Did You Know…that yogic sleep can help ward off diabetes and other chronic illnesses?
Yoga Nidra is an ancient yogic practice that carries you out of the fragmented beta waves of everyday consciousness and into the calming alpha waves of creativity… ever deeper into the theta waves where stress melts away and healing begins. Electroencephalograph studies (EEG) have shown that when the brain enters the alpha and theta states, the nervous system relaxes, blood pressure lowers, heart rate declines, and the metabolic system slows. When your body reaches such a deep, relaxed state of meditative awareness, it shores its defenses for the healing of diabetes, cardiovascular complications, chronic pain, and many other physical and mental ailments.
Yoga Nidra translates to “yogic sleep,” but the practice isn’t about catching up on your zzzs; it’s about entering a state of amplified awareness in the midst of inward tranquility. From corpse pose (lying flat on your back with palms up) a Yoga Nidra instructor guides you through different body parts—from the tips of your toes to your cranium—as you focus on releasing tension from your body and mind while concentrating on deep inhalations and exhalations of breath.
You can easily practice Yoga Nidra at home by taking advantage of one of the many audio recordings available that guide you through sessions at your leisure. Whether conducted in a class or in the comfort of your home, regular 30-minute sessions of Yoga Nidra will leave you stress-free, with clarity of mind and strength of body.
Numerous studies have shown that Yoga Nidra can relieve the symptoms of diabetes, PTSD, hypotension, and insomnia. The Indian Journal of Physiology and Pharmacology published a 2012 study that suggests Yoga Nidra can significantly improve blood pressure and heart rate variability in women with menstrual problems. One hundred and fifty women with menstrual issues were divided into two groups: one group was kept as a control group, and the other was treated with a program of Yoga Nidra for 30-40 minutes, 5 days a week, for 6 months. Autonomic testing before and after the study showed that Yoga Nidra improved blood pressure, heart rate variability, and sustained hand grip.
Another study showed that Yoga Nidra regulated blood glucose levels and vastly improved the symptoms of diabetes. Researchers divided 41 type 2 diabetics into two groups: one group was treated with oral hypoglycemic drugs alone, and the other with a combined program of oral hypoglycemic drugs and Yoga Nidra for 30 minutes a day. Participants treated with the yoga and drug prescription showed a dramatic improvement in blood glucose regulation and diabetes symptoms.
The Yoga Nidra Nightcap
According to the National Sleep Foundation, more than 50% of American adults suffer from insomnia multiple nights of the week, failing to get the recommended seven to nine hours of sleep. Inadequate sleep has been linked to an increased risk of heart disease, stroke, and certain cancers. Practicing Yoga Nidra at bedtime safely and effectively invites the deep, restful sleep your body needs to rejuvenate and heal.