Learning through Physicality: Emotion shapes our thinking!

When we put our full bodies into something we learn better. We can remember a day of working hard on a treehouse or a game of soccer that we gave our all better than a routine day. With our Makom @ Home Class that shines through, too.For Yonah learns through the lessons he learns physically that change him as a person. 


Building skills for Hebrew reading is a part of our class that we all look forward to, but we can find ourselves falling into the same habits while learning it- see the letter, say the sounds of the letter, and see the letter in words. What happens when we get to be the letter? We tested that idea this week with some Hebrew Yoga! We reviewed the sounds of the letter we chose, described its shape, and then we created it using our bodies! Lamed had us making our bodies nice and tall, while gimel got us into a power pose with a little arm action at the top. 


Physical learning is something that extends beyond our Hebrew study, we also spoke this week about how we show self-compassion. What do we do when we’re not feeling our best, or even downright crummy? Many of the answers were based in what we can do physically:


  • I play with my rabbits and spend time with them
  • I take some time to go out into nature 
  • I read a book. Sometimes I also like to listen to music from the 80’s
  • Mom hugs! 

What do all of these things have in common? They all have us noticing our bodies to identify  how we’re feeling. When it comes to helping others we had similar ideas:


  • Sit down with them. Give them a candy bar and ask them how they’re feeling 
  • Ask them if they want some help with whatever they’re going through. 

Yonah, is full of these- emotions leading to experience, experience leading to learning. The raging sea that is only quelled by Yonah coming to terms with valuing emotions over people speaks to how we can get in touch with ourselves in order to help the situation around us. 

  • I ask myself what it is I’m feeling upset about and that helps me
  • I have a moment I felt I was out of control, but I knew that someone who was hurt needed my help 


Does that make helping ourselves easy? We had some mixed feelings. 


  • It’s easy when we know what it is we’re upset about 
  • It depends on the situation- sometimes it’s easy and sometimes it’s hard


We can point at these elements and see our own emotions reflected in Yonah’s experience. When we experience a lesson physically, we’re on track to remember it for a lifetime. 


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