If you have type 2 diabetes and take oral medication? Practicing Yoga Nidra meditation might help you “have better control of [your] fluctuating blood glucose and symptoms associated with diabetes,” per the Indian Journal of Pharmacology and Physiology.
Yoga Nidra Meditation Is Easy
Yoga Nidra mediation was developed by Swami Satyananda Saraswati to induce complete mental, physical, and emotional relaxation. And according to a study from Shyam Shah Medical College (2009), Yoga Nidra has promise as a complementary therapy to oral medication for adults with type 2 diabetes because it resulted in improved management of blood sugar levels. The World Health Organization reports that approximately 90% of the 347 million people worldwide with diabetes have type 2.
To avoid having to manage or lower blood sugar levels, (in addition to medication) you might be practicing some of the most commonly used low-cost, drug-free methods of reversing, preventing, delaying the onset of diabetes:
- Eating a balanced diet
- Exercising regularly
- Maintaining a healthy body weight
How to Practice Yoga Nidra Meditation
Great news! To practice this guided meditation technique, you simply lay on the floor and listen. Physical movement or exercising is NOT a part of the session. Moreover, getting started is easy for beginners, and you don’t need special equipment, clothing, or skills.
Practicing Yoga Nidra is simple:
- Lay down on your back or sit
- Close your eyes or cover them with an eye pillow
- Listen to the instructor or an audio recording
Sessions are typically 30 to 45 minutes, during which your mind lingers in a state between wakefulness and sleep. Click the link to listen to or download a Yoga Nidra session from YogaPoint.com — available in nine languages. The English session from Yoga Point is my favorite, and I’ve been using and sharing it for years because I love the woman’s Indian accent. You can also try Yoga Nidra on YouTube if you’re looking for other voices.
The Participants Were Adults Aged 35-64
In this yoga for diabetes study, the participants were 41 adults (aged between 35 and 65 years) with type 2 diabetes. Importantly, they maintained their individualized regimen of oral medication as prescribed by their doctor for the duration of the study. The researchers divided the participants into two groups. Group 1 practiced Yoga Nidra meditation for 45 minutes daily for up to 90 days. Group 2, the control group, did not practice Yoga Nidra.
This study used Dr. Swami Shankardev Saraswati’s version of Yoga Nidra. He is an Australian medical doctor who studied under the direct guidance of Swami Satyananda Saraswati at the Bihar School of Yoga in India.
Did Yoga Nidra meditation lower blood sugar levels?
- After 15 days, blood sugar levels began to decrease
- After 60 days, substantial, positive results were observed
- After 90 days, statistically significant lower blood sugar levels were observed
Should I Try Yoga Nidra Meditation To Help My Diabetes?
The best way to proceed is to consult your medical practitioner before trying yoga for diabetes to manage blood sugar. You can bring the detailed information below to your next doctor’s appointment to determine if Yoga Nidra meditation would complement your treatment plan. The specific changes in blood sugar levels observed in this study from the Indian Journal of Pharmacology and Physiology are as follows:
Fasting Blood Sugar Levels
- Before Yoga Nidra: 159.5 mg/dl (± 12.27)
- After 30 days: 154.7 mg/dl (± 18.14)
- After 60 days: 145.65 mg/dl (± 20.25)
- After 90 days: 137.75 mg/dl (± 23.15)
Blood Sugar Levels After Meals, Postprandial
- Before Yoga Nidra: 255.45 mg/dl (± 16.85)
- After 30 days: 250.55 mg/dl (± 22.31)
- After 60 days: 244.15 mg/dl (± 25.23)
- After 90 days: 237.5 mg/dl (±30.54)
Other Benefits of Yoga Nidra Meditation
Some participants had the good fortune of realizing benefits beyond lowering blood sugar levels. After 90 days of practicing Yoga Nidra meditation, they reported a statistically significant reduction in
- Anxiety and distress
- Heart palpitations
References for Yoga Nidra Complimentary Therapy for Diabetes
1. Indian Journal of Physiology and Pharmacology; Effect of Yoga Nidra on Blood Glucose Level in Diabetic Patients; S. Amita et al.; 2009.
2. Diabetes. Mayo Clinic
3. Diabetes Fact Sheet. (2013). World Health Organization.
4. Dr. Swami Shankardev Saraswati – Biography. Big Shakti | Yoga Meditation Health and Wellbeing.