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Ideokinesis: Imagery and Kinesthetic Awareness

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.



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