Where Yoga Finds Union with Hypnosis
The popularity of Yoga, in its various styles, continues to grow as greater numbers of people begin to realize the myriad benefits that can be gained from the practice. The promise of longevity, stress relief and an array of physical and mental health benefits have more people than ever filling studios, which continue to pop up everywhere in spite of the recession. In its original intent, more than five thousand years ago, Yoga was delineated as the ultimate process to prepare the body and mind for prolonged meditation.
Anyone who’s ever taken a Yoga class or tried to keep up with a DVD knows that the sweetest time in the practice is that beautiful relaxation called the final Savasana. Of course, twisting and breathing through all those challenging postures is rewarding in its own right, but In that ultimate posture, Corpse Pose, the student is given the opportunity to get in touch with his or her inner essence and finally relax.
A Yoga practice without a Savasana is like a boat without a sail, still useful and sturdy, just not sailing. During these invaluable moments of rest, the mind is able to drift into a state of rejuvenating, lower hertz brain waves. From these frequencies, profoundly beneficial healing has been proven to occur, positively affecting and relieving everything from repressed fear to kidney and heart function, according to several studies published in The Journal of Neurotherapy.
These meditative frequencies like Alpha and Theta are the same brainwave levels provoked in hypnosis to achieve a similar plentitude of physical and mental benefits. Hypnosis is another growing complimentary approach, since greater numbers of people are recognizing the healing power of their own innate wisdom.
Through hypnotic techniques, subjects are lulled into a receptive state of conscious activity in which deeply lasting changes can be rooted into the subconscious mind. Contrary to fiction-based preconceptions, hypnosis is not a zombie-like state in which a hypnotist can dictate his will. On the contrary, hypnosis is a naturally occurring trance state through which everyone passes multiple times a day, much like the state provoked at the end of a Yoga practice. The Hypnotherapist’s job is simply to facilitate as the client accesses their subconscious mind and then guide them to achieving their greatest potential.
Similarly, the Yoga teacher has the unique opportunity of enhancing a deeper level of trance and reinforcing positive transitions in the bodies and minds of their students. Throughout the practice, the students have already gained a sense of rapport, and have entrusted the teacher with their energies and intentions. From that level of partnership, it is only a matter of some carefully crafted communication to remind students of the power of their minds to effect lasting changes in both body and mind.
Many studios implement trance-inducing techniques such as gong, Chinese singing bowls or ethereal music. Sometimes, a knowledgeable teacher will facilitate a progressive relaxation, the hypnotic technique that helps guide students into a full body relaxation. Yet, most never take it to the next level with hypnotic suggestion and reinforcement.
Once the class is fully relaxed, a state of trance has already begun to occur through which positive transformations can be suggested. While hypnosis is often more appropriate in a one on one setting, since hypnotic scripts can be tailored to the client’s needs and specific desires, potent changes can also take place while in a group setting.
In this stage of the practice, the teacher can invite the students to simply close their eyes, relax their bodies and allow their thoughts to empty. Then, in a soothing voice, simply list the parts of the body, starting at the feet and moving up slowly, inviting relaxation and healthy blood flow; this is the progressive relaxation technique. Positive suggestions for general well-being, including boosting the intention of the practice, can then be spoken as the students float off into peaceful oblivion. Visualization and therapeutic imagery techniques can also be applied as metaphors for healing and growth.
A few moments should always be preserved for silent reflection. Then, when the class comes to a close students should be encouraged to make sure they are fully aware and awake before walking out into traffic.
With the growing recognition of both Yoga and hypnosis as alternative healthcare systems, the synergy of their complimentary assets is self-evident. As our world faces greater challenges, this innovative fusion of age-old sciences offers promise of bourgeoning higher levels of consciousness.