The results suggest that the aspects of wellbeing studied improved in the case group. The participants in the Yoga Nidra program had decreased level of anxiety, depression and increased positive wellbeing, general health and vitality compared with the control group.
In the case group which practiced Yoga Nidra
for six months, there was significant decrease in their degree of depression (according to the psychological general wellbeing schedule) and we observed a significant change during the treatment period. Other studies have also shown that those with depression could benefit from Sudarshan Kriya
and related Practice.[14
] Earlier studies also reported similar findings.[15
] During depression, there is a decrease in neurotransmitters such as serotonin and norepinephrine. Besides, an increased level of cortisol has a role in causing depression by regulating the function of serotonin and norepinephrine.[17
] Yoga helps in decreasing the cortisol levels leading to a counter-regulatory effect to reduce the depressive symptoms.[18
The decrease in the anxiety level that a Yoga Nidra
practitioner exhibits is interesting. There was significant decreased anxiety in the case group. Previous studies have also shown that employing yoga interventions for other conditions (cancer survivors, self-reported emotional distress) results in beneficial effects for depression and mood, as well as anxiety and physical wellbeing.[19
] Many other studies.[20
] have also supported our findings. There was a decrease in the anxiety level in the case group during the treatment period, whereas there were no changes in the control group. During anxiety there is an increased response of the hypothalamus and sympathetic activity. The Yoga Nidra
state appears to reflect an integrated response by the hypothalamus, resulting in decreased sympathetic (excitation) nervous activity and increased parasympathetic (relaxation) function.[11
The results show that there was a significant improvement in positive wellbeing, general health and vitality in the case group. Yoga Nidra is believed to balance psychic and vital energies within the psychic channels (nadis) of the energy framework underlying the physical body. Free flow of these energies is considered to be the basis of optimal physical and mental health.
Findings of other studies also corroborate the present results.[24
] However, the improvement in self-control did not show a significant difference, but in the case group there was improvement in these parameters also when compared with the control group. Previous studies have found significant improvement in self-esteem[27
] with Yogic exercises.
The subjects who practiced Yoga Nidra felt that they have learnt a skill in the form of Yoga Nidra that can be used in stressful situations to become relaxed and for better management of stress. They experienced that the yoga program helped in decreasing nervousness, tensions, depression, downheartedness, hopelessness, illness and bodily disorders. They felt happy, satisfied, cheerful and lighthearted. They experienced a new outlook of life. Furthermore, it could be that the energy was used to handle the feelings and emotions that they previously suppressed.
In this present study, psychological improvement in subjects with menstrual irregularities, secondary to implementation of Yoga Nidra appears to have the potential to generate positive effects on wellbeing.
The yogic exercise such as Sudarshan Kriya
and related practices are known to increase experience of Altered States of Consciousness (ASC), similar to trans-state and this is manifested in a feeling of deep relaxation and release of stress.[28
] Yoga Nidra
has similar effects.