Julie’s note: Lauren asked if she could share her post through my guest blog guidelines. You can, too.
How to Find Balance and Enhance Learning through Shiva Nata Yoga
It seems that true learning can one come when one is open and, most of all, balanced. When our body, mind and soul are not in line with one another, it is difficult to maintain a sense of balance throughout the day, which makes it harder to get anything done, especially when it comes to taking in and processing new information. Whether you’re a writer, busy professional, college student, or ever-learning new mom, it should be a priority for everyone to achieve more balance in our daily lives, and, through this learn to become better at what we do.
I was introduced to Shiva Nata yoga for the first time several weeks ago. When I watched a performance for the first time, I was struck by how balanced and harmonious the combination of movements were, without necessarily being symmetrical or repetitive. Shiva Nata yoga combinations reminded me of the effortless balance of Mozart. When I practiced the movements for the first time, this feeling was immediately present in my body. The entire experience brought to mind the dire importance of balance and harmony – in nature, in our bodies, and in life. From only experiencing Shiva Nata yoga once, I feel that it has the power to dramatically restore balance and harmony in my life.
This got me to thinking about and doing a bit of research on balance and harmony, in general. An article in Psychology Today from 2010 describes research suggesting that the brain can become unbalanced through conditioning. Certain paths and habits of thinking can cause the brain to develop those “muscles” more than others. The brain strengthens particular neural pathways the more those connections are used and re-used. “In the brain, exercise is essentially thinking, visualizing, or any number of mental activities that stimulate parts of the brain and gets them working,” states the author, and “evidence suggests that certain thoughts are governed by very specific brain structures and these structures develop and strengthen through use.” The possibility to neurologically push your brain to become less balanced and hinder its own function is very interesting to me in a discussion of balance and harmony in life and learning.
Another article in Science Daily, refers to research suggesting that there is a microcircuit in the brain that controls the release of fear and anxiety. According to the research, the microcircuit is made up of two opposing functions. They balance one another and work as a gateway. If they are tipped off-balance, fear and anxiety will be released. ”Fear begins in your brain,” states the author, “and it is there…that it is controlled, processed, and let out of the gate to kick off the rest of the fear response.”
Is it possible that many of us, including myself, have actually created an imbalance in our brain processes that promotes the anxiety we can feel so constantly in daily life? This research provides interesting clues about the possibility of pushing our body to function in a manner that is off-balance with its own natural harmony. I have found that, through the short time I have now been practicing Shiva Nata, the way my brain has always worked is beginning to break down and change. Given the balanced nature of Shiva Nata combinations, could it be that they actually serve to re-work the unbalanced neural connections that many of us continue to strengthen everyday? I find the connection between this research and Shiva Nata practice very interesting, and I think it’s an important piece of insight for all learners and creators.
I will continue to explore the practice Shiva Nata, and I hope that it will continue to help my find greater balance in my brain, my body and my daily life.
Lauren Bailey is a freelance blogger who loves writing about education, new technology, lifestyle and health. As an education writer, she works to provide helpful information on the best online colleges and courses and welcomes comments and questions via email at blauren 99 @gmail.com.