Yoga Nidra and Brain Functioning and Education
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Yoga for Complete Relaxation – Yoga Nidra.

Yoga nidra is a state of mind where the conscious and subconscious minds are both extremely receptive. Owing to this it is not just an effective way to de-stress but it is an excellent way to learn new things also. It can induce physiological rest and relaxation as well as it can increase the learning capacity tremendously. Yoga nidra is all set to revolutionize the process of education and teaching. This is because it can give the people of all ages and capacities a chance to assimilate knowledge spontaneously without much extra effort.

We come across many children who are otherwise bright but are weak in following conventional methods of learning. There are other children whose conscious mind may not be bright and receptive to learning. Such children can be taught effectively using the subconscious mind through yoga nidra.

Yogic system of education as it is does not believe in the class room format of education. It firmly believes in planting the seeds of knowledge and wisdom in the human brain through the usage of subconscious channels. It does not believe education to be an intellectual process. This system believes that education is a spontaneous affair and it takes place at the deeper levels only. From the birth to the death an individual receives impressions constantly. Most of them are not registered in the mind as they are received. This is because the impressions received by the human mind are received in one form and are registered in the form of symbolic vibrations. The impressions which fail to convert into symbolic vibrations are simply not registered at all. So for education to have any real impact, this symbolic nature of the human mind's registering process has to be kept in mind. All the students can be taught making use of this symbolic methodology. Yoga nidra can play a vital role in education by transmitting the symbolic form of impressions directly into the subconscious mind.

The methodology of yoga nidra is used by many educators for enhancing the memory of subjects. Memory involves the process of conscious recall and learning capacity of the mind. One is based on the brain's ability to absorb information and the other on recalling the information at a later time. Yoga nidra, by making the mind extra receptive at the subconscious level along with a simultaneous state of awareness makes memory enhancement possible.

The prospect of assimilating knowledge while sleeping and recalling it at a later stage is called hypnopedy. It works on the belief that even during sleep there is a dimension of consciousness that is alert and completely awake. It is a known fact that the auditory faculties are catching all impressions and storing them into the cerebral cortex of the brain even while sleeping. These sound impressions remain dormant in the brain and are recalled only when appropriate stimulus is given. Similarly the education imparted during yoga nidra is also recalled with some stimulus like re-reading the same material when the person is awake.

Many researchers are of the view that yoga nidra is suitable for learning of any kind because it makes use of both hemispheres of the brain. The left hemisphere which is the seat of logical consciousness and the non-logical subconscious right hemisphere are both made use of equally during yoga nidra. Normally in the classroom situation the left hemisphere is taught to learn while the right hemisphere is busy absorbing signals which have nothing to do with the assignment at hand. Even phenomena of exceptional recall power and photographic memory can be developed under these twofold conditions of deep relaxation and spontaneous awareness. The EEG studies of the brain wave patterns have confirmed these findings that the passive awareness that is generated is a combination of these twin factors.

Psychic receptivity and extrasensory perception (ESP) are also found to increase with the increase in levels of relaxation. Yoga nidra is the most effective tool for precipitating the intuitive dimensions of human personality that are normally lying dormant beyond the blockades of sensory consciousness and perceptions.

Many children have this seemingly extraordinary capacity to dwell into the realistic adult world and their imaginary world at the same time. They have the unique ability to transcend automatically from the real to imaginary worlds without any difficulty; whereas an adult has difficulty in doing so. Yogic psycho-physiologists believe this is possible because ajna chakra or the command centre for all intuitive ability, located at the mid-eyebrow point is still functional in a small child. This 'third eye' is internally directed and provides access to higher states of conscious awareness. It communicates with the pineal gland situated at the top of the spinal cord in the midline of the brain.

Till about eight years of age this gland remains large and functional controlling the secretions of the master gland, pituitary. Later the role shifts entirely to the pituitary gland which starts functioning as the master endocrinal gland. So the child's higher dimensions of ESP and awareness become diminished as the pineal gland surrenders its function and slowly becomes calcified. The childhood capacity to visualize and fantasize is thus virtually lost as an adult. These days with the presence of television and video games this natural visualization ability of a child faces a strange contradiction and is mostly destroyed if unchecked intrusion of these artificial devices is allowed for a longer time.

Yoga nidra state also represents integrated response from the hypothalamus. This region of the brain serves as the control centre for the whole autonomic nervous system. Kundalini and chakras are also aroused by yoga nidra; so overall hormonal situation of the entire body is improved by yoga nidra.

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