By Nishtha Shukla December 2003 When out of sync with this world, you can psychologically assist yourself by attuning your senses to really listen with kinesthetic exercises People who watch cricket matches in player’s gear are looked upon as comic characters. Actually, they are practicing kinesthetic. That is, they have the ability to feel their limbs and body as if they were part of something beyond space and time. As part of sacred psychology, kinesthetic aim at extending one’s senses to restore inner and outer sensing to fuller use. The word ‘kinesthetic’ comes from the Greek kineme (motion) and aesthesia (sensing). Its practice involves developing the kinesthetic body for a restored and extended sensorial. The sensorial is the body image encoded in the brain’s motor cortex, which is experienced as the felt body of muscular imagination. Kinesthetic is similar to performing a skill involving inwardly rehearsed movement. Jean Houston, author of The Search for the Beloved: Journeys in Sacred Psychology, says that many athletes and artists who rehearse inwardly seem to have experienced kinesthetic rehearsal almost as vivid as actual physical engagement. Thus also the feeling some people have of actually participating in an event while sitting in front of their TVs. Renowned NLP and hypnosis trainer Dr Carmine Baffa, who has researched kinesthestics, shares an experience at a seminar where he asked if anybody wanted to learn something. A participant said she was to go snow skiing for the first time. Dr Baffa started by significantly altering her state of consciousness, asking her to find internal images of someone skiing on snow. She was to convert those images into a series of movies and finally, to fully associate them with the images and get into the movie herself. The participant repeated the process until “she could feel each and every movement, the cold fresh air, the brightness of the snow as it reflected into her eyes”. She was directed to watch the movie of that person skiing until it morphed into a movie of her skiing. Baffa then went into the participant’s past and installed three different experiences of her having skied successfully. He then marked out the time when she would be skiing and tied it to the past successful skiing experiences. The future event, he says, serves as an anchor for the skills that were just installed. When the woman actually went skiing, “at first she had total amnesia for not having skiied before. And it wasn’t until after her eighth trip down the slopes that she remembered what they did in the first part of the training. But by then, she had already successfully performed the task eight times”, writes Baffa. Words like touch, feel, handle and grab are important in kinesthetics. It begins with questioning what you want. Also when seeking an opinion, say, I feel you will like this. And the kinesthetic will begin to mentally process the information from his or her point of view. The idea is to get the person to mentally touch the ideas being provided. It is not so much about seeing or hearing as about feeling. Phrases like ‘how does that grab you’, ‘he rubs me the wrong way’ become important. Pauses are, therefore, frequent because asking the self how you feel about the person or the situation acquires greater meaning. Kinesthetic personalities are often called ‘touchy feelies’ who do things according to what they feel. Albert Einstein is said to have developed the theory of relativity as he imagined riding a lightning bolt through the universe. Dancers and sportspersons often use kinesthetic. For dancers, it becomes a means for translating profound experience into meaningful performance by utilizing focused improvisational movements and associated imagery in choreography. Arthur Hull, world-renowned drum circle facilitator, says of group drumming: “The vibration created by a group of people drumming together is a kinesthetic massage. You’re bouncing on a membrane that forces air through this body, and air goes out and vibrates in the room.” Such a group massage releases your personal anxieties and tensions. “So that massage, like water, will go to the places that need it… All you have to do is sit and drum and be open to the healing that will happen from you just being there with a lot of other people. All you’re doing is just sharing your rhythmical spirit, this huge, enormous vibration machine is created and it’ll go to your heart, to your emotions, to your brain, the mental tension, to the very soul of our being…” In his linguistic analysis, Dr Baffa has found: “The auditory reality is two steps removed from actual experience, the visual system is one step. It is inside the kinesthetic where the true power exists, as it is at this level of communication where experience is being experienced. When you have mastered the ability to influence this level of communication, you will be operating in a powerful way.” Athletes and artists who rehearse inwardly seem to have experienced kinesthetic rehearsal almost as vivid as actual physical engagement In teaching, he observes that when communicating, verbal elements of tempo, timbre, rhythm and tonality take precedence over actual words. He suggests that if you want to be good with music, start with the auditory system, and if you want to be skilled in teaching, hypnosis, influence and persuasion, start by mastering the kinesthetic aspects of experience. The important thing about kinesthetics is practice. Begin with this brief practice that must be tried before getting on to more complex aspects. Exercise Time: 20 minutes. Materials: Comfortable clothing. Wear soft, flexible footwear or go barefoot so you can more easily sense movement. Instructions: If you are working alone, you will want to read these instructions onto an audiotape, pausing to leave time for the movement. If you are the guide in a group you will want to remain constantly alert to the time required by the participants for the movement. Script: Before you begin, stand up to get a sense of your body at rest. Quiet, ready to experience. Now raise you real right arm over your head and feel the stretching of muscles throughout the arm and the torso as you do so. (Pause, allowing time for complete feeling.) Now lower your arm. Repeat several times, remembering to concentrate on the feeling of movement within the body. Now sense your right arm as clearly as you can with your muscular imagination (pause), and then stretch this kinesthetic arm-the arm of muscular imagination-over your head, trying to experience it as vividly as the real one. Now lower your kinesthetic right arm. Alternate several times between stretching with your real right arm, always remembering to experience it as vividly as you sensed the real one. (Longer pause). Do the same thing with your real left arm and your kinesthetic left arm, always remembering to experience your kinesthetic arm with as much reality as your real arm. Do the same thing, alternately stretching your real and kinesthetic arms. Let your real shoulders make circular movements forward, down, and around like spinning windmills, remembering to concentrate on the feeling of the movement. Now do the same thing with your kinesthetic shoulders, trying to feel the same forward circular movement that you felt with your real shoulders. Alternate between real and kinesthetic movements. Let your real shoulders circle in a backward movement. Do the same thing kinesthetically. Alternate. Now with your real body make a fencing lunge to the right. Come back to centre. Repeat several times. Now lunge to the right with your kinesthetic body. Come back to the centre. Alternate several times between your real and your kinesthetic body. Do the same thing to the left. Follow this sequence: Real body lunges to the right. Back to the centre. Real body lunges to the left. Back to the centre. Kinesthetic body lunges to the left. Back to the centre. Real body lunges to the left, back to the centre. Kinesthetic body lunges to the right and comes back. Real body lunges to the right and comes back. Real body lunges to the left and comes back. Now, at the same time your kinesthetic body lunges to the right and your real body lunges to the left. Back to the centre. Now lunge with your real body to the right and your kinesthetic body to the left. Come back to the centre. Now alternate lunging simultaneously with the kinesthetic body in one direction and the real body in the other. Do this a number of times. RestFeel free to experiment with this process utilizing as many different movements as you like. Movements can include jumping up and down in your physical body, followed by kinesthetic jumping. Another kind of practice could involve going back and forth between the real and the kinesthetic bodies while raising and lowering your arms spinning slowly in one direction and then in the other, and so on. Gradually you will notice the sense of the kinesthetic body getting stronger until it is almost as vividly sensed as the actual physical body. The following are more complex exercises from ‘The Extended Sensorial’ in The Search for the Beloved. Says Jean Houston: “While it is designed to be developmental and therefore to be done as a whole, the earlier parts of the exercise may be adapted as part of your daily practice. They are particularly effective for altering the brain and body when you first wake up or when you are feeling stuck or tired. After a while even playing the same music used in the exercise will restore your sense of well-being.” Kinesthetic people are called ‘touchy feelies’ who do things according to what they feel. Einstein developed the theory of relativity as he imagined riding a lightning bolt through the uni
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