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Dive In!

The Benefits of Immersive Learning

A conversation at the water cooler with a woman who I saw as a sales powerhouse, led me to my first experience at an immersive-type of workshop in my early 20s. Being eager to fit in and accelerate my status as an account coordinator (just out of school), I was motivated to check it out. The Silva Method was one of the first contemporary meditation and goal-oriented programs intended to enhance focus and brain waves.  I chuckle at how I stumbled upon meditation back then, only to abandon it and years later, come home to it.


It was a taste of taking a deep dive into one topic. The goal was to learn and develop skills within this microcosm community of like-minded people on one level.  Interested in personal growth, I was in awe of this immersive setting, where you instantly drop into a mode where the purpose steadily builds upon a single goal, task or topic.


Since my Silva days, I have attended many immersive programs and have come to understand the power and satisfying feeling the experience of absorption can be.


The concept of immersing yourself into something that is meaningful and fascinating allows you to focus internally. For some, an immersion type of setting, like a leisure yoga retreat where you are practicing daily, establishes a foundation for a potentially deeper interest down the road, planting inherent discipline.


For more intense immersion with an end goal in mind, like a yoga teacher-training or learning a language, we must initially become saturated in the fundamentals in order to conceivably build skill. Once foundational principles become acutely ingrained and practiced, our skills start to become intuitive and natural.


At the Silva seminar, I recall moving through various meditations, deconstructing them intellectually and then practicing them with others. Similarly, learning to teach yoga, I understood the sequencing, cueing and postures logically, but the crucial shift of the skill becoming intuitive came from cycling through this process repeatedly.


So why participate in immersive learning? With the conveniences of an automated world, our level of patience has become seemingly low, which has had an impact on our ability to absorb things deeply.  Immersion is the art of learning to single-task. Technology has advanced our efficiency and has proven to be a helpful learning tool, but we have become distracted, leaving us feeling fragmented when learning new things.


Immersion invites the opportunity to be uncomfortable, aspirational and give full attention to one discipline, without distraction for even short periods of time. It’s a way to connect inward to a deep sense of self and a way to be amongst like-minded people who want to go deep too. This summer, consider diving into something that piques your interest for even a few hours and soak it up!  


Sari Nisker-Fox is a Toronto based Yoga Teacher, Holistic Life and Business Coach, Wellness Entrepreneur and is the co-founder of www.theyogaweekend.com ,an immersive and unique experiential retreat.