Therapeutic effect of Yoga Nidra in Geriatrics

Yoga Nidra is a systematic method of inducing complete physical, mental and emotional relaxation. During the practice of Yoga Nidra, one appears to be asleep; but the consciousness is functioning at a deeper level of awareness. In this threshold state between sleep and wake-fullness, contact with the subconscious and unconscious dimensions occurs spontaneously. In Yoga Nidra, the state of relaxation is reached by turning inwards, away from outer experiences. If the consciousness can be separated from external awareness and from sleep, it becomes very powerful and can be applied in many ways; for example: to develop the memory, increase knowledge and creativity or transform one`s nature.

Yogic relaxation helps elderly people overcome many of the specific psychological difficulties related to old age. Elderly people may confront a variety of difficulties including loss of confidence, lowered self-esteem, depression, unmet dependency needs, loneliness, boredom and fear of the future. Yoga Nidra is especially helpful for those elderly persons who habitually transform their psychological difficulties into physical symptoms and complaints associated with their advancing age.It is preferable for beginners to practice Yoga Nidra under the guidance of an experienced Yoga teacher or instructor. Yoga Nidra is practiced in Shavasana.As pain and stiffness  in the body are great obstacles to the practice of Yoga Nidra; it should be preferably performed after yogaasanas.

I bought the book ‘Yoga Nidra’ authored by Swami Satyananda Saraswati from the campus book store for reading and learning ABC of Yoga Nidra during my visit to SVYASA Yoga University Jigani Bangalore on August 30, 2009 in a visitors` trip arranged by Dhrti Yoga. From January to April 2010, on Friday of every week we practiced Yoga Nidra in last 15 minutes of our yoga sessions for elderly persons under the instruction and guidance of our yoga instructor at Dhrti Yoga Studio. When I resorted to Swadhyaya of Yoga since April 26, 2010; I developed the enthusiasm to know the subject of Yoga Nidra more analytically. From July 30, 2010, I attended special yoga practices twice  a  week for Yoga Nidra, MSRT, D.R.T. and Cyclic Meditation at Dhrti Yoga Studio  along with daily practice of Swadhyaya of Yoga at home.  To add to it, I have incorporated Yoga Nidra in my practice of Swadhyaya of Yoga before sleeping at night under the instructions recorded in form of an Audio CD.By learning and practicing Yoga Nidra , I am maintaining good health as an elderly person and leading  the lifestyle of yoga and spirituality with much confidence.

Dr.Mahesh Chandra Panda, M.B.B.S., M.D.

Yoga Practitioner


About drmcpanda

Dr. Mahesh Chandra Panda, M.B.B.S.,M.D. Date of Birth:29.02.1948 Retd. (29.02.2008) Chief District Medical Officer Bargarh Orissa India
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9 Responses to Therapeutic effect of Yoga Nidra in Geriatrics

  1. Thanks Dr.Panda for introducing me the subject of Yoga Nidra.
    I listened to various CDs available on U tube regarding Yoga Nidra.

    This is beautiful and effective technique.One has to learn to practice it; more time we spend in it, more we are likely to get conditioned to it.Basic purpose appears to be; to divert the attention from our usual routine focus to a different place, consciously controlling attention to different parts or activities like breathing etc. This helps giving rest to the part of brain routinely stressed by consistent attention on that part.

    This is really nice and I shall try to practice it.
    I had been achieving the same by silently chanting Mantra and focussing on the concerned goddess Durga since my childhood.
    Thank you very much for unfolding another pathway.

  2. Vinod Varma says:

    Quite interesting.
    I have read about yoga nidra in puranas but never knew about it as a yogic practice.

    Thanks for introducing the same. It offers tremendous possibilities.

  3. Prakash Padhan says:

    Respected Sir,
    I read your article and benefited to know about Yoga Nidra;how it is conducive to maintain good health for senior citizen like you.

    I would like to know from you that if it helps to younger people also.

    • Dear Prakash,
      Yoga Nidra has therapeutic effect in psychological disorders, insomnia, drug addiction, alcoholism, diabetes, arthritis & even in pregnancy, childbirth and menstrual disorders in younger people besides geriatrics meant for elderly people.

      To know about details,you may refer the chapter of Therapeutic Applications of the book ‘Yoga Nidra’ authored by Swami Satyananda Saraswati published by Yoga Publications Trust,Munger,Bihar,India.

  4. Satya Ramana says:

    Yoga Nidra (YN) is a deep level relaxation practice. A practice designed for children, young and geriatrics. It is beneficial to combat any level of stress or disease even cancer.

    My sister is currently undergoing treatment for breast cancer stage two. She had to undergo a nine-hour long complicated surgery; followed by eight chemotherapies and 25 radiation sessions. The line of treatment so long demanded mental stamina and will power.

    I started with MSRT and PET relaxation practices developed by my guruji: Nagendraji SVYASA.The deep level relaxation techniques helped her immensely to recoup and she started responding well in a very positive manner. Her stay was shortened and she was discharged soon.

    I introduced YN to enhance the healing further and by the grace of higher power she was able to take all the chemotherapies smoothly and now has been successfully undergoing radiation sessions.

    A basic YN practice should be done by all at least three times a week. It includes few and simple steps. With constant practice other steps can be introduced. YN strengthens our will power. In due course of time, one can see the desired change in attitude and transformation in one`s personality.

  5. Dr.Binod Bihari Naik says:

    Respected Sir,

    I now, all on a sudden felt the vibrating energy of spirituality from toes to head and vice and versa and found a spiritual invisible point of my core of spiritual heart. Actually it is perpetuating so dynamically and transparently that it may veil whole body in such a tied way that mind can not make a hole to become extrovert. This is the first feeling in my life that body control mind though universally mind is sole controller of body. This may be a spiritual dream to me. But I can’t remain dumb without information to you as my honorable spiritual guide.

    Thanking You,
    Your Divine Brother
    Dr.Binod Bihari Naik
    Bargarh Odisha

    • Dr.Binod Bihari Naik says:

      Respected Sir,

      At the out set I must give thanks for posting of my spiritual experience linked to ‘Therapeutic effect of Yoga Nidra in Geriatrics’ in your blog of Yoga and Spirituality, because that event triggered me a lot. But most important is that I got my prescription from you that made cast away my thought of dream and confirmed that the vibration is akin to yoga nidra. Though I have not learned previously, I was induced with the same by blessing of God and acknowledged the details and effects of yoga nidra from you. Hope it guides me further to delve into for much exploration. I will try to have that book of yoga nidra compiled by Revered Swami Satyananda Saraswati for future reference. Practice of yoga nidra is the ultimum medicine for fragile geriatric to make mind calm and to rejuvenate body for the further divine bliss till last breath with mortal coil.

      With Regards,
      Your Divine Brother
      Dr.Binod Bihari Naik
      Bargarh Odisha

  6. Just as the body awareness disappears during deep sleep, by the practice of the kriya yoga the sadhak attains yoga nidra within ten minutes.

    • Kriya Yoga an ancient Yoga system was revived in modern times into popular awareness through Yogananda’s introductions of the practice in India since 1917 and the west since 1920 and through Paramahansa Yogananda’s book Autobiography of a Yogi. The system consists of a number of levels of Pranayama based on techniques that are intended to rapidly accelerate spiritual development and profound state of tranquillity. In the ancient text on yoga called the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali, Patanjali gives a description of Kriya Yoga in the second chapter. Yogananda wrote that Patanjali refers to the Kriya technique when he wrote in the Yoga Sutras II: 49: “Liberation can be attained by that pranayama which is accomplished by disjoining the course of inspiration and expiration”.

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