After 15 years of studying anatomy from an Eastern perspective and working with movement and the mind in various forms, I thought l knew a fair bit about the mind and movement. Wrong, this would all change once l started to study and immerse myself in the work of Cambridge Neuroscientist Daniel Wolpert whilst studying myself at the University of Cambridge. Daniel's work became the catalyst for the change to my perceptual knowledge and understanding in why we have brain and more interestingly how movement affects everything. His research covers amongst many things Free Will, Consciousness and Movement to debate what comes first movement or thought. Just like the studies of Benjamin Libet that came years before.
More fascinating for me is to see and make certain connections between the Eastern perspective to movement via teaching yoga, as Yoga focuses on movement, breath and attention (east). Whilst at the same time being able to see to explore movement from a (western) perspective. Meaning how we might be able to apply some principles of visual spatial orientation and attention processing to these practices and movement prompting the question can Yoga be beneficial for the brain as well as the mind and body.
Daniel's evolutionary hypotheses that we only have a brain to guide adaptable and complex movements and that movement is the only way we have of affecting the world around us gives us food for thought into how we think about the brain, mind and body on and off the yoga mat!
These evolutionary theories of Libet, Wolpert and Hoffmann also raise the debate around what makes us human? In terms of do we have free will or is it just an illusion? what is consciousness or are we just one big algorithm? with the mind tricking us into thinking we can control our own mental and physical movement.
My mission just like many other innovative thinkers is to probe these debates and hopefully inspire and educate people in how they think and learn about their brain, bodies and behaviour from finding and considering truths that are common and derived from independent ways of knowing ‘Consilience’ . Just as Daniel inspired me to think and consider different ways of being.