Friday, February 15, 2013

Thinking It So

In my yoga classes. I always lead students into several balance poses, such as Tree or Dancer's.  I see the usual responses---a few get into the pose and gain stability, while many hop around and struggle, getting into, and out of, the pose, hurriedly and repeatedly, never really finding that place of balance and ease.  Their facial expressions reflect frustration, self-judgement, and striving.  

Aside from any commentary I might make about dropping the ego, letting go of the need to be perfect, and ceasing to compare themselves to the person next to her, I often have them stop and stand in Tadasana/Mountain Pose with their hands in Anjali Mudra at their heart.  I ask them to close their eyes then, take some cleansing breaths, and visualize themselves, step-by-step, moving into the pose on their other foot and leg, with ease, grace, and strength.  Once they have seen themselves standing stably in the pose, I cue them to open their eyes and move into It. Sure enough, that extra minute of visualizing and the calming effect of the breath enables many more of them to find their balance and hold the pose smoothly.

Brain science is now confirming what many of us, regardless of our field, have known intuitively.  What we can imagine is played out in our brains as though we are actually engaged in the physical act.  Many athletes have been using this simple technique to improve their competitive performance.  You and I can use it in yoga, in creating art or a new product, and in healing ourselves.  Adam, the Dreamhealer, leads powerful workshops on how to use visualization to generate literal healing responses in our bodies.  I've taught his techniques to my clients and students dealing with cancer and serious conditions, as a way for them to become more active participants in their healing.

We've heard for years that humans only use 10% of our brain's capacity; thinking and visualizing new behaviors and new ideas may well be a step in accessing some of the rest of it.

This short video explains the mechanics and is worth watching.  Then take a moment and think about what it is you wish to create to be healthier, more expressive, more skilled.  Do this over and over, combine the seeing with real practice, and you will experience real and positive results.


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