Practice like a Scientist: Observe Events, Report Findings

When we practice yoga we sometimes operate as our own therapist; trying to heal ourselves or maintain and support our health.  We sometimes practice as fitness enthusiasts trying to develop our strength, stamina, and flexibility.  And we also recognize that our practice works on our emotions, and our intellect, and our inner spirit.

As the Stay Home, Stay Safe order continues for at least another 3 weeks we all are cheering on the scientists.  We need them to figure out what would be our best next safe moves.  I propose you dedicate a practice to those scientists that are working so hard right now to understand the virus,  looking for treatment and vaccine, and also the epidemiology ramifications on our society.  Good scientists are clear thinking, objective, and creative.  These qualities are developed in us when we practice.

Our Lab, (your mat), experiment will be to:

  1. activate a set of poses from an assigned mental confinement
  2. make objective observations after your attempt regarding the ease and stamina you feel in the pose.
  3. Then decide to activate the same set of poses from a new mental confinement.
  4. Form a hypothesis regarding if the switch will feel more or less ease or stamina.
  5. Test your prediction. 
  6. Then report to yourself your findings.

This sounds more complicated than it is.  The practice sheet below guides you through this exercise using commonly taught and practiced asanas.  Have fun, put your lab coat over your yoga duds.  Look within as you look afar.  Ultimately any “mental confinement” should create a sense of ease and calm power, but hey, that would require a lot of practice.

14 Replies to “Practice like a Scientist: Observe Events, Report Findings”

  1. Thanks Cipri, so glad you are getting inspiration from our practice guidance. We miss everyone!! It will be a happy day when are all practicing in person together again.


  2. Dear Laurie,

    Thank you so much for the practice guidance! This is definitely the right time to go inwards, to the universe within, and I feel how you are making us curious and encourage us to explore. I particularly enjoyed this sequence. I took notes, with my observations for each pose. Fun fact: I almost fell from Sirsasana when my abdomen released (i.e., it stopped pushing forward, went naturally towards the back, and elongated). I feel I can keep practicing for a long time on this sequence, with your guidance. Thank you! I miss you and the other students and hope we’ll be able to have the Weekend Intensive in July. Take care!


  3. Hey Sharon, Glad to hear you are working well with our blog posts. It’s really not a time to learn fancy new poses, the ones we know are full of mysteries to discover

  4. Great Kathy,
    Glad you are enjoying the worksheets. I hope others also print them out if that is easier. It’s good to learn our assumptions/predictions are not always true, and that we have more than we think we do.

  5. Printing out the worksheets works well for me.

    I don’t think that one single prediction I made about this sequence came true! I was pleased and surprised to be refreshed by the Sirsasana set. I had considered dropping the backbend set because I was getting really tired out but I’m glad that I didn’t.

    I did notice that when I repeated the each set using the 2nd focus, the 1st focus kept on working even though I was concentrating on the 2nd focus. So I wonder what the experience would be if you reversed the focuses.

    My legs shot up and stayed straight and tall in Sarvangasana when I concentrated on the inward rotation of the thighs before I even went up.

    Also, that was quite a practice! Tonight I’ll sleep well!

    Always and always, thank you, Laurie!

  6. Most Welcome Elena,
    I do hope others also use the sequences we are sharing. I know it’s hard to practice from a sheet or your tiny phone, but some direction can be fun. Like getting a “worksheet” as homework. Hopefully we will one day in the not too distant future be back in the classroom together.

  7. Practicing this sequence, in addition to observing suggested alignments I focused on breathing, specifically on full and complete exhalations and it’s effect on state of my mind. Also, like David, I noticed that backbends came surprisingly easier than normally. I think I even smiled in my Urdhva Dhanurasana. The practice left me feeling rejuvenated, energized, and optimistic about our world and our tomorrow. Thank you, Laurie!

  8. Thank you Laurie for sharing your thoughts and ideas about current events + applying to our yoga practice, just like you would in class.

    I agree with the comments of being able to hear your voice as we do the sequences.

    Appreciate the choice of the basic beloved poses. Grateful for your continued connection.

  9. I noticed that the focus on the shoulder blades brought more stability and ease in the abdominal portion than I expected. Did the whole thing this morning. Backbends came easy (easier?) at the end. Thanks Laurie!

  10. Hi Sharon, I agree, practicing with a tiny device is hard. Glad you got something out of the sequence. You can download and print the practice sheets y’know, if that would help. Stay well!

  11. I admit that using my phone to follow a sequence to do yoga has been a real challenge. This concept completely appealed to me so I just did it!! I hear your voice and had my best practice in quite some time. Thank you for this contact. Sharon Que

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