Each one of these healing methods is thousands of years old. The exact origins of meditation and self-hypnosis are not known. We do know that Yoga existed over 5,000 years ago in the Indus Valley. Despite the evidence that each of these methods creates peace of mind, within the practitioner, they have only recently gained worldwide attention for their results.
Meditation is often linked to Yoga, since it is one of the many aspects of Yoga. However, meditation is also a separate entity and has existed in almost every corner of the earth for a very long time. Proponents of self-hypnosis can make similar claims and healers have successfully used this method for a variety of ailments that afflict mankind.
All of these methods have existed despite fundamentalist efforts to prevent them. Why should fundamentalists care about Yoga, meditation, and self-hypnosis? The keyword is “self.” If you can control your mental, physical, and spiritual health, you can regulate your own life. This strikes fear into the hearts of those who work very hard to regulate and control the masses.
Ask anyone who practiced Yoga, but has lived under a suppressive form of government, about his or her experience. Over the past 15 years, I have met many former Soviet Block citizens, and learned so much from them. Many of them shared their experiences about practicing Yoga, martial arts, meditation, self-hypnosis, and religion in secret. Families practiced together secretly to avoid drawing attention to them.
Attention to yourself is not desired in any suppressive society. To become the custodian of a healing method is one thing, but to risk your life for it is truly brave. For this, and many other reasons, these people are the unsung heroes for freedom, self-improvement, and healing methods.
For those of us who live in a free society, we often take for granted that you can practice Yoga, meditation, self-hypnosis, or any other form of self-healing, without fear of reprisal. You can point yourself in a positive direction and pursue it freely. No one is holding you back from improving yourself and you don’t have to hide in a closet to practice.
The next time you make an excuse about not having enough time to practice Yoga, meditation, religion, or self-hypnosis, think of the people who have to put their lives on the line for a little personal freedom.
Lastly, you can always make an appointment with yourself. Write it down in your appointment book, on your laptop, or anywhere else you will see it. Make an appointment with yourself to practice Yoga, meditation, or self-hypnosis and remember those who gave their lives for the freedoms you have.
© Copyright 2005 – Paul Jerard / Aura Publications
Paul Jerard is the director of Yoga teacher training at Aura in RI. He’s a master instructor of martial arts and Yoga. He teaches Yoga, martial arts, and fitness. He wrote: Is Running a Yoga Business Right for You? For Yoga students wanting to be a Yoga teacher.