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Reader Feedback: Helping Clients Visualize

In the June issue of Inner IDEA Body-Mind-Spirit Review, we asked the question "What type of techniques do you use with clients who have a difficult time visualizing your cues and instructions?" Here’s what you had to say:

“One excellent way to help participants with verbal cuing instruction is to use others as a visual model. When I cue a particular body position I will scan the class for those who have the form down. I then go to that person, say his/her name and descriptively point out the good form. This has multiple effects. It creates an environment of positive correction. It uses a person as a positive role models, which builds self-esteem. It also motivates others to self-correct and find proper form.”
— JoRene Woodworth, Santa Rosa, California

“I’m a Nia Technique Instructor. Our approach to visualization includes body sensation and emotional expression. For example, rather than saying, ‘reach for the sky;’ I say, ‘see the redness of the apple, sense the skin of the apple on your fingers as you twist it off the branch.’ Rather than saying, ‘cradle your arms;’ I say, ‘cradle your inner child in your arms and sense your internal needs. Send love to that child as you rotate left and right.’ When kicking, we include sounds for emotional expression and for developing core strength. Use of actual words like ‘yes’ and ‘no’ are good for developing personal growth, as well. Another Nia teacher told me that this technique kept her from being robbed once, as she had developing the inner strength to say ‘no’ loudly and immediately blocked her body. This is all it took to make the bad guy run away!
Basically, I connect the body, emotions and spirit to the mental activity. Not everyone can ‘see’ in the same way. With the inclusion of the other realms, we are bound to connect with more people. Some people may ‘feel’ it in their bodies, sense it with their emotions, or connect to it with spirit.”
— Kali Rose, Portland Oregon

“When I have a student or client who is having difficulty with a pose or movement I often have her do it in another plane. If she can’t get the roll-up for example, I will have her do it standing up and ask her to imagine she is lying on the floor. Very often, stepping away from the mat or equipment is enough to redirect her perception of how something should look and feel.”
— L. Kae Graniel, Honolulu, Hawaii

“Here are two of my favorite visualizations for demonstrating ‘mermaid’ or side bending, and rotation. To visualize the side-bending motion, I pull out my Slinky® to demonstrate how the ribs go from a stacked position to a lifted and fanning motion with the base solidly planted. When I ask participants to rotate and refrain from crunching the spine, I bring out a big peppermint stick. I want everyone to spiral up not crunch down. I’d prefer to have a Barber Pole, but that is not possible.
I also relate many of my visualizations to food, as we can all relate to something we encounter daily! Leg circles: half an apple; Pilates stance: slice of pizza, etc. For very definite shapes, I like to use geometric terminology as this makes one visualize simple lines without any distraction.”
— Valentin, Dublin, California


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