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A study on the impact on stress and anxiety
through Yoga nidra
Dr. Kamakhya Kumar*
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
Key words: Yoga nidra, Stress, Anxiety.
Stress (roughly the opposite of relaxation) is a medical term for a wide range of strong
external stimuli, both physiological and psychological, which can cause a physiological
response called the general adaptation syndrome. It can be understood as tension
(psychology) a state of mental or emotional strain or suspense.
Today, life style such as cigarette smoking, habitual hostility, suspiciousness towards
others, a diet high in fat and low in fiber, and a sedentary way of life leading to many
psychological problems and psychosomatic problems. Stress and anxiety have become
major killers in our developed world, particularly the youth, the college going students
are loosing their confidence and getting the academic stress. A disturbing trend in college
student health is reported the increase in student stress nationwide. Good mental health is
one of the greatest resources for vitality, creativity and wealth, while poor health in
contrast significantly drains the afore mentioned. When stress is perceived negatively or
becomes excessive, students experience physical and psychological impairment. Hence,
it is necessary for the students of higher education to induce a complete relaxation
technique, through which they can prevent themselves from a well known disorder.
Yoga nidra is probably best-known technique to induce complete physical mental and
emotional relaxation. Yoga nidra is a state of consciousness, which is, neither sleep nor
awaken, neither is it concentration nor hypnotism. It can be defined, as an altered state of
* Department of Human Consciousness & Yogic Science
Dev Sanskriti Vishwavidyalaya Shantikunj, Haridwar 249411 U.A.
The author of Hatha Yoga Pradipika, great yogi Swatmarama classifies Yoga nidra as the
state of turiya; means the all expansive and encompassing ‘fourth dimension’ in which
Shakti neither contracts nor expands, but is in union with Shiva or supreme
// Abhyaset Khecharim Tavadyavat Syadyoganidritah /
/ Sampraptyoganidrasya Kalo Nasti Kadachana //
Meaning: Khechari should be practiced until yogic sleep occurs. For one who has
attained yogic sleep, time become non-existent. Here the term yoga nidra has used as the
state of Samadhi. Yogic sleep or yoga nidra is the state in which conscious mind subsides
but awareness remains.
According to Maharshi Markandey Yoga nidra is the state of deep relaxation as Lord
Visnu Himself uses this marvelous technique
Utpanneti Tada Loke Sanityapybhidhiyate/
Yoganidram Yada Vishnurjagatyekarnavikrite//
Maharshi Markandey according to his visualizations states in his text Markandey Purana
that at the end of Kalpa when the entire universe was in a deep relaxation Lord Vishnu
was lying on the bed of serpent in the state of yoga nidra.
Drastwa Tavsurau Chograu prasuptam Cha Janardanam/
Tustav Yoganidram Tamekagrahridyasthitih//
Meaning: When Lord Brahma observed Him in the state of yoga nidra to make him
awake He started praying the lordess Yoga nidra which lives in the eye of Lord Vishnu.
Various studies have been done in different part of world for observing the effect of Yoga
nidra. M.J. Cooper, (1979): in an important study at the University of Tel Aviv (Israel)
says that Yoga nidra significantly lowered 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 a major one. The value of the
practice of yogic relaxation in prevention of cardiovascular disease has been fairly well
recognized and accepted.
A recent study conducted at the Stanford University school of Medicine (U.S.A.) W.S.
Agras (Psychiat J.): demonstrates that the drop in blood pressure induced by daily Yoga
nidra practice has a far reaching effect, extending throughout the day, and is not merely a
transient effect coincident with the practice session.
Another controlled study, which was conducted at the Langley Porter Neuropsychiatry
Institute in California, Lekh Raj Bali (Med. Dec.1979): found that a reduction in blood
pressure and anxiety level in hypertensive patients continues for 12 months after Yoga
The above studies show that researchers are keen to know the effect 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:
1. To assess the effect of Yoga nidra on stress level of the subjects, and
2. To assess the effect of Yoga nidra on anxiety level of the subjects.
Material and methods
Eighty students (40 male and 40 female) of ranged 20-30 yrs from Dev Sanskriti
Vishwavidayalaya of P.G. Yoga classes selected for the practice of Yoga nidra assigned
to the experimental group. One of the groups of thirty students (15male and 15female) of
same age group and same class also considered as control group.
Both the group experimental and control group 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 experimental group it was an only difference 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 group went under through few
Practice of Yoga nidra in this study is the simplest method of relaxation 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
To assess the impact of Yoga nidra, parameters were stress and anxiety. For the
measurement of stress and anxiety level Eight State Questionnaire13 had been applied.
After the six months duration the same test again being applied and the data’s at 0.01
significant levels are as shown:
Result and discussion
Hypothesis (1): The practice of Yoga nidra will decrease the Anxiety level of the male
Table (1) - Anxiety (Male)
Mean sd “t” value significant level
2.5 at 0.01
Table (1) shows that the post mean values of experimental group are 4.90 and 5.60 of
control group and the ‘t’ value is 2.5, there is a significant change at 0.01 significant
levels in the Anxiety of the male subject of experimental and control group; Hypothesis
(1) has been proved.
Hypothesis (2): The practice of Yoga nidra will decrease the Anxiety of the female
Table (2) - Anxiety (Female)
Mean sd “t” value significant level
2.2 at 0.01
Table (2) shows that the post mean values of experimental group are 4.87 and 5.28 of
control group and the ‘t’ value is 2.2, there is a significant change at 0.01 significant
levels in the Anxiety of the female subject of experimental and control group; Hypothesis
(2) has been proved.
Hypothesis (3): The practice of Yoga nidra will decrease the Stress of the male subjects.
Table (3) - Stress (Male)
Mean sd “t” value significant level
2.14 at 0.01
Table (3) shows that the post mean values of experimental group are 4.63 and 5.53 of
control group and the ‘t’ value is 2.14, there is a significant change at 0.01 significant
levels in the Stress of the male subject of experimental and control group; Hypothesis (3)
has been proved.
Hypothesis (4): The practice of Yoga nidra will decrease the Stress of the female
Table (4) - Stress (Female)
Mean sd “t” value significant level
3.95 at 0.01
Table (4) shows that the post mean values of experimental group are 4.28 and 5.07 of
control group and the ‘t’ value is 3.95, there is a significant change at 0.01 significant
levels in the Stress of the female subject of experimental and control group; Hypothesis
(4) has been proved.
Stress is a cognitive or emotional response made by the individual towards any situation,
which demands adjustment. When the demands of the situation exceed the ability of the
individual distress results, which may manifest in mental and physical symptoms of
abnormality. The practice of Yoga nidra helps in building up the coping ability. The
practitioner of Yoga nidra slowly becomes aware of the inherent dormant potentialities
and thus prevents himself from becoming a victim of distress. As well as relaxation of
yoga nidra relaxes the physical as well as mental stresses as it relaxes the whole nervous
Stress-related disorders evolve gradually through four stages. In the first stage,
psychological symptoms like anxiety and irritability arise due to over activation of the
sympathetic nervous system.
Yoga nidra can be consider as a highly effective practice for reducing stress on the basis
of the present study as Yoga nidra releases the stress of the students of higher classes.
Practice of Yoga Nidra also reduces the Anxiety of male and female subjects both. It may
have positive results for the other age groups and occupations also.
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