Kimber Simpkins is the instructor of this fantastic Anusara practice, and I find that her classes always challenge and reward me in a different way, each time. Kimber pairs each class with a theme, or as I like to think of it, a teaching. Yesterday she gently led us through asanas as she spoke about the idea of "Will I?", a question which elicits intrinsic motivation, as opposed to our usual approach of "I will.", extrinsic motivation with means to produce an outcome.
She spoke of this article, a study by Ibrahim Senay and Dolores Albarracin. If you don't feel like downloading the full PDF, I found this article by Jonah Lehrer which gives a summary about the research study. (Sidenote: Jonah Lehrer is a contributor to Radiolab. If you haven't listened to Radiolab you should. Podcasts available for free at their website.) I find the idea of 'Will I' to be an invitation toward doing something, a question that creates space around something you might want to accomplish, rather than the usual 'To Do' list of things I "should" do. For someone like me, (super organized, overwhelmed with a sense of obligation of things that need to be done) my 'To Do' list hangs over me like a heavy blanket of dark clouds. Reframing the list with the opening of "Will I?" is like watching the dark clouds begin to break apart and catching a glimpse of sunshine on the other side.
Thanks Kimber for offering a great teaching for my mind and body. I sure needed it.
And for those of you reading this, please hop on over to Kimber's blog, Finding Fullness: How one woman found yoga, eased her inner hunger, and started loving herself.