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Indian J Psychiatry. 2013 Jan;55(Suppl 2):S157-64. doi: 10.4103/0019-5545.105516.

Clinical hypnosis and Patanjali yoga sutras.

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  • 1Department of Psychology, Christ University, Bangalore, India.


The trance states in yoga and hypnosis are associated with similar phenomena like relaxation, disinclination to talk, unreality, misrepresentation, alterations in perception, increased concentration, suspension of normal reality testing, and the temporary nature of the phenomena. While some researchers consider yoga to be a form of hypnosis, others note that there are many similarities between the trance in yoga and the hypnotic trance. The present study aimed to find similarities between the trance states of hypnosis and Patanjali's yoga sutras. The trance states were compared with the understanding of the phenomena of trance, and the therapeutic techniques and benefits of both. An understanding of the concept of trance in Patanjali's yoga sutras was gained through a thematic analysis of the book Four Chapters on Freedom by Swami Satyananda Saraswati. This led to an understanding of the concept of trance in the yoga sutras. The obtained concepts were compared to the concepts of trance in hypnosis (obtained through the literature on hypnosis) to investigate whether or not there exist similarities. The findings of the study show that there are similarities between the trance in hypnosis and the trance in Patanjali's yoga sutras in the induction and deepening of the trance states in hypnosis and that of Samadhi, the phenomena present in hypnosis and the kinds of siddhis that are obtained through Samadhi, and the therapeutic techniques and the therapeutic process in Patanjali's yoga sutra and hypnosis.


Consciousness; hypnosis; trance; yoga

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