Ideokinesis: Imagery and Kinesthetic Awareness

Oct 04, 2006

Being a mind-body professional, you are probably already more aware of how your body moves than the average person. Your “body intelligence” may even be naturally a little more advanced. As people age, they tend to develop ineffective neuromuscular habits that can cause a great deal of stress and discomfort. You know this because you see it on a daily basis (and may even struggle with it yourself).

Ideokinesis is the process of using mental imagery to “affect the body’s postural alignment in order to bring it into greater equilibrium.” Harvard dance student Julie Grinfield describes it this way: “The tacit nature of ideokinesis means that mental and physical energy can be used to train the particular skill, like learning a phrase of choreography, instead of on postural alignment. A dancer can more easily do a pirouette if she thinks of herself as a spinning top than if she thinks ‘neck up, shoulders back, rib-cage down, arms out, back wide, pelvis forward, and toe to knee.’”

Think of ways you can apply ideokinesis in your daily practice. Instead of asking a client to simply tilt his pelvis forward, for example, suggest he visualize a crystal bowl filled with water, draining out of the sacrum. This somatic approach helps the client find more efficient alignment, and brings the imagination and the body together in a working relationship.

Want to find out more about ideokinesis? Register for the Inner IDEA Conference today and select session 693, “Ideokinesis: Mind Over Matter, Mental Imagery,” presented by Helen Byrne.


© 2015 by IDEA Health & Fitness Inc. All rights reserved. Reproduction without permission is strictly prohibited.


Trending Articles

Eight Fascinating Facts About Fascia

Fascia has been enjoying the limelight in the fitness industry as one of the hottest topics in recent conference programming, workshops and ...

Nutrition Strategies for Stress and Pain Management

Stress and pain diminish quality of life for millionsofAmericansandcostbillionsin healthcare expenses and lost wages.

Concurrent Training Can Jeopardize Strength Gains

A lot of people do concurrent training— cardio and strength training within the same session—because it seems to achieve multiple goals at the same time. It’s also a proven fat-burne...

Wake Up Your Glutes!

It’s a sad fact of modern life that the gluteus maximus, the largest muscle in the body, often becomes inhibited and “turns off.” Ironically, this inhibition can be the culprit behin...

Sample Class: Farmhand Fitness

Several years ago, I attended an IDEA World Fitness Convention™ session led by Michol Dalcourt, director of the Institute of Motion. D...

Cardio and Creative Core

Group fitness participants can’t seem to get enough of creative core and cardiovascular exercises. If you need innovative ideas to cha...

Playing Hurt

When Gray Cook was a high-school athlete, his coaches would comment, “That Gray Cook sure can play hurt.” He had over 20 fractures before he was 18, what with his love of football and moto...

A Back-Pain Solution

Starting with the basics. Personal trainer Jamal Younis first met 38-year-old Jessica in August 2014. Jessica, a former competitive collegia...

Excessive Thoracic Kyphosis: More Than Just Bad Posture

Excessive thoracic kyphosis (ETK) is a disproportionate forward rounding or curvature of the middle and upper back, also known as the thorac...

Coronary Artery Disease: What Every Fitness Professional Needs to Know

Developing a thorough understanding of coronary artery disease (CAD) can help fitness professionals fight one of the world’s deadliest...