Visualisation is a powerful practice that allows you to tap into the hidden potential of your brain. The practice of simply visualising something brings us closer to manifesting it in our lives, not due to some magic. But because it conditions us to work in that direction in our everyday life. In fact, scientists have also discovered that simply visualising using a muscle helps it grow stronger. Which is why visualisation helps in improving athletic performance and is even used in some schools of Hatha Yoga where you visualise yourself getting into the pose before actually performing it.
Visualisation can also help you calm an anxious or agitated mind and soothe the nervous, it’s simple enough to be used anytime you need it. Here are a few techniques that you can employ next time you feel the need to reset your body and mind.
A relaxing paint brush
For this technique, visualise a paintbrush with feather soft bristles. And use it to paint your body with a light colour of your choice. Green, blue and white are generally good choices, and it’s best to stick to softer colours. Make it like a body scan where you move slowly from part to part. Visualising the brush, colouring that part, and allowing it to be relaxed. Once you’re done painting the whole body, experience the feeling of relaxation for a few moments in complete stillness before moving again.
The creativity hack
This is a great way to re-focus a distracted mind and it will also help your creativity by unlocking new ideas. To get started, take a look at any random object around you — absolutely anything. Now close your eyes and for the next five minutes try to come up with as many uses of this object as you can. Speed is of importance, not quality of ideas. Your ways of using this object do not have to be meaningful, they could be completely silly. But coming up with as many of these out-of-the-box ideas as you can is important. For example, let’s say the object I chose is my mobile phone. So, what are the ways I could use it other than the usual make calls, surf, play games, etc? I can use it as a tray for my tea cup, I could use the shiny glass screen as a mirror to check my hair, or I could even use it like a rock to see how far I can throw. These were just some examples — your ideas don’t have to be practical. Consider this an activity to let your mind run free, breaking the shackles of conditioned thinking.
The beautiful garden
For this technique, we will use the power of our five senses to ground ourselves and become more mindful. To do this practice, visualise yourself in a beautiful garden at sunrise. As the sun rises higher, the garden becomes brighter and you can see all details more clearly. Use each of your senses one by one to add more detail to this garden. Use your eyes to add beautiful colours to the morning sky, or to see the variety of colourful flowers in the garden, or the shades of green in the grass.
Use the sense of smell to take in the aroma of the eucalyptus tree or a rose garden. Likewise use the sense of smell to hear the sounds of birds or leaves rustling, the sense of touch to feel the breeze against your skin, and pick a fruit from the orchard to taste its sweetness. Let this be your happy place. To keep it more structured, you can visualise five things you see, four things you can touch, three things you hear, two things you can smell, and one thing that you can taste.
The pranic breath
For this simple but effective technique, you visualise each breath as taking in bright white light, almost like you’re breathing golden sunlight. Each inhalation of this golden light warms the body, heals it, and removes all stale, toxic material that does not serve you, as you exhale. Repeat this process as many times as you can. Every time you inhale think of this bright light running through your entire body, going to each joint, each fingertip, each limb. Try to take at least 10-20 breaths like this. Your exhalations should be deep, long, and slower than your inhalations. By the end of this practice, visualise yourself radiating with this golden light, the whole body warmed and healed by the golden light, and then rise up after a few moments, whenever you’re ready.
Visualisation can help you improve your performance, decrease stress, help you sleep better, and can be a great asset in supporting your mental health. So, make it a part of your daily or weekly routine as it will help you unlock your highest potential.
(The writer is Yoga and Ayurveda Lifestyle Specialist and Founder of Yoganama)