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THE BENEFITS OF YOGA NIDRA IN MIDLIFE

THE BENEFITS OF YOGA NIDRA IN MIDLIFE

Yoga nidra is sometimes described as yoga sleep, it's a wonderful state of being somewhere between being awake and being asleep. It's a guided meditation of sorts and needs no props of effort other than a mind and body willing to let go.

Some people claim that 20 minutes of Yoga nidra is equivalent to two hours of sleep. Who knows if this is true but many women say that it leaves them feeling nourished and refreshed. Yoga nidra is very different from sleep, it supports relaxation and helps ease tensions that ordinary sleep can’t resolve completely.1

How it affects you depends on how you’re feeling before you start. For example, if your nervous system is on high alert, you may feel tired initially and then feel the benefits after some rest.

In Chinese medicine meditation is a very important aspect of Yang Sheng (nourishment of life) it’s about rest and restoration which is not the same thing as sleep.

As you’ve probably heard me say before, our kidney energy naturally declines as we age, like the wax on a candle, our energy and life vitality (the flame on the candle) burns through. When the candle goes out that’s when we reach the end of life.  

Anything you can do through life to support this kidney energy, will slow the burn of the candle. One of the key things is living moderately. I’m a fan of all things moderation including moderation! Living moderately means reducing stressors in our lives. Not living on our adrenaline and propping ourselves up whether with stimulants such as coffee and sugar or creating adrenaline by pushing ourselves too much by overworking or taking on too much.

Lowering stress levels is my number one recommendation for living well in midlife and this is where yoga nidra comes in. It’s not like yoga asana – body posture – or more commonly thought of as exercise these days. It’s not about movement of the body, it’s more about the inward movement of the mind.

Stress creates or exacerbates midlife issues such as heart health, sleep, anxiety, mental clarity and aches and pains. Yoga nidra (other forms of meditation are available!) can be a helpful support against these issues.

So if the thought of deep relaxation doesn’t sway you to try yoga nidra here are my 5 top reasons to take up lying still.

MY TOP 5 REASONS WHY YOGA NIDRA WILL HELP NOURISH YOUR MIND & BODY

1. SUPPORT FOR YOUR HEART HEALTH

In Chinese medicine the heart is the seat of all emotions. It’s the empress of the body, a vital pump which oversees the blood vessels. Heart health is maintained through joy and tranquility.

Our risk of heart disease increases with age. Oestrogen, which dwindles in menopause, helps to regulate blood vessels. If you’re experiencing heart palpitations during menopause yoga nidra may help you.

Research1 has shown that yoga nidra can lower blood pressure and decrease heart rate. It does this through relaxing the entire nervous system which leads to a lowering in the hearts workload and therefore blood pressure.

2. IMPROVING SLEEP

So, Yoga Nidra isn’t sleep but the side effect of the deep relaxation it can bring about will support better sleep. And the thing about sleep is that if we get good quality kip, it impacts many other aspects of our health including heart health.

In 2022, research looked at the effect of listening to a short (11 minute) yoga nidra over the course of 30 days and concluded that ‘a very short dose of meditation can positively influence stress, sleep, and well-being’. It’s one of a handful of menopause sleep remedies, that I recommend to patients,  that can really help.

3. REDUCING ANXIETY & DEPRESSION

Are you experiencing anxiety during menopause? Research from 20124 looking at anxiety and depression in patients with issues around their periods found that Yoga Nidra was a huge benefit. Although, this isn’t directly always a menopausal issue, it’s rooted in hormonal imbalance, so I think the findings are really important.

After 6 months of daily 35  minutes of yoga nidra, 5 days a week it was found that ‘patients with mild to moderate anxiety and depressive symptoms improve significantly.’ 4

4. MANAGING ACHES AND PAINS

In 2019, yoga nidra, alongside relaxation music was used in a study to review a patient’s perception of pain and the practitioners experience of the patient’s physical reaction to medical procedure. It found that perceptions were ‘significantly reduced’ and that patient satisfaction was ‘significantly improved’ in the moment of the treatment.

Many of my patients experience menopause headaches neck pain and other aches and pains I recommend yoga nidra to help them.

5. MENTAL CLARITY

‘Two neuroimaging studies have shown that yoga nidra produces changes in endogenous dopamine release and cerebral blood flow, a further confirmation that its effects on the Central Nervous System are objectively measurable’.

Dopamine is like a cuddle in a hormone it makes you feel real good! Increased blood flow to the brain means more energy and oxygen, which makes your brain perform better. If you’re suffering with menopause concentration problems nidra could be a help.

It’s hard to believe that something so seemingly effortless can bring so many health benefits isn’t it. By simply ‘being’ rather than ‘doing’ on a regular basis we can truly nourish ourselves in midlife.

If you’d like to find out for yourself how yoga nidra feels sign up for my free WELLNESS connect online group and receive a recording of my Winter Solstice Yoga Nidra to  enjoy anytime. When you sign up for WELLNESS connect we'll connect on the last Wednesday of each month for a short wellness treat via zoom or a recording. WELLNESS connect sign up 

SIGN UP TO WELLNESS CONNECT HERE BEFORE 20/12/23  AND RECEIVE FREE YOGA NIDRA 

See you soon

 

Jo 

 

REFERENCES

  1. https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Kamakhya-Kumar/publication/215585754_Reversing_the_Ischemic_Heart_Disease_through_Yoga_Nidra/links/0046353043730447c0000000/Reversing-the-Ischemic-Heart-Disease-through-Yoga-Nidra.pdf Reversing the Ischemic Heart Disease through Yoga Nidra Kamakhya Kumar* Nature and Wealth Vol. VIII No 1

  2. YOGA THERAPY AND RESEARCH METHODS ARTICLES| NOVEMBER 11 2020 A Closer Look at Yoga Nidra: Sleep Lab Protocol  Erica Sharpe, PhD;             Alison Lacombe, PhD; Matthew P. Butler, PhD; Douglas Hanes, PhD;  Int            J Yoga Therap (2021) 31 (1): Article_20. https://doi.org/10.17761/2021-D-         

  1. Effectiveness of a short Yoga Nidra meditation on stress, sleep, and well-being in a large and diverse sample Esther N. MoszeikTimo von OertzenKarl-Heinz Renner Current Psychology volume 41, pages5272–5286 (2022) https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s12144-020-01042-2?wt_mc=socialmedia.facebook.1.SEM.ArticleAuthorOnlineFirst&fbclid=IwAR02s5l4XvBbQOKh3UYC8cZDNAWXHwcL7Kvo-U62XFcv2KSakI5sWtbBv8Y
  2. Int J Yoga.2012 Jan-Jun; 5(1): 52–56. doi: 4103/0973-6131.91715 PMCID: PMC3276934 PMID: 22346067 Yoga Nidra as a complementary treatment of anxiety and depressive symptoms in patients with menstrual disorder Khushbu RaniSC Tiwari,1 Uma Singh,2 Indrapal Singh,1 and Neena Srivastava https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3276934/

  3. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S1524904217302874 Pain Management Nursing Volume 20, Issue 1, February 2019, Pages 39-46 Using Yoga Nidra Recordings for Pain Management in Patients Undergoing Colonoscopy Author links open overlay panelLijunLiMD∗†§WenShuMPH‡§ZhenLiPhD†QuanyanLiuPhD†HaitaoWangPhD†BilongFengMD†Yan-QiongOuyangPhD

  1. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC9033521/#CR4 Sleep Vigil.2022; 6(1): 61–84. Published online 2022 Apr 23. doi: 1007/s41782-022-00202-7 PMCID: PMC9033521 PMID: 35496325 The Origin and Clinical Relevance of Yoga Nidra Seithikurippu R. Pandi-Perumal,1,2 David Warren Spence,3 Neena Srivastava,#4 Divya Kanchibhotla,5 Kamakhya Kumar,6 Gaurav Saurabh Sharma,7 Ravi Gupta,7 and Gitanjali Batmanabane8

  1. Singh J. Vijñānabhairava or divine consciousness. A treasury of 112 types of yoga. C Motilal Banarsidass Indological Publishers & Booksellers: New Delhi, India. p. 207. ISBN: 81–208–0817–7.

 

 

About Jo Darling MBAcC Lic Acu, Founder Menopoised®

Jo Darling is an acclaimed Chinese medicine practitioner with expertise in women’s natural health and the founder of Menopoised® She’s passionate about helping women transition through menopause, whether natural or medically induced and is an experienced oncology acupuncturist.

Jo’s mission is to empower women to live healthier, happier lives sharing her 15 years of clinical experience harnessing the ancient wisdom of traditional Chinese medicine. She successfully works with patients to support them with mental and physical health imbalances from hot flushes to anxiety, low mood or low energy, migraines, insomnia and much more.

Jo integrates a range of Chinese medical techniques including acupuncture, gua sha, moxibustion and offers lifestyle advice (yang sheng) to help women help themselves. She offers both in person and remote treatment incorporating the use of essential oils to activate specific acupuncture points.

Jo Darling Wellness Retreats

Jo runs Chinese medicine retreats in the UK and abroad. Rooted in the principle of the Chinese clock, (when we do the right thing at the right time 1 day can seem like 3) Jo curates your stays to make the most of the energy of the day and season. Making selfcare effortless and lasting.

Her workshops are designed to make Chinese medicine a joy to embody, teaching selfcare tools to inspire you to take care of yourself. Enjoy gentle movement practices, acupuncture treatments, wonderful food and exquisite locations.

UK Wellness Retreat, Wasing Berkshire February 2024

Join me, for a weekend retreat filled with Chinese medical wisdom, stunning natural surroundings and nourishing food. Invigorate your senses with a wild swim (or toe dip) in the lake, warm up in the lakeside sauna and enjoy 2 hours of restorative, gentle yoga.

Stay at the estates Home Farm for dinner and personalised predictions for the year ahead. Plus support your mind and body with acupuncture and qi gong to help you gently move into Spring. More info here 

Spanish Wellness Retreat, Andalucia May 2024

Rest, restore and revitalise in the magical mountains, waterfalls and sunshine of Andalucia, Spain.

During our time together I’ll introduce you to the theory of the ‘Chinese Clock’ which explains that each organ has peak energy at a specific time of day. I'll show you how to harness this energy to optimise your wellbeing.

We’ll live and breathe the concept through a series of workshops, gentle movement practices and acupuncture treatments to help you take care of yourself. With lots of spare time in between to enjoy the wonderful food, sunshine, pool and caves of our magical luxury retreat. More info here

About Bazi Health Readings With Jo

Jo offers Bazi (chinese astrology) health readings to help you to understand yourself better. Through a reading with her you can find out what aspects of your health, mental and physical need more support and find out how to harness your strengths to help you feel better.

What you'll get from a reading:

* Empower yourself with greater self knowledge

* Understand you physical, emotional and mental potential

* Recognise and hone your strengths

* Learn how to support your health weaknesses

If you'd like to find out more about a Bazi health reading with Jo click here.

How Jo’s Cancer Patients Changed Her Life

Her work with cancer patients, helping to reduce the side effects of chemotherapy, radiotherapy and hormonal treatment has been life changing not just for her patients but also for her.

She noticed her cancer patients often experienced immediate and intense menopause symptoms (as a side effect of their treatment) and for some their hot flushes were so overwhelming they couldn’t even drive to her clinic. Menopausal herself and rocked by her best friend’s cancer diagnosis she decided enough was enough.

Jo says:

“I looked around for effective natural solutions, aligned with my principles and ethos that I could recommend to my patients. What I found was nothing. At least nothing that was proven to be effective that women could use at home and get the same effects as seeing an acupuncturist.

That’s when I took things into my own hands and created Menopoised®. Effective, natural, side-effect free and beautiful to boot. Because, quite frankly why shouldn’t products for menopausal women look and feel gorgeous!”

Armed with her extensive knowledge, practise-based evidence and expertise in Chinese Medicine she set about creating beautiful, effective products herself under the brand name Menopoised®.

Menopoised® Products

The Menopoised Menopause Magnet

For when your menopause is too hot to handle, helps get your cool back naturally. Each box contains four ready-to-wear magnets and 24 replacement plasters. Fast-acting, wear anytime and side effect free.  Read our FAQs here.

Embrace Cool, Find Calm, Be Collected Aromatherapy Rollerballs

When your menopause is getting you down, our aromatherapy pulse point oils help you Embrace Cool, Find Calm and Be Collected. Each intuitive and thoughtful blend is formulated to harness the natural healing principles of Chinese medicine.

Let the oils ancient botanical wisdom take care of you. Set of 3 x 10ml pulse point essential aromatherapy oils.

Embrace Cool releases the natural essences of wise Clary Sage, calming and balancing Geranium, refreshing Lemon and Cooling Peppermint to help take the edge off those moments of feeling overwhelmed and overheated.

Find Calm with delightful and luxurious Neroli to float you to cloud nine, whilst Lavender calms, Patchouli soothes and Ylang Ylang relaxes. A welcome moment of peace when you need it most.

Be Collected is a clearing blend that releases the natural essences of Rosemary to help you keep it all together along with cool Peppermint and woody Cypress, for those times when you need to be on the top of your game.

Cool & Calm Aromatherapy Cream

This luxurious Cool and Calm cream blends pure essential oils to calm the mind, balance the hormones and cool you down when you’re feeling the heat.

When your temperature’s rising Rose Geranium supports hormonal balance and cooling Peppermint brings a breath of fresh air and clarity. Woody Frankincense instills a sense of peace whilst Lavender’s relaxing properties infuse calm. Wise and cool Clary Sage helps to calm the nerves, with an affinity for hormonal health. 

Beautifully blended to nourish and restore this Cool and Calm cream harnesses the richly moisturising properties of cocoa and shea butters to help rehydrate and protect tired skin.

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