Why do I love iRest®?
For me it was love at first encounter. I met the founder of iRest® and the iRest Institute when I attended the Symposium on Yoga Therapy and Research in Austin in the summer of 2014. A newly-minted yoga therapist, I was fatefully drawn to Dr. Richard Miller’s workshop on yoga nidra. I remember nothing else from the entire conference. I drove home through rolling Texas hill country, in bliss, knowing “I’ve found it. Finally, I’ve found what makes it all make sense.” I simultaneously affirmed to myself that I would go as far as I could with exploring this teaching and its underpinnings.
My Teaching Path
Four months later I was completed both a Level I iRest Teacher Training and my first iRest silent retreat. A year after that, Level II Training, and the third year I completed a ten day silent retreat and my Level III Certification. I began teaching six and eight week iRest series at Lubbock studios as a Level I Teacher. The practice also became a primary tool for my private yoga therapy sessions. Five years later, I’ve taught hundreds of hours of iRest® meditation, seen it revolutionize dozens of students’ felt daily experiences, assisted as a teacher trainer at Level I and Level II trainings, and mentored iRest teachers and students around the globe.
The Thumbnail Sketch
1. It‘s Somatic
Here’s why I love this practice so much. First, it is an entirely somatic practice. That means it is not something you think about, but something you directly feel … in your body. Neuroscience is now showing us this is how we hardwire new neuronal pathways … by feeling a different experience, not by thinking a different one. Bringing the body onboard is the root of my entire work and so a somatic meditation practice was key to the search for my own and my student’s healing journeys.
Secondly, I love it because of its primary principle is what we call ‘welcoming’. That means I, as guide and co-meditator, and the practice are never trying to fix, shift, eliminate, or change anything. Invite in that place in your heart or mind that’s hurting today. How does it feel when you tell it needs to shape up or go away? When you try to cover over it with positive psychology? It hurts more. Welcoming is by and large the most loving thing I have ever done – or ever will do – for myself or anyone else. In fact, welcoming is simply another name for unconditional love. Sounds easy enough, but this is a practice I’ll be learning for the rest of my life. And I’m committed to it.
3. Causeless Ease
Thirdly, and I’ll let this be the last for now, iRest directly affects our felt sense of ease, wellbeing, and presence. It accomplishes this in a myriad of ways, through multiple tools and language that point us to what is already always here. It’s beyond thinking, so I’ll spare you the words for now. But what if … you could feel a causeless ease inside your own body right now, regardless of whatever other physical or emotional pain is being experienced? What if … you could feel through the cells of your body and every pore of your skin an aliveness that shimmers of pure pleasure and joy? What if … you began to believe that old patterns of trauma and loss could be repatterned with a wholeness that you didn’t just know about, but could feel?
These are the promises of iRest and my promises to you as your facilitator and guide. There’s so much more … I haven’t mentioned the way the practice helps us work with deeply stored emotions and held beliefs, the way it addresses psychology from a bodily level, the way it points the way to answering some of our most existential questions as human beings – “who am I and why am I here?”
I hope to meet you on the meditation mat in the very near future. Stay tuned for series offerings and email me for more information regarding one-on-one private sessions.