In the documentary “The New Medicine”, doctors and nurses teach their patients visualization and breathing techniques to help them reduce anxiety, lower blood pressure, and increase the immune response. They go so far as to say that when we visualize something, the body responds as though we were there. This is easy to grasp if you think about the last time you saw a scary movie. You know its fake; that it’s a bunch of actors on a screen, yet when the scene becomes threatening, your heart beats fast in your throat, you hold your breath, and your stomach is in a knot.
The body and mind also respond strongly to positive visualization. Begin by closing your eyes and imagining your favorite peaceful place. It might be somewhere in nature, or it might be in your beautiful, comfortable bed. In your visualization, take in all the details; the freshness of the air, the softness of your bed or the feel of thick grass beneath you. Stay with the visualization for a while, and then notice how you feel. Your breathing may calm and deepen, your shoulders may relax, and you may begin to feel replenished.
For the most benefit, incorporate visualization into your spiritual practice, into prayer and meditation. Think about your root guru (gu means darkness, ru means light). To whom do you pray? Who are the holy compassionate beings that help lead you from darkness to light? Do you pray to Jesus, Blessed Mother, Heavenly Father, Buddha, Tara? Try this: Sit comfortably with a straight spine. Close your eyes. Visualize a holy being before you, filled with light. Think about the love, wisdom and compassion that this being radiates. Visualize all of that love, light, strength, and peace flowing to you. Breathe it in. Feel it moving into every part of your body, let it wash every worry from your mind. Draw this light into your heart. As you continue, see yourself becoming filled with light. Then visualize the light of love, peace, wisdom, and compassion radiating from you. Send it out as a blessing to all beings.
Pati Kearns teaches Yoga at Dance Etc. Call 279-9523 for class information.
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