Yoga Nidra and stress reduction

Megha Deuskar & Usha Ram
University of Pune

The present paper aims at throwing light upon various aspects of health psychology the impact of subjective factors upon a person's health, the mind-body and body-mind interactions and the relevance of yoga as a health practice today with particular reference to Yoga Nidra. Psychological stress is known to adversely affect the functioning of the human immune system. Yoga Nidra, which aims to protect the body and mind, may enhance the capacity of the immune system in warding off diseases. If such a project is successful, it will increase our understanding of the mind-body link. It will also help liberate Yoga from the popular misconception that yoga is equivalent to Asanas or postures alone. Asanas are but one part of an entire system that is aimed at self-realization. When people become aware of this discipline as a whole, they might look at it as a lifestyle and incorporate it as a part of their daily routine, rather than look at it as just another esoteric therapy. Similarly, a person's faith, the psychological states and the characteristic ways of structuring reality, thinking patterns and emotions are known to effect health. The mind-body link is another important factor. Yoga Nidra is a complete system that is aimed at self-realisation, of which Asanas or postures are a part.

This paper was presented at the
National Conference on
Yoga and Indian Approaches to Psychology

Pondicherry, India, September 29 - October 1, 2002