Imagery is one of the most important elements of Franklin Method. Eric Franklin has developed a whole system of communicating to the body with the intention of creating ease, efficiency and healthy movement using imagery. This Dynamic Neurocognitive Imagery™ affects the body through the mind - you give yourself different internal language, movement metaphors and anatomical embodiment, and it helps you to move with greater ease, efficiency, balance, flexibility and strength. But imagery can change your experience in other ways.
During my pregnancy I worked with a book called Birthing from Within, by Pam England. Of all the books about birth preparation, this is the one I recommend, because besides be non-judgemental about anyone's personal choices or experiences around birthing, it is about how to create a sacred and empowered birthing space as YOU define it (many of the cases in the book are people who had traumatic first birth experiences). And, because the way to do that is to create personal images and imagery to guide your process, through drawing. I wrote more details about all of my birth preparation processes here.
There is a lot of talk in the yoga/spirituality world these days about manifesting, and I am a very firm believer that our energy creates our experiences. However, I don't think it is strange or magical. I think when we clarify the energy that we embody, when we communicate to our bodies in a certain way, we get a certain effect. Drawing gives it a very tangible clarity. For me, this drawing process felt like it programmed my mind and body with the trust, belief and movement that would allow my babies to be born without intervention. During my births, I had these images imprinted in my mind, there were some I was able to visualize and feel their effects on my tissues and the unfolding process.
I have never been so convinced that imagery works, which is one reason I feel so confident exploring it in yoga and movement. Because if we can programme our mind and body through imagery for something as intense as birthing, it must work for other physical and non-physical experiences as well. In the next few weeks and months, I will be exploring different types of imagery, how to use it, how it connects to our anatomy and to yoga practice. Some of that is on my Instagram page, and some will be on this blog.
Here are some of my birthing images.