Centering: 7 steps to focusing mind and body for optimal performance
Focusing the mind and body on the task at hand.
Centering focuses the mind and body on the task at hand, whether it is a concert, recital, audition, lecture, or other situation in which the stakes are high. As you become familiar with the use of the Centering technique, you will find that your ability to focus and perform at or near your best will become more and more consistent. Rather than trying to suppress the effects of adrenalin, you will learn to use the energy that comes to you during performance.
You will become more focused, more purposeful, and most importantly, you will be able to harness your attention and energy when you need it most.
During Centering, you also engage in the valuable practice of mental rehearsal. When you mentally rehearse the task you are about to execute, you activate the neural circuits involved in performing the actual task itself. More on this can be found here.
Counteracting the Fight or Flight Response.
The next time you attend an event where the performer/presenter seems nervous, notice what they do with their body. People who are nervous tend to shift their weight from side to side, and appear to lift themselves up and away from the floor.
Why is this? It's because the fight or flight response mobilizes the body to confront or to flee the real/imagined aggressor.
Muscle tension increases and the body lifts itself up and away from the floor. The added tension and disequilibrium can have a marked impact on your performance.
During Centering, body weight drops down into the floor, counteracting the tendency to rise up and move away from a balanced posture. Once Centered, you will have a much more solid stance to work from. You will notice a difference in sound production and technical facility as soon as you learn to ground yourself through Centering. This produces multiple benefits, as you will find that your mind becomes calmer as well.
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