If you have ever opened your eyes big and giggled at a baby, it is likely you have seen the gesture returned with chubby cheeks and a giggly little wiggle. Mirror neurons are how we are able to learn from watching others. Mirror neurons are located in the premotor cortex. When we observe someone moving or performing a particular actions, we observe and create motor circuits to perform similar actions.
Bikyasa yoga does not use mirror neurons directly. The teacher is giving commands and cues to change the movement of the class. There are many, especially those that are new to the class, that will watch others and perform the movement as they see around the classroom. This is why many studios encourage new students to place their mats at the back of the class. This is not punishment, it’s to allow new students to copy those that have been practicing for a long time and have developed their postures. Muscle memory will come with repetition, mirror neurons respond to what they see instantaneously.
Mirror neurons may benefit in my training if I observe good examples of posture and movement and bring that to my own practice. Studying and learning new words and cues that I find helpful will take practice and research on my part. From my class this morning I learned that I really liked the teacher’s cues for High to Low push up.
Inhale body forward
Exhale lower body-elbows in-low push up
Inhale toes point-shoulders down-chin up- up dog
Exhale-roll over toes-hips up to downward dog
after the first round you can simplify it to even fewer cues