Hatha yoga asanas on Suggestions for movement and rhythmic muscular tensing can be just as effective in producing trance states as suggestions for relaxation and we know that they are trance states because researchers have found that people in states induced by suggestions for both relaxation and tension can manifest the traditional hypnotic phenomena such as analgesia, hallucination and amnesia, and also pass easily from one state to the other. Thus, the kind of trance produced by bodily immobilization and the kind produced by rhythmic movement such as the whirling of the dervishes will have different characteristics but they can both be identified as trance states because they both facilitate the elicitation of phenomena that are extremely difficult to create out of trance and because each can easily be converted into the other. In short, many of the characteristics that are commonly associated with trance are actually products of the method of induction that is employed. This way of understanding trance states has significant implications for our understanding of Altered States of Consciousness (ASCs). In particular, the kinds of ideas promoted by writers such as the psychiatrist Roland Fischer from the late 1960s to the late 1980s that ASCs can be arranged on a continuum with mystical rapture at one end, yogic samadhi at the other and ordinary consciousness in between will have to be rejected. Instead, we will need to think of the ASCs that Fischer places on either side of normal consciousness as going together under the heading of trance states, all of which are to be contrasted with conscious states. A schematic version of this arrangement might be something like the following: Trance States in Relation to Normal Consciousness NORMAL CONSCIOUSNESS States (e. Hatha yoga asanas 2016.
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