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Psychological changes as related to Yoga Nidra

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  • Uttarakhand Sanskrit University, Haridwar, India

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PSYCHOLOGICAL CHANGES AS RELATED TO YOGA NIDRA Yoga Arogya Polyclinic, India Purpose. The present study aims at finding out the effect of Yoga nidra on regression and guilt on college going students. Material and method. The study conducted at the Yoga Arogya Polyclinic of Dev Sanskriti Vishwavidyalaya. Practice time was 30 minutes the duration was 6 months. 80 students were taken from P.G. yoga classes for observing the effect as well as 30 was in control group. Results, conclusions. The result shows a significant change as practice of Yoga nidra positively decreases the regression and guilt levels of both the male and female subjects.
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129
PSYCHOLOGICAL CHANGES AS RELATED
TO YOGA NIDRA
Dr. Kamakhya Kumar
1
Yo ga Aro g ya Po l yc li ni c, In d ia
Abstract. The present study aims at finding out the eect of Yoga nidra on regression and
guilt on college going students. The study conducted at the Yoga Arogya Polyclinic
of Dev Sanskriti Vishwavidyalaya. Practice time was 30 minutes the duration was
6 months. 80 students were taken from P.G. yoga classes for observing the eect as
well as 30 was in control group. The result shows a significant change as practice of
Yoga nidra positively decreases the regression and guilt levels of both the male and
female subjects.
Keywords: Yoga nidra, regression, guilt.
Mental faculties are most precious bequests of the Almighty besto-
wed upon us. However, the belief that we can’t expand or elevate the
God-gifted mental potentials we are born with – is not correct. The die-
rence in peoples intellectual and other mental abilities is only that of the
degree of arousal and activation of the grand powers indwelling in the
human self. This dierence is not due to the structure of the brain, inhe-
ritance or destiny, etc. Rather, it is a reflection of the extent of dormancy
or activation of its unlimited potentials.
From early childhood, we tend to repress many wishes, desires and
conflicts. Whenever a situation threatens the ego, the defense mecha-
nisms are called upon and the conflicting situation is repressed or sup-
pressed to the unconscious. All the traumatic experiences, unfulfilled
desires and threatening situations are suppressed by the ego to the sub-
conscious and unconscious realms of the mind. In the deeper realms of
1
Address for correspondence: Yoga Arogya Polyclinic, Dev Sanskriti Vishwavidyalaya
Shantikunj, Haridwar 249411 U. A., e-mail: kamakhya.kumar@gmail.com.
PSICHOLOGUI PRAKTIKUI
Kamakhya Kumar
130
the mind this conflicting and frustrating matter does not die but remains
alive and later manifests in the form of various pathological symptoms.
The repressed desires, wishes and situations remain in the form of sym-
bols in the unconscious mind.
During the practice of Yoga nidra, the instructor asks the practitioner
to visualize certain symbols and images with a witnessing attitude. If the
symbols and images are selected properly, then they are in accordance
with the symbols of the unconscious. An abstract association is created
between the guided imagery and the associated repressed experiences
of the unconscious. For example, if the teacher instructs the practitioner
to visualize a dog, this may bring out a past traumatic childhood expe-
rience in which the practitioner was bitten by a dog. The practitioner
observes this associated painful experience with a witnessing attitude,
which helps in cutting o the personal identification with the experi-
ence. When the personal identification ceases to be cut o, the painful
experience associated with the dog is repressed again. In this way, the
practice of visualization brings the unconscious repressed desires, expe-
riences, conflicts and frustrations to the conscious level and then cuts
o the personal identification with those experiences. As a result, the
unconscious is cleared up.
Due to excessive activity on the mental plane, the mind always
remains in a state of arousal, which results in mental tension. Throughout
life the mind is fed with negative data. In the practice of Yoga nidra, espe-
cially in rotation of consciousness and breath awareness, the mind is
relaxed, thereby releasing the mental tension. In this way, through the
regular and sincere practice of Yoga nidra, tension at the physical, emo-
tional and mental levels can be minimized.
Regression is a term coined by Galton for the tendency of the quan-
titative traits of ospring to be closer to the population mean than are
their parents traits. It arises from a combination of factors - dominance,
gene interactions, and environmental influences on traits. It is the return
to earlier or younger behavior and thinking.
Guilt is that quality which renders criminal and liable to punishment;
or it is that disposition to violate the law, which has manifested itself by
some act already done. The opposite of innocence. It is remorse caused
by feeling responsible for some oence.
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2010, 6, 129–137 p.
The point at which muscle cells are no longer working eciently; it
can be due to depletion of the bodys glucose stores, reversible with oral
glucose supplements, but also glucose independent, related to changes
in the muscle cell itself.
During the practice of Yoga nidra the consciousness is at dierent
levels. Sometimes it is very close to the senses and in others, it is at a very
remote distance. When the consciousness is at a remote distance, it is
only possible to understand through the auditory channels. During Yoga
nidra the consciousness is suspended for a few moments periodically,
which means that it alternates between the subconscious and uncons-
cious states.
For the practice of Yoga nidra one should lie flat on his back and
follow the spoken instruction of yoga instructor. It is convenient to use
Yoga nidra tape. During the practice there should be no movement by
the practitioner, as well as he should try to remain awake and aware of
every given instruction.
In Yoga nidra, it is not necessary to concentrate. One should just keep
the mind moving from point to point and be aware of every experience.
Yoga nidra means sleep with a trace of awareness.
Various studies have been done in dierent part of world for obser-
ving the eect of Yoga nidra. M. J. Cooper, (1979): in an important study
at the University of Tel Aviv (Israel) says that Yoga nidra significantly lowe-
red levels of serum cholesterol in cardiac patients.
Erskine-Milliss, J. & Schonell, M., (1981) states that the future role of
Yoga nidra in coronary care and management regimes appears to be the
major one. The value of the practice of yogic relaxation in prevention of
cardiovascular disease has been fairly well recognized and accepted.
In the other study conducted at the Stanford University school of
Medicine (U.S.A.) W. S. Agras demonstrates that the drop in blood pres-
sure induced by daily Yoga nidra practice has a far reaching eect, exten-
ding throughout the day, and is not merely a transient eect coincident
with the practice session.
Another controlled study, which was conducted at the Langley Por-
ter Neuropsychiatry Institute in California, Lekh Raj Bali (1979) found that
a reduction in blood pressure and anxiety levels in hypertensive patients
continued for 12 months after Yoga nidra training.
Kamakhya Kumar
132
Sw. Mangalteertham (1998) proved through a series of studies done
at Cherring Cross Medical School in London that it was a technique in
which one could alter the states of consciousness from beta to alpha
and then to delta. Therefore, subject enjoys the dierent state of consci-
ousness, knowingly. It is a pratyahara but also opens the door for medi-
tation.
Kumar Kamakhya (2004) finds after a six months study on the higher
class students that practice of Yoga nidra reduces stress and anxiety as
well as improves the General Well Being.
Kumar Kamakhya (2005) observed in another study that Yoga nidra
aects positively on blood pressure and other psychological co-relates
in hypertensive patients.
Kumar Kamakhya (2006) states after a six months study that there is
a significant change on the Alpha E.E.G. and G.S.R. level of the subjects.
This indicates the improvement of physical and mental health as a result
of practicing Yoga nidra.
Kumar Kamakhya (2007) find that Yoga nidra can be considered as
a highly eective practice for the practitioner as Yoga nidra significantly
increases the level of hemoglobin of the students at higher classes and
there is also an increase in TLC level. Thus Yoga nidra is a complete relaxa-
tion process of the body and mind, it increases the immunity of a person,
and hence the change in the Hemoglobin and TLC are positive. It can be
stated that sleep is good for us but present research shows that practi-
cing Yoga nidra can not only help us fight o infection but lower stress
level as well.
Pandya Pranav and Kumar Kamakhya (2007) state that practice of
Yoga nidra is a tool of total relaxation. They observed a significant change
in pulse rate, respiration rate, blood pressure and G S R to the subjects,
after a six months study. They further state that Yoga nidra is capable of
improving the immunity of the practitioner.
Kumar Kamakhya (2008) observed a significant change in his study
in the practice group; result showed that Yoga nidra positively decreased
the stress level of the male and female subjects. Several other studies
prove Yoga nidra equally influences anxiety level significantly in both
male and female subjects.
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2010, 6, 129–137 p.
The above studies show that researchers are keen to know the eect
of Yoga nidra in various directions; thus it is the right time to go deep
into the search of the impact of Yoga nidra having the following aims
and objectives.
Objective:
1. To assess the eect of Yoga nidra on regression level of the
subjects.
2. To assess the eect of Yoga nidra on guilt level of the subjects.
MATERIAL AND METHODS
80 students (40 males, 40 females) of 20-30 years from Dev Sanskriti
Vishwavidayalaya of P.G. yoga classes selected for the practice of Yoga
nidra were assigned to the experimental group. A group of 30 students
(15 males, 15 females) of same age group and same class was also consi-
dered as a control group.
Both the experimental and control groups were from P.G. Yoga
classes; so all had been practicing the set of Asanas, Pranayamas and
Shatkarmas regularly (except Sunday and holidays). For the experi-
mental group it was the only dierence that they were practicing Yoga
nidra for half an hour daily (except Sunday and holidays) additionally.
Before starting the practice of Yoga nidra both the groups took a few
psychological tests.
Practice of Yoga nidra in this study is the simplest method of relaxa-
tion which is being practiced in the flat lying position of shavasana and
follows the spoken instruction of Yoga-instructor. The practice includes
the resolve, body part awareness, breath awareness and visualization.
TOOLS
For the measurement of regression and guilt levels Eight State Ques-
tionnaire, developed by Barton, Cattell and Curran in 1973 and adopted
by S. D. Kapoor; published and reprinted in India by the Psycho Centre
New Delhi, had been applied.
Kamakhya Kumar
134
RESULTS
After six months the same test again was applied and the data obtai-
ned were as shown below.
Table 1. The Effect of Yoga nidra on Regression Level of the Male Participants
Mean SD T value Signicance level
Experimental 4.95 1.26 2.48 0.01
Group
Control 5.67 1.23
Group
Table 1 shows that there is a significant change at 0.01 significant
level in the regression of the male subjects of experimental and control
group.
Table 2. The Effect of Yoga nidra on Regression Level of the Female
Participants
Mean SD T value Signicance level
Experimental 4.62 1.04 2.74 0.01
Group
Control 5.80 1.86
Group
Table 2 shows that there is a significant change at 0.01 significant
level in the regression of the female subjects of experimental and con-
trol group.
Table 3 shows that there is a significant change at 0.01 significant
level in the guilt of the male subjects of experimental and control
group.
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2010, 6, 129–137 p.
Table 3. The Effect of Yoga nidra on Guilt Level of the Male Participants
Mean SD T value Signicance level
Experimental 4.56 1.12 3.75 0.01
Group
Control 5.33 2.13
Group
Table 4. The Effect of Yoga nidra on Guilt Level of the Female Participants
Mean SD T value Signicance level
Experimental 4.49 1.50 4.62 0.01
Group
Control 5.60 1.35
Group
Table 4 shows that there is a significant change at 0.01 significant
level in the guilt of the female subject of experimental and control
group.
DISCUSSION & CONCLUSION
The brain is the linking mediator between the mind, body and emo-
tions. In Yoga nidra intensifying the awareness of the body stimulates
the brain. When the awareness is rotated on the dierent body parts, it
not only induces physical relaxation but also clears the nerve pathways
to the brain. Each of the body parts has an existing centre in the cerebral
white matter, named by researchers as ‘motor homunculus’ or ‘little man.
The sequence of rotation of awareness in Yoga nidra is in accordance
with the map in the cerebral white matter of the brain. When the aware-
ness is rotated in the same sequence again and again, it induces a flow
of pranic energy within the neuronal circuit of the motor homunculus of
the brain. This pranic flow brings in a subjective experience of relaxation
in the brain.
In one of the stages of Yoga nidra a pair of opposite feelings or sen-
sations is intensified again and again. This continuous invocation of
Kamakhya Kumar
136
opposite feelings or sensations is in accordance with the electrophysio-
logical operating principles of the brain. When a neuron fires, it produces
a nerve impulse which is relayed and registered in the brain. But if the
same neuron keeps on firing again and again, then its relayed impulse
is no longer registered by the brain. Researchers have called this ‘pheno-
menon habituation. When the brain becomes accustomed to the stimu-
lus, then gradually it becomes relaxed. The state where the brain is com-
pletely relaxed results in mental relaxation. Sannyasi Mangalteertham
(1998) concluded on the basis of his study that the practice of Yoga nidra
brings alpha dominance in the brain, which is characterized by mental
relaxation.
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PSICHOLOGINIAI POKYČIAI, SUSIJĘ SU YOGA NIDRA
UŽSIĖMIMAIS
Kamakhya Kumar
Santrauka. Tyrimo tikslas. Tyrimu siekiama įvertinti Yoga nidra užsiėmimų poveikį studentų
patiriamiems regresijos ir kaltės jausmams. Metodika. Tyrimas atliktas Dev Sanskriti
Vishwavidyalaya Yoga Arogya poliklinikoje. Eksperimentinę tiriamųjų grupę sudarė 80
studentų, kurie 6 mėnesius lankė reguliarius klasikinės jogos užsiėmimus ir papildo-
mai atlikdavo 30 min. Yoga nidra praktikas. Kontrolinę grupę sudarė 30 studentų, kurie
tyrimo laikotarpiu lankė tik klasikinius jogos užsiėmimus. Rezultatai ir išvados. Tyrimo
rezultatai atkleidė reikšmingą teigiamą Yoga nidra poveikį psichologiniam studentų
funkcionavimui. Tiek vyrų, tiek moterų, papildomai praktikavusių Yoga nidra grupėse,
regresijos ir patiriamos kaltės jausmų vertinimai reikšmingai sumažėjo.
Pagrindiniai žodžiai: Yoga nidra, regresija, kaltė.
Received: 11 01 2009
Accepted: 10 09 2010
... The result shows a significant change as practice of Yoga nidra positively decreases the regression and guilt levels of both the male and female subjects. 13 Various studies have been done in different part of world for observing the effect of yoga nidra. I have reviewed many studies on yoga nidra, there are many studies on impact of yoga nidra on stress and its related disease. ...
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The present study aims at finding out the effect of Yoga nidra on stress and anxiety on college going students. The study conducted at the Yoga clinic of Dev Sanskriti Vishwavidyalaya. Practice time was 30 min the duration was 6 months. 80 students were taken from P.G. Yoga classes for observing the effect as well as 30 was in control group. The result shows a significant change in the practice group, as Yoga nidra positively decrease the stress level of the male and female subjects. Several other studies prove Yoga nidra equally influences anxiety level significantly in both male and female subjects.
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