The mind-body connection is an old riddle that occupations human thinking and philosophy through generations. There are several attitudes developed towards the understanding and especially manipulating this connection.
There is the mystic approach that strides to a spiritual or religious experience like the Yoga or even the Kabalistic Meditation. Yogic science and philosophy states that a human being is but a fragment of an awful universe, and when this human being learns to “communion” with this abundance, then he / she attains union with something that is bigger than him / her. This attachment or tapping into something larger that enables one to walk the true path of happiness. The goal of the Yogist is Mental whole. Yoga is NOT a system of meditation – or a religion – the way many people are misled to believe. Meditation is only part of the whole process of bringing ourselves into the realm of the spiritual.
Yoga is centered on the mind-body connection. This mind-body harmony is achieved through three things:
- postures (asanas)
- proper breathing (pranayama)
Mind and body draw inspiration and guidance from the combined practices of asanas, breathing, and meditation. Relaxation one of the body postures that include pranayama and is a necessary condition for meditation. Guided imagery is a process wherey the frontal lobe of the brain is taking control and produce a state of mind that simulate the process of the change or the life after change. When combined with self-hypnosis it empowers the effect of imposing positive suggestion to our mind or sub-conscious.
Guided imagery sometimes uses relaxation as a part of its practice and sometimes does not use it depends on instructor method. Self-hypnosis is the process wherebe resistance to change is reduced and selective thought becomes more efficient
Self-Hypnosis starts always with a relaxation as a way to penetrate sub-conscious and to create a suggestive state of mind.
Hypnosis and Self-Hypnosis works well because the body responds to commands from the mind like a car responds to the driver. You have control of your body as you accept positive suggestions. During hypnosis, you are given positive suggestions, and because the body is controlled through the subconscious mind, it strides for preservation, and accepts positive suggestions that are good for you.
Behavioral change like stop smoking or weight loss is not the goal of Yoga. It may occur as a consequence of the mental change. Guided Imagery and self-hypnosis uses parts of the yoga practice in order to achieve a state of mind that makes behavioral change possible.
There are psychologists who tend to explain behavior without using the sub-conscious concept. It really does not matter for any practical matter. It is a purely theoretic question. As long as you apply the basic techniques you are on your way to bring change to your life. Yoga can enhance the self-hypnosis experience by producing a body-mind readiness to the self-hypnosis suggestion. Guided Imagery can empower the Self-Hypnosis by horsing the power of visualization to suggestion.