Friday nights at the Lab (aka Spiritwind Center) have been getting colorful despite these gray November days. Our tools have shifted away from journals and pens and we are breaking out the crayons and markers, (oh yes, it's good to feel like a kid again!) getting into the visual nooks of our creative hemisphere.
Approximately 60% of us are visual learners and it's been really amazing to see how we can use colors and shapes to capture and communicate the results of our yoga practice. So far, we have done the following experiments:
1) Tracking the shifts: Students will capture how their bodies feel before an asana practice and then after final relaxation. It's fascinating to see which images represent sensations like pain or stiffness and of course release. Using images can really open up the dialogue about our embodies state, that can otherwise be very difficult to communicate with words.
I wonder what would happen if we could go to our doctor's and draw out our pain and discomfort and all the related emotions. "So hey Doc, you see, there's this squiggly blue line in the back of my left hip and it kinda creates this throbbing green circle in the side of my neck. Do you think it's serious?" I think if we all had such great body awareness as to express ourselves in such detail we just might be getting somewhere past our failing paradigm of being passive recipients of curing towards becoming active agents in our own healing.
2) What the body remembers: I have students enter into a posture and sustain it for a long period of time, guiding them into a deep experience of the pose. When they come out they are invited to intuitively choose a color and quickly capture the essence of the experience with as little self-censoring, conscious or discriminating thought as possible.
Perhaps the associated images represent a repressed memory, an energetic blockage, an emotion or chakral characteristic screaming to be heard?
Or maybe it's simply that when we give our bodies permission to open, we can afford the same freedom to our minds and unlock our innate creativity. Perhaps...
(This is a drawing from exercise #2 by one of my students after a long held deep squat).
Experimentation and hypothesizing continues every Friday at 6pm :)