How to Develop VAK Flexibility

vak-visualThere are .mp3 files included at the end of this post to help you develop VAK flexibility.

Note: The iNLP Center did not develop this method, although we named it VAK Synergy for iNLP Center students. It’s a classic NLP and VAK modality exercise. I don’t remember where I learned it, but feel like Steve and Connirae Andreas would be a good guess.

The VAK Synergy exercise helps you develop internal VAK flexibility. If one or more of the VAK modalities are challenging for you to consciously experience, this could be a worthwhile exercise.

For example, if it’s difficult for you to:

• See pictures in your mind’s eye
• Remember or imagine sounds: music, conversations, environmental sounds, etc….
• Be aware feelings or emotions in your body

Description of VAK Synergy

A common question during NLP practitioner training has to do with developing VAK flexibility. How do we learn to use all the VAK modalities when one or more of them is challenging to access? For example, some NLP students find it difficult to visualize in their mind’s eye. They don’t see inner pictures. Others have a hard time remembering or imagining sounds. Still others are less aware of feelings in their body.

It’s important to note that this is merely a matter of conscious awareness. NLP maintains that we all do all three of the VAK modalities naturally. So, if you’re not aware of your feelings, you are still capable of feeling and do have emotions. The issue is that you are not consciously aware of them when they are happening. And the same principle applies to the visual and auditory modalities. It’s all a matter of where we tend to direct conscious attention.

Over time, we develop habits and may not be used to accessing a full range of VAK experience. To become more VAK flexible, we need to develop the skill and practice patiently until we’ve expanded our consciousness enough to encompass all of the VAK experience we have.

VAK Enhancement Exercise

This is a mini-meditation that begins where you are most aware and leverages your natural abilities. The exercise is a simple formula involving an imaginary tree:) During the meditation, we’ll experience three elements of the imaginary tree: visual, auditory and kinesthetic.

Visual elements
Seeing the tree, leaves, trunk, height, breadth, surroundings, colors of leaves, color of the bark, texture (that you can see) of bark, etc…

Auditory elements
Sounds of wind blowing through leaves, branches rubbing together, chirping of birds in tree, what you might say to yourself about the tree, sound of rubbing your hand against the bark, other sounds in the environment, etc…

Kinesthetic elements
Feeling of bark texture (smooth, rough), temperature of bark, texture of a leaf, temperature of a leaf, feeling of leaf squished in hand, feeling of breeze against skin, temperature of surround air, feeling of ground beneath feet, feelings or emotions about tree on the inside, etc…

Process and .mp3 Guides

Begin with the VAK element that’s easiest for you to imagine, then move to the next easiest element and finish with the most difficult element to imagine. Then, repeat the cycle over and over. If visual is easy for you, begin there and move into auditory and kinesthetic. If auditory is easier for you, begin with that, then move to visual and kinesthetic. If kinesthetic is easier, start there and move to auditory, then visual.

Below are some audio guides to take you through the exercise. There are three guides, one for each VAK starting point. Feel free to listen to them all:)

Begins with Visual Modality

Begins with Auditory Modality

Begins with Kinesthetic Modality