I’ve just start learning about neuroplasticity. And I’m fascinated. It explains a lot. In fact it explains everything. Why I do what I do, why toddlers and teenagers do what they do, why we all do what we do.
But brain science is heavy stuff. And I’m not a scientist. Just the terminology alone overwhelms me. So the best way that I can make sense of neuroplasticity is to think about it as a classic story.
There are two main characters in this story. One named David (the prefrontal cortex of your brain) and one named Goliath (the limbic system in your brain).
Goliath is with us from birth (in fact pre-birth or in vitro) and very efficient. He learns through experience how to react to things. So when something happens that reminds him of a previous bad experience, he reacts as if this situation is bad too and tells the body to go into fight or flight mode once again. And Goliath is quick - so the reaction is immediate, instinctive and non-conscious. Now fight or flight muscle response takes a lot of energy, so when Goliath does this he steals energy from other functions in your body. It’s why it can become hard to breathe for example, and why many have stomach pain or feel nauseous (we stop digesting properly) when we are in distress.
David on the other hand is all about higher level thought processing. He’s about problem-solving, empathy, compassion, creativity, inspiration. He helps us choose different thoughts and counter the fear-based beahviour of Goliath, learning healthier responses and reactions to what goes on around us. But when Goliath is all fired up, he steals all the resources like oxygen leaving David little to work with.
And David doesn’t show up until we are in our mid-20’s and so Goliath has a massive head start on young David. And the thing about Goliath that is especially annoying is that he has a long memory. A really long memory. Things can happen in our childhood and when we are subconsciously reminded of them as adults and Goliath wakes up and takes over – as if that original thing was happening all over again even though it isn’t. He likes shortcuts – acts on assumptions or his predictions without waiting to see what happens. He’s very impulsive.
So the secret to life is in David beating Goliath. It’s in feeding the part of our brain that keeps our reaction to what is actually happening. When we do this, we each reach our full potential and thrive. It’s in only reacting to what is here and how. Not what has happened before or what might again.
Hence Kaiut Yoga and it’s lasting impact. It is neuroplasticity at work. The blockages in our systems are a result of learned patterns of reaction over time, resulting from how the brain talks to the body and how the body talks to the brain. Kaiut Yoga is about countering those unhealthy patterns and minimizing their impact, through retraining our systems. It’s about creating new learned patterns.