We all know, a hectic work schedule brings a lot of irregularities and stress. We all struggle to balance between a healthy life and our work. While there are several yoga poses and exercises to calm our minds, we often get inspired by the methods used by prominent personalities to maintain a healthy lifestyle. Recently, Google’s CEO Sundar Pichai has shared his mantra to relax himself in an interview with The Wall Street Journal. He revealed that he uses something called non-sleep deep rest or NSDR to unwind. The term was coined by Stanford neuroscience professor Andrew Huberman, who defined it as "self-inducing a state of calm" and "directing our focus to something."
He said, "I found these podcasts which are non-sleep deep rest, or NSDRs. So while I find it difficult to meditate, I can go to YouTube, find an NSDR video. They're available in 10, 20, or 30 minutes, so I do that occasionally."
According to Huberman, NSDR help people relax, fall asleep more easily, and quickly. It even reduces stress and anxiety, eases pain, and even acceleratse learning. It's commonly achieved through two of what Huberman calls NSDR "protocols": yoga nidra and hypnosis.
The process involves lying flat on your back on the ground, typically with your eyes closed, and following guidance from an instructor, virtually or in-person, as they lead you through a number of activities.According to the yoga nidra instructor Tracee Stanley, “in yoga nidra, you may be asked to scan for places of tension, focus on your breathing, bring your awareness to various parts of the body, or begin diaphragmatic breathing, all with the intention of "giving the mind something to focus on."
She further explained that as the body begins to rest, doing NSDR slows down our heart rate as well as makes our brain to switch from beta waves, which are associated with an active mind, to alpha waves, which is a more relaxed brain state. The yoga nidra makes people "hover in a liminal space between being awake and falling asleep." While the body falls asleep, the mind remains both internally and simultaneously aware of their surroundings. The body becomes "more receptive to inertia" during yoga nidra.
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