Yoga: A New Point of “View”

Proprioception

the sense of the relative position of neighboring parts of the body

and strength of effort being employed in movement

Last week I shared a quick lesson from my psychology class about flow, today’s post comes to you from biology class!

In biology we’ve been discussing the nervous system and the senses and recently we talked about proprioception.  Our teacher demonstrated the concept by having us hold our arms out to the side, close our eyes and then try to bring our fingers to touch in front of us.  Then, we had to stand and balance on one foot, and then do it again, this time with our eyes closed.  It’s so interesting how much our balance and sense of where our body is in space is affected by our vision!

Of course I was thinking about how this relates to yoga (because really, what do I NOT relate to running or yoga!)

Drishti

The next day at yoga my wonderful teacher Gail came into the room and said to us, “I’d like to do something a little different today, but I want to make sure you’re all up for it…I want to do the entire class with your eyes closed, what do you think?”

(Seriously, doesn’t the timing of stuff like this just freak you out sometimes??!)

A few people in the class were skeptical, but I thought it sounded like an awesome idea!  As a class we decided to give it a shot and I have to say it was (ironically!) one of the most enlightening practices I’ve had in awhile!

It was challenging and it forced you to really pay attention to your body as you moved into poses since you couldn’t rely on your vision, but at the same time it was interesting to realize that I could go through an entire 90 minute vinyasa yoga practice without it (albeit with a few more bobbles in my balancing poses!).

I absolutely loved the class and really learned a lot practicing from this different point of “view”.

Helen Keller Quote

I know my posts have been very yoga-centric recently…

more running coming soon though, promise! 

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14 thoughts on “Yoga: A New Point of “View”

  1. Once again….. you stepped outside of your “comfort zone”, and there the fun begins. Can’t wait to try yoga…. I need to start stepping out of my “comfort zone” more often and have some fun! …….dad

  2. I can’t wait for you to become a PT. Its already in you I feel like reading some of your posts!! I think you might really like neuro rehab too (but I am probably projecting because that is my love)!
    PS. I am pretty sure I would have fallen over atleast 14 times if I did a 90 minute yoga class with my eyes shut, I am super impressed.
    Oh and did you do this on the beach? Because somatosensation is the third system for balance which is eliminated when you are on uneven terrain. So if you did you were working with on just one system instead of three which is crazy hard!! Super kudos!

    • Haha, no, this one wasn’t on the beach, but I do go to yoga on the beach over the summers and that is really hard! My legs are always burning by the end!

      And I agree, I think I may be interested in neuro rehab too, but I guess I have plenty of time to figure that out!

  3. Your dad is so right! I need to do this more often. Sometimes our PiYo teacher will do an exercise with our eyes closed, but I don’t think it’s as appropriate as it would be in a traditional yoga class.

    • Oh, I’ve never tried PiYo! I wonder if they have it anywhere near me, I love trying new classes. This particular teacher at my studio is really great about doing something a little out side the box every once in awhile which really helps to look at your practice in a whole new way (one time we did kids yoga!).

  4. It sounds like an interesting way to go through class, but I actually sometimes get dizzy in yoga when my head is down for certain poses, Maybe it is my advanced age! Glad you enjoyed the class…will try some balance moves later with my eyes closed!

    • I get dizzy coming up from inverted poses too (so it’s not age at all!), I actually meant to mention in this post I didn’t experience that with my eyes closed though! It was really interesting!

  5. I’ve just come back from my (2nd ever) yoga class and the instructor mentioned focusing on a point when I was having trouble balancing – now it has been reinforced twice in one morning I’ll never forget it!
    I can imagine doing yoga with your eyes closed would be interesting!

  6. Long time ago I took a hip hop dance class and my favorite was when we were far enough into the routine and the teacher would turn off the lights and have us turn around so our backs were to the mirror – not quite with your eyes closed but it was along the same lines. I loved it! It definitely gives you a different point of view.

  7. Pingback: Weekly Training Recap | Live, Run, Grow

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