“You are fundamentally OK.” These reassuring words must appear a dozen or so places in the first two chapters of The Book of Rest: Stop Striving, Start Being by James Reeves and Gabrielle Brown. Truly, can we be reminded too many times?
“You are fundamentally OK.”
If any dogma prevails in The Book of Rest, it’s reflected in this line, which reminds readers that they already hold the resources needed to rest in their most natural state. Yet “dogma” is loosely applied, as the authors, based in Oxfordshire, England, gently frame their premise as an invitation to self-discovery rather than a declaration of lofty truth.
After studying under Dr. Richard Miller, James Reeves became the first teacher to bring iRest to the United Kingdom. Reeves cites traditional yoga and meditation techniques as influences in his work helping students cope with afflictions from depression to insomnia to chemical dependency. Followers include A-list actors and celebrated writers, and his work has been featured in a range of publications including The Telegraph and The London Evening Standard. "James' heartfelt gentleness and masterful wisdom shine through in his teachings,” says Richard Miller of his protegé.
Gabrielle Brown, a partner to Reeves in both life and business, is a fellow certified yoga teacher with a background in publishing and communications. She has studied iRest with Richard Miller as well as classical yoga in India. Her wordsmithing shines as she and Reeves translate complex ideas into clear, soothing language.
While the authors acknowledge that there are many paths to deep rest, they emphasize yoga nidra as a reliable route. "If there is one undertaking that might offer some kind of fast track to rest,” they offer, “then yoga nidra is our winning contender.”
Still, The Book of Rest is explicitly not a yoga nidra handbook. It is also “not a self-help book in its traditional form,” they add, but instead aims to “help you see the part of you that needs no help." Here, the teachings of Richard Miller echo plainly.
The Book of Rest contains 200+ pages of enquires, or exercises, inviting readers to access the philosophy and practice of yoga nidra. (Labeling it as such is optional.) One enquiry asks, “What happens between breaths?” while another considers “What is happening in your body?” Reeves and Brown break down the basics of yoga nidra in layperson’s terms. Those new to the practice, or longtime devotees who’d like to try a different approach, will appreciate the simplicity at play.
Hailing the authors' work as "accessible, powerful, heartfelt", Richard Miller recommends The Book of Rest "as a wonderful starting place for anyone interested in discovering their innate wholeness."
Adds Reeves, "I hope it supports your remembering who you really are.”
The Book of Rest: Stop Striving, Start Being (hardcover, 232 pages)
Publisher: Harper Collins UK
Release Date: August 2019