What is “Yogic Rest”?

Moon in pines

Yogic Rest is a type of yoga practice that can help us, particularly in this season. As we move quickly toward the Winter Solstice, the shortest day of the year. As well, winter can be seen as a time of rest. This is reflected in the habits of animals that slow down or hibernate as the cold approaches, conserving their energies for the longer days and warmth.

We can also see this in the plant world. Now, as all the trees and plants slow their growth cycles, many having shed their leaves, the energy of the earth moves underground. While the surface of the soil is frozen and solid, underneath the gathering and harnessing of energy for Spring slowly moves. Below the frost layer of soil, there is the slowly teeming life of roots and seeds, accompanied by microbes, insects, frogs, snakes, turtles, worms, and gophers, all waiting and abiding until Spring.

And so we human beings can mirror these natural cycles of nature. During these short days there lies the invitation to restore, rest, and release the activity of other parts of the year’s cycle. Thus enters Yogic Rest, also called Yoga Nidra. A combination of simple and restorative yoga poses with reclining guided meditation, Yogic Rest settles us deeply into the resting nervous state (Parasympathetic Nervous System), and allows the body to refresh and integrate. Yogic Rest is said to assist with anxiety, sleep issues, and other challenges of modern life, where we over-rely on the activated nervous system and run the risk of adrenal and other body stores’ depletion.

At Breathing Space, we offer a one-hour Yogic Rest & Restore class incorporating these elements. Connecting to the felt, social, and earth bodies, we invite ourselves into a deep state of release where we can harmonize with the quiet of the Winter season. Find out more about the class, and the schedule, on the website, under Class Descriptions. Hope to see you there!