Yoga Nidra Is Effective In Mitigating Anxiety And Stress In Adolescents

June 20, 2023; Unhurry Expert Research Team

June 21 is International Yoga Day. All of this week, we are celebrating the positive impact of yoga on mental health. All our research articles and features will bring you these scientific insights.

Yoga Nidra is effective in reducing psychosocial stress in adolescents. The technique significantly reduced the total stress of vital domains like the stress of home life, school performance, teacher interaction, future uncertainty, and school and leisure conflict.

The pilot study which was conducted in Mangalore, Karnataka with adolescents aged 14-16 pursuing their high school education noted that Yoga Nidra could be useful in the school curriculum.

Almost 12% of Indian students suffer from mental health issues

According to a UNICEF report, India has the world’s biggest population of teenagers, with every fifth person there being between the ages of 10 and 19. According to Malhotra and Patra’s meta-analysis, significant mental health problems affected roughly 6.5% of the community and 23.3% of school-aged adolescents. Recent reports also claim that “almost 12% of Indian students between the ages of 4 and 16 years, suffer from mental health issues and that, every 1 hour, a student commits suicide” to support this claim.

Adolescents and academic stress

Academic stress is the most prevalent stressor and has a major impact on many adolescents. Academic stress is defined as ” stress coming from elements including “classroom setting, high academic load, poor study abilities, and test anxiety,” from a terminological standpoint. According to research, academic stress can be long-lasting, and some teenagers experience anxiety and melancholy because they fear failing or falling short of their expectations.

Constant stress and pressure have an impact on a person’s physical and mental health. In extreme cases, it lowers students’ inattentiveness in class and causes them to lose concentration on their studies, which affects their academic performance. The subsequent drop in academic performance and failure to fulfill expectations worsen psychological suffering, which then feeds back on itself in a vicious cycle. As a result, all these consequences have an impact on the person’s sleep patterns, self-care practices, and community socialization. They also lessen outdoor sports and recreation and will progressively have an impact on the affected person’s overall development.

The self-worth of students determined by academic performance

The primary cause of academic stress in India is that students’ sense of worth is mostly based on academic achievement rather than on personal or professional traits.  Additionally, pressure from parents and instructors to perform well in school might make people feel more stressed. Stress and emotional suffering are particularly prevalent among adolescents who are taking board exams. According to reports from all throughout India and the rest of the world, high school kids in their mid-teens who are preparing to take the key examinations that will determine their future careers are under a great deal of stress and exhibit feelings of anxiety, dejection, despair, and weariness.

In light of these facts, the study’s goal was to comprehend “Yoga Nidra,” a form of relaxation technique created by Swami Satyananda Saraswathi, and its positive benefits on teenagers. In this type of yoga, the student learns to control their breathing, change their breathing rate, and shift their consciousness from beta to alpha, then to delta, all without falling asleep.

What is Yoga Nidra?

The term Yoga Nidra “is derived from two Sanskrit words, Yoga’ (yuj = yoke or one-pointed awareness) and Nidra (sleep)” and is an “altered state of consciousness where the practitioner has to keep the mind moving from point to point and be aware of every experience”. It is also termed a “state of consciousness where the practitioner does not need to concentrate and is neither sleep nor awakening or hypnotism”. Yoga Nidra, which is also known as sleep with a hint of awareness, is said to promote physical, emotional, and mental relaxation. The deep state of relaxation known as Yog Nidra was practised by Lord Vishnu and the mythical sages, who then taught their followers how to use it, according to ancient Indian texts.

Yoga Nidra is a systematic method of inducing relaxation

Yoga Nidra is traditionally thought to have developed from the tantric practices of “Nyasa” and “pratyahara” of raja yoga. Pratyahara is the separation of the mind and mental awareness from the sensory pathways, whereas Nyasa is the placement or taking of the mind. The primary distinction between Yoga Nidra and meditation is that whereas Yoga Nidra is performed while the practitioner is supine and in an aware sleep condition, meditation is typically performed in an aware awake state while in a sitting position (typically in padmasana or Vajrayana).

Another crucial point is that Yoga Nidra has no side effects; the only negative effects observed were mild snoring and some falling asleep during the practice. Due to this, Yoga Nidra is extremely safe to practice, especially in a school setting with young children and middle-aged students.

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The fundamental principles of studying Yoga Nidra were established by Swami Satyananda Saraswati, a well-known instructor from the Bihar School of Yoga in Munger in Bihar, India. In this condition, relaxation is attained by going inside and away from external experiences, according to his description of Yoga Nidra as a “systematic method of inducing complete physical, mental, and emotional relaxation.” Yoga Nidra, which is also known as “psyche sleep,” can be practiced by teachers or by listening to an audio CD while following the author’s book’s instructions.

Yoga Nidra reduces anxiety and stress

Recent scientific studies have demonstrated that practicing Yoga Nidra is effective in reducing anxiety and stress in college professors, reducing symptoms of depression in elderly people, reducing life stress and symptoms of subjective tinnitus, lessening disability and pain in people with lumbar spondylitis, enhancing self-esteem and body image in people with thermal burns to rehabilitate, and improving sleep quality in health care workers.

According to the current pilot study, Yoga Nidra is beneficial at reducing stress in mid-adolescents.


Help is here:

Toll-Free Mental Health Rehabilitation Helpline Kiran (1800-599-0019)

Name of the Organisation: The Yoga Institute

The Yoga Institute, world’s oldest yoga centre, was established in 1918. Their courses have transformed millions of lives and created more than 100000+ teachers worldwide. In 2018, The Yoga Institute received the Prime Minister’s Award for outstanding contribution for promotion and development of Yoga by the Ministry of AYUSH, Government of India. It has branches across the country.


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Name of the Organisation: Vandrevala Foundation

Vandrevala Foundation is a non-profit that partners with organizations to help communities thrive by providing education and healthcare. Vandrevala Foundation launched a mental health helpline in India in 2009 to offer free psychological counselling and crisis mediation to anyone who is experiencing distress due to depression, trauma, mood disorders, chronic illness, and relationship conflict.


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