Have you been feeling rundown lately? When was the last time you felt rested and refreshed when you woke up? 

Susan* came into the office for her annual skin cancer prevention screening last week and I thought she summed it up pretty good. She said: “Dr. Jeffries, I’m just so so soooo tired lately.  And what’s funny is that it doesn’t seem to matter if I get seven, eight or even nine hours of sleep, I wake up feeling completely exhausted and even a bit restless.  Then comes a flood of anxiety about dredging through yet another day where I feel drained.” 

We’ve all been through so much in the past several months.  It’s been unpredictable and so many things have happened in our lives that we likely never imagined could happen. 

There has been a lot weighing on our shoulders and we are all doing our best to be resilient and still move on, but the underlying stress is becoming cumulative despite our best efforts to stay optimistic.

It takes a lot of energy to keep going with this underlying sense of tension and anxiety of what could happen next. I hear many patients telling me they are not sleeping well and it’s adding up and creating even more and more anxiety. 

Resting and restoring our mind and our bodies allows our body to heal and rejuvenate our energy stores and has many benefits for your skin. 


In my recent YouTube video, I mentioned one of my favorite ways to rest and restore called Yoga Nidra. 

So what is Yoga Nidra? Well, you likely have heard of “yoga” and its benefits for your health and vitality, but not many know about this unique form of yoga called Yoga Nidra. 

Yoga Nidra is a relaxation process to relax the mind, body and emotions. Unlike other types of yoga, this type of yoga is done lying down so you can let go completely. Adding props, pillows, a soft blanket, an eye pillow and maybe even some essential oils or incense can further augment the resting components of this technique. 

Kinda sounds like you are sleeping, right? Well, another name for yoga nidra is “sleeping yoga” but it’s sleep with full awareness. It may even feel like a nap to your mind, but your body may feel like it was in a deep restful sleep for hours. 


Here’s how it works:

You are invited to lay back and find a comfortable position to rest. You can add props to support your knees, low back and an eye pillow to minimize distractions in the room and a soft blanket for comfort. Diffusing some relaxing essential oils or an aromatic incense can add to the ambience of your experience. 

Then, put in some headphones to listen to your yogic guide to take you through a multi-step process to lead you to a profound state of relaxation and rest. The rest will naturally unfold. 

Some of steps you will be guided through during your experience may include the following:

  • Setting a conscious intention
  • Body awareness
  • Breath awareness
  • Emotional awareness
  • Visualization
  • Re-integration & waking up

During these steps your body relaxes, the mind calms and you find that place of deep relaxation and restoration. Most sessions of yoga nidra range from 15 min to an hour or more and you can choose how long of a session that fits your schedule. 

restorative yoga

You can only learn so much about Yoga Nidra by reading about it, and true wisdom will happen when you experience it. 

Here are a few resources to get you started and I have no financial interest in any of these. 

Julie Lemerond is an advanced certified Yoga Nidra instructor and has online classes available to everyone that are donation based. Julie is also one of my childhood friends and can you believe it, we’ve known each other since elementary school in Wauwatosa, WI!  We reconnected many years later when we realized we both were living in Phoenix, AZ. My first experience with Yoga Nidra was in one of her classes and I was blown away by how only an hour of Yoga Nidra gave me such a profound level of rest and creative inspiration. I’ve been hooked ever since. Since then I’ve attended several of her Yoga Nidra classes both in person and online. She is a sweet soul and infuses her practice with her peaceful, calm mind and loving kindness of her essence. 

Daring to Rest is another online resource full of downloadable Yoga Nidra sessions by Karen Brody. Karen also offers a podcast and a companion book to complement your Yoga Nidra experiences. She has a training course for those interested in becoming facilitators in Yoga Nidra. The Rest Shop has a wide selection of Yoga Nidra sessions to select from on various topics such as Honoring Restoration, Sensing Timelessness, Embracing the Heart, Cultivating Courage, etc. 

Kamini Desai combines the teachings of yoga with modern psychology. She has online courses, workshops, training programs and a retreat center focused on the teachings of yoga and application into daily life. She has an app called “I AM Yoga Nidra” that is currently $3.99 and contains 4 guided Yoga Nidra sessions that are about 30minutes long. Her training programs provide a deep instructional guide to Yoga Nidra practices for those of you who are interested in diving into the underlying principles of Yoga Nidra. She also has authored books on Yoga Nidra and the principles of Yoga. 

There are many other available resources online for you to explore as well as visiting your local yoga and meditation retreat centers and yoga studios that offer Yoga Nidra classes. 

I cannot wait to hear what your experiences are with Yoga Nidra! I look forward to hearing more from you about your exploration of Yoga Nidra. Leave a comment on my Instagram or Facebook accounts.