Watching Spanish Yoga Videos On YouTube… It’s For Language Learning (Honestly!)

Yesterday I decided I would explore the joys of yoga in Spanish.

I am already a regular practitioner of yoga having been introduced to it nearly 30 years ago as an extension of the stretching I was doing for my martial arts training at that time.

I have dabbled over the years using it to maintain my flexibility but have been practicing 2-3 times a week now for nearly 18 months.  And so I have a strong interest in the practice.

One of the things I heard Tim Ferris talk about was to learn or explore a topic or skill in the language you are learning.

Whatever hobby you have, if you read something about it in Spanish, you will encounter correct grammar.  So why not explore something you enjoy.  You will be learning on two levels then – your hobby AND Spanish.

As Tim says, “context is everything”.

You Can Find YouTube Videos About Anything In Spanish

And so I went on to YouTube and searched for “Yoga lesson in Spanish” to see what I could find.

There was lots to choose from so I picked one and let it play.

Having some level of knowledge of what yoga instruction is like in English was a real help.  Which goes to prove Tim Ferris’s point.

This is because I know the sort of things that are said by my English Yoga teachers at various times.

As I watched Elena go through the motions and give her explanations in Spanish, I was able to start to make sense of some of what she was saying.

She Used Words I Already Knew

Of course I have already learnt a few relevant words in using the Anki Flashcards and the 625 word list.

Words like cuerpo (body), espalda (back), arriba (up) and cielo (sky, heaven).

These popped up a few times and there were a few brief but lovely moments of recognition and understanding that I am coming to love.

This happened a few times with different words.   Then each of those words were repeated a number of times through the different poses and explanations she was giving.

This of course helped cement the understanding of these words in this context.

And I Understood Other Words I Didn’t Know

And then there were a few words that she said that I could understand that I hadn’t learn before.

These are words closely related to the English form – abdominales, lumbar, inhalar, exhalar.

They are quite easy to spot because there will be that natural recognition of something familiar amongst the alien…. not that I am saying Elena is an alien of course.

Although Elena is nearly an anagram of Alien…. OMG I’ve discovered there are alien life forms and they are here on earth masquerading as yoga teachers.

Why wasn’t this sorted out in Men in Black III….

I digress…

er…. that was more of a digression I suspect.  I think am going to have to check what’s in my herbal tea infusion this morning!

Back to learning Spanish…

Your brain will naturally pick up on those familiar words.  As it tries to make sense of the sounds it is hearing it will draw them to your attention.

There will be a short sigh of relief at the existence of something familiar amongst everything that seems so strange.

But real learning does not come from what you have already learnt or from what is already familiar.

Oh no sir-ee…

It comes from what you surmise yourself from what you experience.

Here’s What I Will Do Next Time

I didn’t do it with this video because it was just an initial experiment to see what it was going to be like, but here is what I intend to do next time.

  • I shall watch and listen and see if I can isolate words to specific things she is doing.
  • Can I work out what left or right is.
  • What about identifying the words for leg, knee, arm and elbow?

This deduction of the meaning of what I am seeing and hearing is true learning.

It is like a mini-immersion, even though I am watching the videos in Gloucestershire.

Now I may need to consult a dictionary to see if I can prime my mind to look out for my words of interest.  But I should only do that after I have tried to work it out for myself.

The secret is trying to work it out for myself.

There is energy expended in doing that; there is value in the thinking applied to it.

Just being given the words misses out on all of that “effort” that will help the language become stronger in your mind.

It also gives your brain some good exercise.

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