Research shows that yoga nidra is a safe, effective alternative or adjunct in the management of hypertension. Numerous trials have observed the influence of yoga nidra, and other relaxation practices derived from yoga nidra, in lowering the blood pressure, and their results have appeared in medical journals worldwide. All have shown significant responses, and today there is absolutely no doubt in scientific circles that yoga nidra effectively reduces tension and lowers blood pressure. It is only a matter of time before increasing tension levels, coupled with greater economic hardship in world communities, leads many more physicians to investigate and validate the practice of yoga nidra both for themselves and their hypertensive patients.
The research has been done. It is there for all to see and validate. The forthcoming introduction of yoga nidra into the standard medical treatment regime for hypertension in the next few years heralds one of the most significant revolutionary changes in medical therapeutics. It is beginning to occur now and it will continue. After its benefits in hypertension have been proved by more doctors, the rest will be plain sailing, because the benefits of yoga nidra and relaxation, as well as the other techniques of yoga, will be self-revealing and ongoing.
Let me tell you about just one of the many important studies on the effects yoga nidra. It was conducted at the Department of Cardiology at Bombay Hospital by one of India’s most eminent cardiologists, Brigadier K.K. Datey, and first appeared in the journal Angiology in 1976.
He trained 86 hypertensive men and women, average age 40 years, in yogic relaxation, in shavasana, the corpse pose. Their average blood pressure was 186/115 mm.Hg. The patients were divided into 3 groups.
Group 1 contained patients who had not received any anti-hypertensive drug beforehand.
Group 2 consisted of patients who had been taking anti-hypertensive drugs for at least two years, with adequate control of blood pressure.
Group 3 were patients whose blood pressure remained inadequately controlled in spite of taking anti-hypertensive drugs.
All patients were thoroughly trained in yogic relaxation at the cardiac clinic, and asked to continue to practice shavasana once or twice a day at home.
After three months, their clinical condition and blood pressure were reassessed. Significant results were recorded in all three groups. The majority of patients reported a general feeling of well being, with marked improvement in symptoms like headache, insomnia and nervousness.
In Group 1, average blood pressure dropped from 134 to 107 mm.Hg., a fall of 27 mm.Hg.
In Group 2, average blood pressure fell from 102 to 100 mm.Hg., but drug requirements were simultaneously reduced to 32% of the original dosage in 60% of patients.
In Group 3, average blood pressure dropped from 120 mm.Hg. to 110 mm.Hg., while drug intake was simultaneously reduced to 29% of original levels in 38% of patients.
Furthermore, patients who failed to respond were generally those who were irregular in attendance and daily practice. These results are highly significant, and we can conclude that yoga nidra may well be the long sought after solution to the problem of hypertension. It clearly has value either in place of conventional drug therapies or in conjunction with them.
Several other studies have produced comparable results. A study conducted at Stanford University School of Medicine, California, used 29 essential hypertensives who had been receiving medications for at least six months previously. They were divided into three groups. Group 1 received relaxation training directly from an instructor for ten weeks. Group 2 practiced relaxation training at home with the aid of an audio-cassette recording. Group 3 underwent psychotherapy without yogic relaxation training. At the six-month follow-up, the instructor-conducted relaxation group 1 fared best of all, revealing an average decrease of 7.8 mm.Hg. in systolic blood pressure and 9.7 mm.Hg. in diastolic blood pressure.
By Swami Satyananda Saraswati
Extracted from Yoga and Cardiovascular Management
(Yoga Publications Trust)
* We are conducting Yoga workshop on “Yogic Management of Hypertension & High Blood Pressure”. Details are as below:-
Date – 8th March 2020, Sunday
Venue – 433 / 10, Saraswat Colony, Behind Old Zilla Parishad, Somwar Peth, Pune – 411 001
Time – 7.00 am to 11.00 am
Please contact – 9623600316, 9881000443
*We shall provide tea & breakfast