Fireflies flash in unison. Two pendulum clocks on the same wall swing to the same rhythm even if they didn’t start out together. Women who spend a lot of time together begin to synchronize their menstrual cycles. This phenomenon is called entrainment and it’s a natural law that can be observed in nature, chemistry, pharmacology, biology, neurology, and psychology.
I first learned about entrainment this past weekend studying with Deepak Chopra and Martha Beck. They shared a study where 3 people were put in a room for 20 minutes. They didn’t talk or interact in any way, yet by the end of the 20 minutes the brain state and physiology of the calmest person in the room pulled the other 2 brains in line with it. The most powerful person in the room was the most relaxed one!
This finding has great applicability to our life as yogis and those with a meditation practice. We know from the explosion of research in the past decade on yoga and meditation that it changes our brains, calms our nervous system, slows down our resting heart rate, decelerates the the aging process, and improves mood. Even if you are the only person in your family, workplace or social circle who practices, your presence and the positive changes in your body are impacting those around you FOR THE BETTER even if they are unaware.
So…keep practicing first and foremost for yourself but know that according to Chopra, “the more your practice the more powerful you become and the less you have to do…your presence does it all.”