules build and integrate with the next module. So it is important you engage in the Course from the very first week. During your busy weeks, the materials of this Course can benefit your productivity for other courses. Skipping defeats the purpose and you may miss the potential benefits.
Thank you for taking the time to ponder the above. Welcome to learn more about this Course :)
Course Description Joy and love are intrinsically our authentic nature. However our life experiences, chronic stress and unresolved cumulative trauma can be a precursor to disconnection from our authentic nature and inherent strengths. In our pursuit of success and ‘happiness’, or the “good life” we have become bombarded from an early age with what seems like a societal mapping for success. This is often inclusive of responsibilities, tasks, and the pressure of doing and achieving more. Alongside this, environmental stressors such as digital overload, political instability, climate change and health pandemics can often feel overwhelming.
Over time, our nervous systems become overloaded, taking a toll on our body, mind and spirit. Our physical and mental health may decline or our relationships and life satisfaction may deteriorate. At the end of the day (and life), will what we do and achieve matter if we are unhappy and suffering? What does the evidence tell us about creating a joyful, happy and meaningful life?
This (fully online) course offers a unique transformative learning experience. It is a practice based, self-development course that brings forth empirical findings and evidence based approaches for holistic wellbeing and life satisfaction. The evidence demonstrates how a balanced body, mind and spirit connects to overall life satisfaction. We explore diverse and integrated wellbeing constructs and theories from the lenses of social work, positive psychology, and yoga and mindfulness.
Key aspects of social work practice theories are primary in the course including the Strengths Based Approach & The Integrative Body Mind Spirit Practice Approach to Trauma and Healing. They are weaved through the modules such as Strengths & Neurobiology of Stress & Trauma, Self Compassion, Gratitude & Awe and Nature.
Key aspects of Positive Neuroplasticity are integral in this Course and focused on in the Uprising Joy, Grow Strengths, Unlock Flow, Reframing Deficits and Mindfulness Modules. The aim is to create positive beneficial experiences that create change in the brain. Primary positive psychology theories such as the Broaden and Build and Flow are built in and weaved through the Course’s modules such as in Self Compassion, Forgiveness, Empathy and Social Connection.
Key aspects of yoga philosophy and practices are weaved through the Course. Yoga is taught from a practice perspective, and is not religious in nature. However historical context will include the history, including spiritual and philosophical tenants that were ancient building blocks to this technology of life. Mindfulness-to-Meaning Theory is a newer conceptual model of the cognitive, emotional, and neurobiological processes. It indicates how mindfulness may enhance positive psychological/emotional states to bring greater meaning in adverse circumstances, reduce distress and promote resilience. These aspects weave throughout the Course, but more concentrated in module topics such as Yoke with Yoga, Mindfulness & Meditation, Neurobiology of Stress, Emotional Regulation, and Diaphragmatic Breath.
Students can learn new techniques and approaches to navigate the ebbs and flows of life’s daily stressors and challenges. They can learn basic tenants of theories and approaches and delineate practical ways to use related tools. Through the weekly immersive practices, the students don’t just memorize something, they experience it and absorb any benefits. Ultimately, students integrate theoretical concepts and practice approaches into a personal experience. Students will reflect on the topic, practices and approaches designed to foster tools for holistic wellbeing. This can prevent chronic stress and dis-ease and enhance resilience and wellbeing. This is more than "just an academic course". This is more than "just a yoga course". This is a journey of self discovery, self care and self empowerment!
Class Videos include instructor lectures, guided yoga, breath and other mindfulness practices. A variety of weekly required and optional resources and learning tools are available for students to refer to which offer deeper insights into wellbeing topics. While resources include access to scientific papers, they also offer other dynamic and interactive learning experiences for the students to access. For example, engaging videos, particularly TED Talks, offer valuable wellbeing highlights and tools or life experiences of speakers. Audio recordings will include podcasts, guided mindfulness and breathing practices. Websites will offer deeper examples and insights into topics as well as a depository of scientific evidence where the student can go deeper if they choose. All resources are free and web based.
Students will be required to have a yoga mat and yoga blocks to safely practice yoga. Live virtual and in person wellness sessions will also be offered this semester. In person sessions are held on lawn in front of main library. This is our chance to practice together and experience group chi :). In person experiences will be inclusive of yoga, breathing, connection activities and small group and partner practices.
This is a self-development course. If you are currently experiencing physical and mental health disharmony and life challenges, you are encouraged to also access student counseling. This Course can be a support for you but does not replace counseling. The Professor and TA's are happy to support you in your efforts for wellbeing and are open to discuss and work with you. Students are encouraged to reach out to TA's and utilize Professor's office hours for further clarification into Course materials, lectures, assignments or for any important discussion matters.
課程介紹： 愛與喜悅是我們的本能，但是在許多壓力和創傷下，我們忘記了這些本能。為了追求世俗的成功與快樂與滿足社會期待，我們承擔太多壓力，甚至政治、氣候、社群軟體都在讓我們喘不過去。長時間下來我們神經系統超載，對身心靈造成嚴重影響，我們的身心健康都因此惡化。最後，如果我們身心都感到痛苦，任何成就、功成名利還有意義嗎？科學證據告訴我們怎麼擁有一個充滿喜悅與意義的人生？這個實證與自我成長課程將讓您知道如何擁有全人的身心健康。我們從社會工作、正向心理學、瑜珈與正念等練習探索多元與整合的身心健康。這些資訊教導我們如何擁有身心靈整合、滿意的生活。學生會透過指定的練習來探索全人健康、學習各種技巧和方法和度過許多人生的起伏與困難，如此可以避免慢性壓力和疾病以增進心理韌性與幸福感。這不只是一個學術的課程，而是一個與自我發現、自我關懷、自我充權有關的課程。 本堂課是全線上的課程，並提供獨特的學習經驗。參考資料都與社會工作、正向心理學、瑜珈與正念有關。每周學生會看指定影片和聽音檔，包含了老師的講課、瑜珈練習、呼吸與正念練習。另外也有許多資訊和學習工具會給同學參考。每周參考資料的文章會讓學生更深入了解該周的主題，並讓大家了解更多相關的科學證據和研究。雖然有些資料會包含科學論文，但會提供更有互動性的學習經驗給學生。例如有TED Talks給大家參考、Podcast讓大家聆聽、專家學者的實際操作練習。也會有提供實用的網站(免費的)與科學資料給同學進行更深入的學習，因此學生可以在每周的主題上自由學習更多更深入的東西而非強迫。因為課程有瑜珈的練習，因此需要同學自備瑜珈墊與瑜珈磚。 這是一個自我成長的課程，如果你正經歷身心痛苦與困難，很鼓勵您來參與本堂課，但本堂課不會心理輔導中心，因此還是鼓勵同學可以前往心理輔導中心。教授非常榮幸可以在大家為自己身心健康努力的同時助一臂之力，歡迎同學利用老師的office hour來和老師談更多課程資料、講課內容、作業等等與課堂有關的重要資料。同時也歡迎與助教聯繫。