Integrative Restoration iRest® Yoga Nidra
iRest may be right for you if you desire an interactive, secular, meditative experience that promotes the resolution of everyday stress, trauma, chronic pain, insomnia, depression or anxiety, leading to an increased sense of ease and wellbeing. Or perhaps you would like to awaken to your true nature of being healthy, whole and interconnected to all of life? If so, you are in the right place.
A secular and therapeutic adaptation of ancient teachings of meditation, iRest is an evidence-based transformative practice that leads to psychological, physical, and spiritual healing and well-being. Its practice is integrative as it heals the various unresolved issues and traumas that are present in your body and mind, and restorative as it enables you to recognize your innate peace of mind that is always present amidst all changing circumstances of life.
iRest provides you with tools to help you relax deeply, release stress, increase resiliency, improve your interpersonal relationships and provide you with greater mastery and control in your life.
iRest nourishes qualities such as joy, peacefulness, empathy, forgiveness, patience and lovingkindness toward yourself and others, and supports you to resolve issues such as insomnia, anxiety, fear and depression.
The origins of iRest are deeply tied to the service and support of military service members and veterans. As early as 2006, the U.S. Department of Defense conducted research at Walter Reed Army Medical Center on the efficacy of iRest, an adapted form of Yoga Nidra developed by Richard Miller, PhD, to help service members returning from the Global War on Terror better manage symptoms of post-traumatic stress. Since this hallmark study, numerous service members, their families, and veterans have benefited from the practice of iRest.
WHY IS IT EFFECTIVE?
Focus is on physical, psychological and spiritual health, healing, resilience, and well-being of the whole person
A simple self-paced program delivered in a group setting or in an individual setting as a guided co-meditation dyad. Use of daily supplemental recordings support the practice. For a full experience, expect 6-10 sessions.
Participants are empowered to regulate their own nervous system and maintain their own health
Combines Eastern and Western practices into a practical and secular program for healing.
This practice is complimentary to other therapy options and can be incorporated into any treatment plan or provided as a stand-alone therapeutic experience.
Life can be hard. iRest can help.
What to expect from the iRest Co-Meditation Dyad experience...
History taking , building rapport and identifying your resolutions for life.
Initial sessions create space for being heard, seen and understood as I guide you through the iRest process of identifying your life's resolutions. Resolutions are comprised of three aspects: 1) Your deepest Heartfelt Desire or Mission, 2) Intention(s), and 3) Inner Resource. These three, together, form clear definitive commitments that you are absolutely determined and committed to accomplish. They also give value, purpose, and meaning to your life, and take you to your goal. Once put into action, nothing can stop them. They entail full and committed determination that focuses all your mental and energetic resources.
Body Sensing and Breath Sensing
During body and breath sensing I will guide you to rotate your attention throughout your physical body and observe physical sensations that are present. I will welcome you to share what you are noticing and provide supportive questions throughout your iRest experience. During Body and Breath Sensing, as in all phases of iRest, you aren’t trying to “change” or “fix” anything. You’re simply observing and experiencing what’s present. If sensation is especially strong, you are learning to simply observe it, as it is. I will be right here with you throughout the process. During iRest, you learn to welcome and allow everything to arise just as it is. Body Sensing and Breath Sensing are soothing to the nervous system and help (re)train the body to experience deep relaxation.
Welcoming Feelings & Emotions
I will spend at least one session guiding you through the co-meditation process of welcoming your feelings and emotions. You will be invited to acknowledge and welcome the legitimacy and necessity of your feelings and emotions as messengers. To recognize the variety of feelings and emotions you experience and to welcome them and understand their purpose. This process promotes healthy, happy, and well-adjusted human beings. Through your willingness to meet, greet, welcome, and experience your emotions, you go beyond them.
Welcoming Cognitions: Thoughts, Beliefs, Images
At least one session will focus on welcoming your cognitions through an iRest co-meditation dyad. I will ask supporting questions to guide you through the process. You will learn to welcome your cognitions — thoughts, beliefs, images, and memories — as messengers that are designed to help you respond, rather than react to our life circumstances.
Pairing Opposites. During iRest we bring to light and explore negative and positive beliefs, which divide and limit us when we refuse to listen to them as messengers. When you locate a belief, iRest asks you to pair it with its opposite. “I’m unlovable” might be paired with “I love and value myself.” “I’m not good enough” might be paired with, “I’m always doing the best that I know how. I will be right here with you as you explore some painful beliefs and invite you to consider their opposites. This process develops a sense of equanimity, ease and wellbeing.
Our search for an object, circumstance, or experience that will bring us lasting happiness always misses the mark. Ironically, it is our search for happiness that takes us away from the inherent peace, well-being and joy that are always already present within us. Through the iRest dyad process you will discover unchanging inner joy. iRest reveals that joy is always present, although sometimes hidden behind the veil of our thoughts, feelings, and emotions. True joy exists independent of all objects, beliefs, images, and memories
Welcoming All That Is
During this stage of the iRest process you will be invited to step back and be a witness, or observer, to all you experience. As a witness, you’re invited to welcome sensations in the physical body, breath, feelings, emotions, beliefs, images, memories, joy, wellbeing, and anything else that is present. There is no need to fix or change anything. You are simply witnessing your experiences as they occur. During iRest you are invited to rest in the experience of simply ‘being,’ and to notice that, as being, you feel spacious, outside of time, beyond lack and need, and complete and whole just as you are. When you melt into “being” Awareness, you experience the unbreakable and unchanging aspect of yourself that is always at peace and at ease, no matter your circumstance.
The last step of iRest emphasizes the Integration of iRest into all moments of your daily life. While core principles of iRest are learned, and practiced during individual sessions, or at home with an audio recording, iRest is most effective when it’s integrated into every moment of your life. As you complete your practice, you reaffirm your Intention, Heartfelt Mission or Desire and Inner Resource. And, if you are so inspired, you also affirm intentions that will help to further actualize your heartfelt mission and inner resource during future practices, or in your daily life.
Research & Recommended Reading
Platt LM, Whitburn AI, Platt-Koch AG, Koch RL. Nonpharmacological Alternatives to Benzodiazepine Drugs for the Treatment of Anxiety in Outpatient Populations: A Literature Review. J Psychosoc Nurs Ment Health Serv. 2016 Aug 1;54(8):35-42. doi: 10.3928/02793695-20160725-07. PMID: 27479478.
Livingston E, Collette-Merrill K. Effectiveness of Integrative Restoration (iRest) Yoga Nidra on Mindfulness, Sleep, and Pain in Health Care Workers. Holist Nurs Pract. 2018 May/Jun;32(3):160-166. doi: 10.1097/HNP.0000000000000266. PMID: 29642130.
Eastman-Mueller H, Wilson T, Jung AK, Kimura A, Tarrant J. iRest yoga-nidra on the college campus: changes in stress, depression, worry, and mindfulness. Int J Yoga Therap. 2013;(23):15-24. PMID: 24165520.
For more information and opportunities visit: www.irest.org