Newsletter January 2015
Manifesting the Positive
by Swami Karma Karuna
Many people on the yogic path are committed to self transformation. This active focus on growth may ignite questioning of one’s own behaviour. Sometimes, there is genuine desire to change a particular habit or pattern, but try as one may, the cause of the action can be elusive! Whether resisting or accepting those aspects of the self which seem outside of conscious control, in truth the reactions, perspectives and even external conditions are all a product of patterned responses deeply rooted in the subconscious and unconscious mind, which is normally inaccessible.
If they are not within conscious reach, how then to let go of these negative unconscious patterns and transform into a more positive being? Yoga Nidra provides the tools to ‘weed out’ these unconscious negative patterns and in their stead plant positive seeds deep in the subconscious mind, gradually allowing expression from the highest aspect of the self.
Each and every thing experienced through the senses, from childhood, school, career, interactions with friends and family is recorded and imprinted in the mind. The subconscious and unconscious layers of the mind are beyond the reach of the average human being, but they are the storehouses where all the impressions received via the senses accumulate. The impressions in the mind are held in the form of archetypes or seeds, called samskaras. These samskaras have the power and capacity to influence behaviour and tendencies in everyday life. Put simply, humans are the result of their deeper mind and its store of countless impressions from the past. It is like looking into a big closet filled with photos, old toys and letters from lovers and friends. There are so many parts of the self stored within the closet that one brief glance over its contents renders it impossible to know exactly what is inside.
One may think consciously, “I want to be positive. I want to overcome my reactions, anger, stress and depression.” But the sneaky pattern, action or negative thought forms often arise before they can be stopped! So what can be done to support positive change and begin to overcome the deep patterns which may be causing emotional, physical and energetic imbalances? How can these patterns be changed when they seem to stay so well hidden?
Yoga Nidra is a deep relaxation technique which enables the practitioner access to the unconscious mind in a conscious way. By holding the practitioner in the state between waking and sleeping for a significant period of time, Yoga Nidra induces a state similar to that of deep sleep. However, unlike normal sleep, where the person is unaware of the external world, in Yoga Nidra the awareness is active while the body and mind deeply relaxes.