This is an excerpt from Dynamic Alignment Through Imagery-2nd Edition by Eric N. Franklin.
Examples of Sensory Images
1. Testing: Test your sensory preferences and skills:
- Visual: Can you remember sequences from the last movie you saw?
- Proprioceptive-kinesthetic: Can you imagine feeling cycling or swimming? Lifting something and experiencing its weight? The feeling of tensing your muscles? The feeling of relaxing your muscles? The feeling of falling off balance and regaining it again? The difference between running up a hill with a lot of effort and casually walking along the street?
- Tactile: Can you imagine yourself touching a soft piece of cloth, a hard metal surface, and the bristles of a brush?
- Auditory: Can you imagine hearing your favorite music? A bird’s song?
- Olfactory: Can you imagine smelling one of your favorite foods? The scent of a flower?
- Gustatory: Can you imagine tasting delicious food?
- Timing and rhythm: Can you imagine the feeling of running rhythmically at a certain speed and then changing that speed and rhythm?
2. Sensory richness: Imagine a waterfall in front of you. See the sunlight reflected in it, making it glitter like a fluid diamond; feel the pressure created by the water’s force; hear the high and low pitches of a crescendo; taste the water droplets on your lips; smell the pungent, enriched air.
3. Sensory stimulation: Carry a sack of rice on your head for a moment. When you remove it, you can readily experience your head floating upward. Walk on all fours with the same sack on your back, moving your back up and down. When you remove the sack, you will find that your back is more flexible and snakelike.
4. Projection of a sensory experience: Knead a piece of clay and experience its malleability. Feel the clay in your hand, smell the clay, look at its color. Then focus on a spot in your body that needs to be more malleable and project your experience into that area. Next, hold a piece of wood in one hand and a piece of cotton in the other. Notice the difference in texture and quality. Shift your concentration from the hardness of the wood to the softness of the cotton. Project this experience onto a point in your body that needs to transform from hardness to softness.
5. Foot motion: Move one of your feet in many ways. Imagine it to be as malleable as a piece of clay. Wiggle it, shake it, circle it, tap it against the floor, pick up and release an imaginary towel with your toes. Then stand up and compare the feeling in your left foot and right foot and left leg and right leg. You may notice that your legs feel as though they are aligned differently. One leg may seem to have more volume or to be straighter than the other.
6. Balance: Stand with your weight equally distributed on both feet. Lift one foot off the floor and balance for a moment. Do the same with the other leg. Lift one leg again and imagine that a clone of that leg is still standing on the floor. Notice the difference between your ability to balance when using and not using this image.