Moving from novelty to patterns… Hidden deep within, buried beneath your ego and starved of creativity is a version of you that is dying to be fed. It’s your inner learner. Carol Dweck, Ph.D, the mindset maestro phrased it best when she said “people are all born with a love of learning, but the fixed mindset can undo it.” It is also innately human to feel exhaustively overwhelmed and defeated before you even start. If your love for learning has gone lackluster, here are some simple patterns you might find in a Yoga Tune Up® class that can excite your learning potentiality.
Stop to Start
A lifetime of acquired biases and assumptions swirl in your skull. Influencing or swaying your perceptions and ultimately determining your decisions. So set yourself up to win by intentionally pausing and allow yourself to purge the mental and physical landscapes of the old and acquired so you can instead occupy your center. Your Why. Your sankalpa. Before you start, stop, and visualize your destination but acknowledge there are many ways to get there.
Manage your Mindset
If I had a quarter for every time I heard someone say, “I can’t do balancing poses, I have terrible balance.” I could be sipping a cool cocktail on a beach instead of writing this blog. A fixed, rigid mindset is the breeding grounds for self-sabotage; and rarely expedites learning. Instead move your thoughts positively towards the obstacles and challenges. Know that your tolerance of uncertainty is in fact the same space where you’re learning potential resides. All creative endeavors begin with uncertainty. If you are going to create a change in your mind or body that you haven’t before, it will require that you spend time in the space of uncertainty. Here, is where your mindset matters most.
Satiate the Senses
From the deep proprioceptive pressures of the Roll Model® Therapy Balls, to the visual demonstrations, to the verbal cues that promote precision, integrating as many of our senses into our practice is a sure way to set up the areas around the hippocampus for reception. Taken out of context, some of the techniques and movements may seem meaningless but when our brain physically interacts with sensory data, it makes movement meaningful and thus, memorable.
To Vinyasa-ers, the stop-and-go of a Yoga Tune Up® class may feel foreign, but there is good reason behind it. Turns out our brains learn best in chunks. They are more likely to devour new patterns when we practice in intervals of concentration and rest. When we are learning something that requires focus, we are actually teaching the brain (and the body in this case) to endure suffering, temporarily that is. The short-lived suffering of your efforts is balanced by a self-soothing rest pose. Ardha savasana, artfully placed in-between transitions is vital to our absorption and retention. This rhythm of learn and lull is the practice that helps your synaptic gap to become shorter, your coordination improves, and the patterns integrate.
Lastly, learning and failure go together. You can’t learn without failing and hopefully you never fail without learning. Failure can be a sign that you are at your limit, your edge. So when taking on any learning challenge; don’t fret failure. Embrace the discomfort. Learn to interweave it into your process and you will prosper.