What is iRest Yoga Nidra?
iRest® Yoga Nidra differs from other mindfulness meditation practices in that you are invited to relax in a comfortable resting position, such as lying down or seated in a chair while being guided verbally by a teacher. The practice awakens the realization of one’s deepest desires and great potential for healing.
During iRest meditation, sheaths or layers of Being are openly explored with no goal, except to simply be with whatever arises during the process. These sheaths (also called koshas) include the physical body, the energy body, the sensation, feeling and emotional bodies, the bodies of thought and imagery, and the bodies of bliss and personal ego identity.
The difference between iRest Yoga Nidra and other types of therapy is that we start from the place in ourselves that is already completely whole and without need. This releases us from the trap of trying to ‘get somewhere’ that is other than right here where we are. By revealing our innate wholeness, iRest helps us understand that it is the misperception of the mind that leads us to believe we are separate and limited entities.
iRest is a modern day protocol for the ancient practice of Yoga Nidra, which is rooted in Tantric Yoga. Yoga means the joining together of two things. Nidra, as defined from Sanskrit, is sleep. Yoga Nidra could be called the sleep of the yogi, however, in truth the yogi is wide-awake. Yoga Nidra reunites us with our True Nature or Pure Being that is ever-present underlying all circumstances of our lives and is always awake in every stage of consciousness.
Based on this ancient practice of Yoga Nidra, Richard Miller, PhD. has developed a protocol for the contemporary western world called Integrative Restoration or iRest®. Miller, a doctor of Psychology with 30 years of clinical psychotherapy practice and academic research focused on yoga practices, is the co-founder of the International Association of Yoga Therapists and the Institute for Spirituality and Psychology.
Miller’s studies show success using iRest at Walter Reed Army Hospital with active duty soldiers suffering from PTSD, insomnia and anxiety from wartime experiences, as well as various sites around the United States with the homeless, college students, children, and other populations suffering from a multitude of ailments including depression and anxiety, chronic pain, and sleep problems.
iRest for Trauma and Stress
trauma and stress can result in physiological changes to structures in the brain.Body sensing and movement techniques have also been shown to be beneficialfor a variety of health problems. Moreover, such techniques have recently been shown tobe an essential aspect of trauma treatments due to the increasingly acknowledged impact trauma has on the mind and the body (Rothschild, 2000; Van der Kolk, 1998; Levine,1997). Although the benefits of body and mindful–awareness are increasingly known, the use of these techniques in treating chronically traumatized individuals is surprisingly rare.
iRest for Better Sleep
iRest Yoga Nidra has recently been recognized as a Complementary Alternative Medicine (CAM) for insomnia and other sleeping disorders (Integrative Restoration Institute, 2014. Retrieved from http://www.irest.us/projects/sleep/insomnia). New research has shown iRest to improve sleep for those with insomnia, as well as sleep deprivation, two important underlying factors in physical and psychological disorders (IRI, 2014).
iRest Yoga Nidra at Eve & Grace
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Blog is written by Michele Cremona
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