Your Brain Likes You Just the Way You Are

HAP_Edukinesthetics_Teaching_Paul

For the last four days I’ve enjoyed having six wonderful students, one from as far away as Korea, in my Ventura offices for a Brain Gym Teacher Practicum. A practicum is typically a hands-on course of study designed to prepare teachers, through supervised practice, to teach a specific discipline. In this case, these advanced students were fine-tuning to teach the course Brain Gym® 101: Balance for Daily Life and to offer Educational Kinesiology in Depth: Seven-Dimension balances in private consultations.

In the opening circle, the students talked about some wonderful transformations that have happened for themselves as well as their children as they’ve done the Brain Gym activities, action balances, and Seven-Dimension Balances with them, and this small group immediately bonded and became a community.

A powerful principle that I’ve used throughout my career is that energy follows intention. I shared with the Practicum group that I believe the only way humans can transform and grow the brain is by learning through movement . . . by putting their intentions into action. “Your brain likes you just the way you are,” I told them. “Even if you’re unhappy or not doing good things for yourself, your brain does its best to keep you just as you are.” I said how I believe that this basic understanding is the key to teaching a transformative Brain Gym 101 course, and, through their experiences in doing balances in the workshop, the students came to better understand how this principle works.

I enjoyed watching and supporting the students’ creativity as they facilitated the 12 Action Balances and other various parts of the course, including the Brain Gym activities. With Belly Breathing, we slowed down, breathed together, and settled in. With the Energy Yawn, we laughed together and let go of tense habits of speaking. We cross-crawled, double-doodled, and balanced together in a variety of ways. In light of recent world events, the Action Balance for Comprehension (which helps release back-to-front tensions) held special meaning as we balanced together. We included the Footflex activity to release the tendon guard reflex and discover a new ease in walking. We enjoyed the Arm Activation, finding that when we relaxed the ribs down, our breathing automatically deepened.

I found it heartwarming when, in the closing circle of the final day, the participants talked about some of the many systems of self-improvement they’d explored, and concluded that few really deliver on their promise of true growth and learning the way the Brain Gym program does.

One student commented on how she felt that the context provided by the Brain Gym balance sequence called Five Steps to Easy Learning was the key to her having been able to make changes. I would add that we also need the specificity of the 26 Brain Gym activities . . . for seeing, listening, moving with proprioception . . . to make the shifts that, in Edu-K, we refer to as learning.

© 2012 by Paul E. Dennison. All Rights Reserved.

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One of my Favorite Walking Cities

October 13: I begin my 2012 European travels in Zurich, Switzerland, after a red-eye flight from Los Angeles. For me, Zurich is like a second home. Soon I’m walking down Konradstrasse (Konrad Street), where I have walked so many times before. Everything is right here for me: the IKAMED Institute, where I will teach, my hotel, an Internet café where I can write to Gail, and fabulous restaurants for lunch. I especially love the Spätzli homemade noodles and the Rösti (a Swiss dinner version of hash browns) with fried eggs.

The day is sunny, the air fresh, crisp, and light, and I feel welcome in this lovely city where I have taught some fifteen times since my first course here with Gail in 1983. On that trip, Rosmarie Sonderegger, our sponsor, was still teaching at the university. Now a Brain Gym® International Faculty member, she teaches just for the Institute, and I am delighted to once again see her daughter-in-law Martina, who now sponsors my travels here. I settle in and reacquaint myself with the walk through the Old Town that stretches along the Limmat River, following the narrow lanes around St. Peter’s church tower with its enormous clock face, and revisiting a favorite bridge that Gail and I have often walked across.

© 2012 by Paul E. Dennison. All rights reserved.

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