"Logic can take you from point A to point B, but imagination can take you anywhere." - Albert Einstein
In our day-to-day lives, we're constantly in an alert, conscious state of mind. In the beta state, our brains are very active as we navigate through the day, sometimes feeling like we are on autopilot as we form our experiences. In this active beta state, our brain is over-stimulated, which in yoga is often referred to as "the monkey mind." Here, everything comes to us as doubts, fears, to-dos, emotions, and it can really cloud our minds and trains of thought.
Studies have shown that in our conscious state, we're only using between 1 and 5 percent of our brain’s resources. So if we're only functioning at 1 to 5 percent, how are we really living our lives with true purpose? Where's the other 95 to 99 percent?
The answer is found in our powerful subconscious, where the alpha, delta and theta states provide us with calm, deep relaxation and dreamlike states. The subconscious is where the magic happens, and where the imagination is stored. This state is where we can de-program our thought processes of doubt and fear, and where we tap into our authentic self without the judgment and criticism of our conscious state interfering.
Dr. Bruce Lipton of Stanford University says that the subconscious mind "ultimately casts the deciding vote" on how much abundance, happiness and success you will experience. He also claims that the subconscious is "one million times more powerful" than your conscious mind.
My first experience with my own subconscious state was in a guided meditation with my drama teacher in high school. She had us lie on the ground with the lights off as she guided us through. I remember how calm and peaceful I felt; it was a definite breakthrough from my normal, conscious experience that stayed with me all these years. I felt like I was on an amazing adventure through time and space.
Over the years, I’m grateful to have developed this skill of "tapping in" through hypnosis, yoga and yoga nidra. I’ve found yoga nidra to be even deeper and more powerful than hypnosis. My research led me to discover that yoga masters, scientists, mystic and motivational speakers all refer to the subconscious as "where it’s at" to transform old thought patterns and bad habits. All of these great thinkers, from ancient times to modern times, know just how powerful our subconscious can be to access the greatness within.
How to Access your Subconscious Mind in 4 Steps:
Relaxation is challenging for many of us, but it’s the gateway to opening and moving deeper within ourselves. Find a place where you won't be disturbed. Sit or lie down in a comfortable place. If you’re sitting, use a cushion or a folded blanket underneath to help your sitz bones relax the hip flexors and knees. If you’re lying down, roll your shoulder blades down your back to support the heart. Place the hands at your sides palms up, and let the legs and ankles splay out. Relax the eyes with a soft gaze or close them, whatever feels most comfortable for you.
Listen to the sound of your breath. If your breath is fast and choppy, slow it down by taking long, slow breaths. This calms the mind. Listen to the sound of your heart beating in sync with the natural rhythms of your body. The more you listen and focus on the breath, the more you'll arrive in the moment, at ease, letting go of thoughts.
- Find Guidance
Using a guided meditation or a yoga nidra recording can be a powerful way to encourage visualization and deeper meditation. Better yet, seek out a teacher. Guided meditations will help you set your intention for what you want to work on, from dealing with trauma to fulfilling dreams, getting rid of bad habits, etc.
Guided meditations can often be found free through many different apps. Another option is brain wave music, which moves the hemispheres of the brain into alpha, delta and theta states, which help to de-program old thought patterns.
- Be Consistent
The more frequent you practice, the better. Find the time of day that resonates with you most and stick to it. Want to complement your practice even more? Restorative yoga is incredibly beneficial for relaxation.
Accessing your subconscious can help change your harmful thought patterns and take you out of feeling like you’re living life on autopilot. With a regular practice, you’ll enjoy a new sense of well-being, passion and purpose.