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 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

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