I received an interesting email from Daily Om with the subject line "Using Yourself as a Pendulum." I teach how to use pendulums in Reiki 2 certifications but hadn't thought of teaching how to use the body as a pendulum in yoga until I read that line, but it totally makes sense!
The definition of a pendulum is anything that hangs from something like a chain or string so that it has the ability to freely move. The weight can be anything. You can make a pendulum if you want to. Typically, I think most people are drawn to crystal pendulums because of their colors and healing properties. As long as something slightly heavy is hanging from something else, you have yourself a pendulum. The weight's movement in one direction will cause the weight to move back in the opposite direction due to inertia. But what causes it to move in the first place?
There is always the lore that spirits make a pendulum move, but that is not truly accurate. In fact, although you hold the pendulum as still as you can, it is you who makes it move. The pendulum responds to the nerve impulses in your fingers that connect to your unconscious mind. Your unconscious mind knows the answers and your nerves respond in kind. You simply have to program your pendulum first so you understand what the answers are!
Madisyn Taylor writes, "Using your body as a pendulum is another tool you can use to access your higher wisdom."
We can do the same with our bodies. The handheld pendulum is simply a visual showing you the answers to your questions. But, if the answer comes from your unconscious, don't you already have the answer within you? It makes sense that the body should be able to offer you the same answers.
We took some time in class moving through asanas (poses) to help displace the mind's thoughts; we strove to move deeper into ourselves to better connect with our inner voice. We practiced focusing in on different feelings and experiences within our bodies. Finally, we stood in mountain pose and closed our eyes. The questions one asks of pendulums need to be yes/no questions. We asked a really obvious yes answer question and then leaned slightly forward and said to our bodies this means yes. We did it again. Then we asked an obvious no answered question and leaned back and taught our bodies that this meant no. We then each asked in our own mind's the questions we sought answers to.
"The simple act of letting our physical being lead us in a certain direction can offer us extremely deep insights and help us find the answers we seek...Since we are always present in our bodies, understanding how we can use our bodies as pendulums is a tool we can use at any given moment in our lives. Letting our bodies tell us what is happening inside of us will in turn help to guide us through not just daily but also major life decisions. The more we allow our bodies to open up and share with us the connection it has with our deeper self, the better able we will be to truly access the knowledge we hold so deeply within." Madisyn Taylor