Autosuggestion can be applied to all types of consciously known problems. It is especially effective if applied during states of relaxation in the same way that we described desensitization. Therefore, autosuggestion is ideally practised after your yoga program or any method of systematic relaxation. You can also use autosuggestion before and after sleep. It is during times of relaxation that the mind is receptive to suggestion. Repeat the autosuggestion, perhaps in the example we have given: ‘I am not afraid of the dark’, with intensity for a few minutes or so. This will help bring about the required change. If done with little feeling or belief, or half-heartedly then it will fail to bring about the required results.
As we have already pointed out, the real problem lies buried deep in the recesses of the subconscious mind. In the case of fear of the dark, you may have had an unfortunate experience when you were very young. Perhaps you were locked in a small, dark cupboard when you were three years old. Whatever the cause of your phobia it lies in your mind. The best way to remove the phobia is to find the root and exhaust it through meditational practices. Of this there is no doubt. But autosuggestion is a useful and effective aid in initially overcoming the problem and should be used as much as possible. By injecting a new attitude into the mind concerning the object of fear, the old negative, crippling attitude is neutralized and rendered ineffective, inactive and powerless.
You can use autosuggestion to help combat all types of phobias, fears, complexes, conflicts, etc., once they are known.
We have given three techniques for cleaning the subconscious mind of its problems. If you have been practising yoga regularly then you will already be fully familiar with meditational practices. Desensitization and autosuggestion, however, are two new techniques. They are surprisingly simple to put into practice but they can bring wonderful results, given time and perseverance.
We emphasize that it is no good merely reading about these techniques and knowing them. They must be practised. So we urge you to persevere with meditational practices, and to supplement them with desensitization and autosuggestion where it is appropriate. The reader must decide for himself when and how they are used, for it is you who are facing your mind. If, however, you are unsure, perhaps a little confused or have strange experiences then seek the guidance of a teacher who has the experience and knowledge of meditational techniques.