Yoga & Self Hypnosis
It's towards the end of the class, you’re done with Down Dog and Cobra, you’re so ready for Savasana. It’s in this shape that all distractions are removed, we’re alone on our mats, left to focus on our breath. And although you’ve been looking forward to a nice lie down, here’s where the words ‘the easiest pose to do but the hardest to master’ become really real.
My hope for students in this pose, is for them to experience an improved sense of well being. But given the stresses, pressures and ferocious pace of modern life, being left alone, in complete stillness can be really challenging! Savasana is a pose like any other, it requires practice, patience and letting go of what ‘should’ be happening. Just observe, when you get distracted and the mind wanders off, gently bring it back, and just observe.
As a yoga teacher I can create conditions that support relaxation; low lighting, soft music, nice oils or incense, but I can’t ‘do’ this pose for my students. I empower them to self soothe.
Pranayama or breathing exercises can really help to quiet an active mind. Try it now. Find a comfortable sitting position, take an exhale and then inhale through the nose for the count of 1, 2, 3… exhale through the nose for a count of 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1… Inhale for a count of three... exhale for a count of six... Take a few rounds of breathing to find this ratio. Try not to get too hung up on counting, just try to feel your breath; exhale for longer than you inhale.
This is a simple technique that calms the nervous system, it can help with feelings of anxiety and stress. Try it next time you’re feeling overwhelmed.
Hypnosis and yoga share similarities, a regular yoga practice is going to help you find a deep state of relaxation and it’s from this place that you can start to heal, to let go of the things which no longer serve you. Hypnosis is empowering, like a yoga class, you’re in a situation that promotes relaxation, but it’s you who does the healing!
One of the ways hypnosis works is using the power of suggestion. During hypnosis, when your subconscious mind is open and listening, you can give suggestions to yourself such as ‘I am improving each day.’ –Sounds a lot like mantra or japa in yoga right?
Yoga and Hypnotherapy both use visualisations to explore the vast creativity of the mind. Often in Savasana I like to take students through a guided relaxation, bringing up simple images like a feather riding the current of the wind. An image students can easily connect with, even though they may never have seen that in ‘real life’ before. That’s how creative our brain is. It’s a lovely skill to enjoy in this situation, but we can see how these ‘made up’ images and beliefs can become phobias, compulsive behaviours, addictions. Here’s where hypnotherapy supports you to identify the false visualisations, and watch them float off, like that feather, into the wind.
Sue's practice is in Hove and she offers daytime, evening and weekend appointments.
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