Hypnotherapy and self-hypnosis can be very successfully combined with yoga as they are yogic practices as well:
Hypnosis is a natural, deep and relaxed state of mind. One has good communication with the subconscious mind, which regulates the entire system of the body.
Hypnotherapy is a healing art several thousand years old. The therapist guides the patient to a state of communication with the subconscious, and gives therapeutic suggestions specific to that patient’s requirement.
Self-hypnosis is an ancient way of communicating with the subconscious mind, and dropping positive suggestions and visualizations. You reinforce your own power to heal.
The Five Layers of Human Existence
In the tradition of yoga, a human being is said to have five layers of existence.
Annamaya Kosa: Physical Layer
The first layer consists of the physical frame – the tissues and cellular structures that comprise the human body.
Pranayama Kosa: Life Force/Prana Layer
Life force is the basic fabric the universe. It comprises all things inside and outside of our body. A harmonious flow of prana helps nourish every cell in the body. In fact, this flow is what gives cells life. Prana flows through subtle channels, called Nadis, which cover the entire body like a vast electrical grid.
Manomaya Kosa: Mental Layer
This subtle layer heavily influences the Pranayama Kosa and Annamaya Kosa. Manomaya Kosa dictates the aspect of one’s personality. It is where the mind carries out various functions: perception, memory and ego.
Vijnanamaya Kosa: Wisdom, Knowledge, Intelligence, Intuition
This layer continuously guides us through life. It instructs us to take, or not take, a course of action. It helps the Manomaya Kosa master the basic instincts of life.
Understanding is the key to operating the Vijnamaya Kosa. The lack of knowledge is what represents wrong habits, agitations and suffering.
Anandamaya Kosa: Bliss and Cosmic Consciousness
Anandamaya Kosa is void of any emotional states – it a state of silence, harmony and perfect health. It is the most subtle layer of human existence. It is only reached after one crosses each of the above layers, one by one. One must journey inwards towards the Universal Self with constant self-awareness, drive to improve oneself and the power of autosuggestion through self-hypnosis.
Imbalances within the mental layer lead to psychosomatic diseases
The mind becomes continuously agitated throughout interactions with the world. This leads to imbalances within the Manomaya Kosa (mental layer), called adhis, which is the Sanskrit word for stress. When stress is left unchecked, it causes violent fluctuations in the flow of prana through the nadis (Pranayama Kosa). When it flows through the wrong path, without proper rhythm and harmony, it affects the Annamaya Kosa (physical layer) and results in various ailments. These ailments are known in modern medicine as psychosomatic diseases.
Hypnotherapy & self-hypnosis for complete health
Unwanted thoughts, behaviors, habits, feelings, phobias and situational reactions are programmed deep within the Manomaya Kosa (mental layer). This deep seeded programming creates inner conflicts and mental agitation that is harmful to overall health. In fact, this programming can become so debilitating that meditation is no longer practical.
It is extremely difficult, if not impossible, for someone to de-program this programming without the right tools, as asana practice and meditation are not sufficient. This is when self-hypnosis and hypnotherapy are very useful. Autosuggestion through self-hypnosis, positive imagination and contemplation are all yogic techniques that successfully help alleviate this mental agitation.
About the author
Dr. Sohail Ebady, M.D. has been a yoga teacher for 21 years and hypnotherapist for 20 years. He immediately recognized the need for these seemingly separate sciences to be intertwined. He created the Patanjali Institute – Yoga Teacher Training Courses Thailand to impart Yoga Teacher Training in combination with Hypnotherapy training to students who wish to become effective healers.