The Many Benefits of Yoga Nidra

At The Christ Hospital, we are committed to offering our patients a variety of Integrated Health services. These programs combine conventional treatments with holistic, complementary therapies, such as yoga, tai chi, music therapy, massage and much more.  
One of our yoga therapists, Tina Walter, has put together this yoga nidra video, which can be done in the comfort of your own home. This video is part of the wellness programs we offer patients to help with physical, emotional, mental, social, spiritual and environmental health. These wellness classes are typically held at our Mt. Auburn campus and are free of charge for patients and their families; however, this specialized video can be done anywhere and at any time.

What is Yoga Nidra?

Yoga nidra is similar to meditation and deep relaxation. The word “nidra” means sleep in Sanskrit and is commonly known as yogic sleep. During a yoga nidra session, the instructor guides participants through verbal instructions that focus awareness to the breath, bodily sensations, emotions and thoughts. It helps to quiet the mind, relax the muscles and calm the nervous system.
The purpose of yoga nidra is to fully relax, disengage from thoughts and move into a highly restorative state of rest. Addition benefits of yoga nidra include:
  • Helps insomnia
  • Reduces post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
  • Reduces chemical dependency
  • Heightens awareness and focus
  • Transforms negative habits and ways of thinking
Yoga nidra aims to restore and reboot the overwhelmed and exhausted parts of our bodies and minds. This is especially fitting for cancer patients and their families, helping to calm the nervous system and develop a sense of peacefulness. Additional benefits include an immune system boost, pain management, lower blood pressure and increasing tolerance to stress and trauma.

Yoga Therapy at The Christ Hospital

The yoga therapy program was implemented into our outpatient chemotherapy infusion center in 2015. Our medical oncology patients began receiving chair yoga therapy during their infusion sessions and the results were positive.
In 2018, the yoga therapy program was expanded to include the inpatient oncology unit, which comprises of medical oncology, palliative care and sickle cell patients. These patients receive yoga therapy to help with symptom management from treatments or to aid in end-of-life care. 
“My work as a yoga therapist is highly adaptable for all stages of cancer treatments,” Tina says. “Whether I’m working with patients during the trauma of their initial diagnosis, or providing guided relaxation to patients receiving inpatient and outpatient treatments or teaching yoga class to groups of survivors. I work with people during all stage of their treatment, including end of life.”

Yoga vs. Yoga Therapy

What’s the difference between yoga and yoga therapy? For the general population, yoga classes can ease aches and pains, as well as boost moods and overall well-being. Yoga classes come in a variety of challenge levels and can vary from relaxing to high-intensity and are taught by certified yoga instructors.
However, yoga therapy is tailored specifically to the individual or group to address their physical, mental and emotional needs. Yoga therapists undergo specific training and supervision before becoming certified, helping them to provide safe, effective and adaptive yoga options for cancer patients. We use certified yoga therapists for all of our wellness yoga programs.

For more information on the integrative medicine programs available at The Christ Hospital, please call 513-585-4002 or visit our Integrative Medicine page to learn more.