Activating the Left and Right Hemispheres of the Brain
written by “Tani Toprakci, M.Ed”
The activation of both the left and right hemispheres is engrained in our development. The act of crawling activates both sides of the brain through its inherent cross-body action. The right hemisphere of our brains controls the left side of our body, and vice versa, the left hemisphere controls the right. When we use both sides of the body simultaneously we are creating a stronger connection between the two hemispheres, essentially asking the brain to communicate across the longitudinal fissure or groove that separates the two sides of the brain.
We can further activate both hemispheres by doing yoga postures that cross the midline of the body. When we cross the midline of the body the same thing happens, we force both hemispheres of the brain communicate. Yoga twists, and yoga postures such as garudasana or songbird which use opposite parts and sides of the body simultaneously are brain activators. Garudasana, aka eagle pose, where both arms and legs cross the midline and balance on one leg, is an optimal brain activator.
The Koosh Ball activity from the Ron Davis Symbol Mastery Program fine-tunes the activation of both hemispheres further. It’s called the Koosh Ball activity because you use two soft Koosh balls. To start, stand face to face with your child about 6 to 10 feet apart. Ask them to balance on one foot. Once they are balanced, toss one ball at a time underhand, gently aiming about chest-high. Then toss the other ball and have them catch it with their free hand. Once they’ve gotten that, you can move on to tossing both balls gently at the same time. Repeat for both legs. The next step is to toss the balls to one side of the torso and have them catch with the opposite hand by crossing the midline. Repeating this for both legs! This short easy exercise can be done as many times as you’d like to help strengthen and activate your child’s brain.
Tani Toprakci, M.Ed has been a private teacher successfully homeschooling and tutoring students all over the world with dramatic results for over 14 years. She has specialized in helping students who struggle academically and helping them achieve academic success. She is an educator in every sense of the word and believes the true idea of education is instilling the skills of life-long learners: confidence in one’s own learning ability, passion for learning new material, and the ability to transfer knowledge and those skills to the world at large. She believes in teaching to the whole child and knows that academics is just one part of the whole. She has worked with over four thousand students of all ages and types, ranging from the very young all the way through university. She has successfully transitioned struggling students into university as well as back into traditional academic paths through individualized support. She is knowledgeable of the entire academic path and provides educational and academic consulting, teaching, and support to families. For more information visit tanitutors.com or call (808) 633-3918.