Inner Reflections
January 28, 2022

A Challenging Yet Imperative Practice: Rest

In the modern western world, resting is associated with sleep. Many of us strive for eight hours, and when we happen to get a good night’s sleep, we consider the box for rest adequately checked. However, we are living in a fast-paced reality where whether we want to be or not, we are bombarded with information and stimuli of all kinds. The state of a global community has us more interconnected and plugged in than ever before. Advances in technology are exponentially increasing, making life more convenient but at the cost of simplicity. There is a lot of demand on the physical, mental, and energy body of a human being and the planet at large.

If you are finding yourself chronically tired, know that it is par for the high intensity 21st century course. How do we support ourselves as we navigate all of this acceleration? The answer is simple, profound, and for many of us a true yogic challenge.


Ritualizing Rest

Every living thing operates under the law of balance. When we are experiencing imbalance, our system does everything it can to bring us into homeostasis, for that is the state in which life thrives. Though the process is not always pleasant, our being is always working for us to bring us into harmony. We cannot exist in a state of imbalance for too long without getting sick mentally, physically, or spiritually. Illness is part of the brilliant communication system that tells us we are in need of a change.

In order to manage the stress of daily life, we need to make rest part of our daily ritual. Getting eight hours of sleep is what we need to survive, having a practice of rest is what we need to thrive. Waiting until we reach burn out or get sick is a way of living in extremes. We’re either working as hard as we can at all moments or we’re forced to rest from the paralysis of illness. What if, instead, we had a daily practice of pausing, getting quiet and still, and allowing the body and mind to go into a state of deep rest and relaxation? What if we made entering the healing state of deep rest became a priority in our lives? What if instead of the frenetic pull of the external world we could choose the tranquil haven of a steady inner reality?


Rest as Courage

 In order to ritualize rest, it is important to acknowledge that rest is a courageous act. The modern world is built off of the pursuit of productivity. The harder we work, the more praise and validation we receive. Stress grants us a gold star in the current paradigm that promotes working harder so that we can consume more. By saying “no” to that extra bit of schedule-filling productivity and making space for practices that support rest, we are challenging the outdated narrative and creating for ourselves a reality that can foster ease, peace, and holistic well-being.


The Goddess of Rest

So how do we do it? One way is through the practice of Yoga Nidra, a powerful ancient yogic practice that works to bring the body and mind into sleep while connecting to the part of our being that stays awake and aware. Yoga Nidra escorts us into a deeper relationship with the awareness that lies at the center of our being, that which is sometimes called the witness, the seer, the wisdom body, or consciousness. Some experts say that 45 minutes of Yoga Nidra can give us the benefit of 4 hours of deep rest. In this space of deep relaxation, healing on every level can occur. The seasoned practitioners and teachers of the technique purport that entering into Yoga Nidra can also help heal deep seeded trauma in our body, some of which has been passed down through our bloodline unbeknownst to us.

For many of us, we need to schedule rest into our calendars like we would a work meeting. If we are so use to going at max speed all of the time, chances are we will not have the time to restore nor be in the habit of making space for it. Starting a new practice brings with it the challenge of commitment. Know that every time you choose to pause and rest, you are supporting your capacity to show up to your life in the way that truly serves you.

Below are some recommended practices to help support your practice of rest:

Yoga Nidra Meditation

FIECE GRACE Inner Dimension TV

Restorative Yoga Lauren Eckstrom

By Erin