After some minor surgery on Monday, I am now unable to do any yoga for the rest of the week.
Needless to say, that this felt like a serious blow and my first thoughts were for the students I would let down this week by cancelling my classes.
The second blow was yesterday evening, when it became very clear that not doing any yoga for a day had had a definite impact on me. I was feeling rather fractious, restless and impatient. I am not saying that I don’t sometimes feel that way when I practice yoga daily but yesterday felt like there really was something not right.
As I woke up this morning at my usual yoga time, I remembered hearing about the power of visualisation. There have been studies showing that “thoughts produce the same mental instructions as actions.” The same studies also revealed that “mental practices can enhance motivation, increase confidence and self-efficacy, improve motor performance, prime your brain for success and increase states of flow.” (AJ Adams)
So I decided to give it a go and started to perform a yoga sequence, moving into the movements that I could do and visualising the rest. And lo and behold, when I sat down for my meditation afterwards, my brain was calm and relaxed as if I had gone through the entire sequence.
This is good news for me and it reinforces my believe that yoga is really accessible to everybody. If you are unable to perform a certain movement and you find it hard to adapt it, you can visualise it, in this way getting some of the benefits.