Over the last week, I’ve probably spent more hours asleep than awake. A migraine knocked me out from Thursday night until Saturday afternoon, and then a bad cold ran me over on Sunday and Monday. In my half-awake, semi-lucid state, I wondered what I should write about this week. Then I yawned, fell back asleep, and found my answer: Rest.
While not everyone out there suffers from migraines, I’m pretty sure most of you have dealt with a bad cold. And honestly, even without cold and flu season, the busyness and stress of modern life often leaves us feeling dazed, depleted, and desperate to feel better. This is where rest comes in.
I know that rest isn’t sparkly or sexy. It isn’t a quick-fix, there are no celebrity sponsors (plus it’s hard to Instragram while napping) but honestly, rest is not only the antidote to sickness, it’s the cure for pretty much everything.
Now, you might be saying “Yeah yeah yeah, but I don’t have TIME to rest!” First, that’s a horrible mindset, and you should fix that. You’re pretty much asking for burnout and disease to creep your way. Second, let me introduce you to a magical form of rest where just 45 minutes is as nourishing as a 3-hour nap. It’s called yoga nidra.
In the time that I have been conscious over the past week, I’ve been reading Daring to Rest by Karen Brody, which is about developing a rest practice through yoga nidra. Yoga nidra (literally meaning “yogic sleep”) is a type of guided meditation in which you are lying down, letting your body sleep while your mind stays alert and calm by listening to a yoga nidra audio.
In explaining the purpose and power of yoga nidra, Brody writes, “Pointing you to your most authentic self is the ultimate purpose of yoga nidra because that is where your internal power switch lies. In today’s modern world, we’re disconnected from our authentic self because we’re fixated only on our physical body—through exercise, nutrition, weight loss, and health care, for example. The problem is, the physical body isn’t where our internal power switch sits.”
Not only does rest recharge our bodies and allow us to function properly, but it also allows us to connect with our deeper self—the self beyond the size on the label or the reflection in the mirror. That is a powerful shift.
If you are curious about yoga nidra, I highly recommend Daring to Rest. If you want to try out a yoga nidra audio, a simple google search will give you plenty of options. There are some great ones out there, including one of my favorite quickies by Elena Brower that you can find here.
If you just want to take a good old fashioned nap, I support that too!
Go forth and rest, loves.