Positive results of yoga nidra

Swami Ameet Malhotra, Occupational Therapist cum Researcher, UK, shares some interesting experiences he had with some of his clients, at World Yoga Convention 2013 held commemorating Golden Jubilee celebrations of Bihar School of Yoga, Munger, on 26th October 2013.

“While working in a prison, an inmate came to a class once and then I did not see him again.  Six months later I received a letter saying that, thanks to the yoga nidra, he had given up the life of crime.

In another case, there was a patient who had a stroke eighteen months previously, and who was told that she would never be able to breathe into her abdomen again.  Two yoga nidras later, not only was she breathing into her abdomen, but she was out walking every day in the country side.

Yoga Nidra

Yoga Nidra : Photo Courtesy – Triyoga.com

A third case occurred while working with alcohol and substance misuse patients.  One patient had been drinking around eighty units of alcohol a day, and as a result, the staff thought he had done some permanent nerve damage.  After about two weeks of talking to him and trying to build trust, I convinced him that we should do yoga nidra.  The night before, his hands had been shaking so much that he had to have someone help him have a cup of tea.  We did one yoga nidra and as he emerged from the practice, he had a big smile.  He raised his hands up, perfectly still, and he looked at his hands in disbelief.  The consultant psychiatrist said, “What did you do?” I said, “We did yoga nidra”.  He did not know what it was, but I said, “Look, I am writing a paper on it.””

The above is an excerpt from the author’s research paper “The Lived Experiences of Yoga Nidra Practitioners: From Relaxation to Spirituality”, published in Oct ’14 edition of  “Yoga” Magazine by Bihar School of Yoga.

One can experience Yoga Nidra at Ankur Ksehtra or any of the Satyananda Yoga Centres spread across Chennai. Details @ 98400 76654

Research findings on Efficacy of Yoga Nidra in UK

Ameet Malhotra (Jignasu Ramdas) is a Yoga Teacher, Occupational Therapist and Researcher at Satyananda Yoga Centre, Nottingham, UK

Jignasu Ramdas has worked in a number of environments, including prisons, neurological rehabilitation hospitals and substance and alcohol misuse detoxification units, teaching yoga and the practice of yoga nidra in particular.

He is a researcher and shared his research findings, on lived experiences of Yoga Nidra and its potential use in rehabilitation of patients with a variety of neurological and trauma related illnesses, during World Yoga Convention 2013 at Munger, Bihar. Some of the findings are provided below:

  • A prisoner gives up life of crime due to the effect of Yoga Nidra
  • A prisoner with 20% nerve damage due to alcohol abuse, used to experience shivering of hands even with slightest of movements. Just after one session of Yoga nidra he felt relaxed and the shivering was gone. He experienced his crimes (guilt) leaving his body through the hands during yoga nidra practice. This provided him relief.
  • A relieved patient’s statement – “TV is a distraction, drinking not an option, Yoga Nidra instead” and this gave him great relief.
  • A patient shared… Pursuant to the practice I had a feeling of being more important, better connected with the body and felt spaciousness
  • Several prisoners’ stories where they experienced compassion fatigue and stress-release was shared.
  • Several prisoners and patients with neurological illnesses had profound and real experience of relaxation
  • People were unable to clearly explain but they shared a feeling that it (Yoga nidra) changed them somewhere in their life

These are but a filtered list from a filtered list of research findings Jignasu Ramdas shared during the convention. Hope this wonderful tool is reached to every child in our schools to nurture holistic growth.

Varsha Vivek, 12th Std topper in CBSE during Mar 2013 exams attributed her academic success to the practice of Yoga nidra. She claims that Yoga Nidra helped handle her mood swings, need for sleep and stress effectively.

Can you remember of a child in your kith and kin who is experiencing stress? Do you want to reach out this news to him/her?

River with Two-Directional flow…

A normal river carrying water flows in one direction…

The river of mind carrying thoughts flows in two directions, the direction of flow of one’s mind determine where one heads in life…

The downward flow towards destruction is the easy and natural flow, where one acts simply based on instincts.

Humans are bestowed with a special ability to act as per their WILL, commonly known as Will-Power. The upward flow is based on the extent of manifestation of this will power. This upward flow will be effective and smoother, if we direct the senses and emotions as per dictates from the higher intellect. By higher intellect we refer to the creative and intuitive powers of the intellect. The lower intellect is one which helps us deal with the day-to-day affairs effectively and survive.

It is said…

those who create changes LEAD

those who adapt well to changes SURVIVE while

those who resist changes PERISH

And…

To LEAD one need the powers of the Subtle and HIGHER INTELLECT

To SURVIVE one need to effectively use the gross and LOWER INTELLECT

To simply PERISH without getting noticed, it is enough to act according to one’s INSTINCTS.

On introspection and analysis we will understand that…

Great Leaders in all fields who inspire people for generations, effectively used Higher Intellect

Good people who make a mark during their life-time, live as per directions of the Lower Intellect

Vast majority (like animals) live subdued to their instinctual directions

This puts into perspective the cause behind stress and worry in the modern world.

Perseverance and Dispassion are the two wings of a bird which help one to flow in the upward direction of evolution making the most use of higher intellect.

Consistent practice or Sadhana as per the first two limbs of Ashtanga Yoga – Yama and Niyama help one to develop perseverance.

Development of dispassion is not getting disinterested with the day to day affairs or suppression of desires as is commonly understood. It is growing beyond these through well-developed intelligence. Such intelligence is also developed by following the principles of Yamas and Niyamas. 

Change does not happen overnight. It is a steady and continuous process. One need to first start using their lower intellect properly before moving forward to usage of higher intellect and there is no short cut in this journey. While on the journey, our past actions and their results will continue to haunt us in the form of resistance from people around and mind within. This is where perseverance comes handy. We need to be mentally prepared to face any obstacle, be resilient and rise up more swiftly than in the previous fall.

Tools for practice:

  • Asana practices with awareness help one to develop the will and awareness
  • Pranayama practices help to keep the energy levels high and activate the higher chakras
  • Pratyahara practices like antarmouna, yoga nidra, etc., help to develop awareness, control over senses, emotions and mind
  • Study and interaction with experts for gaining proper understanding of Yamas and Niyamas

One need to get the right schedule of practices for their need, as per the advice from experts

Courtesy: This insight is from a talk by Swami Muktanand Puri during World Yoga Convention 2013 in Oct 2013 at Munger

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