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My final project journal: Movement for adult learners and my website

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Tiffany D. Kraus
Submitted in partial fulfillment
of the requirements for the degree of
Master of Arts
liberal studies
Empire State College
State University of New York
First Reader: Robert Clougherty
Second Reader: Martha Eddy
UMI Number: 1484342
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a note will indicate the deletion.
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The following journal documents the process of creating my online
movement website for adult students, Tiffsway. It begins with what sparked the
initial idea for the movement site, my research on adult students and stress, and
how I learned web design. I will also discuss the process of developing the site,
display an outline of the movements used in the web videos, and show a link to
final product.
Table of Contents
1. The Spark
2. Improvisation And Movement Elements
3. Exploring/Experimenting and Sharing with Others
4. Learning to Design
5. Website Brainstorm
6. The Plan
7. Production Plan
8. Rehearsal Process
9. Movement Analysis of Video Segments and Outline
10. Conclusion
11. Works Cited
My Final Project Journal:
Movement for Adult Learners and My Website
In the following journal I will lead you through the process of creating my online
Movement Site for Adult Students, Tiffsway. It will begin with what sparked the
initial idea for the movement site, my research on adult students and stress, and
how I learned web design. I will also discuss the process of developing the site,
display an outline of the movements used in the web videos, and show a link to
final product.
The Spark that Led Me to Web Design
When I started graduate school I immediately noticed the increase in time spent
sitting in front of a computer and in front of a screen. I was acutely aware of this
based on how my body felt. As a dancer and a gymnast, I move more than most
students, so I couldn't figure out why I was experiencing so much discomfort. I
felt my hips locking up during lectures and my back aching while researching and
writing papers. There was also an increased amount of stress involved with
being in school full time and working full time. It was physically and mentally
demanding. According to Ellen E. Fairchild, in Multiple Roles of Adult Students,
"Increases in roles, demands, and time conflicts are associated with high stress,
anxiety, and depression for adult female students (Carney-Crompton and Tan,
2002)"(1). I wondered, "How can I get through all of the requirements of the
program without demolishing my body?" My next thought became, "How can
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anyone go through school without having the same problems?"
According to the Rebecca R Ruiz of the NY Times "the recession and the
resulting shortage of good jobs have spurred a jump in applications to law
schools and a growing interest in graduate programs... the number of Americans
who took the Graduate Record Examination in 2009 rose thirteen percent, to a
record 670,000, compared with the year before, according to the Educational
Testing Service, which administers the test" (1). With a growing population of
adults in education, they must encounter similar demands. So I began to dig
through the vast research on adults in education. Robert Kegan, professor of
adult learning, writes that the adult students are asked to leave their "mental
homes" - the life that they have built and are comfortable with so that they can
return to school (272). This is an adjustment of their free time, which will mean
less time for themselves and for their family. It is a departure from the familiar
into the unknown since many adults have not attended school in a substantial
amount of time. The technology has rapidly changed in the past century and is
still evolving. An adult must balance work, family, relationships, financial
responsibilities, personal responsibilities, technology and time with school.
These factors all affect the success of the student. According to scholars
Jennifer Kohler Giancola, Matthew J. Grawitch, Dana Borchert at St. Louis
University, "approximately one third of undergraduate students are now working
adults" (1). If nearly one third of students are working adults, they may be
experiencing these same symptoms.
I was interested in researching the demands and stress on present day
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adult students. Because the definition of stress includes emotional,
environmental, and physical factors that are placed on a person, I wanted to
explore these stresses. The modern day definition of stress is seen as a
negative entity, which can produce harm to the body and mind. It needs to be
remembered, however, that many people succeed and accomplish great feats
under, and even in spite of, stressful situations. For example, a marathon runner
and emergency room doctor both encounter high levels of stress. When do adult
students know they have underlying stress? What can be done about it, and do
institutions provide the tools to balance the consequences of negative stress or
unrecovered bodies? The key to surviving stress is replenishing the body after it
has had a rush of adrenalin.
As one of the above students, I felt the heavy weight of emotional stress on
my shoulders. In beginning my research I discovered what other adults were
feeling, and that I was not alone in my anxiety and stress. According to Ellen E.
Fairchild, adult students "... often are employed full-time. In addition to their work
roles, adults are caregivers for children and aging relatives, community leaders,
and volunteer workers." (1). With these responsibilities the student encounters
what Fairchild calls "intrapersonal and situational barriers" (2). These barriers
are the same stressors that I encountered. My natural tendency to commit fully
to projects I start, combined with my work ethic, sometimes was in direct
confrontation with trying to receive an advanced degree. My desire to improve
my teaching skills and make a difference in community was often at odds with
the stresses of daily life. These barriers and setbacks prompted me to reach out
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to other adult students, who I observed were feeling the same way. Other
obstacles students encounter are financial: the struggle to afford a higher
education while providing for a family, and also technological gains, which
require keeping ahead of new programs. During my research I discovered that in
some cases students were learning how to navigate a computer for the first time.
Finally, there is the question of time and energy.
All of the above barriers amplified the stress placed on adult students. My
question became: why do they return if it could be so demanding? Like my
peers, I personally was encumbered by a fear of returning to the academic world:
being graded, speaking in public, raising my hand to answer questions or to
expose my thoughts to be analyzed and dissected. All adult students are drawn
back to degree programs to accomplish various outcomes. These stimuli are
highly individualized and are reflective of the success the students hope to
achieve. According to Lesley Scanlon in "Adults' Motives For Returning To
Study: The Role of Self-Authoring," adult students return to school for a variety of
reasons. After Scanlon observed their reflective authoring, she categorized
these reasons/pressures into the following. One reason is to redefine roles
within the family, by acting as a "role model" for their children (7), or to placate a
parent who is giving them an ultimatum to go back to school "or else" (8).
Possibly the student returned to complete the credits required for a degree, thus
assuaging any guilt over a job left undone. This is what Scanlon calls "unfinished
business" (10). A person may have had dreams of a future that higher education
could satisfy, only to have life circumstances in the past that pulled them out of
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school and away from that life goal (12). These are some of the factors that
bring adults back to college registration. Acceptance in a degree program does
not negate all of the above-mentioned stressors; background and temperament
may help them endure but they must physically address these stressors and
barriers. Therefore, my research uncovered that a mind-body coping mechanism
was imperative to any continued study.
Along with the combined physical stressors mentioned above, I had
emotional stressors, preconceived ideas about my academic abilities and was
also shy to share my thoughts online. When you are sitting on your couch being
one with the computer screen, the inability to commiserate or bounce an idea off
another human leaves one very isolated. I struggled with online posts, writing
and rewriting, reading and editing small paragraphs to post for online discussion.
There was also the underlying factor of keeping my job. I realized I had two large
responsibilities pulling me apart. It is the degree that I needed to keep a steady
income, pay the bills, put food on the table and retain health benefits. So, in
between writing paragraphs, I found myself stretching, twisting, and jumping up
and down in order to dispel the weight of these responsibilities. I would shut
myself in a dark, quiet room for five to ten minutes and lie on the floor to breathe.
While I was connecting mind and body, I realized the immediate benefit in these
"mini-breaks". They helped me process everything and get back on track. Again
I thought about all students: could my simple, dedicated movement help them
stay and graduate? Going on my own results, I know it is vital for adults to
recover from all of their stressors - especially in light of all factors that adults
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shoulder during their studies. Students can use movement to rejuvenate, thus
retaining mental and physical health while aiding in their academic success.
As a result of my research it was becoming highly obvious that my
exercises were a support system that students could utilize to complete school
and not drop out. In addition, with the onset of viable online study, my exercises
and the internet could go hand-and-hand. There has been an explosion of online
learning institutions because they offer the overwhelmed adult the opportunity to
learn conveniently from any location at any hour. For example, it avoids the
expense and search for a qualified babysitter for the single parent or the personal
caregiver. Adults with full or part-time jobs, unable to travel to classes in the
evening, are now able to stay at home and learn using flexible hours at colleges
or universities around the globe. According to a study done by Ji-Hye Park and
Hee Jun Choi, "most distance education students are adults between the ages
of 25 and 50 (1)." These learners are a large cross-section of the population,
reflective of those who are experiencing the responsibilities/stressors above.
Park and Choi discussed that these are the students who show a high drop out
rate and researched the factors that lead to their graduation or dropping out.
They concluded that some of the key factors of success were that the student
had support from external sources, such as family, and/or the organization for
which they work (9). If their family and workplace give them this support, they
are likely to finish their studies. The other contributor to success is relevant
courses to their life. If the institution allows the students to take courses that are
practical to their specific lives, they are less likely to leave (10). Why shouldn't
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institutions also encourage stress-recovery and healthful, motivated study? The
practicality creates a more individualized approach and helps to motivate them.
Confidence and motivation are key factors to the success of the adult student.
(10) In my study this relates to how they feel about themselves not only
physically but also emotionally and socially. When a person takes the time to
move and reflect, it sparks the momentum to continue the studies and relaxes
the anxieties building up within.
As a dancer, I am hyper-aware of my body. I recognize posture,
movement and the amount of tension that I hold within muscles. I am able to
twist and balance in certain positions and maintain awareness of weight
distribution. I also take breaks to stretch when I feel my body getting stale. This
means, when my body starts to lock up and there is a lack of blood flow
throughout the muscles and a lack of oxygen to the cells, I become very anxious
and tired. Erik Peper Ph.D. and Katherine H Gibney wrote in Computer Related
Symptoms that a majority of employees who work at a computer, using a mouse
and keyboard, "raise the shoulders and hold low tension in their forearms...
Breathing becomes shallow and rapid over time"(28). This research of workers
directly mirrors what adult online students experience while studying and
researching via computer. Peper and Gibney also prove that people online are
unaware of this tension and are at risk for injury. As I feel the effects, I
instinctively break to stretch, to shake off the tension and even stand on my
hands to increase circulation. This inspired me to create a catalog of movements
for the average adult student.
I started to move, brainstorming and collecting specific moves that I
thought would be possible for the majority of adults. According to Peper and
Gibney, computer workers need stretches that help an individual with deep
breathing, increasing circulation, opening and elongating the spine, relaxing the
eyes and an overall awareness of the body (somatic)(29). Peper and Gibney
focus their work on adult employees, which can be directly related to adult
students. At my current job, teaching dance to elementary school children, I
create movements using my knowledge in dance, yoga and theater. I
instinctively know what students need and then structure lessons accordingly. I
envision the same for adult students.
I had the opportunity to interview movement specialist Martha Eddy, CMA
(Certified Movement Analyst), Ed.D., RSMT (a somatic movement therapist),
founder of the Center for Kinesthetic Education. During our interview she
advised me to analyze my style of pedagogy. Within the movement videos, she
advised me to look into the use of text, color and teaching techniques. She
stated that it is very important to communicate to students the specific muscles
that are being manipulated and why. While observing her teach, I was inspired
by her use of imagery. It reminded me that images are a powerful tool while
teaching movement and that it may be calming to over-stressed individuals. She
said it was important during sessions to use direct touch to correct posture and
alignment. She also guided me to study the Bartenieff Fundamentals, Palming,
and the use of color and how it affects the eyes in relationship to my web site.
Kraus 10
This led me to research Irmgard Bartenieff through the work of writer,
dancer and somatic movement therapist Peggy Hackney M.F.A. C.M.A. In
Hackney's book, Making Connections: Total Body Integration Through Bartenieff
Fundamentals, she describes how Irmgard Bartenieff merged her knowledge of
physical therapy, dance and Laban Movement Analysis to create the Bartenieff
Fundamentals. Bartenieff focuses on "breath, center of weight, core support,
developmental patterning, alignment, effort, sequencing, rotary factor and spatial
intent" (249). In addition, The Brain Dance developed by dance educator Anne
Green Gilbert (which is based in part on the Bartenieff Fundamentals) also
influenced my work. The study of these patterns along with my research on adult
students inspired me to develop my own movement sequences.
Taking all of the movement elements, knowledge of adult students and
stress, I began to formulate a plan to take to the online student. Movements,
incorporating deep breathing, message, yoga, and improvisation, will all be
utilized in the sequences I will offer to the adult student. Then I will produce them
on a web site so that it is a convenient way to get students to move. Finally, I will
address the social opportunities in which movement classes and a movement
web site can offer.
Knowing that some students when it comes to exercise are at a beginner
level, I began with basic movements to focus our eyes away from the computer
screen. This includes having students clasp their hands together, gazing at their
wrists with hands twirling, which immediately changes their focus from their
studies to their body. Researchers Shirley Telles , KV Naveen, Manoj Dash,
Kraus 11
Rajendra Deginal and NK Manjunath state that with long hours at a computer,
dry eye and visual discomfort occur. They concluded that yoga greatly reduces
these symptoms and aides in maintaining visual health (1). With this information,
as well as studying "Palming" and varies exercises in the "Eye Yoga" Class with
Dr. Martha Eddy, I felt it was of high importance to include visual relaxation
exercises in my movement sequences.
I then lead students directly into movements for breathing. (This section
also stretches muscles in the shoulders and back.) My goal is to get people up
from their chairs and away from their work as quickly as possible by engaging the
entire body.
After the breathing stretches, the students are directed to use tactile
stimulation to message the muscles of the entire body. The student rubs his/her
hands vigorously together and proceeds to massage starting at the top of the
head (i.e., the forehead) and working their way down to their toes. This will result
in invigorating various sections of the brain, which in turn stimulates neurons
connected to all parts of the body. This would be similar to an MRI scan
illuminating Dr. Wilder Penfield's map of the brain. Different sections of the brain
respond positively as various body parts are manipulated. The chart below,
which is a top-down dissection, illustrates the corresponding anatomy and it's
location (see drawings: feet, lips, limbs, etc.) It not only proves the importance of
mind/body synergy, it maps the importance of maintaining these connections.
Penfield's drawings of exaggerated appendages surrounding the brain
Kraus 12
definitively shows the earliest beliefs: that the mind is attached to the ends of the
body - even though they are nowhere near each other.
OisffffM» el «o» w w a * of !he swiwfc>sttw* ftp tw»or|* am» far rt» tktu rf w t w i part* of i w l » % * r f fc B ^ « W « § ft*
Along with the tactile stretches and massages, it is important to go from
slow flowing movement to quick shaking. This not only changes the speed of the
movements, but elevates the heart rate. The next thing that will happen is the
right and left-brain will be utilized, resulting in renewed inspiration for your
projects and research. (Actors often use a warm up "Crazy Eights or Shake
Down" that wakes up the body as well as the mind described in my Movement
Outline later in this paper on page 28).
Kraus 13
Improvisation and Movement Elements
Within dance, acting, music, drawing and a number of other art forms,
improvisation is a way to be spontaneous and to open the mind for new
possibilities. It frees the mind of ritualistic thoughts and restrictions. Movement
and dance have been used to activate the right and left hemispheres of the brain,
increase circulation, use problem solving parts of the brain while teaching
curriculum such as culture, mathematics or social skills. There are varying
results of its efficacy. A student- based study has shown higher test scores in
reading comprehension after energizing the brain through movement, while other
studies show no positive or negative effects (11). John J. Ratey also believes
that the mind and body should be treated as one. He not only connects exercise
to brain health but he connects it to body and cognition. I believe that along with
your studies, you need a way to break the monotony or the thought process to
allow new ideas or thoughts. You must activate different hemispheres of the
brain to relax and free thoughts. For example, when you are typing a paper, you
may be so locked in to your decided topic/hypothesis, that you have not allowed
your brain to rest and open up to other possibilities. Within the shaking section,
or "Waking" section of movement, I ask students to shake down from their head
to their feet and then walk around the room moving a body part of their choice.
This allows them to find where tension is located and release it. This is useful for
writer's block; sometimes you must walk away, attempt something new, and
move in a different direction to find a solution. I have found that when the body
and mind are relaxed, "flow" is achieved. According to psychologist Mihaly
Kraus 14
Csikszentmihalyi, in his book Flow , " 'Flow' is the way people describe their state
of mind when consciousness is harmoniously ordered, and they want to pursue
whatever they are doing for its own sake" (6). He then continues to write about
ways to achieve this state. One way is through relaxation and taking time to
calm anxieties of the mind. Ideas come to you when you least expect them: in
the middle of the night, while laughing with friends, or maybe during a drive. The
"shake down" section segues into improvised movement. All of the above helps
to locate tension and release it.
I also incorporate different yoga postures into the movement series because
they energize and calm the body and mind. Yoga is an excellent source for
relaxation and regeneration. It surprises me that movement, like yoga, is not a
mandatory addition to education. Yoga, as well as other physical activity, has
been around for thousands of years, with the newest research stating 3000 BCE,
and is still very popular today. Scholars Marc B. Schure, John Christopher, and
Suzanne Christopher wrote in the Journal of Behavioral Medicine, that "MindfulBased stress reduction studies (i.e., yoga) with varied populations have found
significant decreases in anxiety/depression, mood disturbance, somatic
symptoms of stress, and present-moment pain" (47). I continually draw upon
my knowledge of yoga practices and stretches to strengthen muscles. These
also cleanse the body of toxins. I rely on basse standing stretches for balance,
and sitting stretches that elongate the spine. (For those having trouble with
balance or who have specific needs, 1 have included a section that can be
completed in a chair. In addition you will find my complete Movement Outline as
Kraus 15
part of this journal). Yoga can also ease stress and relax the mind and body.
Scholars Marc B. Schure, John Christopher, and Suzanne Christopher recorded
the effects of stress and state that:
Stress may lead to or worsen disorders and diseases such as heart
disease, anxiety, depression, hypertension, substance abuse, and
gastrointestinal disorders (Astin, 1997; Brennan & Moos, 1990; Levy, Cain,
Jarrett, & Heitkemper, 1997; D. Shapiro & Goldstein, 1982; Treiber et al.,
1993; Whitehead, 1992). Stress is also a contributing factor for lifestyle
behaviors that increase vulnerability to diseases such as lung cancer,
cardiovascular disease, and obesity (Brennan & Moos, 1990; Roth &
Robbins, 2004; Treiber et al., 1993; D. R. Williams, 1999). Stress has an
impact on absenteeism rates and job performance, effectiveness, and
satisfaction (Burnard, Edwards, Fothergill, Hannigan, & Coyle, 2000).
G(Baker, 2003; Brems, 2001; Kuyken, Peters, Power, & Lavender, 2003;
Weiss, 2004). ...In an extensive review of research on stress management
in the education of health care professionals, S. Shapiro et al. (2000) stated
that although many interventions demonstrated promising results, such as
lower levels of anxiety and depression, greater capacity for empathy, and
improved immunologic functioning, more research is needed. One of the
most well researched stress management programs is mindfulness based
stress reduction (MBSR). MBSR teaches mindfulness, which is the ability to
attend to thoughts and emotions as they arise and to be fully conscious of
the present moment experience. (1)
Kraus 16
Exploring/Experimenting and Sharing with Others
I took my Movement Sequences to the Empire State College Residency in
Saratoga Springs where I was met with some new challenges. This was a test
run still in the experimental phase. While I was traveling to teach, I made sure
that I had the sequences ready, that they flowed, that I had dialogue and
metaphors to help teach the movement. I also included technology; ready with
an iPod and speakers. I chose classic, recognizable music that was invigorating,
and that would be favorable to a variety of age groups.
Students came to me during breaks between classes. I was armed and
ready with my materials, and developed surveys that I distributed at the end of
each segment. The students completed them, giving me conclusive feedback for
my project. I was given an open area of a hotel lobby to provide class. I adapted
my instruction in a variable setting with plenty of light. Even in an open space
with various distractions, I was confident in my ability to help students learn
beneficial movements. I also saw excellent results from my surveys. This is
where my work as a choreographer/ teacher served me well.
The first session brought interesting challenges. For example, a student
getting her graduate degree was in the process of loosing a significant amount of
weight. She had already lost 110 pounds and was very happy to join in on my
movement break. She complained of "driving for hours, sitting in an
uncomfortable chair in class - feeling the repercussions on her back." Another
student mentioned that she "loved to dance" and she wanted to take my
movement class to "give her mind a break!" A curious and shy man passed by
Kraus 17
and was encouraged to join by another student. As the students were following
my lesson, my observations led me down many roads. These involved student
skill levels, coordination, and weight and health issues. I also factored in gender
and age. What if a person has a specific need? I knew I would have to address
these issues for my website and take into account all backgrounds.
I taught two more segments during this residency. I was happy to see that
students from the first lesson eagerly returned for all of my classes. The
numbers grew and this was very gratifying; it was also telling me I was on the
right track. There were a variety of age groups and ability, men and women. At
the end of the day, I examined the surveys and saw that it was a successful
addition to the program. Many welcomed the opportunity to stretch and move.
Dr. John J. Ratey linked improved cognition with exercise and social interaction
to the production of brain derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) because it
nourishes neurons (11). My residency students said they "had more energy for
their classes." Many wrote in their surveys that they felt more alert.
One revealed that she "had vertigo" and was delighted when I gave her a
chair for stabilization and balance. She felt more confident doing the sequences
and was excited to be included. This reminded me that my sequences must
include those who may have specific needs or limitations. I would have to
include this with my site to encompass a diverse community. My test run was a
success. I was able to gather more information for my website and I saw what I
needed to adapt for the next residency.
Kraus 18
My second residency was even more successful. The students were a
larger group and a mix of gender and background. Two of the students informed
me of knee problems, which I sat in chairs for the floor portions. I gave a private
mini lesson to a mentor, Adel Anderson, who was very interested in my program.
My numbers consistently grew at the residencies. Adults asked me questions
about how to relieve pain in their back, shoulders, and hips. The feedback at the
end was that the lessons were a welcome addition to the student's day. One
said that his "neck pain disappeared." Another man stated that he was "ready to
fall asleep before I came along and helped him get through his day." A woman
shook my hand and said I should "come back every year!" One gentleman joked,
"It was the most his body had moved in a long time."
Students also asked if I had a video and where they could receive further
instruction from me. I realized that my project was on its way to the next phase,
"The Internet." (It is a bit ironic that I am trying to get students away from the
computer, through the computer, but I realize that these adults have very packed
lives.) The more convenient the movement the more likely I will get students
With the design of the website, my goal is to incorporate a variety of
stretches and exercises. I want to make it reader-friendly and user-friendly. The
web design will create a calm that will be rejuvenating, like a brief vacation
escape. The movement will be well represented through video and dialogue.
Learning to Design
Initially I had no experience in web design, video or editing. I was skeptical
Kraus 19
about the possibilities of building a movement based website. For my creative
project, I am trying to get more students moving their bodies as they study and
do research. In order to reach all students I am finding that my movement class
needs to be convenient and have a realistic time frame. Adult lives are full of
responsibilities and priorities. My goal is to make movement an important part of
a student's growth and daily life. My belief is that movement will be included in
future education curriculums because it aids in physical and mental health.
Researchers Giancola, Jennifer Kohier, Matthew J. Grawitch, and Dana Borchert
wrote about the effect of stress in relation to grade point average and stated "If
we truly want to facilitate the learning and retention of adult students, it is
important for higher education institutions to understand the stress process and
provide resources that can lessen stressors and assist adults with coping
(McClary. 1990)" (2).
Research into kinesthetic learning is increasing. As seen at the Center for
Kinesthetic Education ( ) in New York City,
"Movement is the pathway to physical health, cognitive learning, emotional
expression, and neuro-developmental growth." It is also used to help reduce
emotional problems, aide in the health and wellbeing of cancer patients and to
reduce pain through the work of Martha Eddy.
In addition, movement is also an inherently integrative approach with the
use of Magnetic Resonance Imaging. MRI results have shown that movement
activates many parts of the brain, and is a way to connect the right and left
hemispheres, in addition to relieving stress. In her book, Brain Compatible
Kraus 20
Dance Education. Anne Greene Gilbert explains that "the lower brain contains
the cerebellum which takes care of muscle movement, balance, posture,
coordination, cognition and emotions." All of them are simultaneously used when
one dances or moves (7).
My idea is to bring movement to these matriculating minds. At first my
question is "how?" How do I get movement to students - or get students
moving? Even though there has been an increase in bodies remaining stationary
in slouched/sitting positions for long periods of time, we can fight this damaging
posture and still accomplish our daily work and studies. I am convinced the
widespread popularity of online learning, online work, and websites makes
computer technology and its platforms a natural "classroom" for movement.
Dr. Robert Clougherty taught me that web design has five areas:
accessibility, excellence, innovation, organization, and usability. Armed with this
information I started to research and plan. What I understand about usability is
that a designer needs to create a site where anyone can easily maneuver. It
needs to be functional and you, as the designer, need to find out how functional it
is. The graphics and media need to load within six seconds or the attention of
the user will be lost. As I continued my research on usability I gained a deeper
appreciation for web design. I realized not only does the web site have to be
usable but there are scientific methods to the design, for example, the use of
color, gender specification, eye tracking, spatial awareness and positive in
relationship to negative space. There is also marketing to a target audience and
what type of experience you want your user to have as they navigate the site. I
Kraus 21
even learned that the 7-11 milk test is what designers base their webs efficiency
on. How fast can you get the consumer the product, can the consumer find the
product and is it an easy trip for them? Is it a smooth and flawless production?
It is similar to putting together a theatrical production (which I have first hand
knowledge of!) It has to be on budget, and you must pick the most talented
people that you can to help put the production together, and advise you. It must
be marketed properly for a target audience. There is a limited amount of time for
rehearsals and dress rehearsals. There needs to be rewrites, music, mood
lighting, sets and costumes. The dialogue must be presented flawlessly and
there is only one person who can run the show and make decisions. On my
website I am the director. To achieve an appropriate web design, I can apply my
background in theater and dance to its best advantage.
The Website Brainstorm
The first task was to look at web sites and see which sites I was drawn to.
What was it about the design and how can I incorporate some of those same
concepts into mine? I researched Dr. Jakob Nielsen and Kelly Goto's methods of
web design.
The second task was to generate ideas for a name for my site that would
explain my work on "The cognitive effects of Movement and Dance." I sketched
on a paper table cover in an effort to brainstorm. What do I want my web site to
contain? Who will be going to the site? And what is a name that is creative and
will catch the eye?
I used some acronyms and wrote names down using free
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association. "Brain tap," "Integrate Academic Movement", "Sway", "",
The third task was to think of the people in my life who had traveled the
same path. I searched for past and current colleagues who design and program.
I relied upon my instructor for help with new programs and to tell me which
resources to research. I examined graphics, went to exhibitions, studied
advertising manuals, and researched color and layout. I studied site mapping,
web design, videography, film editing, sound editing, voice over, story boarding,
music copyright and copyright law.
The Plan
Sticking with or Incorporate Academic Movement, I got my
markers out and started to draw what was my first draft of a web page
production. I came up with a classic black and white theme. This black and
white theme is meant to draw the eyes of both men and women, modern or
traditional and any age. I needed the correct color to spark interest. Red or
orange/red was the color I added to a black and white site.
It was important to me that the site would be adaptable for the future. For
instance, I have many lessons and ideas that I would like to publish, and an
Internet site would be a good way to display my work. I am focusing on a site
that can get a movement program out to the widest range of students. The
following is the first draft of the home page and my initial ideas for the site. In my
design on paper, if the mouse would drag over an option, a picture would change
in the upper right hand corner. Yet, I was not sure how to execute the actual
Pix 1 of 8
Also, I was instructed to create a site map. I had gone online to view what site
maps actually look like and found several examples. This map is color-coded
and designed using Microsoft word.
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Production plan
With my sketches in mind and an outdated computer, I realized my design
would require updated tools and programs. I was aware that switching from a
PC to a Mac would have a bit of a learning curve, but I was able to access
instructional videos.
I downloaded new web programs to continue on my journey into the web
design world. It was very overwhelming at first because there is a lot of
information to sift through online. 1 viewed many help videos explaining the
different design techniques. After downloading Rapidweaver and Gimp, I took
the advice of my professor and began to play. I received excellent advice: " this
is not a problem or a frustration. It is an opportunity to solve a mystery. It is a
chance to play a game you have never played."
In Gimp, there are a multitude of tools to create an original design. With
these tools I sat and played through layering, adding font, drawing and adding
different colors. I erased, zoomed, inserted pictures, smudged and cut and
pasted. It took me even longer to learn how to get through the layers and move
them forward and back within the design. I learned about image size and width
while opening a new page. I gained an understanding of pixels and how the size
can effect the loading time for the page. I tried to duplicate the image that I had
drawn with my Crayola markers during my brainstorming. It was a challenging
task. The question that I had during this process was; how am I going to get this
on to the web? How do I create a button? What is code?
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In Rapidweaver I saw new options for themes and sites that already had
the code built in. I worked in this program and realized that it was similar to the
iWeb program that is installed on my Macbook. I liked the theme options on
iWeb a little better than Rapidweaver's and decided it was easier to do this using
the tools on my computer. With this I concluded that iWeb was my best option.
I also went to two different sites to buy a domain name. With the search
for, I found that the creative name that I spent hours on for my company
was already taken. It was taken and in its full length, "Integrate Academic
Movement", it was too long. I needed a unique name that would be creative,
easy to access and also be available.
I never imagined that a name could be so difficult. I thought I would go
with my own name, Tiffany Kraus. I found that not only do I share this name with
around ten others, however the pictures and material attached to these other
Tiffany's were not appropriate.
So I went back to the drawing board finding a name that was unique,
creative, and that was available, "Tiffsway." With my new name, I searched
domain companies. I learned that with a domain, you need a server. The
domain is the access point or the key, and the server is the box that stores the
information. Reaching out to friends and researching my options, I learned that
with my chosen server there was one domain company that would be the most
convenient. It was not necessarily the most cost effective, but the most
convenient. I went with Dynamic Network Services and bought a two-year
subscription to my domain. I purchased my domain name
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Rehearsal Process
I created a test home page which I now have 10 different versions of using
multiple color schemes and using different theme pages. After I designed it, I
shared it with a number of people to get their feed back. According to Terri L.
Holtze in "The Web Designer's Guide to Color Research" a web designer should
consider the use of color in relation to the market audience and choose colors
that do not put too much strain on the eyes. Also, consider if the colors will
increase the download time and if they could confuse those who may be unable
to read certain colors or who have color blindness (12-13). Holtze also
recommends testing the site on various users.
My first design was difficult to read. If the person didn't know anything
about the project they were confused about the purpose of the site. I was asked,
"What do you do in this site?" "Why are there numbers instead of words." (I was
trying to be creative and use multiple meanings for the buttons.) I was asked,
"Why are the buttons at an angle going down from left to right as opposed to
going up from left to right?" This same person thought that it was more of a
positive effect to have the buttons go upward, yet in web research the eyes easily
track left to right top to bottom. It was not a psychological placement. A different
individual said that the steps going down symbolized getting deeper into the mind
and body.
Color was a big issue. It was also fascinating to get male and female
opinions about design. The gray background with black and white font was
difficult for men to read and was not recommended by an eye specialist. I
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switched to a high contrast, which had a black background and light blue font.
This was too harsh for the women but favored by most men. Men seemed to like
very high contrast where as women preferred a lower contrast. I was left with a
bit of frustration and a lot of feedback.
Considering a users eyes and age, I wanted the sight to be readable, and
psychologically calming. I did not want to strain the eyes in anyway. I learned
that this has a lot to do with color, setup and font size. I researched the
psychology of color to find out that it is a powerful psychological tool. After
reading about the meanings of specific colors, I am now using a white
background with black, gray, and cayenne font. It is calming as well as powerful
in its contrast. It compliments the photography that I have chosen and it is easy
on the eyes.
I was then anxious to learn how to add photos and videos to my site, so I
began to organize pictures that I felt would add to the design. I had a wide
variety to choose from because Picture DLC Photography was willing to provide
a selection for me. The company was also willing to take additional photos if
needed. This was an excellent opportunity. In return I agreed to reference the
company on my web site.
When it comes to video, I started from ground zero. Through my job I was
given funds to purchase video equipment for the dance program. In addition I
was granted permission to use this equipment for my project. Finding a good
camera at a moderate price was challenging. When reading about camcorders I
became overwhelmed with the specifications. There were HD, Mini DV, Flash
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memory, and hard disk camcorders. I had to look into memory, storage, optical
zoom, image stabilization, and sound capability, along with price.
I ended up shooting with a Canon ZR900 mini DV Camcorder. After a test
video I learned that the space, lighting, costume and set needed adjustment. I
needed a cleaner background not to distract from the movement.
While viewing the test footage I began to dabble in editing. I learned how
to splice and put together footage as well as using different fade options. I began
to add photos and text to the video as well as music and voice over. Using
iMovie, I put together two test videos. It took a long time for only a few minutes
worth of video. I concluded that I needed a friend to help me do a second shoot.
This way I would be prepared with the proper venue, lighting, costume and
For the second round of taping I used a Canon GL2 Mini DV camcorder,
which is higher in quality. The new camera provided a clearer video eliminating a
grainy quality to the footage. The room was also prepped using better lighting
and clear of extra furniture and clutter.
The video footage was edited using the iWeb program. Words, voiceover,
music, photography and transition effects were added. I learned how to splice
video, create a still photo from a video clip and to fade music in and out. The
process of producing each video was time consuming. Recording the voice
over's and timing the dialogue to synchronize with the movement demonstrations
was particularly challenging.
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The video was shot at high resolutions and I was given advice to put it in
Mpeg files to share on the web. This was misinformation and lowered the quality
of the video considerably. Instead I downloaded a file transfer program "FTP" so
that I could transfer the high-resolution video to my web pages.
The website would not be complete without the movement itself. Below is
an outline of the movement used in the videos. It lists the motivation, why each
movement was chosen, how to execute the movements and the effects it should
have on the body. After writing and demonstrating my lessons, I gained a lot of
new ideas and feedback. I realize that on a daily basis I work at a speed that is a
lot faster than most. I work with small children and I have to change pace every
few minutes. What may be slow to me can be very fast to others. I am going to
consciously work on timing. I also want to add more imagery and visualizations
as I explain movement and stretches. This will help to reach students who are
auditory learners or help those who cannot clear a stressed mind.
Movement Analysis of Video Segments and Outline
Motivation: The Tiffsway movement program starts with breathing
stretches. In order to prepare the body to move you must breathe. Also, as I sit
for long periods of time I am aware that my breathing is shallow and steady
especially if I am stressed. I notice specific pains in my back and in my neck as I
continue to type. Initially, as a dancer, I get up and stretch and move in many
different ways. I took those experiences and put them into a plan for others. As I
continue my research I realize that instinct is a good starting point but research
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and advice from experts will take this movement to the next level. I am
discovering new ideas and adaptations every step of the way.
Breathing (4:33 minutes)
1. Wrist roll (10 sec.)
Why: This is to switch focus away from computer and to loosen up the
How: Clasp both hands together and bend at the elbow so that the hands
are in front of the chest. Roll the wrists around while focusing on the hands.
Lengthen the back from the tailbone to the top of the head and think of dropping
the shoulders down and back.
Effects: Posture will begin to realign and students will become conscious
of their body. The flow of blood and oxygen will be increased with the change of
2. Hands clasped and push forward and up and down 4x (2 min)
Why: Used to warm up shoulders and to counter the "slouched computer
position" and to focus on breathing.
How: As the arms go slowly up toward the ceiling one would inhale.
Exhale when the arms come forward and down. This can be done standing or
sitting. The object is to lengthen the back and activate new muscles in the arms
and throughout the trunk of the body from the palms of your hands to the bottom
of your tailbone.
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The imagery will be to take in new rejuvenating air along with open ideas
while you inhale and to exhale out old air and clear the mind of tension and
monotonous pictures.
Effects: Breath control is an effective stress management technique and
also calming to the central nervous system. It is a stretch of the thoracic and rib
structures to help with breathing. (25)
3. Swim arms back (2 min)
Why: This is to begin to gently twist the spine. It is to refocus the eyes on
a moving body part. It is also to refocus the mind and to stretch the eyes.
How: Standing with your arms at your sides, take your right hand and
rotate the palm away from your leg. The palm will be open to face the right. Now
start to draw a large circle around the profile of your body by reaching forward
and then toward the ceiling while breathing in. As you circle the arm and twist the
body keeping your eyes on your fingertips. As you exhale, reach back toward
the wall behind you and finishing with the right hand at your side. Repeat with the
left side.
(Depending on range of motion of the rotator cuff, spine or shoulder one might
use smaller or larger circles.)
Effects: Increase the range of motion in the shoulder, lubricate the joint by
circling the arm and begin to twist and wake the spine. The twist should bring
blood flow to the back muscles as well as the rotator. The eyes will also stretch
by increasing their range of motion from a bright screen filled with letters to a
moving body part.
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4. Arch back roll down (hands clasped or on lower back) 2x (1 minute)
Why: Activating the back muscles and to elongate the front of the body,
the arch backward again counter stretches the "computer slouch" position.
How: After swimming the arms back, as in a backstroke, the movement
will switch to swimming both at the same time. The individual has the choice of
placing the hands on the lower back, Holding on to a chair or and to clasp the
hands together behind the hips before an arching. Raise the chin up toward the
ceiling and bend backwards as far as you can, being careful not to pinch the
lower back. Think, "chin up and slow elongated arch backwards. Do not clinch
teeth and relax the jaw by breathing in through the nose. As you recover your
body to a standing position release the hands down and slowly bend forward.
Exhale. Keeping the knees slightly bent slowly roll up.
Revise: After piloting this part of the lesson I realized that I used
movement that not all people can do. If one has a shoulder injury or has an arm
that is immobile how can they adapt? I am also curious if I should reverse the
swimming arms. I added a sitting option.
I also visualized a few new sections. I imagined a breathing exercise,
which uses short cleansing breaths and having the wrist twirl in between each
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Waking (6:53 minute section)
Motivation: This section was developed because of the feeling of fatigue
from sitting long periods of time. I feel students not only need to wake their body
but they need tools to take care of it and re-energize it. The massaging and
shaking section use tactile sensations to wake up different muscles. I wanted
students to go from studying to moving.
1. Massage (2 minutes)
Why: To wake up the different parts of the body one will activate the body
and mind using touch. When you use touch your brain registers the act of
touching the muscles and also how the muscle feels when it is massaged. This
helps one to focus on each body part and to concentrate on taking care of it.
Psychologically, one feels as if they are taking the time to benefit themselves by
caring for oneself. Touch is a powerful tool to get out of our heads and back into
the body.
How: Clap your hands together and start to rub them together to create
warmth and friction. Place hands over the eyebrows and start to massage the
different muscles inside the face. Continue to massage around the scalp, gently
pinching the ear, and working your way down to the shoulders. Continue to
squeeze down the right arm from shoulder to the tips of the fingers. Repeat with
the left arm. As you are massaging, make sure you are releasing any tense
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muscles and stop to take the time to rub the places that are extra sore or cold.
Continue to rub all the way around the back down both legs. When you have
squeezed every part of the body and gotten to the toes, slowly roll up to a
standing position.
This can be repeated using tapping as if rain was hitting the different parts
of the body or brushing as if one was brushing off dust or feathers off of the body.
Effects: Increase attention to ones body and away from ones work.
2. Shaking (2 minutes)
Why: Increase the blood flow and the heart rate.
How: Nodding the head as if to say yes, shake up and down 8 times
slow. Continue to shake the shoulders bringing them up and dropping them 8
times. With each shake, feel stress dropping off like rain. Continue with shaking
your right arm 8 then left arm 8 times. Continue to increase the speed of the
shake. Shake the right leg 8 times then the left leg 8. Finishing with bouncing or
jumping 8 times.
Do this exercise again, shaking through the body parts but only shaking
4x, then 2x, and then 1 time. The exercise should increase speed as you get to
the legs and jumping.
Effect: This will increase circulation and coordination. The counting will
clear the mind of other thoughts and will be meditative allowing the mind to rest
as the movement is increasing in speed. It will raise heart rate.
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3. Improvisation- (1 minute)
Why: Take the time to listen to your own needs and or body. Sometimes
we don't allow ourselves time to listen to our body. Take the time and give
yourself permission to be in the moment. Free your mind of all obligations.
How: Walk around the room and shake rub or stretch any part of your
body that now needs attention. If you need to rock, walk, stand still, lie on the
floor, sit, massage, hum, yawn, etc... Take a minute or more to listen to your
Effect: Taking the time for you. Raise awareness of self.
Revise: After the demonstration at the eye yoga class with Dr. Martha
Eddy, I felt that the Bates method of "palming" would be a perfect addition to the
waking section. It would add to the health of the eyes especially if the target
audience is online adult students.
I have also started to look at research of yoga poses and the anatomy of
yoga. I believe that it will help me to learn the specific muscles that are being
activated. I want to keep my dialogue clear and concise. I want students to
clearly understand the instruction.
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Stretching (5:56) minutes
Motivation: The stretching section was developed to focus on whole body
movement. It will begin by elongating the neck muscles and start to introduce
movement of the legs.
1. Neck stretch
Why: As one is working at a computer or a desk, the neck shoulders and
back are held in a slumped posture. The upper back is rounded and the neck is
pushed forward. In the neck stretch, the student will learn how to find tense areas
and to release the shoulders and neck while stretching.
How: Stand with the feet shoulder width a part. Keep the shoulders back
and stomach pulled in towards the spine. With the right hand reach out to the
side and up over the top of the head to rest the fingertips on the top of the left
ear. Tilt the head to the right and stretch the neck muscles all the way down
through the left side of the neck. Do not pull or force the head to the side.
Breathe and relax the left shoulder down towards the floor. To continue to
stretch other tight muscles in the neck slowly nod the head front and back. When
a sore muscle is found, stay in that spot where you feel tension and take a few
deep breaths. This will bring oxygen to that specific spot that is sore. Then
continue to nod slowly so that you are completely stretching the muscles all the
way through the left side and around the left shoulder. Each time you release a
sore or tight spot in the neck you are allowing blood to freely circulate throughout
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the head and neck area. It is important to do this stretch slow. Once you have
finished stretching the neck to the right release the ear and slowly bring your
head back to the starting position as your right hand relaxes down to your side.
You make experience lightheadedness and this is because you have brought a
lot of blood and oxygen to this area. When you are ready, repeat to the other
This stretch can be done without holding the ear and it can also be done
sitting. It is recommended to close your eyes during this stretch so that you
create a deeper focus on the stretch.
Effect: The goal is to get the neck area worm and to get the blood flowing
oxygen to the brain. The student should also breath through this, increasing
blood flow and realigning the body.
2. Plie with Triangle and Triangle twist
Why: This will start to engage the lower body and to begin to warm up the
hamstrings and thigh muscles.
How: Open the feet a bit wider than the shoulders and turn the feet out
comfortably to point to the side corners of the room. Open your arms to the side
reaching toward the opposite walls. Feel your energy fill the room. Keep the
stomach pulling in towards the spine. The shoulders will stay over the hips and
the shoulders should stay down away from the ears. Bend the knees lowering the
body down while keeping the knees over the toes. You will get half way towards
the floor; make sure your feet stay flat on the ground. Do not lift the heels.
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Reverse by straightening the legs as you feel the top of the head pulling up
towards the ceiling. Think of the middle of the body as an elevator going straight
down and then back up. Bend and stretch your knees two times before the next
stretch, which is the triangle.
Effect: This will warm the muscles of the legs while strengthen the upper
body. The students will be aware of body placement.
3. Triangle
Why: The triangle utilizes the core muscles of the body and lengthens the
sides and you open and stretch the hip sockets.
How: Keeping your feet open a wider than your shoulders, the legs
straight and the toes pointing out. Open your arms to the side so that your body
looks like a five point star. Be sure to keep your stomach pulled in towards your
spine and your shoulders resting down. Tilt your body to the right while reaching
your right hand to touch the right shin and the left hand towards the sky. To get a
deeper stretch move the hand towards ankle and then touch the foot. Never rest
your hand directly on the kneecap. Keep your chest open as you stay in this
position and look up toward the left hand reaching to the ceiling. To bring your
body back to standing position, lift from your top hand (the left) and pull your
body back towards the standing pose. Repeat this stretch to the left. Do the
triangle stretch 2 to 3 times on each side gaining a deeper stretch each time.
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Effect: Standing positions strengthen stability and also increase
concentration. The Triangle opens the hips and stretches the spine. It works
and lengthens both sides of the legs.
4. Triangle twist
Why: To deepen the triangle stretch to a more advanced level and
elongate the spine through twisting and balancing. This is a cross lateral
How: Begin the same as the triangle with feet apart and arms open to the
side. Twist the body to the right extending the left hand to touch the right shin,
ankle or foot. As you touch the right leg reach the right arm up to the ceiling. Try
to make your shoulders and chest flat to your right leg while twisting. Look up
towards your right hand reaching to the ceiling.
Effect: Deepens the triangle stretch and aligns any spinal imbalances.
Activates the legs and increases balance.
5. Lunges
Why: Introduce coordination and balance. This is to incorporate
vestibular motion or rocking.
How: Standing with the feet together and arms resting down to the side,
imagine you are standing in the center of a clock. When you do a lunge you are
going to leave one foot in the center, as the other foot will step to a specific
direction or number on your imaginary clock. With your right foot step forward
towards 12:00 leaving your left foot in the center. Your right leg will bend as you
step on the number. Keep your arms loosely hanging and notice that they swing
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with your body. Imagine your shoulders staying over the traveling knee. Push off
your right foot to return back to the center of the clock. Continue to step forward
with your left foot to 12:00 and then return to the center. Next take your right foot
and step to the right side on 3:00. Remember to keep your shoulders aligned
with the right knee (the traveling knee) and do not let them go past you toes.
Return to center. Then take the left foot and take a step to the left on 9:00.
Return to the center. Take the right foot and step backwards to 6:00. Return to
center. Repeat with the left foot stepping back on 6:00 and returning to center.
You should continue this pattern of right and left stepping on 12:00, 12:00, 3:00,
9:00, 6:00, 6:00, then back to 3:00, and 9:00, alternating right and left feet.
After going around the clock once with the arm loosely down at your sides,
repeat the lunges around the clock reaching with one arm. The right arm will
reach with the right foot and the left arm will reach with the left foot. The arms
will reach slightly above the shoulder in the direction of the foot accept for going
back. Then they will swing lower. The swing of the arms should help bring you
to the center position or the center of the clock.
The final pattern of lunges around the clock should be done with two arms
swinging and reaching in the direction the feet are going.
Effect: This increases spatial awareness and balance.
Revision: The video of this section was too long to upload on the web. I ended
up cutting this section from my site in order to keep the movement segments web
friendly. I still have the footage for future reference and additions.
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Twisting: On the floor (5:48 minutes)
Motivation: This section uses the floor to stretch the whole body. It introduces
the student to alternative stretches that are sitting rather than standing. Twisting
massages the organs and makes spine limber.
1. Forward Bend and Twist
Why: Introduce students to floor stretches that elongate the muscles in
the legs, gluts, and back.
How: Sit on the floor with the legs in front of you. Keep the knees and
feet together. Reach the top of the head and the fingertips toward the ceiling
extending the spine. As you bend at the waist, dive your fingers down toward
your toes. Reach your body back up to sitting position and then begin to rock
side to side. As you rock to the right reach your left hand up on a diagonal.
Then rock left and reach your right hand up on a diagonal. Rock side-to-side
three or four times before doing a dive towards the feet again.
Bend your left knee up placing the left foot next to you right thigh. Wrap your
right arm around the left leg and place the left arm behind the hips for spinal
support. Twist the body by hugging your body close to the bent knee and looking
back over the left shoulder. Release and repeat the twist. Straighten the left leg
back to the floor. Repeat the twist bending the right leg and wrapping the left
arm to twist.
For a more advanced twist bend your left knee up placing the left foot over
the right thigh. Wrap your right arm around the left leg and place the left arm
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behind the hips for spinal support. Twist the body by hugging your body close to
the bent knee and looking back over the left shoulder. Release and repeat the
twist. Straighten the left leg back to the floor. Repeat the more advanced twist
bending the right leg over the left thigh.
Effect: This should rest and restore energy to the body. Twisting should
help with digestion and with stretching the muscles in the back and legs.
2. Butterfly rock & twist
Why: To introduce movements on the floor for spinal activation,
elongation and vestibular motion.
How: Sitting on the floor, bend the legs so that the bottoms of your shoes
or feet touch together. Place your hands on the knees and as you straighten the
arms breathing in fresh air while the shoulders raise up to the ears. Hold the
breath in as you push on the legs down to the floor opening the hips. As you
release the breath out, drop the shoulders down and then roll them back 3 to 4
times. Your arms should now be bent softly and you can imagine the tension of
the shoulders and of the day exiting out with old air. Repeat two or more times
as needed. Each time remember, "In with the new out with the old." Your
shoulders will become very warm. Bend your head forward towards your feet to
round your back. Then roll up the back slowly from the base of the spine
stacking each vertebra until your spine is straight. Repeat starting with feeling a
string pulling the top of your head towards the ceiling. Then bend over to round
your back reaching you forehead towards the feet. Slowly roll up.
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Next, Hold on to your ankles and imagine a string is pulling your spine
straight from the top of your head. Feel your spine growing from your tailbone up
through the top of your head while your shoulders drop. Start to lean to one side
and then to the other to begin to rock you body from side to side. This should
help to loosen your hips. After rocking a few times, sit up straight and place your
left fingertips on the floor behind your tailbone. Straighten your left arm to
support your back. Take a deep breathe in and place your right hand on the right
knee. Keep the soles of your feet together. As you exhale gently push your right
knee towards the floor and look over your left shoulder while you twist your body.
Feel as if you are wringing out a sponge as you twist. Keep feeling you spine
stretch up to the ceiling as you are twisting. The left arm and right arm are
equally pushing towards the floor and to lengthen the spine up to the sky. After
all the air has left the lungs and the twist has been held return to sitting position.
Repeat to the left. Do the twist two to three times on each side to increase the
rotation of the spine and to activate the back muscles. Stop the stretch if you
have any discomfort in the knees or lower back.
Effect: The stretches should release tension within the hips and warm up
the spine. With deep breathing the twisting should oxygenate and relax the
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Challenge (4:44 minutes)
Motivation: To give the student advanced stretches to increase strength and
flexibility. This section has yoga positions that are arched and balanced. The
backward bend counter the slouched position and increases alignment of the
1. Forward Bend and Backward Slide Balance
Why: The Forward bend is to stretch the hamstrings and the backward
slide balance is to gain strength in the arms and to open the chest area. It also
activates the muscles in the back and counters the slouched position.
How: Sit on the floor with the legs in front of you. Keep the knees and feet
together. Reach the top of the head and the fingertips toward the ceiling
extending the spine. As you bend at the waist dive your fingers down toward
your toes. Reach your body back up to sitting position. Place your hands with
the fingertips forward and behind your hips facing your feet. With the shoulders
down and legs straight, lift your hips toward the ceiling keeping the body on a flat
angle like a sliding board. Gently drop your head back to look behind you and
hold the position as long as you can while breathing. Bring the head up to look at
you r feet and lower your hips to the ground. Repeat two or three times.
Effect: The slide pose should strengthen the arms, legs and abdominals.
It lengthens the front of the body while strengthening the back of the legs, arms
and gluteus.
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Why: To extend the front of the body and arch the back. Backbends
increase confidence.
How: Start on the knees and reach your hands forward to lower your
body to your stomach on the floor. The whole body should be straight. With your
hands under your shoulders, push your upper body up off of the floor arching
back. Keep the shoulders down away from the ears and the neck long. With the
hips on the floor, look to the right and then to the left to get an extra stretch
through the neck. Then look up to the ceiling increasing the arch in the back. (If
you feel any pinching or discomfort relax your body down.) Lower your body back
down to the floor. Slide your hips back to your heals with your forehead on the
ground to counter stretch the back. Repeat the cobra stretch.
Effect: It will open the chest and for further expansion of the lungs. It will
stretch out the front of the neck and it will increase strength in the arms.
3. One arm Balance
Why: This is to build up the muscles and endurance in the body while
increasing pulse and balance.
How: Start lying on you stomach on the floor and do a pushup keeping
your body straight. Your hands should be directly under your shoulders and the
feet should be together. Twist the hips to the right and lift the right hand to reach
up to the ceiling. Look up at the right hand and keep the body balanced on the
left. The right hand should be directly above the left in a vertical line. Continue
to hold and breathe in this posture. Bring the arm back down to the pushup and
Kraus 47
lower the body to the floor for a brief rest. Repeat lifting the left hand. The side
balance should repeat right and left again.
Effect: Renewed strength and energy. The students should feel a rise in
heart rate and an overall feeling of confidence for challenging oneself.
Sitting (5:41 minutes)
Motivation: The sitting section adapts movements from the other sections for
those who need to stay seated because of an injury or disability. It incorporates
breathing, Palming, messaging, twisting, and arching moves. This is to make
Tiffsway movements accessible for a diverse group of students.
The final product of the website will be at I am creating a
marketing plan on how to reach all students with this program. I believe it is a
valuable resource for higher education institutions. I also believe that in addition
to online resources, live classroom instruction is a vital tool. There is a need for
these programs to be implemented into adult education as well as education on
the whole. Bodies and minds need it physically, mentally and cognitively.
Further research needs to be done on what sparks a student to take the
time to care for oneself. There are many options for exercise but what drives
people to actually do it? I also want to research the efficacy of these movement
sections and which the users are drawn to. Which specific movements do
students find comfortable and or helpful? I also want to study the effects of this
Kraus 48
program on students over an extended period of time; emotionally, physically,
and academically.
Addendum: Within my research I found an article written by Tim
Lougheed referring to Penfield's map stating that the map is an incredible
contribution to neuroscience. However, the face section is now proved to be
upside down. With this knowledge I felt it was important to keep the map within
my paper, honor Penfield, and correct any misconceptions.
I also learned that Erik Peper did research on how the slouched position
affects mood. Those who walked in a slouched position had negative and
depressed emotions. They felt tired, lethargic and down, where as people who
held an upright posture which was more economically correct had more positive
emotions and felt energetic. If sitting at a computer or slouching over work is
causing depression and lack of energy maybe there should be a more
economically correct machine for studies and work.
Kraus 49
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levels of mindfulness, medical and psychological symptoms and
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Kraus 50
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