I was first introduced to the idea that thoughts and words could change the physical structure of water in the 2004 film, What the Bleep Do We Know!? At the time, Dr. Masaru Emoto, a Japanese scientist and New York Times best-selling author, was lauded as a pioneer for his research on how human consciousness can affect Earth’s most precious resource.
In a nutshell, Dr. Emoto suggested that music and words can change the molecular structure of water in a positive or negative way. He used photographs of frozen water samples viewed through a microscope to illustrate his research.
According to Dr. Emoto, the samples that were exposed to positive words (for example, a written note that read “Thank you” or a priest praying over the water) blossomed into beautiful frozen crystals — each droplet a unique and stunning snowflake. On the other hand, the frozen water samples that were subjected to negative words (“You fool,” for example) formed shriveled, stunted crystalline patterns.
Unfortunately, in the last few years Dr. Emoto’s work has been called into question and exposed as pseudoscience. However, the idea that our thoughts, words and intentions can have a real impact in the material world intrigued me nevertheless.
Fast forward several years to the renovation of the current Yoga Nook. With most of the material work complete, I began to install the wooden flooring. As I toiled, unbidden thoughts surfaced from the deep reaches of my unconscious.
What if positive or negative words really could affect the quality of water? The human body is comprised of 75% water, so wouldn’t words also affect us? What if I wrote positive words on the cement before I covered it with flooring? Would the intent and the meaning of the words permeate the bodies that laid on the floor?
I paused, found a Sharpie and started writing all over the floor. Peace, love, community, laughter, joy, contentment, success, friendship. I wrote in English and I wrote in Sanskrit, the ancient Indian language. Ahimsa (no harm), Om (the universal sound), Yoga (to join or unite), Vidya (knowledge), Tapas (the heat of change), Ananda (bliss).
More, I needed more words. Surrender, harmony, tranquility, calm, quiet, ease. On and on I scribbled, until the floor looked like a crazy art project. Vocabulary and Sharpie exhausted, I returned to my labors; and over the next few days, completed the mission — forever obscuring the manic script.
Two years later, Yoga Nook students lie on a sea of hand-scraped, engineered hazelnut hardwood every day. Each class enjoys Savasana oblivious to the ocean of positive words that swirl around them. Sometimes I imagine the words reaching up from the floor and wrapping the students in gossamer, soothing their minds and maybe even improving their lives.
Dr. Emoto’s work may have been less-than-scientific, but I truly believe that words written with the mighty pen and the power of intention may indeed change the quality of the water within us.
Will I be doing the same at Yoga Nook @ Fifth? Absolutely!
Image credit: Alexey Kljatov on Flickr (CC)