We all know that rest is necessary for us humans to thrive, but why is it so difficult to do something that requires us to do, well, nothing?
Maybe it’s because we live in a society that equates busyness with productivity. Being busy is seen as a sign of success (“How are you doing? Keeping busy?”). It’s as if we’ve been programmed to feel guilty if we’re not doing.
And when we stop to put our feet up, there’s always a distraction. The tv, snacks, the mobile phone that may as well be a part of our permanent anatomy…
Can you remember what happened the last time you sat down and did nothing, with no distractions? It’s very likely that your mind suddenly started whirring with thoughts of all the things you *should* be doing. The art of rest is unlearning the conditions that society has placed on us to that lead us to believe we must be productive to be worthy. It’s going beyond the busy mind, beyond the doing, until we uncover our pure, untainted self.
However, sometimes doing nothing is the most productive thing you can do.
So, you know you need to rest, but don’t know how? Let me tell you about something that has made a huge difference to the quality of my life. Yoga Nidra, or as some call it, sleep Yoga.
What is Yoga Nidra and how can it help me?
Yoga Nidra is an accessible practice that can be experienced by everyone. All you have to do is make yourself comfortable and listen. That’s it. There’s a rumour that says an hour of Yoga Nidra is equivalent to four hour’s sleep. Well, I can’t find any evidence for it, but I can tell you it certainly feels that refreshing!
During Yoga Nidra, you are not asleep and not awake, but somewhere in between. Your awareness is guided from the external world to your inner experience of being. The practice of Yoga Nidra is like pressing the reset button, allowing you to feel revived and rejuvenated.
Benefits of Yoga Nidra
There are countless research backed benefits of Yoga Nidra, including improved focus and concentration, enhanced creativity and a reduction in symptoms of type 2 diabetes and PMS.
Many people practice Yoga Nidra to improve quality of sleep and to help manage stress, anxiety and low mood.
Of course there is much more to the practice, and this is very much a beginner’s guide. The best way to learn about Yoga Nidra is to try it for yourself!
In person Yoga Nidra sessions near Canterbury
I will be holding Candlelight Yoga Nidra sessions from Preston Village Hall, CT3 1HB on Sunday 21st November and Sunday 12th December, 17:30-18:30.
The sessions are open to all; no yoga experience is necessary. Just turn up in your comfiest clothes and get ready to REST! Drop me an email to book your place.