Sunday, May 21, 2017

Yoga for shyness: balancing poses

At least I can vouch for this: I was so shy as a kid, when people asked me my name, I will run away. I  have refused prestigious school activities, which I wished to participate, because of debilitating shyness. I would be become red, start sweating violently, and feel my tongue hit the roof of the mouth. I can say with confidence that I have dealt with that part of myself with a lot of awareness, thanks to yoga. And even as I started teaching yoga -- which requires u to stand in front of a bunch of people and continually go on talking:)  I started holding workshops. My first workshop had over 50 people in it, including former Miss India Mehr Castellino (at the HELP library) and suffice to say, it was a roaring success.

So yes, yoga works to get this sort of socially debilitating aspects of you also cleared. Most of this happens with balancing poses, standing, inversions or arm balances.

Here, more on the science of how this works, from a column I wrote a while ago:

There is a scientific basis for all this. The brain part called cerebellum (also referred to as the `little brain') is involved in maintaining our physical balance. Recently, it has been established the cerebellum is also involved with maintaining our social balance. It plays an active role in the expression of our social selves.

It was found that the cerebellum is in charge of several functions that we take for granted
  • It co-ordinates the flood of sensory data and interprets it.
  • After interpreting this continuous flow of information from what we see, hear and feel, it gives a holistic picture. When our cerebellum is out of sync, our interpretations may also be askew, leading to social problems.
  • It plays an important role in our ability to pay attention and focus on a particular task at hand.
  • It has a prominent say in our cognitive ability (or problem-solving).
  • Recent research shows that chemical imbalances in the cerebellum could well be linked to social problems we face. This could range from inability to maintain a meaningful conversation. Or inability to sustain a relationship.

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