If you skip out of class on Tuesday night and don’t give aerials another thought until, well, the next Tuesday night, you’re missing out on one of the most powerful ways to improve your aerial game: visualization (…cue Enya… go for chanting Tibetan monks….standby for healing crystal chakra vibrations….). No, I haven’t gone all woo-woo on you, but I AM going to share with you
the secrets of the Universe how you can literally think your way to aerial awesomeness. Read on, mah peeps!
Why Bother to Visualize Your Work Outside of Class?
Because everything you do begins with a thought. Now, whether it’s an awesome thought, or an OMG-I-can’t-believe-I-just-did/ate/tapped-that! kind of thought is another matter entirely. Aim high, people! Some items for your consideration:
- what you think about expands. Thinking about alfredo sauce and Ring Dings will “expand” your behind (because you will eat them). Thinking like a skinny b*tch is likely to have the opposite effect. See how this works?
- visualizing creates mental “roadmaps” that translate into physical experience. I don’t know the science behind it all, but I can promise you this: run your moves in your head and your body will follow at your next session.
- mental rehearsal strengthens your commitment & resolve – you will come into class ready to OWN THIS THING! Let’s do it.
Methods to the Madness
Here are a few things that work for me:
- if you’re having trouble with a particular move or correction, go through it in slow motion in your head. See yourself executing it flawlessly and smoothly. Now, speed it up slowly in your brain. Mentally run it until it feels like you’re not even “thinking” about it. Try to feel it in your body.
- if your stamina is le poo, figure out why (click here and here for some possible reasons). If you’re not breathing properly for instance, visualize your sequences and see/feel yourself breathing deeply throughout. Use word cues (“breath” or “rest” for example) in your mind and in your rehearsal to prompt your body to follow.
- if you’re rehearsing for a show, put that music on your iPod and run run run run that piece in your head. I do it walking to and from the train – use any and every opportunity to get it into your brain.
The brain is a lot like a muscle: if you’re not used to using it in this way, it’s going to feel funny at first. Stick with it! You can visualize yourself right into all sorts of amazing stuff! Lemme hear you – how have YOU used visualizations in your aerial work? Progression? Healing from injury? Leave a comment, I’d love to know. Love and pull-ups, Laura
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