Yoga Nidra/Theta Brain Wave Training
by Edward Francis Pio
The ability to put yourself into an alpha and theta state of consciousness at any time without any outside help gives you a great tool. The daily practice of the Yoga Nidra/Theta Brain Wave Technique has many advantages-- reduction of stress and relief from anxiety and tension or resting the mind and the body, increased circulation throughout your body, creating the relaxation response, as well as inner peace, integration of the conscious and unconscious, increasing the power of your right hemisphere, rebooting or restarting your computers to name just a few.
One of the most exciting uses of the tool is programming your unconscious mind and affecting bodily functions through programming the autonomic nervous system. This is done using words and sensory imagery. There are two types of programming: a program that is given while you are in the alpha or theta state and the reaction to the program happens while you are still in the state. The other: a program given while you are in the alpha or theta state and remains in effect after you are finished with the session and back to the waking state.
Regarding programming, there are three processes that are necessary for success—desire, intention and action. Before starting to create, one must have desire. When desire is strong enough, intention is automatically formed and then action is necessary to create through setting a goal or to make a change in one’s mind, body or spirit—the Law of Attraction.
We have compared the human brains (right and left hemispheres) to mainframe computers. Their primary purpose is to manage our body: controlling temperature and blood flow, digestion; monitoring every sensation, breath and heartbeat, every blink and swallow. They contain a massive database. Every experience, every feeling, every word, every thought, every action is recorded in this database, from inside your mother’s womb till the moment you die.
There is a very good reason for using sensory imagery as well as words for programming. As you have already learned, the brain is two computers--the right hemisphere and the left hemisphere. Each hemisphere operates differently--the left hemisphere has all of our vocabulary, so it operates with words and takes care of mathematics as well as all of our logical, rational or linear thinking.
The right hemisphere operates with pictures, spatial and intuitive thinking, “Knowing.” Fortunately, in a healthy whole brain there is crossover communication between the hemispheres. Even though there is the crossover communication, a major imbalance in the development of one hemisphere over the other can affect one’s life in many ways. Most of us born and raised in the United States and/or the “Western World” have the left hemisphere of the brain more highly developed. This is mainly because of an educational system that favors courses with information that develops the left hemisphere. Courses that develop the right hemisphere like music, arts and the humanities are at the low end of our educational model, usually the first to be cut if there is a budget problem. This has caused an imbalance in our brains which affects our perceptions and the quality of our life.
One of the many advantages of doing the Yoga Nidra/Theta Brain Wave Technique on a daily basis is the balancing of the hemispheres. This comes about because of the detuning of the left hemisphere and the use of sensory imagery, which stimulates the right hemisphere during the sessions.
While imagery may be more important than words, you still need to use words when programming. There are only three reasons for the failure of a program. First, insufficient focus to maintain lower alpha or theta; second, improper and/or incomplete structuring of the word suggestion and/or of the sensory imagery used; and third, rejection by the conscious mind and subconscious mind.
The first reason for failure can be solved with practice. The goal of every session should be to go as deep as possible into theta, without falling asleep. To accomplish programming on bodily functions such as increasing and decreasing circulation and blood flow, to stop bleeding anywhere in the body, or effect changes in the immune system, the program must be given in the theta state to be the most effective. Many habit-change programs can be just as effective if the person is in the lower alpha range.
If you will do your best to use the same elements or processes during your session as you have learned in the training, you can be assured of reaching theta most of the time and for most of the session. Creating your own processes or just being creative on your own during a session will keep you, at best, in alpha. You might feel rested and gain stress reduction but you will not be
able to effect body changes. The elements or processes used in Yoga Nidra/Theta Brain Wave Training must be followed to reach the theta state, even if boring, and sometimes difficult--because they work.
The second reason for failure is probably the most important and should receive more of your attention. Let’s look at the rules of developing the word program. All word programs need to be written and end by assigning a key word or phrase to mean the entire program. Then all you have to remember when you do a session is the key word or phrase and it can be given several times during a session.
The basic rules for developing a word program are: 1. Use the present tense as if the program is an accomplished fact. 2. Be positive, eliminating every possible negative word. Every emotional or physical condition can be expressed in a positive manner. 3. Be specific. Analyze the problem or need carefully. Determine the basics and then formulate your program to cover each point. 4. Be detailed. Elaborate the program until it covers every possible reaction. 5. Assign a key word or phrase to mean the entire program. Remember that all programs that you are going to give to yourself must be written first for the best and sure results.
The third reason for failure--rejection by your conscious or subconscious mind--is the most complicated and may be the hardest to figure out. An example is getting a stop-smoking program when you do not really want to quit. The program might last from a few minutes to a few days, but eventually will be canceled. Habit changes can be very difficult at times. Programs are a great tool, but if a person really doesn’t want to change, it is usually ineffective.
How does one get ready for a “permanent” change? By goal setting!
When a person is really ready to quit and a program is given, the person awakens from the session as a non-smoker, as if he or she has never smoked in their life. There is no problem with desire at certain times of the day or special circumstances. The person reacts in all cases as a person who doesn’t smoke and doesn’t ever want to smoke.
Losing weight is a lot more complicated than stopping smoking. But it is very important that the goal-setting procedure be followed before creating a lose-weight program. Imagery is more important than words in weight programs. I have had many overweight clients who can’t imagine or see their body in the mind’s eye. If I ask them to stand in front of a full-length mirror, look at themselves, then close their eyes, they still can’t see themselves in their mind’s eye. This could be an indication of the disease of obesity rather than just being overweight.
Most mildly overweight people can see their body as it is today, and then see it in their mind’s eye with the extra pounds off. If an obese person cannot see his or her body in their mind’s eye as it is today, then it is almost impossible to see a new, smaller body. Effective sensory imagery can change metabolism and other important body functions. The good news is that it is possible to learn to make the imagery effective and finally see the body in a healthy weight condition in the mind’s eye.
Now, how do we use imagery in programming? Visualize the end result with all five senses if possible or at least 3 or 4 of the 5 senses. If you can see the result clearly and can feel excitement, joy or happiness at the same time, the suggestion will be effective. Many times, all it takes is one session with clear sensory imaging.
It’s interesting to note that a person will easily take a word program for making a change, but cannot visualize the end result, if the person is not ready to change. For example, ask a smoker to imagine having the first cup of coffee in the morning without a cigarette and he or she cannot or won’t do it. Ask a person wanting to lose weight to visualize a new slim body and even a person good at imagery may find it impossible to do.
I don’t want to leave a negative feeling about programming. A program worded properly along with the sensory imagery can have miraculous results. All that I am saying is that you must be ready to make the change before using programming. Experimenting with programming when you are not ready is like putting your toes in the water, rather than jumping in. And when you are ready, due to the experimenting, it may not be as effective. Goal setting to make the change is the answer.
You have been given the procedure to stop bleeding anywhere in your body. The procedure is very simple. The use of words for the left hemisphere of your brain is “Stop Bleeding!” and you say these words to yourself when you reach theta. The sensory imagery is--see the part of your body that is bleeding and imagine little faucets or valves at the end of the broken or cut blood vessels. Then imagine turning them off and imagine the blood flow stopping. Do this a couple of times, open your eyes and check to see if the bleeding has stopped. If it has stopped, you have been successful. The next step is to close your eyes again and go back to theta, then imagine the cut healing from the bottom up, like a ditch filling up and say to yourself the words, “the healing is fast” and see the wound closed over, healed and the skin smooth. Scabs are not necessary in this process.
After you come back to the awake state, you can check the wound to see if normal coagulation was responsible or if it was your program, simply by picking at it. If the bleeding starts again, it was coagulation, if not, it stopped by muscular constriction at the end of each blood vessel and picking at it will not start the bleeding again; All of the blood vessels in your body have circular muscles making up the walls of the vessels. Your brain controls each muscle grouping. You don’t have to know how, just trust the computers to do the job when you do the programming.
Most of the time, we get in the way of our body’s healing systems or de-tune it with our learned patterns such as--a cold takes 7 days to heal, flu takes 10 days until we will feel better, a cut has to scab then take even more time to heal, you’ll catch a cold because of wet feet or sitting in a draft or because someone sneezes in your face. Between what we learn in the first years of our life and what we are bombarded with every day on TV and in print--it’s flu season, cold season, allergy season, etc., it’s a miracle that we are not sick all the time.
Most people still teach their children that bugs--rhino-viruses, viruses, bacteria--cause sickness. Very few talk about or even know that in most cases it’s an unbalanced or de-tuned immune system that allows sickness or the bugs and viruses to gain a foothold and cause infection. In other words, if our immune system is operating properly, we should never get sick from the bugs and viruses. The major de-tuning factors of the immune system are lack of rest (stress) and our belief systems. You have been given the program for anesthesia anywhere in your body. The words are “numb and cold, no feeling” and recall
the feeling of numbness from dental anesthetic.
Specific relaxation will release any muscle spasm or tight muscles anywhere in the body. Focus on one of your hands, make a fist slowly, tightening all of the muscles in the hand as tight as possible (making your hand into a spasm) then mentally overlay the tight-fisted hand over the part of your body in spasm or tight muscles. Squeeze your hand even tighter until there is a connection between the spasm that you have created in your hand and the one in your body. Then focus on your hand and gradually release and relax each finger and finally your entire hand. Image strings attached to the tips of each finger and thumb.
The next procedure is a program for concentration and enhancement of memory. People are always complaining about not being able to remember. A standard complaint is not being able to remember people’s names after being introduced to them at a party or other event. It’s really easy to start blaming age or other physical factors--today a common comment is “having a senior moment.”
With few exceptions, I believe that people don’t remember names because they don’t care to. They are not paying attention when introduced and they really don’t care until it comes time to call the person by their name, then we only care because we are embarrassed. The answer to the problem of remembering names is to stop being lazy, mentally, and start caring about the names of the people you are meeting.
Come up with some kind of memory procedure that works for you, such as repeating or using the person’s name several times immediately after being introduced. If you don’t care to do this, at least stop berating your memory as an excuse. When you continue to run down your memory capabilities, you are programming your computers for a poor memory and sooner or later you will certainly have one.
If you’re a student or have need to memorize or remember a lot of material, the Memory & Retention Program gives you a procedure for study, which will greatly increase your concentration and retention. After doing a Yoga Nidra/ Theta Brain Wave session and inserting the program, you need to only follow the simple study procedure given in the program each and every time that you want to study or commit information to memory.
The procedure has four steps: Gather everything that you will need--books, pencils, paper, binders--take them to one place, ideally a place where you will not be bothered by anyone or anything including telephone, radio, or TV. I know that many people think they aren’t able to study without having music in the background or on headphones but no matter how comforting it is, it’s definitely a distraction from the job at hand. Second, look at a clock and decide the length of time that you wish to
concentrate and study--saying out loud the actual time that you wish to start and stop concentrating or studying. Third, close your eyes, clear your mind, and say out loud and concentrate on the Key Words “perfect concentration and memory.” See the words in your mind’s eye and say them out loud three times. The fourth and final step is to come back to the waking state and begin to work. You’ll be amazed by how much concentration you have developed and how quickly the time will pass, as well as your ability to retrieve the material when needed.
As a reminder here are the focusing elements/processes of Yoga Nidra/Theta Brain Wave Technique.
Self talk! Talking to yourself is a necessary part of the Theta Brain Wave Technique. You must direct yourself with words either run through your vocal cords or heard clearly inside. Thoughts don’t have the same effect as forming words. It’s not necessary to form all of the words that you have heard on the CDs but enough to direct yourself.
Setting your inner time clock. Look at a clock that has the correct time and say out loud the current time and then “I will come back to the waking state from the session at…”. Close you eyes and begin the session.
Three deep breaths--Inhale as slowly as possible through the right nostril with your focus on the bridge of the nose. Fill your lungs pushing down the diaphragm for best results. Then hold for a count of at least ten (self talk the numbers), feeling the pressure as it builds. Exhale as slowly as possible through pursed lips, making enough noise for you to hear. When the last bit of air is out of your lungs, wait until it’s necessary for you to take the next breath, then take the next breath through the left nostril while focusing on the bridge of your nose and as slowly as possible. On the third deep breath, breath through both nostrils with
your focus on the bridge of your nose, hold, exhale through your pursed lips. After the third deep breath, let your breathing go
back to automatic.
Body awareness. Visualize clearly each part of your body then focus and feel whatever feeling is there. The first body awareness needs to be done quickly—the purpose is to help focus your mind—moving from the waking state to the Alpha state. Any other use of body awareness can be extended to smaller and smaller parts of your body for longer and longer periods.
The first countdown—10 down to 1 & 0. How you image the numbers is very important. Whatever image you use must be clear, moving and easy for you to create. The imagery needs to be in full color with sound or other senses. You have been given a program for the left brain meaning of these numbers, so when you have the intention of going into a theta brain wave state, all that you have to do is focus on the numbers and by the time you get to 1 & 0, you will automatically be in a deep state of focus.
Stairways (up or down) (20 – 40 steps)—visualize and feel lifting or dropping of your body as if you are on a real stairway.
Faucets on toes and fingers with dark fluid, foul-smelling, for reducing stress.
Hot and cold visualization for increasing and decreasing circulation.
Analgesic and anesthetic visualizations.
Room at the top of the circular stairway along with furnishings.
Garden at the bottom of the stairway
Specific relaxation procedure for muscle spasm relief.
Laser light beam through the rose in your chest and filling all of your cells with light.
Imagine a lake of stress in your body and imagine draining the lake to a very low level.
Balancing your chakras—swirling energy like looking down on the eye of a hurricane.
Let go of your focus and experience deep meditation – remember intention is very important…Why are you meditating?
If you’re having trouble with any of the sensory imaging, like taste or smell, practice them in your sessions. When you’re doing these exercises and procedures, you are still receiving profound rest, stress reduction, rebooting or restarting your computers and many other advantages from the session. It’s important that you don’t get too creative during a session, otherwise you’ll be spending most of your time in the upper alpha brain wave category. Try to do those elements that you are very familiar with -- those which you have done with the help of my voice. The key to success is focus and it’s very hard to focus and be creative at the same time.
The one element which you can always become better at or more aware of is the body awareness. The body awareness and the sensory imaging could be worked on every session for many years without ever reaching one hundred percent awareness.