Inner Reflections
August 28, 2023

Yoga Nidra: The Medicine We All Need

It is a courageous choice to rest inside of a culture that values productivity and has high stress levels as the baseline of human experience. When anxiety and depression levels are at an all-time high, a culture might pause to check in to see if the structures and systems are truly serving the humans residing within them. Unfortunately, that does not happen as quickly as we would like it to, if at all. 

There are so many good reasons to slow down the pace of our lives, to take a pause, to rest. We know this is not groundbreaking information, yet for most of us it is much more challenging to rest than it is to exert more effort. 

Enter the medicine for our stress-wreaked nervous systems: Yoga Nidra. A practice of utilizing awareness and deep relaxation techniques to dissolve tension, rest in the present moment, and boost our immune system. The ancient yogis knew the power of non-sleep rest, the liminal space between waking and sleeping where we are not operating in conscious awareness nor are we totally unconscious. 

Yoga Nidra, according to the yogis, is a state of being that is entered over time and with consistent practice. Practice takes us through the four stages of consciousness, the fourth called turiya, which is when the single self merges with the ultimate truth of reality. Swami Rama describes it as “Turiya is that final state the yogis strive to attain in order to achieve complete bliss, in order to fulfill their one single ambition, that of attaining Absolute Truth.” 

For the seekers out there, this is exciting news because Yoga Nidra is a doorway to truth that is based on supreme comfort and rest. And, though there are powerful benefits to taking up Yoga Nidra practice, any time anyone chooses to practice Yoga Nidra, they will receive the benefits of deep relaxation. 

Popular science has started to validate the benefits of Yoga Nidra, as seen by neuroscientist and podcast host Andrew Huberman’s coining of its secular name – NSDR, or non-sleep deep relaxation. The main purpose of the technique, according to Huberman, is to reduce stress, improve focus, and enhance overall well-being. 

When the time-tested yoga practices begin to be validated by respected scientific sources, we know as humanity that we are on the right track. Now, the challenge becomes to prioritize rest. Make the time to give yourself what you truly need. Lay down, put on an eye covering, and let everything dissolve into the simple okay-ness of this very moment. 

You have everything you need to heal, expand, and experience the health you desire. The question is, will you choose to rest as the external world continues to demand that you keep going?

Make sure to check out Erin’s new Yoga Nidra Series, “A Guided Journey into Deep Restoration” streaming exclusively on Inner Dimension TV

In the meantime, below are some recommended practices:
Yoga Nidra Meditation

 By Erin