Need To Relax and Think Clearly? Try Rhythmic 8s


If you are having trouble thinking clearly, cannot make up your mind about something, or have anxiety, the right and left sides of your brain may not be balanced.

The solution is a simple feel-good movement called Rhythmic 8s. This exercise allows the halves of our brain to coordinate more effectively.

Performing Rhythmic 8s

  1. Stand tall with relaxed shoulders, arms hanging at your sides. Let your knees be loose or slightly bent, and have your feet about 4 to 6 inches apart.
  2. Start by shifting your weight from side to side as if swaying to music; let your arms swing naturally with your body. You may notice a natural figure eight motion in your body and arms as you move. Allow your arms to swing wide.
  3. As you sway, imagine that someone has drawn a large figure eight – lying on its side – about two to three feet in front of your torso.
  4. Stretch your hands out in front of you and trace this figure eight using your arms.
  5. Swinging your arms from your shoulders, go up, over and down the circle on your right, then up and around the circle on your left. Now go up and around the right circle, back to the left and so on.
  6. Keep your knees, hips and waist loose, allowing them to naturally bend and twist with your arm movements. Think of this as more of a dance than an exercise.

The Science Behind the Sway

The technique of Rhythmic 8s is used in educational kinesiology to help children with dyslexia and other learning difficulties. Research has shown that when these students draw large figure eights on dry erase boards and let their bodies flow with the drawing motion, it helps ameliorate their learning disorders by causing the right and left brains to communicate more effectively.

Source: Eden, Donna. Energy Medicine, Tarcher/Putnam, 1999


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