In Reading Wellness, we liken reading process to form during exercise. Ultimately, our goal for a reader is to put forth effort without compromising form, which in this reading metaphor would mean ignoring meaning or compromising accuracy.
Really thoughtful attention to form, however, often requires lightening the load. Sometimes, this lightening of the load lets us align our form in ways that allow us to stretch into more difficult yoga postures (or texts).
For example, we are both comfortable with warrior pose, a mainstay of a basic yoga practice. Recently, however, we have noticed how such a basic pose offers much to work on in terms of form, despite its familiarity. When we are very deliberate with our warrior pose, we ask ourselves: How engaged are our core muscles? How aligned are we, from mat to head and from fingertips to fingertips? How intentional is our breathing? What is the position of our head? How deep is the posture? Are we present? And so on.
Generally speaking, we think of warrior pose as an independent level yoga practice for us. But our familiarity with it allows us to work more intentionally on aspects of our practice that can translate into our daily lives and even into more challenging–instructional level–poses.
The benefit of accessibility is moving deeper into the practice, attending to the nuances of a posture, and connecting with our bodies. In the same way, the benefits of reading a well-written but comfortable text include moving deeper into the meaning, attending to the nuances of the author’s message, and strengthening our connections to the reasons we read. So, as your students work to select books, remember that they don’t always have to be pushing themselves into harder texts in order to grow!