This article first appeared in mindbodygreen.com and is written by Michael Blahut
Many of us are on a journey, but how many know our destination? In the healing process it is imperative to hold a vision and goal for ourselves in order to grow and have confidence we are moving in the right direction. This practice is often the most difficult for those who are traveling down the clouded path of pain and suffering, yet it is the most powerful in healing.
The science of yoga teaches us that the more clearly we can see our goal, the closer we get to it. Yoga Sutra II.2 states that when you align your practice with your goal, you remove the obstructions. This ancient therapeutic tool is called bhavana, which simply means perception or, in positive psychology therms, visualization, and is an essential key to moving towards a greater state of health. Sat Bhavana can be translated as positive visualization, and is a way to program the unconscious mind. The amazing part is, those who can more strongly visualize a greater state of health, have a faster rate of healing!
What you visualize happens. Modern science has ample research which shows that the brain doesn’t know the difference between strong visualizing and physically acting. As a way to bring ourselves from a state of distress to a place of balance, we must first be able to see that it is possible. Second, it is extremely effective to visualize how you want to feel in your body. Be specific. Imagine what you will be doing when you have no back pain with fantastic detail – hiking, skiing, jumping on a trampoline? This rewires your brain to start creating the environment where what you imagine will actually happen.
A few Bhavana tools to move you along the path:
- Create a goal which is positive, concrete, and specific!
- Ink it, just don’t think it: have a morning visualization journal to reinforce your goal.
- Gratitude is the fertilizer for our seeds: find three things to be grateful for every day.
- Seek out ways to express your bhavana to a close friend or health practitioner
“We walk the mystical path with practical feet.” – Bahai saying
Michael Blahut is a Los Angeles based Bodyworker and Yoga Therapist.