Performance Yoga – 9.15.14 (Controllability and Forest Meditation)

In yoga, there is a freedom to allow the brain to be what it is.  It is a place that stores EVERYTHING.  The positive, the negative and the flat out creepy.  To have control is to relinquish control.  It is easy to feel overwhelmed by our thoughts.  I know this.  It takes practice to allow the mind to flow and not make judgments on ourselves because of what cascades across the present.  If retained, a number of psychological issues begin to form.  There is no judgment on your mat … simply the acknowledgment of the thought.  Allow the present moment to be a wonderful place where you can release stress.

Controllability – Make the image do what you want it to do. Many athletes have difficulty controlling their images,
often repeating the same mistake over and over, or failing to conjure up the appropriate image. Learn how to
program your own “internal computer” so you are confident and focused on those things you want to occur.
from “Teaching Athletes Visualization and Mental Imagery Skills” by David Yukelson, Ph.D. Penn State University

FOREST MEDITATION
Modified from http://www.innerhealthstudio.com/forest-visualization.html

Imagine yourself walking on a path through a forest. The path is soft beneath your shoes, a mixture of soil, fallen leaves, pine needles, and moss. As you walk, your body relaxes and your mind clears, more and more with each step you take.

Breathe in the fresh mountain air, filling your lungs completely. Now exhale. Breathe out all the air. Feeling refreshed.

Take another deep breath in…revitalizing…. and breathe out completely, letting your body relax further.

Continue to breathe slowly and deeply as you walk through the forest and continue the forest visualization.

The air is cool, but comfortable. Sun filters through the trees, making a moving dappled pattern on the ground before you.

Listen to the sounds of the forest…. Birds singing. A gentle breeze blowing. The leaves on the trees shift and sway in the soft wind.

Your body relaxes more and more as you walk. Count your steps and breathe in unison with your strides. Breathe in 2, 3, 4… hold 2, 3…exhale 2, 3, 4, 5.

Breathe in 2, 3, 4… hold 2, 3…exhale 2, 3, 4, 5.

Breathe in 2, 3, 4… hold 2, 3…exhale 2, 3, 4, 5.

Continue to breathe like this, slowly and deeply, as you become more and more relaxed.

As you walk through the forest visualization, feel your muscles relaxing and lengthening. As your arms swing in rhythm with your walking, they become loose, relaxed, and limp.

Feel your back relaxing as your spine lengthens and the muscles relax. Feel the tension leaving your body as you admire the scenery around you.

Your legs and lower body relax as well, feeling free and relaxed.

You begin to climb up a slight incline. You easily tread along smooth rocks on the path. Feeling at one with nature.

The breeze continues to blow through the treetops, but you are sheltered on the path, and the air around you is calm.

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