Firstly, let’s start by defining NSDR- Non Sleep Deep Rest, this is when you are lulled into a deep state of relaxation but not quite asleep, it’s that perfect rest you get during savasana at the end of a yoga class, the best part, isn’t it? It can also be a stand alone practice, called Yoga nidra, it brings gentle attention to relax each part of the body while in a restful state it is highly energizing, similar to what a power nap provides but there’s no dull sleepiness associated with it because you are awake the whole time. This amazing relaxation technique has been around for thousands of years, but has been recently caught on to the headlines as Google CEO, Sundar Pichai, swears by it as a productivity tool he uses daily.
Next, let’s look at why this method of relaxation is so effective, it regulates mental and physical health and as studied by Andrew Huberman, a neuroscience professor at Stanford university, it helps to slow down your brain wave frequency and because you remain awake and focused it is excellent for neuroplasticity. Neuroplasticity is how the brain grows, develops, and learns, no wonder why the world CEOs are adopting this technique throughout the world. As both body and mind are allowed 20 minutes to recharge you are awarded with more energy, quick thinking and clear decision making.
Moreover NSDR or yoga nidra is a relaxation tool that can be practiced anywhere, after a workout to relax the body, in your office for a mental recharge or in bed to help switch off from the day and gain a deep night’s sleep. Click here for our favorite, super soothing guided relaxation track.
Why is it so effective? In short, it counters the effects of stress. Go on, take a moment for yourself, when we relax we disarm the stress response in us, we choose a different way of being rather than being pulled and pushed by stress we can act consciously and with intention, this is what better leaders, thinkers, learners and communicators are made of, it’s time to steer away from speed and stress, hasn’t it lead to chaos? When we act from this space don’t we feel powerless, regretful and fearful? It takes patience to be still and remain calm yet focused, with our frenetic pace of life where speed is celebrated taking a moment to rest and do nothing can feel like a waste of time, getting past this and allowing yourself time to recalibrate is a form of self love, when you can savor a moment to rest for yourself, think about how much more kind and generous you will show up for others in your day? Science and experience have shown that NSDR is an investment in your time that pays dividend in your output, efficiency, and effectiveness manifold.
Lastly, how do you practice NSDR? Sometimes it isn’t easy to practice yoga nidra, if you are feeling exhausted you might nod off or if you are feeling restless you mind might be frantically engaged planning all the tasks pending for you, either way to get into that heightened state of relaxation with a slowing down in brain waves takes practice, be gentle with yourself as you try out the technique. Each of our private classes ends with a guided relaxation because the body is tired enough to invite rest and the mind is engaged enough to not fall asleep, it is the best part of the class but can also be the hardest part. Our expert team of teachers will guide you through yoga nidra for a time period you are comfortable with and as you practice you’ll be able to extend it to 20 minutes and do it on your own- it’s wonderful to even practice NSDR as a family, even children need down time!