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Tuesday, October 23, 2012

How to measure your baseline

I took a great class taught by Bo Forbes while in Colorado two weeks ago. Bo is a neuroscientist and has integrated psychology with yoga and science. A rare combination for a neuroscientist. Anyway, she taught us how important it is to get a personal baseline before doing yoga practice or just about anything else for that matter.

A personal baseline allows you to see where you are in relation to your body, mind, emotions and feelings before yoga practice and after yoga practice so you can gauge your progress. It's easy and it takes only a few minutes.

Sitting in a comfortable position or lying down on your back with your knees bent, close your eyes and take several long, slow breaths. Connect with the level of energy in your physical body. Ask yourself, is it high, medium or low? Note the speed of your mind (thoughts). Tune into your nervous system - your "wiring" and take a note whether it's tightly wound (in overdrive) or balanced. Tune into the depth of your breathing. Is it smooth and easy or erratic?  Get a sense of whether you are connected to your center - the energy within the core of your body. Also, make a mental note of any other baseline measurement that's important to you, such as a pain somewhere, uneasiness, emotions or other feelings.

You can do this simple baseline exercise before going to bed to help you fall asleep, at the end of yoga practice, and anytime you feel anxious, depressed or stressed.

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