My favorite yoga visualization for personal development is a powerful tool not just for yoga, but all aspects of life.
First I relax in a quiet room with no distractions. I ground my mind by first seeing myself from an out of body point of view. Once I have a clear picture of myself, I imagine the crown of my head as a lotus flower that beings to open. The last step is to imagine a white and gold band of light spiraling down from the atmosphere into my head. No other exercise helps me ground and focus on my task at hand.
After this grounding exercise, I imagine myself in a room with two chairs facing each other. I visualize my future self in one chair and myself sitting in the other. The other Ian is my perfect vision of who I can become. My courage, intelligence, love, creativity, discipline, and honesty are all at their highest potential. So are my physical attributes such as my flexibility, body posture, clothes I wear, and the general way I present myself.
We then have a conversation where I ask him questions until I have no more. The other Ian knows what I am dealing with, and is patient, compassionate, and engaged with my problems.
When we are done, my future self-leaves the room, and my past self from five years ago comes down and sits in the chair.
It may take a few minutes to remember what your life was exactly like five years ago. Now past Ian asks questions about his future (my present), and I have to provide the answers for him. The crazy problems, doubts, and dreams you had five years seem disconnected to the present. However, back then you felt like those matters were life or death. Laugh at yourself, and realize how far you’ve come, your present self could have fixed all those problems in an instant. Tell your past self that everything turns out well (great way to show gratitude and optimism to your current situation) and send him out of the room.
I then bring my future self back in the room. I see my present self-asking the same questions, and having the same insecurities as my past self. Just the sight of the future me makes me realize how trivial those problems are.
To conclude the meditation, I imagine all three of us together. Imagine your bodies merging, and entering the fifth dimension where you see everything not just from every angle, but in it’s past and future forms. I go back to the grounding exercise and imagine my head opening back up like a lotus flower. I let the light spiral down once more, to cement my experience.
Once I am done, I take it easy for a few minutes. My body has integrated into the fifth dimension.
See the present moment as something contained within, instead of the day-to-day notion of being contained within the reality of the present moment. Reflect on everything, and maybe journal on your findings.
For yoga, this can help see how far your body and mind have come. All your current injuries, problems in poses, and yoga issues will seem more trivial.
Do this visualization at least once, and it will become a staple in your meditation routine.