What is iRest®?
Based on the 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 resilience, improve your interpersonal relationships and provide you with greater mastery and control in your life.
iRest nourishes noble qualities such as joy, peacefulness, empathy, forgiveness, patience and loving kindness toward yourself and others, and supports you to resolve issues such as
- lack of confidence
- feeling lost/lack of direction
There doesn’t need to be anything ‘wrong’ in order to practice iRest. It can be seen as a life-support, no matter what stage of life you are experiencing. It’s a practice that makes us more resilient and more conscious and present, bringing a joy and connectedness to life where you may not even have been seeking it!
At Pure-Li Yoga, I offer a group practice of iRest Yoga Nidra Meditation and also a private dyad practice.
See the timetable page for info on when you can join a group practice or text me on 0405 132 432 if you cant find what you’re hoping for!
The dyad practice.
The dyad practice (dyad just means two – so this is a one on one process), involves you sitting or lying comfortably whilst we venture together to what is present for you, using iRest protocol to guide us. So it is in effect, a facilitated meditation, where we are entering together into meditative awareness.
It is a therapeutic and insightful practice which helps you to understand yourself better, and can be really helpful when experiencing life’s challenges.
The practice invites you to notice and welcome whatever is arising for you in the moment. When we describe our experience it helps us to dis-attach and dis-identify with it. In YOGA we say that we are not our thoughts, our feelings, our emotions … they are all PART OF US but they don’t define who we are. We are all something greater and more mysterious and miraculous than just these things.
“When we are identified with our thinking mind, our experience of life is constricted and limited to an opaque screen of words, images, concepts and labels – second-hand representations of life that might as well be a movie on a screen.”
– Eckhart Tolle
The Group Practice
During certain blocks through the year at Pure-Li Yoga, we have a weekly group practice, which is just 45 minutes long, and also there are courses of iRest taking us more in depth into the protocol and practice.
Depending on what point within the term you come along, we might be doing anything from a simple guided meditation, introducing aspects of iRest, to an Autogenics meditation, to a simple Yoga Nidra, to a full blown iRest Yoga Nidra! So come along and try it out – whichever one we are doing, the intention, purpose and results are effectively very similar – quite simply you experience DEEP RELAXATION AND RESTORATION.
And it doesn’t matter what part of the term you come in – so don’t be put off it’s new to you, or it sounds confusing! There is nothing you need to do, other than commit to show up and try your best at making yourself ultra-comfortable! Everything is provided to make this easy for you.
You don’t need to know how ‘do’ yoga, or know ‘how to meditate’. This practice is for EVERYONE, from people with inflexibility, injuries or impediments that might inhibit a ’normal’ yoga practice, to those who enjoy a very active lifestyle / yoga, from the young and impetuous to the older and wiser amongst us.
iRest Yoga Nidra Meditation is super restorative
So if you are exhausted or you notice you’re just tired a lot, you will gain huge benefits from the physical and mental rest side of this practice. Often, it is our minds that are wearing us out, recurring niggling thoughts, over-worrying and over-thinking everything – this is shatteringly tiring, so the guided part of the meditation is excellent for focusing the mind. This provides a feeling of calm and peacefulness, because our minds are not jumping around hither tither, unnoticed, it still might jump around but you start to become aware of it, and my voice is there to come back to, so you can anchor more easily back to focusing in meditation!
And it’s a lovely way to get to know each other in our lovely little community of Clunes and the surrounding locale, and co-create a spirit of wellbeing together!
iRest Yoga Nidra is a practice that cultivates in us, a resilience, a way of staying connected with our true selves, and a way of remembering that we are enough, just the way we are, regardless of what society may tell us.
It’s a way of practising staying connected with ourselves and the world and people around us, so that we may feel at ease and secure in even the most challenging of situations, and we use neuroscience to achieve that.
By practicing iRest regularly – a little and often – you can tap into the parts of your brain that allow for greater insight and quiet the parts of the brain that are responsible for negative thoughts, feelings, and sensations.
Using iRest, people learn to welcome life as it is happening and to respond – not react – to challenging situations.
Please contact me directly on 0405 132 432 if you wish to book or know more about a private dyad or group practice.
iRest can work to alleviate stress, improve sleep habits, and heal unresolved issues and traumas. It can also allow us recognize an underlying peace of mind that is always present within us – no matter what circumstances we are facing in life. People practicing iRest experience:
- Decreased stress, anxiety, fear and depression
- Improved sleep and decreased insomnia
- An ability to better manage chronic and acute pain
- Healthier interpersonal relations
- Heightened energy levels
- Improved sense of control
- More confidence and joy in their lives
- A greater sense of peace and well-being
Teaching to the Military
The origins of iRest are deeply tied to the service and support of the US Military. In 2006, the Department of Defense conducted research at Walter Reed Army Medical Center (WRAMC) on the efficacy of Yoga Nidra, that was adapted by Richard Miller, PhD, and renamed for military use as Integrative Restoration – iRest. The study was conducted with soldiers returning from Iraq and Afghanistan experiencing post- traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
In June of 2010, iRest was endorsed by the US Army Surgeon General and Defense Centers of Excellence as a complementary and alternative medicine (CAM).
Following the 2006 study, the Deployment Health Clinical Center (DHCC) at WRAMC integrated the iRest Program into its weekly treatment program for soldiers. iRest programs have subsequently been set up in over 50 Veterans Administration Hospitals and Military Bases/Hospitals across the United States, supporting Active Duty, Veterans, and families of Service Members.
iRest is practiced and taught by thousands of people worldwide in a number of different organizations that support well-being. iRest offers programs in yoga studios, community centers, clinics, schools, hospices, correctional facilities, and U.S. military hospitals. In June of 2010, iRest was endorsed by the US Army Surgeon General and Defense Centers of Excellence as a complementary and alternative medicine (CAM).
Richard is a world-renowned spiritual teacher, author, yogic scholar, researcher and clinical psychologist, who has combined traditional yogic practice with Western psychology and neuroscience. He is committed to bringing the healing benefits of iRest to all segments of our population. Richard also founded the iRest Institute, an educational non-profit with the mission of helping people resolve their pain and suffering, and experience deep healing and peace.
The iRest Institute provides trainings, retreats and workshops, for health care professionals, yoga and meditation teachers, and individuals. The Institute also offers certification programs for those interested in becoming a certified iRest teacher. The iRest Institute also collaborates with research partners to further the study of meditation and well-being.
A Message about iRest from creator, Dr. Richard Miller:
I first became involved with Yoga Nidra in 1970, when I moved to San Francisco. I decided to meet people by taking a 12 week yoga course. When I showed up for my first class, I found out that the instructor had decided to teach the class in total silence. So, during the 12 weeks of my course, I didn’t meet a single person – but I ended up meeting myself – and this became a major turning point in my life.
At the end of the first class, the instructor taught us a basic Yoga Nidra meditation. That night, I walked home feeling totally at ease and radiantly joyful within myself. Instead of having my usual feelings of separation and loneliness, I felt connected, both to myself and everything around me.
This experience left a deep longing in me to understand the practice of Yoga Nidra and to realize this feeling of peace and connectedness.
In the following decades, my yearning would lead me to study with some of the most renowned meditation teachers in the world and to become a skilled practitioner – both by continuing my own practice and by sharing this practice with others.
I later adapted these ancient practices in an effort to make them more accessible – so more people could experience deep healing and well-being. I wanted to make the practice of meditation easier to do and more applicable to our modern, western world so I developed iRest. iRest is based on ancient Yoga Nidra teachings, but designed for modern day living. I’m happy to report, iRest meditation is now taught and practiced world wide.
I call the various practices that make up the iRest program “tools for life”. They comprise a tool belt of essential practices that can help you experience true health, resiliency, and well-being throughout your life. These tools empower you to skillfully meet each moment with unshakable peace and wellbeing – no matter how challenging or difficult your situation.
Regular practice – a little and often – enables you to experience the power of iRest and helps you feel connected to yourself, others, and the world around you.
We can’t know what an apple tastes like, unless we taste it. You can’t know the power of iRest unless you practice it. Whether you are looking for a way to better deal with the everyday stresses of life, or whether you are dealing with serious trauma or pain, I invite you to explore the practice of iRest and experience what it can bring to you.
Much of this information comes to you directly from the iRest Yoga Nidra Meditation website.
Please click THIS LINK to see the mounting research that backs up the fantastic healing benefits of this ancient yogic practice, on the iRest website.