Deep relaxation is a crucial component of a healthy lifestyle, yet in today’s fast-paced world, it’s all too easy to overlook its importance. However, the benefits of deep relaxation cannot be overstated, from reducing stress and anxiety to improving sleep and increasing focus and productivity.
In this article, I will explore the scientific evidence behind deep relaxation practices, including Non-Sleep Deep Rest (NSDR) and Yoga Nidra, and the benefits they can bring to your life.
Neuroscientist Andrew D. Huberman has conducted extensive research on the effects of meditation practices on the brain, highlighting the long-term trait changes and neuroplasticity that can occur with regular practice. In particular, Huberman notes that meditation can lead to changes in default mood, reduce baseline anxiety and depression, improve sleep, and increase overall happiness levels.
One relaxation practice that Huberman highlights is Yoga Nidra, an ancient technique that has been practiced and taught for thousands of years. Yoga Nidra involves lying down in a comfortable position and following a guided meditation, which takes you through a series of body scans, breathing exercises, and visualizations. The practice induces a deep state of relaxation, which can help to release tension, reduce stress, and promote a sense of calm and wellbeing.
Regular practice of Yoga Nidra can:
- reduce stress, anxiety, and depression
- improve sleep quality
- enhance overall wellbeing.
- increases levels of gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA), a neurotransmitter that plays a key role in promoting relaxation and reducing stress.
Another relaxation practice that Huberman discusses is Non-Sleep Deep Rest (NSDR), a technique that involves lying down and focusing on relaxing the body and mind. NSDR has been found to reduce stress and anxiety, improve sleep quality, and promote a sense of calm and wellbeing. The practice has also been shown to increase heart rate variability (HRV), a measure of the body’s ability to adapt to stressors.
Incorporating deep relaxation practices into your daily routine can have numerous benefits for your physical and mental health.
If you’re interested in trying out Yoga Nidra / NSDR for yourself, consider joining signing up for my yoga course that focuses on relaxation and stress relief. By taking the time to relax and unwind, you can transform your life and experience the many benefits of deep relaxation.