Yoga Nidra as a complementary therapy to medication helps the psychological problems associated with menstrual irregularities better than medication alone, according to a study published in the International Yoga Journal (2011).

Yoga Nidra for relaxation.

Yoga Nidra plus meds effectively reduce psychological issues from menstrual irregularities.

Yoga Nidra is a guided, deep relaxation technique developed by Swami Satyananda Saraswati, author of the Hatha Yoga guide Asana, Pranayama, Mudra, Bandha. The objective of Yoga Nidra is to “balance psychic and vital energies within the psychic channels.” During a Yoga Nidra class, students lay down with their eyes closed and follow the teacher’s directions.

The Women in the Yoga Nidra study

The participants in this Yoga Nidra study from Chhatrapati Shahuji Maharaj Medical University were 150 female medical students diagnosed with menstrual irregularities. The researchers split the women into two groups: the treatment group attended Yoga Nidra classes and control group did not. Both groups took medication, including Levonorgestrol, Norethistrone, or Medroxy progesterone.

Guided Yoga Nidra session

The treatment group completed a 35-minute guided Yoga Nidra session, 5 days per week, for 6 months.

The core components of a Yoga Nidra class include

  • Chanting om
  • Laying in corpse pose – shavasana
  • Defining and repeating a personal positive resolve statement
  • Counting breaths

Expect the instructor to suggest relaxing each part of your body, one-by-one, followed by image visualization, such as sitting seaside or strolling through a lush rainforest.

To learn more about theYoga Nidra session used in this study, click to open the information box below.

The Yoga Nidra Class: Step-by-Step

Click here read the step-by-step details of the Yoga Nidra class on the International Journal of Yoga’s website.

Yoga Nidra study results – Less anxiety and depression

The results demonstrated significant positive changes in psychological outcome measures for the Yoga Nidra group. The Yoga Nidra group felt significantly less anxiety and depression than the control group and reported significant increases in positive well-being, general health, and energy.

How does Yoga Nidra help?

The researchers propose the health benefits from practicing Yoga Nidra are due to the reduction of the elevated cortisol levels associated with depression and calming the hypothalamus to reduce anxiety.

References for Yoga Nidra and Psychological Issues of Menstrual Irregularity

Rani K, Tiwari SC, Singh U, Agrawal GG, Ghildiyal A, Srivastava N. Impact of Yoga Nidra on psychological general wellbeing in patients with menstrual irregularities: A randomized controlled trial. Int J Yoga 2011;4:20-5

Photo credit: windyschneider