Sunday, May 14, 2006

the ny times discovers yoga nidra, basically

"increase your pain, the screen commanded, as the first run began. i tried to recall the mental strategies in which i had been prepped for increasing pain: dwell on how hopeless, depressed or lonely you felt when your pain was most severe. . . .then, decrease pain, the screen commanded."

this nytimes article on how a chronic pain sufferer learns new techniques to help her manage just rang 100 bells with me today. the fierce and detailed visualization of opposites -- feeling heavy, then feeling light; feeling pain, then feeling pleasure -- is a common part of the yoga nidra technique.

long-time readers know i'm a big yoga nidra fan. the author of the above article goes off to a research lab and gets herself hooked up to fancy brain scan machine that shows the effects her visualizations have on her brain's pain circuitry.

again, this is no news to us yoga students: swami saraswati showed such brain images in his book on yoga nidra.

the nytimes author finds that in just two sessions with this visualization technique she is already progressing in her skill at controlling her brain. again, those of us yoga students who have practiced the so-called "long" yoga nidra on swami janakananda's cd in the link above have had this experience for ourselves.

in short, i encourage everyone with even a brief interest in the topic to read the times article and then try yoga nidra for yourself, even if you don't otherwise practice yoga. i think you will discover that it's a surprisingly beneficial exercise.

i personally found that the results became quite apparent in just 4 weeks of practicing the long yoga nidra 3 times a week. . .even to do it once or twice a week would be useful.

i really need to get back to three however; that was of the most aid, i thought!

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posted by fortune | 2:00 PM | top | link to this | email this: | links to this post | | 0 comments

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