Women and men with diabetes who practice Yoga Nidra while taking oral medication “have better control of their fluctuating blood glucose and symptoms associated with diabetes,” the Indian Journal of Pharmacology and Physiology.
Yoga Nidra as a complementary therapy to oral medication may help you, or someone you love, control the symptoms of type 2 diabetes, also known as noninsulin-dependent or adult-onset diabetes, according to a 2009 study from Shyam Shah Medical College. The World Health Organization reports that approximately 90% of the 347 million people in the world with diabetes have type 2.
Are you worried about diabetes? Do you have a history of diabetes in your family? Simple, low-cost, drug-free methods of preventing or delaying the onset of diabetes include
- A balanced diet
- Regular exercise
- A healthy body weight
How to Practice Yoga Nidra
Yoga Nidra is a guided meditation technique developed by Swami Satyananda Saraswati to induce complete mental, physical, and emotional relaxation. It’s easy for almost anyone to practice and you don’t need any special equipment, clothing, or skills.
Practicing Yoga Nidra is simple:
- Lay down on your back
- Close your eyes
- 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 here and listen to, or download, a Yoga Nidra session from YogaPoint.com — available in nine languages.
Participants and Methods
The 41 people diagnosed with type 2 diabetes in this study were aged between 35 and 65 and 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 for 45 minutes every day for up to 90 days, and Group 2 did not.
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.
Effects of Yoga Nidra on Blood Sugar Levels
- After 15 days, blood sugar levels began to fall
- After 60 days, substantial, positive results were observed
- After 90 days, a statistically significant decrease in blood sugar levels
Thinking about practicing Yoga Nidra to help control your type 2 diabetes?
The changes in blood sugar levels observed in this study are as follows. You can bring this information to a doctor’s appointment in a proactive effort to help her decide if trying Yoga Nidra fits into your diabetes treatment plan.
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)
Effects of Yoga Nidra on Other Symptoms
This guided meditation may help you with more than your type 2 diabetes. After 90 days of practicing Yoga Nidra, the participants reported a statistically significant reduction in some of their other symptoms:
- 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.