The space around us is a constant, a given. At the same time, an individual’s perception of space is highly variable.
Spatial awareness affects how people see the world. One aspect of this is what scientists term proprioception, which is a fancy word that refers to a person’s awareness (conscious and unconscious) of space, position and movement.
A healthy proprioceptive system allows clearer coordination, less pain, increased flexibility and ease in building strength. Disrupted proprioception interferes with these things.
What’s more, spatial perception is also tied to one’s emotional state, ability to process information and adaptability in the face of challenges. These parts of a person are often seen as being something other than physical, yet the connection with spatial awareness shows that emotions and cognition have a physical basis.
Just consider how you feel, both physically and emotionally when you have to sit in a cramped position for a long period of time. It can be informative to notice where attention goes in (or out of) the body.
Often there is a narrowing of awareness to a painful area, or if a task must be completed, a tunnelling of attention in the direction of the work. These responses can have the effect of closing down access to a broader sense of space and volume.
With this sort of experience, there is often a corresponding narrowing and intensification of particular emotions and patterns of thought.
Therefore, practices that address spatial awareness can have effects on many aspects of a person’s being.
Today’s audio offering is a spatial awareness meditation that uses contrast. In this case, the contrast explores awareness of space with eyes closed and eyes open.
Our perceptual systems are geared to pick up contrast. Contrast is one of the most basic cues that a person’s system uses to process information.
Using contrast in practice (whether meditation, asana or another activity) is a simple, powerful tool to hone and refine awareness and skill.