A Learning Journey of Reflection

Christopher J. Starr leapt from the 2017 Yoga Development Course (YDC) to enrolment in the Negotiation and Conflict Resolution Master’s program at New York City’s Columbia University – and he is amazed at how well he was prepared by his learning journey at the Ashram. He wrote to update us.

Classes are going exceptionally well; the course content is fascinating. Interestingly, almost half of the assignments have been Reflection Journals where we are asked to reflect on our own theories of conflict, change and other topics. Having written reflections daily for three months in the YDC, I feel especially prepared for these assignments!

I am curious if this self-reflection is part of a global trend in education shifting from teaching people to memorize information and instead to become themselves fully.

I’ve used my Ashram training in other ways too! My family is from Thunderchild First Nation, in Saskatchewan. Although I never went to school there, I feel a deep connection to the community and a vested interest in the health and success of its youth. While home for the holidays in December, I offered yoga classes to the community school. The kindergarteners really enjoyed the Warrior.

I am feeling blessed even amidst the perplexity of university and NYC. I am profoundly grateful for the foundation I have been able to build, and send many thanks to everyone at the Ashram.

The direction I will take after this master’s program is still unclear to me. I feel compelled to work with marginalized communities on environmental disputes and/or focus on education reform.


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