Related Blog Posts https://www.irest.org/ en Free Resource Kit Supporting Veterans To Reintegrate Into Civilian Life https://www.irest.org/blog/resources/free-resource-kit-supporting-veterans-reintegrate-civilian-life <span class="field field--name-title field--type-string field--label-hidden">Free Resource Kit Supporting Veterans To Reintegrate Into Civilian Life</span> <div class="field field--name-field-teacher field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field__items"> <div class="field__item">13053</div> </div> <span class="field field--name-uid field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden"><a title="View user profile." href="/user/eli-bresler" lang="" about="/user/eli-bresler" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="" class="username">eli@irest.org</a></span> <span class="field field--name-created field--type-created field--label-hidden">Wed, 11/02/2022 - 23:00</span> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field__item"><p>Many veterans can identify with the often chaotic and unpredictable lifestyle that comes with military service. Whether getting ready for an upcoming mission or deployment, navigating the day-to-day high operational tempo, or simply trying to cultivate a better work/life balance.</p> <p>Military life comes with its challenges, and veterans may continue to carry mental and physical stressors that are calling for reconciliation after military service. However, they may not be familiar with all the resources available to them to support their experience.</p> <p>Our intention with this post is twofold. First, to help increase understanding of the challenges veterans, service members, and their families often experience. Second, to provide effective, free resources that can be used starting today, by anyone who may need them.</p> <p><a class="anchor" name="resources" id="resources"></a>Please continue scrolling to go directly to the free resources section.</p> <h2>Exploring The Challenges Veterans Can Face</h2> <p>Some of the unique challenges veterans face after leaving military service include:</p> <ul><li>Finding a new sense of purpose</li> <li>Feeling connection in a new and unfamiliar community</li> <li>Taking the time needed for reflection and reconciliation of all they’ve experienced along their journey</li> </ul><p>While serving, purpose was generally driven by what the mission dictated, with each service member having their own professional contribution as a part of a team supporting an overarching mission. There were deadlines to meet, places to be, and specific uniforms to wear.</p> <p>Upon leaving service, there’s no longer anyone telling them what to do, where to be, or what to wear. While this can create a sense of freedom, at the same time, it may also lead to anxiety for some. A sense of normal routine is no longer present. Establishing connections in new and unfamiliar settings takes time and patience. It requires understanding the different languages in professional settings, and accepting that experiences are going to be different.</p> <p>At no fault of their own, it can be challenging for someone who hasn’t served to understand the experience of someone who has. This can make community connection even more challenging.</p> <p>There’s also often an underlying need for a veteran to reflect on and reconcile all they experienced. If left unacknowledged and without resolution, those experiences may affect their sense of inner peace and wellbeing moving forward.</p> <h2>How Practicing iRest Meditation Can Help</h2> <p>One of the reasons iRest Meditation is so helpful for reflection and reconciliation is because it’s a practice of bringing our fragmented parts back into wholeness. It creates the experience of feeling connected to yourself again, to other people, and to life as a meaningful experience. Using a whole-person approach, overall wellbeing is improved through a focus on physical, emotional, psychological, and spiritual health. This fosters healing and resilience.</p> <p>By working with physical, emotional, and mental challenges, iRest Meditation makes it possible to navigate and integrate past experiences for profound recovery. It also offers people effective skills for coping with whatever is arising for them. This may help veterans foster a sense of ease and calm as they navigate life’s transitions and challenges.</p> <p>The practice enables a person to feel safe when they are safe because iRest Meditation also activates the parasympathetic nervous system. It’s integrative in that it heals unresolved beliefs, issues, traumas, and wounds present in the body and mind. It’s restorative in that it aids the body and mind to return to a natural state of functioning.</p> <p>iRest Meditation can help veterans realize and set intentions for a new path forward, and to reconnect and rediscover their sense of purpose and meaning in life. Whether you’re currently serving, a veteran, military family member or a professional working with the military, iRest Meditation helps you address the unique challenges you face.</p> <h2>Free Resources for Veterans, Active Military, Family, and Friends</h2> <p>The resources below can be used for daily support to reduce anxiety and stress, and foster calm and connection.</p> <p>If you’re experiencing <a href="https://www.veteranscrisisline.net/signs-of-crisis/" media_library="Media Library" rel=" noopener" target="_blank">symptoms of a crisis</a>, you’re in need of help right now. <a href="https://www.veteranscrisisline.net/" media_library="Media Library" rel=" noopener" target="_blank">Please contact the Veterans Crisis Line</a>.</p> <p>We encourage anyone currently serving in the military to use these resources as a preventative measure and regular aid for navigating your experience.</p> <ul><li><a href="https://mobile.va.gov/app/mindfulness-coach" media_library="Media Library" rel=" noopener" target="_blank">Download the Veterans Affairs Mindfulness Coach App</a> containing 42 iRest meditations</li> <li><a href="https://vimeo.com/showcase/7910003" media_library="Media Library" rel=" noopener" target="_blank">Bookmark our meditation library</a> and choose a theme that resonates</li> <li><a href="https://www.irest.org/free-course" media_library="Media Library" rel=" noopener" target="_blank">Enjoy our free meditation course</a> and share it with family and friends who’ll also benefit</li> <li><a href="https://www.irest.org/meditation-and-conversation" media_library="Media Library" rel=" noopener" target="_blank">Join us for Meditation &amp; Conversation</a> - our monthly live online community sessions</li> </ul><p>We all deserve access to knowledge, practices, and community that can support us through inner challenges, enable healing, and reestablish a sense of inner calm and connectedness. <strong>Please share these resources with anyone who may benefit</strong>.</p> <h2>Find A Military-Informed iRest Class Or Program Near You</h2> <p>You may be best supported by joining an iRest class or program taught by skillful trainers, specifically designed to assist those currently serving and veterans.</p> <p>iRest is currently being taught and shared in several military and veteran settings around the world.</p> <ul><li><a href="http://warriorsatease.org" media_library="Media Library" rel=" noopener" target="_blank">Warriors at Ease</a></li> <li><a href="https://www.exaltedwarrior.com" media_library="Media Library" rel=" noopener" target="_blank">Exalted Warrior Foundation</a></li> <li><a href="http://warriorwellnessprogram.org" media_library="Media Library" rel=" noopener" target="_blank">Warrior Wellness</a></li> <li><a href="https://www.va.gov/wholehealth/" media_library="Media Library" rel=" noopener" target="_blank">Veterans Health Administration’s Whole Health Program</a></li> <li><a href="https://www.yellowribbon.mil/" media_library="Media Library" rel=" noopener" target="_blank">Deployment and Reintegration Yellow Ribbon Programs</a></li> <li>On military installations, within military medical treatment facilities across the U.S., and overseas, and throughout the Veterans Health Administration Military medical treatment facilities. <a href="https://www.irest.org/projects/veterans/settings" media_library="Media Library" rel=" noopener" target="_blank">View the list of worldwide military and veteran centers</a> including the Australian Defence Force and Canadian and British Armed Forces</li> </ul><p>If you'd like to learn more about how iRest can help military and veteran communities, please email iRest Institute's Head of Military and Veteran Programs, Kerryn Story at kerryn@irest.org.</p> <hr /><p>Since 2006, research has been conducted on the efficacy of iRest for helping service members manage PTSI symptoms. Since this hallmark study, numerous service members, their families, and veterans have benefited from practicing iRest.</p> <p><em>Sullivan, M., Lopez, S., Nault, D., Moonaz, S., &amp; Miller, R. (2021). Yoga meditation for active duty military members with posts-traumatic stress disorder: Results and discussion of a landmark initial study. The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine, 27(6), 522- 524.</em></p> <p><em>Nassif, T., Chapman, J., Sandbrink, F., Norris, D., Soltes, K., Reinhard, M., &amp; Blackman, M. (2016). Mindfulness meditation and chronic pain management in Iraq and Afghanistan veterans with traumatic brain injury: A pilot study. Military Behavioral Health, 4(1), 82-89.</em></p> <p><em>Stankovic, L. (2011). Transforming trauma: a qualitative feasibility study of integrative restoration (iRest) yoga Nidra on combat related post-traumatic stress disorder. International journal of yoga therapy, 21(1), 23-37.</em></p> <p><em>Nassif, T.H., Norris, D.O., Soltes, K.L., Blackman, M.R., Chapman, J.C., Sandbrink, F. (2014). Evaluating the Effectiveness of Mindfulness Meditation (iRest) for Chronic Musculoskeletal Pain in U.S. Veterans Using the Defense and Veterans Pain Rating Scale. Washington D.C. VA Medical Center (poster presentation).</em></p> <p><em>Pence, P., Katz, L., Huffman, C., &amp; Cojucar, G. (2014). Delivering integrative restoration-yoga nidra meditation (iRest®) to women with sexual trauma at a veteran's medical center: a pilot study. International journal of yoga therapy, 24(1), 53-62.</em></p> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-article-type field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field__items"> <div class="field__item"> <a href="/blog/category/resources"> <span class="field__item">Resources</span> </a> </div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-tags field--type-entity-reference field--label-above"> <div class="field__label">Tags</div> <div class="field__items"> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-18" hreflang="en">Audience</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-11" hreflang="en">Military</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-24" hreflang="en">Benefits</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-23" hreflang="en">Anxiety</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-20" hreflang="en">Depression</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-22" hreflang="en">Peace and Well-Being</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-16" hreflang="en">PTSD</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-15" hreflang="en">Sleep</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-13" hreflang="en">Trauma</a></div> </div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-published-date field--type-datetime field--label-above"> <div class="field__label">Published date</div> <div class="field__item"><time datetime="2022-11-03T12:00:00Z" class="datetime">Thursday, November 3, 2022 - 12:00</time> </div> </div> <section data-ajax_comment_pager="comment_node_article-4035" class="field field--name-comment-node-article field--type-comment field--label-hidden comment-wrapper"> <div class="comments_ajax_pager_wrap"></div> </section> <div class="field field--name-field-hero-image field--type-entity-reference field--label-above"> <div class="field__label">Hero Image</div> <div class="field__item"> <img loading="lazy" src="/sites/default/files/images/Shutterstock_527018350.jpg" width="3200" height="1200" alt="Free Resource Kit Supporting Veterans To Reintegrate Into Civilian Life Banner" typeof="foaf:Image" /> </div> </div> Thu, 03 Nov 2022 06:00:01 +0000 eli@irest.org 4035 at https://www.irest.org Four Common Nonduality Questions Answered https://www.irest.org/blog/interviews-nondualism/four-common-nonduality-questions-answered <span class="field field--name-title field--type-string field--label-hidden">Four Common Nonduality Questions Answered</span> <div class="field field--name-field-teacher field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field__items"> <div class="field__item">13053</div> </div> <span class="field field--name-uid field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden"><a title="View user profile." href="/user/eli-bresler" lang="" about="/user/eli-bresler" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="" class="username">eli@irest.org</a></span> <span class="field field--name-created field--type-created field--label-hidden">Thu, 10/13/2022 - 23:01</span> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field__item"><p>We all find our way to meditation and philosophies like nonduality for similar and different reasons.</p> <p>As our practice evolves, it’s natural for questions to arise and to want to translate nondual teachings into practical understanding that feels fitting for our modern lives.</p> <p>In the post below, iRest Founder, Richard Miller, PhD offers four illuminating answers to questions we’ve wondered about and perhaps you have too.</p> <p><em>A note on the term “Being”: Being is not conceptual. It’s a state to be experienced firsthand. It’s helpful to have had an experience of Being to more deeply understand the answers below. If you’re new to iRest or nondual meditation, <strong><a href="https://www.irest.org/free-course" media_library="Media Library" rel=" noopener" target="_blank">this free course will guide you through accessible practices that support such an experience</a></strong>.</em></p> <h2>1. What does neuroscience reveal to us about meditation?</h2> <p>Through neuroscience we know there are four main networks in our brain.</p> <p>The default network is where we create a sense of past and future. It’s where our I-Me-Mine separate sense of self exists. It’s also where negativity bias and negative looping thoughts occur.</p> <p>When trauma is present this default network is turned on along with the limbic system and amygdala and people can’t step out of it. They’re caught in recursive loops and can’t maintain context.</p> <p>When we practice meditation, recursive thinking is turned off. We step out of survival mode, and we can see things more directly. We’re able to pay attention and stay present.</p> <p>Another way of saying this is that when we meditate, the default network downregulates and the present centered network upregulates.</p> <p>When we shift into a sense of Being, what we see in an MRI is our default network begins to calm down. This means you get more relaxed because beta waves reduce and gamma waves increase.</p> <p>This burst of gamma waves correlates to having moments of insight not related to past thinking. On an MRI, it’s observed just before a person enters into a moment of present-centeredness, Being, and insight.</p> <h2>2. What practical exercises help us access this experience of not-self?</h2> <p><strong>Sensing Opposites</strong></p> <p>Feel your left hand for 10 seconds. Then feel your right hand for 10 seconds. Now, sense them simultaneously.</p> <p>You just stepped out of your autobiographical self and increased gamma in your brain. You set yourself up for insight.</p> <p><strong>Attention Everywhere</strong></p> <p>Let your attention feel itself equally everywhere, slowly. In front, behind, left and right, below and above.</p> <p>When you let attention unlocalize you drop out of the default network and turn on the present centered network.</p> <p><strong>From witness to witnessing</strong></p> <p>What’s interesting here is that as you step into Being, or not-self, feel how thinking slows down but there’s still a subtle sense of “I am Being”.</p> <p>There’s another level of self here. As we step into Being-Awareness and Awareness is folding on itself and is self-aware, there’s another subtle level of separation happening.</p> <p>This is a subtle way we can keep separation in place. Even the slightest separation maintains a sense of suffering in us. Thus, moving beyond the witness into pure witnessing is important.</p> <h2>3. How does nondual meditation help us liberate ourselves from inner suffering?</h2> <p>In iRest meditation, we’re meeting ourselves at different levels of the self: Autobiographical, witness, below the witness, and as a very subtle sense of self-awareness.</p> <p>There’s a moment during deep meditation and inquiry when the autobiographical self and the external world have fallen away. We’re sitting there in a deep quality of open, spacious Awareness.</p> <p>There’s still a subtle self-commentary: “I’m still aware of this,” but there’s something else calling us here. As we traverse this experience, a timeless moment arrives when all sense of self drops away. We go somewhere where there’s no “I” saying “I am here”. It’s only in coming back, after the experience, that there’s a lingering perfume: “I just was where I am not”.</p> <p>As we return with that perfume, all sense of fear, separation, and anxiety begins to break up and dissolve.</p> <p>This is the possibility in your own meditation practice. Understand that when you’re sitting here with that subtle sense of self-awareness, there’s one more step.</p> <p>Then, when you come back, watch the conditioned tendency to say “I was asleep” or “I was unconscious”. Is that true, or were you taken into not-self? Notice the state you’re coming back in. You come back in a very different manner.</p> <p>Understanding and experiencing this equates to resolving the painful illusion of separation.</p> <h2>4. How is having an experience of not-self helpful for people with trauma?</h2> <p>From my perspective as a psychologist, nondual meditation shows people what’s not broken, what’s never been traumatized, and what doesn’t need healing. I want people to first experience this deeply. I want this to be our grounding. Then, we have the capacity to address what does feel traumatized or in need of healing. Now we can look at addressing emotions, thoughts, memories and other aspects that are preventing separation and suffering from falling away.</p> <p>When we meet someone experiencing trauma who’s caught in their negative recursive looping and we help them have this experience of not-self, their autobiographical self begins to drop away. They begin to have insight into what’s going on within them.</p> <p>In this moment of not-self, this moment of Being, there’s a reconnection to our authentic self (people with trauma can be disconnected from themselves) and a reconnection to the world. Here is where the process of healing truly begins.</p> <p>As the autobiographical self falls away, there’s a sense of the witness deconstructing and we fall ever-deeper into the felt-sense of Being. A delightful sense of Being. Spacious. Outside of time. Familiar. Thinking slows down and we realize that Being has been, and is always here.</p> <p>It’s important to recognize that Being is always here. Once you recognize this, you can begin to nourish it, all day long, each day of your life.</p> <p>Being then becomes the stable, ever present ground from where people can truly heal.</p> <p>It’s for this reason that, for me, switching from the default network to the present centered network is the first step of meditation, and when working with anyone, whether or not they have trauma.</p> <hr /><p><em>Nondual meditation is based on firsthand experience with our deepest nature. Being is direct, preverbal, and inexpressible. Words can only point us towards the experience of Being and not-self. For Richard, sharing nondual teachings in a practical and accessible way is a true art and joy.</em></p> <p><em>If you enjoy Richard Miller’s approach, consider joining him for his upcoming year-long course <strong><a href="https://www.irest.org/event/2023-jan-dec-irest-path-nondual-meditation-course-richard-miller" media_library="Media Library" rel=" noopener" target="_blank">The Path of Nondual Meditation</a></strong> to deepen your firsthand experience.</em></p> <p><strong>Source:</strong></p> <p>As Self Falls Away, When Self Falls Away. A talk by Richard Miller. <strong><a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pVkVWVsrhdQ" media_library="Media Library" rel=" noopener" target="_blank">Watch the full talk here</a></strong>.</p> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-article-type field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field__items"> <div class="field__item"> <a href="/blog/category/interviews"> <span class="field__item">Interviews</span> </a> </div> <div class="field__item"> <a href="/blog/category/nondualism"> <span class="field__item">Nondualism</span> </a> </div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-tags field--type-entity-reference field--label-above"> <div class="field__label">Tags</div> <div class="field__items"> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-5" hreflang="en">iRest Teachers</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-7" hreflang="en">Other</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-25" hreflang="en">Nondualism</a></div> </div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-published-date field--type-datetime field--label-above"> <div class="field__label">Published date</div> <div class="field__item"><time datetime="2022-10-14T12:00:00Z" class="datetime">Friday, October 14, 2022 - 12:00</time> </div> </div> <section data-ajax_comment_pager="comment_node_article-4025" class="field field--name-comment-node-article field--type-comment field--label-hidden comment-wrapper"> <div class="comments_ajax_pager_wrap"></div> </section> <div class="field field--name-field-hero-image field--type-entity-reference field--label-above"> <div class="field__label">Hero Image</div> <div class="field__item"> <img loading="lazy" src="/sites/default/files/images/Shutterstock_1852509394.jpg" width="3200" height="1000" alt="Four Common Nonduality Questions Answered Banner Image" typeof="foaf:Image" /> </div> </div> Fri, 14 Oct 2022 06:01:00 +0000 eli@irest.org 4025 at https://www.irest.org 5 Benefits of Meditating in Community and The Perks of Joining In Online https://www.irest.org/blog/community/5-benefits-meditating-community-and-perks-joining-online <span class="field field--name-title field--type-string field--label-hidden">5 Benefits of Meditating in Community and The Perks of Joining In Online </span> <div class="field field--name-field-teacher field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field__items"> <div class="field__item">13053</div> </div> <span class="field field--name-uid field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden"><a title="View user profile." href="/user/eli-bresler" lang="" about="/user/eli-bresler" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="" class="username">eli@irest.org</a></span> <span class="field field--name-created field--type-created field--label-hidden">Mon, 09/12/2022 - 23:01</span> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field__item"><p>Committing to a regular meditation practice is one of the most practical and transformative actions you can take for your life.</p> <p>It sounds straightforward. On those rare days when everything goes to plan, it is. For the rest of life, most of us need a more substantial approach.</p> <p>This is why there’s a case to be made for the importance of meditating in community. As Greek poet Archilochos stated, “we don’t rise to the level of our expectations, we fall to the level of our training.”</p> <p>And that’s what group meditation is. It’s training for when we’re meditating alone. It’s an anchor in our lives when things feel overwhelming. And, it deeply resources us with a sense of connection both within ourselves, and to a community.</p> <p>Below we explore the reasons why attending regular group meditation sessions is a powerful pillar for your meditation practice, and your life.</p> <h2>Five Reasons To Join A Meditation Group</h2> <h4>1. Anchor your practice and stay regular</h4> <p><em>“There’s a reason why community practice is a part of the wide range of traditions and approaches to meditation.”</em> —Clearlight Gerald, Senior iRest Trainer</p> <p>Showing up for a regular group practice creates a positive habit and reinforces your commitment to your daily practice. If you haven’t managed to meditate on Monday and Tuesday, your Wednesday group session acts as a reset. It becomes the anchor in your week and supports your desire for integrating meditation more fully into your life.</p> <p>When you regularly gather with other people who share your intention for meditation to be part of daily life, the group intention becomes a normalized, collective lifestyle choice. Feeling part of a culture of mindful living makes it far easier to stay the course than sitting alone each day does.</p> <p>Leaning into the current of the group helps you stay regular when life feels particularly demanding.</p> <h4>2. Feel motivated and stay accountable</h4> <p><em>“If they can do it, so can I.”</em> —Group meditators everywhere</p> <p>It’s motivating to see the other people in your group consistently showing up session after session. Observing others doing what it takes to stay committed to their intentions helps you do the same.</p> <p>Being part of a group enhances our sense of accountability. If we’re relying on others to show up, they’re likely relying on us too. As Senior iRest Trainer, Clearlight Gerald explains, “when we practice together we join a community of friends and meet on common ground with common purpose. We will be missed if we leave, so we are more likely to stay.”</p> <h4>3. A deep sense of connection and shared meaning</h4> <p data-entity-type="file" data-entity-uuid="36e8b3ee-0288-48d2-96f9-a9cfc7148093" style="text-align: center;"><span><img alt="Fuyuko and Stephanie Teaching Demo Gif" data-entity-type="" data-entity-uuid="" src="/sites/default/files/inline-images/Untitled_%281%29.gif" /><span title="Click and drag to resize">​</span></span></p> <p class="text-align-center">Senior iRest Trainers, Stephanie Lopez and Fuyuko Sawamura-Toyota are joined by community members for an online discussion.</p> <p><em>“Meditation in community helps you shift from alone-ness to all-are-one-ness.” </em>—Fuyuko Sawamura-Toyota, Director of iRest Australasia</p> <p>A strong sense of belonging is essential to all aspects of our health. Joining a meditation group enables you to find the others who share your desire to belong to a community dedicated to self inquiry, expanding consciousness, and collective peace.</p> <p>Meditation as a shared experience has the power to deeply unite us. One of the most comforting and validating realizations you can have is “I’m not the only one”. Through group meditation, we experience this on many levels. From “I’m not the only one who struggles with <em>[insert your ailment or situation here]</em>” all the way to “I’m not alone as one person, I am part of Oneness.”</p> <h4>4. A safe container and support for deep inner work</h4> <p><em>“As a teacher, I’ve found that as students meditate in community, the community itself provides a holding ground and container in which each person may begin to feel held and supported by the group. This safe container acts as a catalyst for each person to open into their practice with honesty and curiosity. Over time, practicing with others can build a sense of cohesion with each person feeling free to deepen into their practice of self-inquiry and discovery.” </em>— Stephanie Lopez, Senior iRest Trainer</p> <p>The sense of safety and support fostered by being in a group can help you explore yourself at a deeper level. Meditation is not always comfortable. It’s possible we may resist an intense emotion when facing it alone. But in the comfort of a safe group, with the guidance of a trusted teacher, we feel resourced enough to meet what is arising and stay with it. This opens the potential for deep and transformative experiences.</p> <p>The group cohesion created by sitting together in expanded Awareness makes it possible to tap into a level of Stillness deeper and more profound than you may experience on your own.</p> <h4>5. The guidance of a teacher</h4> <p data-entity-type="" data-entity-uuid="" style="text-align: center;"><span><img alt="Clearlight Gerald GIF" data-entity-type="" data-entity-uuid="" src="/sites/default/files/inline-images/Skill_Building_Wkshp-_Effective_Language_for_Deeply_Sensing_iRest.mp4-low_%281%29.gif" /><span title="Click and drag to resize">​</span></span><span><span title="Click and drag to resize">​</span></span></p> <p class="text-align-center">Senior iRest Trainer, Clearlight Gerald facilitating an online group meditation.</p> <p><em>“Guided meditations offer students the ability to use the instructions, and later simply the teacher’s voice, as a support to focus and hone attention. The teacher’s presence, voice, and instructions offer guidance, enabling you to find what is true for you – revealing your deepest heartfelt knowing and truth.” </em>—Stephanie Lopez, Senior iRest Trainer</p> <p>Meditation sessions with a teacher act as a means for checking our technique and ensuring our solo practice remains effective and accurate. As we evolve on our path, we may need additional guidance, explanation, or pointing out of blind spots.</p> <p>Group sessions often include time to ask questions and learn from the questions of fellow students.</p> <h2>The Added Benefits of Online Group Meditation</h2> <p><em>“When the teacher or a fellow practitioner drops in deeply, this anchors the group and holds the space for a settling and opening into stillness. Group practice can really amplify the effects of meditation, and I’ve found it of great personal surprise and delight that this is the case online as it is in person.”</em> —Clearlight Gerald, Senior iRest Trainer</p> <p>We don’t all have easy, or weekly access to an iRest meditation group or event nearby. Extensive online offerings have removed location as a barrier to finding your nondual meditation community. Online meditation also has its own benefits:</p> <h4>1. Increased sense of intimacy</h4> <p>Joining a group meditation from your home can increase the sense of intimacy in the experience. Afterall, your teacher and fellow meditators are, in a way, gathering with you in your home, and you in theirs.</p> <p>Due to the nature of meditation, your laptop screen is an enabler rather than a barrier. Effectively, it’s allowing you to gather with a community of meditators from all over the world in the comfort of your space (or wherever it is you choose to meditate).</p> <h4>2. No more excuses</h4> <p>Online meditation sessions mean many of the excuses and hindrances to in-person meditation are removed. Traffic, poor time management, or not feeling like getting ready are no longer opportunities for missing your practice. Sick in bed? Turn your video off and you can still attend. You’ll potentially get better faster too¹.</p> <h4>3. Come as you are</h4> <p>In iRest group classes specifically, the invitation is always to show up as you are. No need to dress up, look a certain way, or worry that your favorite meditation pillow is actually the dog’s blanket folded over a few times.</p> <p>There’s an added layer of relaxed convenience available when joining in from home.</p> <h4>4. A more inclusive community</h4> <p>Online groups offer you the opportunity to meet people from all walks of life and from all over the world. People you may never otherwise meet. This encourages open-mindedness and gives you access to new ways of thinking. Two aspects very important to living a mindful and conscious life.</p> <p>Depending on where you live, in-person community gatherings can be more homogenized to one class, or age group, for example. When you think about it, joining an online group is possibly one of the most connecting and inclusive things you can do because all at once it closes the gaps of age, gender, class, location, and ability.</p> <h2>Community Is The Answer To Loneliness</h2> <p><a data-entity-type="file" data-entity-uuid="2246dde3-1729-47ab-86ce-c6ecce916a77" href="https://www.irest.org/sites/default/files/inline-images/Sept_Retreat_Group_Photo_Funny_2.png" media_library="Media Library" rel=" noopener" target="_blank"><img alt="September Retreat Group Photo" data-entity-type="file" data-entity-uuid="2246dde3-1729-47ab-86ce-c6ecce916a77" src="/sites/default/files/inline-images/Sept_Retreat_Group_Photo_Funny_2.png" width="1022" height="599" loading="lazy" /></a></p> <p class="text-align-center">A happy community of meditators bringing playfulness to their time together.</p> <p><em>“Group meditation helps you stay committed because you start to look forward not only to meditating together but also to being in community.”</em> —Fuyuko Sawamura-Toyota, Director of iRest Australasia</p> <p>Online meditation sessions are bringing community to you. You’re expertly guided within, safely held, and on the self-inquiry path together. You’re not meant to go it alone all the time. As Ram Dass said, “we’re all just walking each other home.”</p> <hr /><p><em>As with all of iRest and nondual teachings, we don’t want you to take our word for it, we want you to experience it yourself. Join us for our upcoming weekly community class series <strong><a href="https://www.irest.org/event/2022-september-november-irest-class-series-senior-irest-faculty" media_library="Media Library" rel=" noopener" target="_blank">Move, Breathe, Rest</a></strong>, beginning September 28 to do so.</em></p> <p>Sources:</p> <ol><li>https://www.lidsen.com/journals/icm/icm-03-04-032#2.1MeditationandImmuneFunction</li> </ol></div> <div class="field field--name-field-article-type field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field__items"> <div class="field__item"> <a href="/blog/category/community"> <span class="field__item">Community</span> </a> </div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-tags field--type-entity-reference field--label-above"> <div class="field__label">Tags</div> <div class="field__items"> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-18" hreflang="en">Audience</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-9" hreflang="en">Yoga Teachers</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-10" hreflang="en">Yoga Therapists</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-5" hreflang="en">iRest Teachers</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-6" hreflang="en">iRest Students</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-24" hreflang="en">Benefits</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-22" hreflang="en">Peace and Well-Being</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-12" hreflang="en">Other</a></div> </div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-published-date field--type-datetime field--label-above"> <div class="field__label">Published date</div> <div class="field__item"><time datetime="2022-09-13T12:00:00Z" class="datetime">Tuesday, September 13, 2022 - 12:00</time> </div> </div> <section data-ajax_comment_pager="comment_node_article-4016" class="field field--name-comment-node-article field--type-comment field--label-hidden comment-wrapper"> <div class="comments_ajax_pager_wrap"></div> </section> <div class="field field--name-field-hero-image field--type-entity-reference field--label-above"> <div class="field__label">Hero Image</div> <div class="field__item"> <img loading="lazy" src="/sites/default/files/images/community-blog-banner.png" width="3200" height="1000" alt="The benefits of meditating in community." typeof="foaf:Image" /> </div> </div> Tue, 13 Sep 2022 06:01:00 +0000 eli@irest.org 4016 at https://www.irest.org How Did You Sleep Last Night? A Practical Guide For Sleeping Better https://www.irest.org/blog/resources/how-did-you-sleep-last-night-practical-guide-sleeping-better <span class="field field--name-title field--type-string field--label-hidden">How Did You Sleep Last Night? A Practical Guide For Sleeping Better</span> <div class="field field--name-field-teacher field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field__items"> <div class="field__item">13053</div> </div> <span class="field field--name-uid field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden"><a title="View user profile." href="/user/eli-bresler" lang="" about="/user/eli-bresler" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="" class="username">eli@irest.org</a></span> <span class="field field--name-created field--type-created field--label-hidden">Thu, 07/28/2022 - 23:01</span> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field__item"><p>Two critical cornerstones for navigating daily life with a sense of wellbeing and resilience are sleep and rest. And they’re not the same thing.</p> <p><a href="https://www.irest.org/blog/resources/four-types-fatigue-you-dont-know-you-have-and-what-do-about-them" media_library="Media Library" rel=" noopener" target="_blank">This article explains the difference and offers practical ways to attend to your emotional, social, and mental rest needs.</a></p> <p>Underlying this need for different types of rest, is good sleep each day. The quality of your sleep goes a long way in determining the quality of your daily life.</p> <p>If you need convincing, consider this:</p> <p>“<em>If we all slept enough, our healthcare burden would plummet, we’d have better mental health, businesses would be more productive, and our children would be smarter. Sleep is the best health insurance policy you could ever wish for</em>.”— Matthew Walker, neuroscientist and sleep expert</p> <p>Read on for a practical approach to improving the quality of your sleep.</p> <h2>Why Is Sleep So Important?</h2> <p>Neuroscientist and yoga nidra advocate, Dr. Andrew Huberman, puts it plainly: “​​Best stress relief: sleep. Best trauma release: sleep. Best immune booster: sleep. Best hormone augmentation: sleep. Best emotional stabilizer: sleep.”</p> <p><strong>How much, how little, and how well you’re sleeping is impacting almost every aspect of your biology, physiology, psychology, and cognition.</strong></p> <p>The research is in and, if you care about the quality of your life, and your impact on the people in it, it’s time to prescribe yourself an optimal daily dose of shut-eye.</p> <h2>How Much Sleep You Need</h2> <p>The classic ‘eight hours’ is a misleading average not a directive. We’re all different. The vast majority of adults need somewhere between seven to nine hours of sleep each night, at the right time for your chronotype (sleep type).</p> <p><em>This quick test helps you assess if you’re getting enough sleep:</em></p> <p>If your alarm clock didn’t go off in the morning, would you sleep beyond the time you set it to wake you? If your answer is yes, your sleep needs are not being met.</p> <p>As Walker points out, “the snooze button exists because as a first world society we are always carrying some form of sleep debt”.</p> <h2>The Body Basics For A Good Night's Sleep</h2> <p>Setting up for a good night’s sleep begins upon waking. Your choices and actions throughout your day are either supporting sleep or working against it:</p> <p><strong>Food</strong>: No eating within two hours of your bedtime. Check you’re not taking stimulating supplements (like certain B vitamins) at night. Nicotine is also a stimulant.</p> <p><strong>Drink</strong>: No caffeine after 2pm. Alcohol negatively impacts sleep and prevents deep rest. Drinking certain herbal teas like chamomile in the evening can support better sleep.</p> <p><strong>Light</strong>: Get direct sunlight first thing on waking, avoid screens and artificial light before bed and after 10 p.m. Sleep in a completely dark room.</p> <p><strong>Temperature</strong>: A warm bath or shower before bed helps your body temperature drop. Cooler body and room temperatures support sleep.</p> <p><strong>Movement</strong>: Regular exercise is vital for good sleep. Gentle stretching and yoga before bed help downregulate your nervous system and activate ‘rest and digest’ mode.</p> <p><strong>Touch</strong>: Self massage also aids calm and relaxation. Try spending ten minutes massaging warm oil into your feet and lower legs just before bedtime.</p> <h2>Putting Your Mind, Emotions, And Insomnia To Sleep</h2> <p>What routinely interferes with sleep or disrupts our nightly sleepiness can be summed up in a single word: ‘noise’. Dr. Rubin Naiman, a sleep and dream specialist, offers a holistic perspective on sleep struggles:</p> <p><em>The primary cause of insomnia is a kind of excessive wakefulness, rather than lack of sleepiness, that results from unexamined 'noise' in our lives.</em></p> <p>Noise refers to varying degrees of excitation or agitation that arise from somatic, psychological or environmental sources. Think of these as body, mind, and bed noise. When our noise levels are greater than our sleepiness, we remain awake.</p> <p>Mind noise includes things like worry, anxiety, and stress. It’s often experienced as unstoppable thinking or 'cognitive popcorn’. Body noise is pain and discomfort and bed noise is your partner’s snores, for example. This noise is cumulative, subtly accruing over time from various ‘body, mind, and bed’ sources.</p> <p>If your mind is keeping you awake at night, it’s useful to consider: What kinds of thoughts, beliefs, and emotions am I bringing to bed with me? Can I sleep comfortably with them? If not, it’s time to tend to your mental and emotional wellbeing with proven techniques like <a href="https://vimeo.com/showcase/7910003" media_library="Media Library" rel=" noopener" target="_blank">iRest yoga nidra</a>, journaling, and therapy.</p> <h2>What Not To Do If You Want To Sleep Well</h2> <p>Knowing what not to do can be as useful as knowing what works. If any of the below feature heavily in your days, they may be contributing to poor sleep hygiene.</p> <p><strong>Too many stimulants:</strong> Caffeine, alcohol, nicotine, and bright screens all work against sleep. Consider removing or reducing the presence of these.</p> <p><strong>Unattended mental health:</strong> High stress, anxiety, and worry make it very difficult to fall asleep and stay asleep. A combination of proven techniques, like a daily iRest meditation, plus reaching out to other people (we’re not meant to experience hard times alone) constitute mental health-focused care.</p> <p><strong>Ignoring your chronotype:</strong> If your innate sleep type (night owl, neutral, morning lark) is mismatched with your bedtime you may struggle to fall asleep. This one may be tricky for night owls because of social norms around school and work start times. It’s still worth knowing your chronotype.</p> <p><strong>Spending too much time in bed: </strong>If you’re struggling to sleep, it’s counterproductive to spend a lot of time in bed lying awake. Don’t go to bed until you’re sleepy. Don’t lie awake for hours, rather get up and go to another room.</p> <p><strong>Your nightstand: </strong>“Your nightstand reflects your stance toward nighttime and sleep”, explains Dr. Naiman, “use it to begin evaluating your personal sleep story. If sleep is a nightly get-away, your nightstand is the overnight bag you carry. Is it suggestive of a rejuvenating personal retreat? Or, is it more about a stressful business trip?</p> <h2>Letting Go Into Deep Sleep</h2> <p>“<em>Sleep is like a cat. It only comes to you if you ignore it.</em>”— Gillian Flynn</p> <p>Senior iRest Trainer and creator of the free sleep yoga nidra below, Clearlight Gerald explains: “By genuinely letting go of trying to make anything happen, you'll often find that sleep takes care of itself.”</p> <article class="media media--type-vimeo media--view-mode-default" data-align="center"><div class="field field--name-field-media-oembed-video field--type-string field--label-visually_hidden"> <div class="field__label visually-hidden">Remote video URL</div> <div class="field__item"><iframe src="/media/oembed?url=https%3A//vimeo.com/708080331&amp;max_width=0&amp;max_height=0&amp;hash=jmPAV4IJFGb69iCN8o4s_zAAP9VA4kC7FEGXPF8czzk" frameborder="0" allowtransparency="" width="426" height="240" class="media-oembed-content"></iframe> </div> </div> </article><p>Life carries on regardless of how many nighttime hours you spend ruminating about it. Test this hypothesis and you’ll find it’s the case 100% of the time.</p> <p>What works to support sleep is clear. Add and subtract what you need to, and then try something new tonight: leave the waking world at your bedroom door. Tomorrow’s another day, it’s worth being well-rested for it.</p> <article class="media media--type-vimeo media--view-mode-default" data-align="center"><div class="field field--name-field-media-oembed-video field--type-string field--label-visually_hidden"> <div class="field__label visually-hidden">Remote video URL</div> <div class="field__item"><iframe src="/media/oembed?url=https%3A//vimeo.com/514356239&amp;max_width=0&amp;max_height=0&amp;hash=6PpxcWuAfrC_Hwz3__2ulo9mwBoVszkVsjVE6fM-3Uo" frameborder="0" allowtransparency="" width="426" height="240" class="media-oembed-content" title="iRest Meditation for Soothing Sleep with Senior iRest Trainer Robin Carnes"></iframe> </div> </div> </article><p> </p> <p><em>If you’d like to learn more and explore practical techniques for getting better sleep and resolving sleep struggles, <a href="https://www.irest.org/event/2022-november-irest-workshop-robin-carnes" media_library="Media Library" rel=" noopener" target="_blank">join Senior iRest Trainer, Robin Carnes, live online for her upcoming half-day sleep workshop on Sunday, November 6.</a></em></p> <p><strong><u>SOURCES</u></strong></p> <p>Andrew Huberman <a href="https://hubermanlab.com/" media_library="Media Library" rel=" noopener" target="_blank">Podcast</a><br /> The Knowledge Project <a href="https://fs.blog/knowledge-project-podcast/matthew-walker/" media_library="Media Library" rel=" noopener" target="_blank">Podcast</a><br /> “<a href="https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/36303871-why-we-sleep" media_library="Media Library" rel=" noopener" target="_blank">Why We Sleep</a>” by Dr Matthew Walker<br /> “<a href="https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/871895.Healing_Night" media_library="Media Library" rel=" noopener" target="_blank">Healing Night: The Science and Spirit of Sleeping, Dreaming and Awakening</a>,” by Dr. Rubin Naiman<br /> Peter Attia <a href="https://peterattiamd.com/does-alcohol-help-you-sleep/#:~:text=So%20two%20drinks%20close%20to,about%202%20breaths%20per%20minute" media_library="Media Library" rel=" noopener" target="_blank">Website</a></p> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-article-type field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field__items"> <div class="field__item"> <a href="/blog/category/resources"> <span class="field__item">Resources</span> </a> </div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-tags field--type-entity-reference field--label-above"> <div class="field__label">Tags</div> <div class="field__items"> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-18" hreflang="en">Audience</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-9" hreflang="en">Yoga Teachers</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-3" hreflang="en">Corporate Wellness</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-5" hreflang="en">iRest Teachers</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-6" hreflang="en">iRest Students</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-7" hreflang="en">Other</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-24" hreflang="en">Benefits</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-15" hreflang="en">Sleep</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-12" hreflang="en">Other</a></div> </div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-published-date field--type-datetime field--label-above"> <div class="field__label">Published date</div> <div class="field__item"><time datetime="2022-07-29T12:00:00Z" class="datetime">Friday, July 29, 2022 - 12:00</time> </div> </div> <section data-ajax_comment_pager="comment_node_article-4010" class="field field--name-comment-node-article field--type-comment field--label-hidden comment-wrapper"> <div class="comments_ajax_pager_wrap"> <article role="article" data-comment-user-id="17648" id="comment-743" class="comment js-comment"> <div class="comment__author-photo"> <img src="/sites/default/files/styles/comment_author/public/pictures/2022-08/masha%20headshot%20purple.jpg?h=bb9a2b77&amp;itok=LovGkoUl" width="130" height="130" alt="" loading="lazy" typeof="foaf:Image" class="image-style-comment-author" /> </div> <div class="comment__content"> <header class="comment__header"> <h3 class="comment__author"> Masha liokumovich <span class="hidden new" data-comment-timestamp="1661438417"></span></h3> <div class="comment__header-meta"> <span class="comment__permalink"><a href="/comment/743#comment-743" hreflang="en">Permalink</a></span> August 25, 2022 at 7:40am </div> </header> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-comment-body field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field__item"><p>Thank you! The sleep chronotype quiz was missing. There was no link to click for it. Could you please share it?</p> <p>Thanks</p> </div> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderLinks" arguments="0=743&amp;1=default&amp;2=en&amp;3=" token="nrlbuKrZSlz8Jd5LL4E3GA3XWWTI4zmvJ8fsb2kUX30"></drupal-render-placeholder> </div> </article> </div> </section> <div class="node__links"> <ul class="links inline"><li class="comment-forbidden"><a href="/user/login?destination=/blog/resources/how-did-you-sleep-last-night-practical-guide-sleeping-better%23comment-form">Log in</a> or <a href="/user/register?destination=/blog/resources/how-did-you-sleep-last-night-practical-guide-sleeping-better%23comment-form">register</a> to post comments</li></ul> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-hero-image field--type-entity-reference field--label-above"> <div class="field__label">Hero Image</div> <div class="field__item"> <img loading="lazy" src="/sites/default/files/images/Shutterstock_2003632079.jpg" width="3000" height="1410" alt="How Did You Sleep Last Night? A Practical Guide For Sleeping Better Banner" typeof="foaf:Image" /> </div> </div> Fri, 29 Jul 2022 06:01:00 +0000 eli@irest.org 4010 at https://www.irest.org University Campus Adopts iRest Yoga Nidra Meditation https://www.irest.org/blog/community-research/university-campus-adopts-irest-yoga-nidra-meditation <span class="field field--name-title field--type-string field--label-hidden">University Campus Adopts iRest Yoga Nidra Meditation</span> <div class="field field--name-field-teacher field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field__items"> <div class="field__item">13053</div> </div> <span class="field field--name-uid field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden"><a title="View user profile." href="/user/eli-bresler" lang="" about="/user/eli-bresler" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="" class="username">eli@irest.org</a></span> <span class="field field--name-created field--type-created field--label-hidden">Mon, 07/04/2022 - 23:01</span> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field__item"><p>Student life can offer ample freedom and a lot of responsibility. Navigating the ground between the two is what self discovery often looks like in our late teens and early twenties.</p> <p>While there’s fun to be had, there’s also the stress of balancing heavy study and lecture schedules, learning how to care for yourself, and finding your way in a new, adult world.</p> <p>How different might your student years have been if you had access to a practice like iRest Yoga Nidra Meditation?</p> <p>The North Dakota State University Counseling Center provides one-hour meditation sessions for their students at 3 p.m. every Monday.</p> <p>Their short article below, originally published on <a href="http://ndsuspectrum.com/" media_library="Media Library" rel=" noopener" target="_blank">ndsuspectrum.com</a> shares about the immediate benefits for students like reducing feelings of stress and overwhelm and fostering self-trust and confidence. It also highlights the lifelong benefits of learning practical, healthy tools for navigating life at a young age.</p> <h2>Meditation Mondays on Campus: The NDSU Counseling Center provides weekly meditation sessions using iRest</h2> <p>College can be a time of particular stress, pressure, adjustments, changes and competing demands. That’s why the North Dakota State University Counseling Center provides one hour meditation sessions for their students at 3 p.m. every Monday.</p> <p>“For many years I have run various meditation groups at the Counseling Center at that time, and it seems to work well for many students, and is also practical with the office schedule,” Licensed Psychologist, Certified Mindfulness Meditation Teacher, and Level I iRest Teacher Ronni Arensberg said.</p> <p>Each session involves a brief introduction to iRest and a guided meditation of approximately 30 minutes followed by a brief time for discussion or questions. Because the meeting is a drop-in group with no pre-registration, space is limited on a first-come, first-serve basis; face masks are also required.</p> <p>“Learning skills to manage stress and anxiety can be extremely beneficial for college students,” said Arensberg. “Learning iRest meditation and developing an iRest practice during college offers helpful skills that can be of benefit throughout the rest of one’s life.”</p> <p>iRest (Integrative Restoration) is a secular meditation practice based on the ancient tradition of Yoga Nidra and adapted to suit the conditions of modern life, according to their website. During iRest, people enter receptive states of deep relaxation and meditation, while remaining aware and alert.</p> <p>“When practiced regularly, iRest enables you to meet each moment of your life with unwavering peace and wellbeing, no matter how challenging or difficult your situation,” said Arensberg. “It can help you stay connected to your inner peace despite everyday stress or life-altering events. iRest teaches tools that you can use throughout your lifetime to deal with difficult situations skillfully, and to develop a deep and secure sense of well-being.”</p> <p>The iRest website states that the practice was developed by Dr. Richard Miller, a spiritual teacher, author, yogic scholar, researcher and clinical psychologist, who combined traditional yogic practice with Western psychology and neuroscience.</p> <p>The simple steps of iRest, which have been tested in clinical trials, calm the nervous system, release stress, increase resiliency and restore a sense of balance and control, according to Dr. Richard Miller’s research.</p> <p>iRest consists of 10 basic steps, so each meditation session will focus on a different step of iRest. According to Arensberg, the sessions do not need to be attended consecutively or in order.</p> <p>“iRest is simple to learn and easy to practice,” said Arensberg.” It can be practiced by anyone, regardless of experience with meditation.”</p> <h2>Take five minutes to reduce your feelings of stress and enhance calm and focus with the iRest practice below.</h2> <p><strong>If you know a student who can benefit, please share this article with them</strong> so they can understand the practical application in their lives and access over 80 free yoga nidra meditations on topics like anxiety, sleep, self compassion, and self love.</p> <article class="media media--type-vimeo media--view-mode-default" data-align="center"><div class="field field--name-field-media-oembed-video field--type-string field--label-visually_hidden"> <div class="field__label visually-hidden">Remote video URL</div> <div class="field__item"><iframe src="/media/oembed?url=https%3A//vimeo.com/473941640&amp;max_width=0&amp;max_height=0&amp;hash=lG1W2OQ7xGX3kEuMafwr-X7qj0fmieqk29cs_fXwV_A" frameborder="0" allowtransparency="" width="426" height="240" class="media-oembed-content" title="5-Minute Rest and Refresh Meditation with Stephanie Lopez"></iframe> </div> </div> </article><p> </p> <h2>iRest for Students and Beyond: What’s Your Role?</h2> <p>iRest Yoga Nidra Meditation is currently taught and used across myriad demographics and industries. This practice is suitable and adaptable for everyone from young children to senior citizens.</p> <p>It’s used in corporate settings for reducing stress, increasing effectiveness, and teaching people how to better care for their mental and emotional wellbeing. It’s used in the healing arts to help everyone from veterans and people with addiction to those of us going through a rough patch to heal our trauma, post-traumatic stress injury, insomnia, self worth, and more.</p> <p>Our goal is to make iRest accessible to as many people as possible across the world. If there’s a specific industry, group, or population that you want to help, our <a href="https://www.irest.org/events" media_library="Media Library" rel=" noopener" target="_blank">Level 1 iRest teacher training is offered in-person and online, over five days</a>.</p> <p>If this is your path, there are people who only you can reach. Heed the call. These <a href="https://www.irest.org/irest-research" media_library="Media Library" rel=" noopener" target="_blank">research-backed</a> tools are ready for you to take into your community.</p> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-article-type field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field__items"> <div class="field__item"> <a href="/blog/category/community"> <span class="field__item">Community</span> </a> </div> <div class="field__item"> <a href="/blog/category/research"> <span class="field__item">Research</span> </a> </div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-tags field--type-entity-reference field--label-above"> <div class="field__label">Tags</div> <div class="field__items"> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-18" hreflang="en">Audience</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-4" hreflang="en">Educators</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-5" hreflang="en">iRest Teachers</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-6" hreflang="en">iRest Students</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-7" hreflang="en">Other</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-24" hreflang="en">Benefits</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-23" hreflang="en">Anxiety</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-19" hreflang="en">Joy</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-22" hreflang="en">Peace and Well-Being</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-14" hreflang="en">Stress</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-12" hreflang="en">Other</a></div> </div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-published-date field--type-datetime field--label-above"> <div class="field__label">Published date</div> <div class="field__item"><time datetime="2022-07-05T12:00:00Z" class="datetime">Tuesday, July 5, 2022 - 12:00</time> </div> </div> <section data-ajax_comment_pager="comment_node_article-3996" class="field field--name-comment-node-article field--type-comment field--label-hidden comment-wrapper"> <div class="comments_ajax_pager_wrap"></div> </section> <div class="field field--name-field-hero-image field--type-entity-reference field--label-above"> <div class="field__label">Hero Image</div> <div class="field__item"> <img loading="lazy" src="/sites/default/files/images/Shutterstock_2022612914.jpg" width="3486" height="1730" alt="University Campus Adopts iRest Yoga Nidra Meditation Blog Post Hero Image" typeof="foaf:Image" /> </div> </div> Tue, 05 Jul 2022 06:01:00 +0000 eli@irest.org 3996 at https://www.irest.org iRest Teachers Prove You Can Change The World https://www.irest.org/blog/interviews-community-other/irest-teachers-prove-you-can-change-world <span class="field field--name-title field--type-string field--label-hidden">iRest Teachers Prove You Can Change The World</span> <div class="field field--name-field-teacher field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field__items"> <div class="field__item">13053</div> </div> <span class="field field--name-uid field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden"><a title="View user profile." href="/user/samantha-feller" lang="" about="/user/samantha-feller" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="" class="username">sfeller</a></span> <span class="field field--name-created field--type-created field--label-hidden">Thu, 05/19/2022 - 23:01</span> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field__item"><p>The yearning to help alleviate suffering in our world can be overwhelming. People you love are struggling with their mental health, the rates of homelessness due to addiction are on the rise in your community, and images of people living in war zones fill your screens.</p> <p>When human suffering is a global issue manifesting in various forms, across all layers of society, it’s pertinent to question how much of an impact you can truly have, and what the most effective way to help is.</p> <p>In his book “Doing Good Better”, William MacAskil’s research into the field of effective altruism reveals that one of the best ways to positively contribute to solving some of the world’s most critical problems is by contributing money to effective charitable organizations.</p> <p>When we consider poverty, food security, and climate change to be critical areas, where does enabling the distribution of iRest to people throughout our world fit in?</p> <p>It’s an excellent question with an important answer.</p> <img loading="lazy" src="/sites/default/files/images/iRest%20and%20the%20World%20Inforgraphic_1.jpg" width="824" height="406" alt="iRest and the World Infographic" typeof="foaf:Image" /><h2>The Exponential Reach of an iRest Teacher</h2> <p>In the first few months of 2020, free iRest practices were listened to over one million times. That’s in China alone.</p> <p>Amid panic that evolved into rampant stress, anxiety, and depression, Jing Qian and her colleague Dr. Lu formed a volunteer group to translate Richard Miller’s yoga nidra meditations into Chinese, sharing them in their community and with hospital workers.</p> <p class="float-left"><strong><img alt="Headshot of Jing Qian" data-entity-type="file" data-entity-uuid="66eb9287-2661-4462-b99f-d77353316674" height="265" src="/sites/default/files/inline-images/Jing%20Qian%20Headshot.jpg" style="width: 200px; height: 250px; margin-left: 10px; margin-right: 10px;" width="212" loading="lazy" /></strong></p> <p class="rtejustify"><strong>iRest Teacher, Jing Qian</strong></p> <p>“The recordings have been a great help for people suffering from pain, anxiety, insomnia, grief, and trauma”, explains Qian. One listener shared: “I've been feeling very depressed these days. I’ve felt hopeless and despairing. I have no energy to do anything. When I woke up from this iRest nap, this powerless feeling disappeared.”</p> <p>“I want you to realize how much these tools can help people to understand themselves and deal with the unconscious patterns they are caught up in”, says Paul Collins. His work with hundreds of people in prison and those battling addiction is supporting them in rehabilitating themselves.</p> <p class="float-left"><strong><img alt="Headshot of Paul Collins" data-entity-type="file" data-entity-uuid="29efce4f-9cec-4c1b-a55e-ba055c462d00" height="265" src="/sites/default/files/inline-images/Paul%20Collins%20Headshot_0.jpg" style="width: 200px; height: 250px; margin-left: 10px; margin-right: 10px;" width="212" loading="lazy" /></strong></p> <p class="rtejustify"><strong>iRest Supervisor &amp; Mentor, Paul Collins</strong></p> <p class="rtejustify">“Most of the prisoners, and those in addiction recovery, have had traumatic life experiences. They have emotional issues that drive violence and addiction, with no answers for how to deal with them. iRest helps prisoners and people in recovery understand what has driven their destructive patterns and reactive survival behavior. It also helps people in recovery deal with deeper, unresolved issues that can drive their addiction.“</p> <p>The people he’s worked with echo his understanding: “Little did I know that this was some of the most profound work I’d ever do. I came to understand how childhood experiences were affecting me and learned to meet all parts of myself with compassion.”</p> <p>Having single-handedly brought support and relief to thousands of school-going children, teachers, nurses, police officers, firefighters, active duty military, veterans, C-suite executives, and federal agents, Jennifer Boileau echoes Collins’ sentiments.</p> <p class="float-left"><strong><img alt="Headshot of Jennifer Boileau" data-entity-type="file" data-entity-uuid="c702311c-e0c1-4ff9-8291-300ba8616ada" height="265" src="/sites/default/files/inline-images/Jennifer%20Boileau%20Headshot_0.jpg" style="width: 200px; height: 250px; margin-left: 10px; margin-right: 10px;" width="212" loading="lazy" /></strong></p> <p><strong>iRest Teacher, Jennifer Boileau</strong></p> <p>She explains, “My work has always leaned toward supporting the first responder, military and veteran communities because I feel these practices help save lives. How can we expect officers or soldiers to truly process the amount of trauma they experience if we aren't showing up with the strategies to support them? I feel iRest is the answer for anyone struggling with high stress, anxiety, or hypervigilance.”</p> <p>iRest doesn’t only belong in yoga studios and therapy rooms, it belongs out in the world. This practice is for everyone, in support of the highest good for all because when we address our individual suffering, we’re loosening the systemic roots of everything that’s not working - on a personal level and a collective one.</p> <p class="float-left"><strong><img alt="Headshot of Deborah Welsh" data-entity-type="file" data-entity-uuid="4f4ef530-828b-4097-938f-1c1d1f001ec5" height="265" src="/sites/default/files/inline-images/Deborah%20Welsh%20Headshot.jpg" style="width: 200px; height: 250px; margin-left: 10px; margin-right: 10px;" width="212" loading="lazy" /></strong></p> <p><strong>iRest Teacher, Deborah Welsh</strong></p> <p>For presidents, world leaders, and political society, this looks like the awakening of a conscious, inclusive, and compassionate approach to governance. A political sea-change from “power over” to “empowering each other”. Or, as Deborah Welsh, who shares iRest at a home providing end-of-life care, exclaims: “It’s the practice of love replacing fear.”</p> <p>For a person living in poverty, this may look like building inner resilience for facing harsh daily realities while over time reestablishing a connection to their innate self worth and dignity. Ultimately, enabling and supporting this person to create a new way forward.</p> <p class="float-left"><strong><img alt="Headshot of Sharon Ash" data-entity-type="file" data-entity-uuid="1117709d-50a1-4420-8cca-ee89f7678089" height="265" src="/sites/default/files/inline-images/Sharon%20Ash%20Headshot.jpg" style="width: 200px; height: 250px; margin-left: 10px; margin-right: 10px;" width="212" loading="lazy" /></strong></p> <p><strong>iRest Teacher, Sharon Ash</strong></p> <p>“iRest meets people where they are. There’s something for everyone. It’s effective and sustainable and just as powerful for children as it is for senior leaders. There’s no limit.” —Sharon Ash</p> <p><em>[Feeling compelled to play your part and significantly impact the world? Take action now by showing your support <a href="https://www.irest.org/online-donation" media_library="Media Library" rel=" noopener" target="_blank">here</a>.]</em></p> <p> </p> <h2>“This Is What The World Needs Right Now”</h2> <p>Do you see the potential? <a href="https://www.irest.org/online-donation" media_library="Media Library" rel=" noopener" target="_blank">Enabling one person to become an iRest teacher</a> means potentially reaching and helping transform hundreds, thousands, perhaps even one million lives. This is why your contributions matter. You can be a sea-change starter. Your contribution has a phenomenal ripple effect across our world and throughout all aspects of society. This is the power and infinite potential of you plus iRest, and our teachers experience it firsthand everytime they share the practice.</p> <p> </p> <p class="float-left"><strong><img alt="Headshot of Peter Coroneos" data-entity-type="file" data-entity-uuid="7ec180b1-6f08-4306-85c1-14fa5894b85d" height="265" src="/sites/default/files/inline-images/Peter%20Coroneos%20Headshot.jpg" style="width: 200px; height: 250px; margin-left: 10px; margin-right: 10px;" width="212" loading="lazy" /></strong></p> <p><strong>iRest Teacher, Peter Coroneos</strong></p> <p><em>“Whatever your role in the world, we’re all human. Whatever can be done to increase the availability of iRest to broader populations will contribute to an alleviation of suffering. Support for iRest is ultimately support for your fellow humans.”</em> —Peter Coroneos</p> <p><em>“I’m working with some students continuing their practice outside of prison. Some of them want to be able to give back by teaching iRest and sharing their experiences of change and how iRest can help people in prison. Unfortunately, their financial positions mean the training is often cost prohibitive. When scholarships are available, they can complete the training and help others who otherwise would never be able to get access to this kind of work.”</em> —Paul Collins</p> <p><em>“Supporting someone to embark on a journey into iRest is like tossing a precious pebble into an infinite pond. The ripples of your gift will extend and expand in all directions, well beyond your initial investment.”</em> —Jennifer Boileau</p> <p>Supporting our current teachers and enabling the Institute to expand our teacher network through generous scholarships for future teachers in need ensures that you’re having a significant positive impact. It makes you an active part of the solution at an individual level as you help people all over the world gain access to the teachings and relieve their suffering, and at a communal level as new teachers share the practice with new communities and populations around the globe.</p> <p>Please join us in creating the better world we know is possible.</p> <p><a class="btn" href="https://www.irest.org/scholarship-donation" media_library="Media Library" rel=" noopener" target="_blank">Contribute Here</a></p> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-article-type field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field__items"> <div class="field__item"> <a href="/blog/category/interviews"> <span class="field__item">Interviews</span> </a> </div> <div class="field__item"> <a href="/blog/category/community"> <span class="field__item">Community</span> </a> </div> <div class="field__item"> <a href="/blog/category/other"> <span class="field__item">Other</span> </a> </div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-tags field--type-entity-reference field--label-above"> <div class="field__label">Tags</div> <div class="field__items"> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-18" hreflang="en">Audience</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-5" hreflang="en">iRest Teachers</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-6" hreflang="en">iRest Students</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-7" hreflang="en">Other</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-24" hreflang="en">Benefits</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-12" hreflang="en">Other</a></div> </div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-published-date field--type-datetime field--label-above"> <div class="field__label">Published date</div> <div class="field__item"><time datetime="2022-05-20T12:00:00Z" class="datetime">Friday, May 20, 2022 - 12:00</time> </div> </div> <section data-ajax_comment_pager="comment_node_article-3965" class="field field--name-comment-node-article field--type-comment field--label-hidden comment-wrapper"> <div class="comments_ajax_pager_wrap"></div> </section> <div class="node__links"> <ul class="links inline"><li class="comment-forbidden"><a href="/user/login?destination=/blog/interviews-community-other/irest-teachers-prove-you-can-change-world%23comment-form">Log in</a> or <a href="/user/register?destination=/blog/interviews-community-other/irest-teachers-prove-you-can-change-world%23comment-form">register</a> to post comments</li></ul> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-hero-image field--type-entity-reference field--label-above"> <div class="field__label">Hero Image</div> <div class="field__item"> <img loading="lazy" src="/sites/default/files/images/May%202022%20Fundraiser%20Blog%20Post%20Banner.jpg" width="3200" height="1000" alt="Hands holding the world" typeof="foaf:Image" /> </div> </div> Fri, 20 May 2022 06:01:00 +0000 sfeller 3965 at https://www.irest.org How ‘Non-Sleep Deep Rest’ (NSDR) and Modern Yoga Nidra Support Us at Work https://www.irest.org/blog/resources-other/how-non-sleep-deep-rest-nsdr-and-modern-yoga-nidra-support-us-work <span class="field field--name-title field--type-string field--label-hidden">How ‘Non-Sleep Deep Rest’ (NSDR) and Modern Yoga Nidra Support Us at Work</span> <div class="field field--name-field-teacher field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field__items"> <div class="field__item">13053</div> </div> <span class="field field--name-uid field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden"><a title="View user profile." href="/user/samantha-feller" lang="" about="/user/samantha-feller" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="" class="username">sfeller</a></span> <span class="field field--name-created field--type-created field--label-hidden">Mon, 05/09/2022 - 23:01</span> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field__item"><p>When the CEO of Google, and its holding company, Alphabet, shares the neuroscience-backed practice he relies on to unwind and rest, people take notice.</p> <p>Sundar Pichai is a very busy person who’s taken responsibility for “ensuring the benefits of technology can be shared as widely and equitably as possible”, and as the CEO of both Google and its holding company, Alphabet, Pichai leads a team of over 100,000 employees in meeting this world-transforming goal. It makes sense that he does more than sleep to restore his mind and body.</p> <p>Pichai recently shared about his morning routine and daily practices¹, explaining: “I found these podcasts which are non-sleep deep rest, or NSDR. So while I find it difficult to meditate, I can go to YouTube to find an NSDR video. They're available in 10, 20, or 30 minutes, so I do that occasionally."</p> <h2>How are Non-Sleep Deep Rest (NSDR) and iRest Yoga Nidra Meditation Similar and Different?</h2> <p>NSDR is fundamentally a present day description and application of the ancient, traditional practice of Yoga Nidra.</p> <p>In an interview² with Tim Ferris, Professor and neuroscientist, Andrew Huberman³ explains: “Admittedly, I coined the term ‘NSDR’ because scientists like acronyms.” He shared that he wanted to avoid robbing Yoga Nidra of its traditions and was also aware that some people wouldn’t resonate with the phrase ‘Yoga Nidra’, yet may find ‘non-sleep deep rest’ more accessible.</p> <p>In short, NSDR is a form of Yoga Nidra, sometimes including self-hypnosis, used primarily to facilitate lost-sleep recovery, focus, and neuroplasticity (according to Huberman⁴). NSDR and Yoga Nidra are short, powerful practices of conscious sleep for relaxing quickly and deeply. Thirty minutes of Yoga Nidra can be as restful as two to four hours of sleep⁵ because of the ability to reduce sleep debt, which researchers believe is related to the brainwave changes that occur during the practice.</p> <p>While one can’t separate the two practices entirely, a worthwhile distinction between NSDR and <a href="https://www.irest.org/irest-10-step-protocol" media_library="Media Library" rel=" noopener" target="_blank">iRest’s Yoga Nidra protocol</a> are the <a href="https://www.irest.org/irest-research" media_library="Media Library" rel=" noopener" target="_blank">myriad proven benefits</a> beyond rest and relaxation. What differentiates iRest from other approaches to Yoga Nidra and adaptations like NSDR, is its application for helping people stop being over-identified with, and consumed by, their emotions, thoughts, beliefs, memories, and perceptions of life. It’s this transformational process that fosters the proven and sustained benefits of reduced stress, depression, anxiety, trauma, and physical pain, and an increase in overall wellbeing, resilience, creativity, and peacefulness.</p> <p>iRest Yoga Nidra Meditation (iRest) also includes and nurtures the understanding and ability to accept that we do not control and oftentimes cannot change the circumstances and people in our life. However, we can learn to welcome life as it is, and respond accordingly, in the manner most appropriate and uplifting for all involved.</p> <p><em>A workplace example of this looks like your employer arriving in a bad mood and being short with you in a meeting. Rather than take this on, get upset, and ruin your own day, you’re able to remain undefensive and open, observe their behavior as unrelated to you, and calmly ask if they’d like some time alone before you continue.</em></p> <h2>Why NSDR And Yoga Nidra Seem Easier Than Meditation</h2> <p>Many forms of traditional meditation ask you to maintain a straight-back sitting position, offer a technique like focusing on your breath, and then with closed eyes you’re off navigating your inner world on your own.</p> <p>iRest and NSDR are more accessible because you practice in any position that’s comfortable for your body, with practitioners often choosing to lie down. The guided practice can be easily learned and experienced in increments of 1, 3, 5, 8, 12, and 20 minutes, or longer. It’s user-friendly, simple, and free of dogma, insisting on first-hand experience instead.</p> <p>iRest is ultimately integrated into a practitioner's life as a self-directed exercise that can be practiced lying down, sitting, standing, or even during daily activities.</p> <p>Interestingly, while both meditation and iRest are effective in reducing anxiety and stress, Yoga Nidra is more effective in reducing the cognitive and physiological symptoms of anxiety. iRest can also reduce your experience of pain, enhance learning and memory retention, and improve cognitive capacity and emotional self-regulation.</p> <h2>iRest for Reducing Work Stress and Setting You Up For Success</h2> <p>Whether you’re doing NSDR or iRest, the proven, practical benefits make these techniques an obvious choice for managing and reducing the workplace stressors that Pichai, and the rest of us, experience regularly. </p> <p>Each time you practice iRest you are:</p> <ul><li><a href="https://vimeo.com/manage/videos/592219691" media_library="Media Library" rel=" noopener" target="_blank"><strong>Activating your vagus nerve</strong></a> <strong>and increasing vagal tone</strong>, which signals to your body and mind that you are safe and can relax. This also leads to an increase in positive emotions and a decrease in depression.<br /><br /> This same function of our parasympathetic nervous system is what makes us able to be, and want to be, social and interact with others in authentic and constructive ways—a critical skill for workplace success.<br />  </li> <li><strong>Regulating brain activity</strong>. Stress, difficult decisions, and interpersonal conflict can activate our reptilian brain (flight or fight mode). It’s nearly impossible for us to focus, make rational decisions, or interact with others without being defensive or shutting down completely when this brain state is active.<br /><br /> As you do your iRest practice, your nervous system begins to downregulate and your reptilian brain calms down. Your prefrontal cortex, the part of your brain responsible for reasoning, problem-solving, creativity, and perseverance, all vital work skills, will not only come back online but function optimally.<br />  </li> <li><strong>Increase resilience and a sense of groundedness</strong>. A vital part of being happy at work is maintaining healthy boundaries and having a practical skill set for navigating times of chaos, change, and the growing pains of an expanding business.<br /><br /> Resilience and a solid sense of your innate worthiness are cultivated with regular practice. This is due to recurring first-hand experiences of an unshakeable sense of inner wholeness, peace, and connectedness, no matter the external events unfolding at work.<br /><br /> It’s from this solid inner ground that it becomes natural for you to say no when needed, yes when appropriate for you, and often see through any unnecessary work chaos and fake emergencies, while maintaining your equanimity.</li> </ul><p><em>The research: <a href="https://www.irest.org/research/effects-integrative-restoration-irest-perceived-stress-workers" media_library="Media Library" rel=" noopener" target="_blank">This study</a> tracked the effects of the 10-Step iRest Protocol on 60 workers for four weeks. Participants reported a significant decrease in overall stress levels.</em></p> <h2>iRest’s Role In Workplace Conflict Resolution</h2> <p>Psychologist, Marshall Rosenberg, says “every criticism, judgment, and voicing of anger is the tragic expression of an unmet need.” Your iRest practice enables you to better navigate inner turmoil and outer conflict because it teaches you to observe your thoughts, emotions, and beliefs as important messengers. When you learn to hear their message, they tend to dissolve, leaving you wiser, calmer, and knowing what healthy action is necessary for you to take.</p> <p><strong>If you’re practicing iRest regularly</strong> you may find that one day, while your difficult work situation hasn’t changed, something in you has shifted. You’re seeing things differently, have greater empathy toward the people involved, or feel peaceful despite the difficulty. This is not to say you don’t engage or take needed action. Rather, it means you’re able to act without a personal agenda, from a place of inner alignment, in support of the best possible outcome for all. You may experience:</p> <ul><li>A decrease in reactivity and an increased ability to respond mindfully because you’re engaging from a place of being deeply resourced, and having explored, observed, and come to know and befriend yourself through self-inquiry.<br />  </li> <li>A greater capacity to contain, modulate, and process big emotions and accompanying intense physical sensations. This is because during iRest you practice welcoming, observing, engaging with, and making room for all emotions.<br />  </li> <li>A shift in perspective from thinking in absolutes (I’m right, they’re wrong) to seeing multiple perspectives and possibilities (I can see how we both have valid points and feel unheard by each other, and that we desire the same outcome for this project). As your practice evolves you may become less identified with fixed, personal ideas as the only reality and begin to experience a deeper truth of interconnectedness.</li> </ul><p><strong>If everyone at work is practicing iRest</strong> then expect a constructive transformation in the office culture, more meaningful and fruitful interactions with colleagues, and an uptick in positive sentiment and creative problem solving. All thanks to calmer nervous systems, increased flexible thinking, and enhanced empathy for yourself and others. Also, a collective and growing understanding of our interconnectedness, and everyone’s innate worthiness, based on individual, lived experience. You may see:</p> <ul><li>An increase in team cohesion if you practice iRest together. Humans are social creatures and neuroscience has proven that our nervous systems interact with each other and co-regulate. When we practice Yoga Nidra together, the benefits are amplified.<br />  </li> <li>Overall lower stress levels. You and your team will feel well-rested and deeply resourced, social and amenable, and more self-assured. When difficulties arise, everyone has healthy, well-practiced tools for navigating personal and collective trials.<br />  </li> <li>An increase in systems thinking and a holistic, relational approach to problem-solving.iRest increases our capacity for contemplating two opposing ideas or experiences at the same time. When it comes to conflict resolution in the workplace, we’re more easily able to be vulnerable in order to express our primary needs, respectfully listen to and consider the needs of others, and find the best way forward for everyone involved.</li> </ul><h2>How To Incorporate iRest Into Your Work Day</h2> <p>Time is a finite resource. It’s easy to feel time-poor when your to-do list has been longer than your “completed” list ever since you can remember.</p> <p>There’s a meditation adage that’s something like “If you don’t have time to meditate for 20 minutes, you should meditate for 40 minutes.” Meaning, if you’re so busy doing stuff that you can’t take 20 minutes for yourself, you need to reassess your priorities. And perhaps more profoundly, and not yet widely understood: meditation gives you time back.</p> <p>Experiment for yourself and see what you find that to mean. In our experience, on the days we meditate, life flows a little easier, and we flow easier with it. We act deliberately when set-backs arise. There’s less overthinking and self-obsessing and more inspiration and collaboration.</p> <p>If you’re finding time to scroll through emails and social media everyday, or fixate on everything that’s going wrong at work, then the good news is that you have the time needed to do a short iRest practice.</p> <h3><strong>Free Practices</strong></h3> <p>Start small by setting an intention to listen to the productivity-focused 10-minute guided meditation below each weekday morning.</p> <article class="media media--type-vimeo media--view-mode-default" data-align="center"><div class="field field--name-field-media-oembed-video field--type-string field--label-visually_hidden"> <div class="field__label visually-hidden">Remote video URL</div> <div class="field__item"><iframe src="/media/oembed?url=https%3A//vimeo.com/646061094/df1d6180aa&amp;max_width=0&amp;max_height=0&amp;hash=BGNeVLs0uW0FWw7uNgU9sKpfKlFmSO_m8yQz25abovI" frameborder="0" allowtransparency="" width="640" height="360" class="media-oembed-content" title="2. Pathway to Productivity"></iframe> </div> </div> </article><p><br /> Or the short morning practice below for nourishing joy, gratitude and wellbeing.</p> <article class="media media--type-vimeo media--view-mode-default" data-align="center"><div class="field field--name-field-media-oembed-video field--type-string field--label-visually_hidden"> <div class="field__label visually-hidden">Remote video URL</div> <div class="field__item"><iframe src="/media/oembed?url=https%3A//vimeo.com/646041832/fc9cb63fdb&amp;max_width=0&amp;max_height=0&amp;hash=1T7F4X2IjrU0UPTVzXCBVHFBuKaaw175CdMJeLS_vgY" frameborder="0" allowtransparency="" width="640" height="360" class="media-oembed-content" title="3. Nourishing Joy"></iframe> </div> </div> </article><p><br /> Can you arrive 10-minutes earlier to your desk or just hold off from opening your email for all of 600 seconds? If you struggle with discipline, a <a href="https://freedom.to/" media_library="Media Library" rel=" noopener" target="_blank">website and app blocker</a> can help you delineate protected meditation time.</p> <p>You can also lean on the short meditation below when you need a reset after a stressful interaction or want to feel confident for an important meeting.</p> <article class="media media--type-vimeo media--view-mode-default" data-align="center"><div class="field field--name-field-media-oembed-video field--type-string field--label-visually_hidden"> <div class="field__label visually-hidden">Remote video URL</div> <div class="field__item"><iframe src="/media/oembed?url=https%3A//vimeo.com/646061270/6d43e4eb1c&amp;max_width=0&amp;max_height=0&amp;hash=_c2QkDmbGz6XpNeklgZbmY8kxK9biB_YgPCnc_PEegQ" frameborder="0" allowtransparency="" width="640" height="360" class="media-oembed-content" title="4. A Balanced Reset"></iframe> </div> </div> </article><p><br /> If you enjoy the support these meditations offer, you’ll find the 6-part <a href="https://www.irest.org/catalog/product/irest-meditation-balanced-workday" media_library="Media Library" rel=" noopener" target="_blank"><em>iRest Meditation for a Balanced Workday</em></a> series beneficial.</p> <h3><strong>Citations</strong></h3> <p>¹<a href="https://www.businessinsider.in/careers/news/google-ceo-sundar-pichai-says-he-uses-nsdr-or-non-sleep-deep-rest-to-unwind-heres-what-it-is-and-how-it-works-/articleshow/90021256.cms" media_library="Media Library" rel=" noopener" target="_blank">Article</a> on Sundar Pichai’s practices and routines<br /> ²<a href="https://tim.blog/2021/07/08/andrew-huberman-transcript/" media_library="Media Library" rel=" noopener" target="_blank">Interview</a>: Andrew Huberman on The Tim Ferris Show<br /> ³Neuroscientist Andrew Huberman’s <a href="https://hubermanlab.com/" media_library="Media Library" rel=" noopener" target="_blank">website</a><br /> ⁴<a href="https://twitter.com/hubermanlab/status/1500227031283372032?cxt=HHwWgMCsoaqi8NEpAAAA" media_library="Media Library" rel=" noopener" target="_blank">Tweet</a> by Andrew Huberman<br /> ⁵<a href="https://www.researchgate.net/publication/215461447_Complete_the_Course_of_Sleep_through_Yoga_Nidra" media_library="Media Library" rel=" noopener" target="_blank">Research</a> by Kamakhya Kumar</p> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-article-type field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field__items"> <div class="field__item"> <a href="/blog/category/resources"> <span class="field__item">Resources</span> </a> </div> <div class="field__item"> <a href="/blog/category/other"> <span class="field__item">Other</span> </a> </div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-tags field--type-entity-reference field--label-above"> <div class="field__label">Tags</div> <div class="field__items"> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-18" hreflang="en">Audience</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-3" hreflang="en">Corporate Wellness</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-24" hreflang="en">Benefits</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-23" hreflang="en">Anxiety</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-14" hreflang="en">Stress</a></div> </div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-published-date field--type-datetime field--label-above"> <div class="field__label">Published date</div> <div class="field__item"><time datetime="2022-05-10T12:00:00Z" class="datetime">Tuesday, May 10, 2022 - 12:00</time> </div> </div> <section data-ajax_comment_pager="comment_node_article-3962" class="field field--name-comment-node-article field--type-comment field--label-hidden comment-wrapper"> <div class="comments_ajax_pager_wrap"></div> </section> <div class="node__links"> <ul class="links inline"><li class="comment-forbidden"><a href="/user/login?destination=/blog/resources-other/how-non-sleep-deep-rest-nsdr-and-modern-yoga-nidra-support-us-work%23comment-form">Log in</a> or <a href="/user/register?destination=/blog/resources-other/how-non-sleep-deep-rest-nsdr-and-modern-yoga-nidra-support-us-work%23comment-form">register</a> to post comments</li></ul> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-hero-image field--type-entity-reference field--label-above"> <div class="field__label">Hero Image</div> <div class="field__item"> <img loading="lazy" src="/sites/default/files/images/NDSR%20Blog%20Banner%20Image.png" width="3000" height="1400" alt="NSDR Blog Post Image" typeof="foaf:Image" /> </div> </div> Tue, 10 May 2022 06:01:00 +0000 sfeller 3962 at https://www.irest.org Nurture Your Eco-Resilience Through the Wholeness of Nature https://www.irest.org/blog/community-resources-nondualism/nurture-your-eco-resilience-through-wholeness-nature <span class="field field--name-title field--type-string field--label-hidden">Nurture Your Eco-Resilience Through the Wholeness of Nature</span> <div class="field field--name-field-teacher field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field__items"> <div class="field__item">13827</div> <div class="field__item">13053</div> </div> <span class="field field--name-uid field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden"><a title="View user profile." href="/user/eli-bresler" lang="" about="/user/eli-bresler" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="" class="username">eli@irest.org</a></span> <span class="field field--name-created field--type-created field--label-hidden">Wed, 04/20/2022 - 23:01</span> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field__item"><p>We like to think of nature as a place for recreation, relaxation, and restoration. A meandering trail for hiking and birdwatching or a roaming river for swimming and fishing. A lush park lawn or a vast beach for a picnic with loved ones. The awe-inspiring vista at a retreat center to foster self-reflection and healing.</p> <p>However, the state of nature on our planet is changing. Science shows that our earth is in the midst of a sixth mass extinction, as human activities drive the rapid decline of 1 million animal and plant species. The news tells of our leaders’ struggles to limit carbon emissions as global temperatures rise. Social media broadcasts heartbreaking stories of communities worldwide suffering through the latest megafire, flood, drought, or hurricane.</p> <p>With all this destruction, how can we relax in nature, let alone protect it? It’s easy to feel overwhelmed.</p> <p>Personally, I feel the prickle of these emotions almost every day. In my work as a wildlife conservationist, I witness animals in distress as we deforest their homelands and kill or kidnap their family members. I’ll come across a turtle hit by a motorist, or hear about a tiger trapped by poachers, or read of an entire bird species declared extinct. Each time, the news translates from my mind to my body as raw and visceral sensation: breath shortening, chest tightening, stomach constricting, hands trembling, nausea rising. And of course, inevitably, these feelings are narrated by a crazed tumble of negative thoughts, paired with a flash of paralyzing hopelessness.</p> <h4>Hello, Eco-Anxiety</h4> <p>You and I are not alone in these feelings; in fact, we’re in good company. These days, so many people despair about the state of the environment that in 2017, the American Psychiatric Association gave this experience a name: eco-anxiety.</p> <p>This feeling of grief about the planet is pervasive and on the rise. Sixty-eight percent of people surveyed in 2020 felt that climate change is affecting their mental health, an increase of 21% from the year before.<sup>1</sup></p> <p>It’s healthy to feel concerned about the environment and inspired to take action. But when feelings of eco-anxiety remain all-consuming over time, they can become unmanageable, leading to depression, burnout, and other debilitating conditions.</p> <p>My own unchecked eco-anxiety convinced my mind that my 5-year effort to help conserve tigers and leopards in an Indian national park was futile. I spiraled into anguish and professional burnout. Among my colleagues who’ve dedicated their lives to conserving the world’s biodiversity, I’ve seen eco-anxiety intensify and compound into cynicism, self-doubt, sleeplessness, and body pain that undermines their work and wellbeing.</p> <h4>Eco-Anxiety as a Messenger</h4> <p>Although the term ‘eco-anxiety’ may be new, the human experience of it is not. iRest teaches us that all emotions are messengers. We can consider eco-anxiety a messenger, sharing with us an invitation to not only connect with nature but as nature.</p> <p>As with all emotions, we have choices. We can allow eco-anxiety to lead us into reactive and rocky terrain, our minds complaining through the entire hike. Or, in the words of iRest founder Dr. Richard Miller, we can invite eco-anxiety for ‘tea and conversation’ and, gently, in our own time, sit with the emotions to explore their message. We can recognize eco-anxiety as a gateway into self-inquiry.</p> <p>Through my own meditations on eco-anxiety, I’ve deepened into three aspects of Essential Nature.</p> <p>First, fortifying my Heart’s Desire of passion and purpose to conserve our world’s threatened wildlife. I notice that eco-anxiety is sparked by a friction between my observations of the biodiversity extinction crisis and my diminished sense of contributing to the solution. In response to this message, I switched to a job with a more direct, meaningful impact on the species I care for most, and started proactively tracking my conservation outcomes. Whenever the realities of suffering wildlife prompt a sting of eco-anxiety, I feel into my heart space and sense ease from the overflowing self-fulfillment of my efforts.</p> <p>Second, recognizing that change is a constant and natural aspect of nature, and that I’m an integral part of nature. The dynamics of my body (my thoughts, emotions, and behaviors), and the universe itself (from genes, to species, to ecosystems, to planets) are constantly changing. As the Buddha realized, change is an integral aspect of the cycle of life.</p> <p>Third, recognizing that nature and my body are manifestations of the same elemental Essential Nature that has created the entire universe. When eco-anxiety begins to storm in my stomach, I rest back into the underlying feeling of Being that is a quality of Essential Nature manifesting through me. By opening into Being, the clouds of eco-anxiety dissipate and sunrays of well-being stream through my body and mind.</p> <p>What exactly eco-anxiety will reveal to you is for you to discover. In listening and responding to eco-anxiety as a messenger, we gradually build our eco-resilience, becoming heartfelt champions for nature, and aware aspects of Essential Nature.</p> <h4>Three Actions to Nurture Nature</h4> <p>We can nurture our eco-resilience together through three simple actions:</p> <p><strong>1. Explore your Essential Nature through iRest meditation.</strong> Care for the earth by caring for yourself, through building your eco-resilience with self-inquiry. Listen to the 20-minute nature-inspired guided yoga nidra practice below.</p> <article class="media media--type-vimeo media--view-mode-default" data-align="center"><div class="field field--name-field-media-oembed-video field--type-string field--label-visually_hidden"> <div class="field__label visually-hidden">Remote video URL</div> <div class="field__item"><iframe src="/media/oembed?url=https%3A//vimeo.com/698471272&amp;max_width=0&amp;max_height=0&amp;hash=k3TyIDWRhiN8Pyk39hsW7vSUWwdQtrUEWr6w89Vdzwc" frameborder="0" allowtransparency="" width="426" height="240" class="media-oembed-content" title="iRest Yoga Nidra on the Wholeness of Nature"></iframe> </div> </div> </article><p> </p> <p><strong>2. Connect with the Earth. </strong>Nothing is simpler and more important than basking in nature’s beauty. Soak up some nature time, whether by visiting your local <a href="https://www.fws.gov/visit-us/refuges" media_library="Media Library" rel=" noopener" target="_blank">national wildlife refuge</a> or <a href="https://www.nps.gov/planyourvisit/index.htm" media_library="Media Library" rel=" noopener" target="_blank">national park </a>in-person or <a href="https://www.nationalparks.org/connect/blog/take-virtual-visit-national-park" media_library="Media Library" rel=" noopener" target="_blank">online</a>, exploring nature with the <a href="https://www.inaturalist.org/" media_library="Media Library" rel=" noopener" target="_blank">iNaturalist</a> app or celebrating conservation successes with the <a href="https://earthoptimism.si.edu/" media_library="Media Library" rel=" noopener" target="_blank">Earth Optimism</a> movement and the <a href="https://iucngreenlist.org/" media_library="Media Library" rel=" noopener" target="_blank">IUCN Green List of Protected and Conservation Areas</a>.</p> <p><strong>3. Serve our planet through action.</strong> In the spirit of seva yoga, give your time and energy to help the earth through selfless service. Consider joining an <a href="https://www.earthday.org/" media_library="Media Library" rel=" noopener" target="_blank">Earth Day cleanup</a> or volunteering with a group like the <a href="https://www.fws.gov/volunteer-opportunity" media_library="Media Library" rel=" noopener" target="_blank">U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service</a> or <a href="https://defenders.org/action" media_library="Media Library" rel=" noopener" target="_blank">Defenders of Wildlife</a>, or contributing your nature observations through <a href="https://www.feederwatch.org/" media_library="Media Library" rel=" noopener" target="_blank">Project Feederwatch</a> or <a href="https://www.zooniverse.org/" media_library="Media Library" rel=" noopener" target="_blank">Zooniverse</a>. Opportunities to help the planet are vast and varied, and can entail going outdoors or contributing virtually from your couch.</p> <p>However you decide to take action, may you connect with and deepen into the wholeness of nature, in all its many forms.</p> <p><sup>1.</sup><a href="https://www.psychiatry.org/newsroom/news-releases/climate-poll-2020" media_library="Media Library" rel=" noopener" target="_blank">https://www.psychiatry.org/newsroom/news-releases/climate-poll-2020</a></p> <h4>About the Author</h4> <p><strong>Jennie Miller, PhD, C-iRest</strong><br /> Jennie is a meditation teacher and wildlife conservationist dedicated to helping people connect mindfully to nature and themselves. She combines her love of wild animals, experience as a wildlife scientist, and training in iRest Yoga Nidra to support environmental enthusiasts and professionals address eco-grief and eco-anxiety through deepening into their passion, purpose and self-inquiry. Jennie has a PhD in Ecology from the Yale School of the Environment and is a Certified iRest Yoga Nidra Teacher.</p> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-article-type field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field__items"> <div class="field__item"> <a href="/blog/category/community"> <span class="field__item">Community</span> </a> </div> <div class="field__item"> <a href="/blog/category/resources"> <span class="field__item">Resources</span> </a> </div> <div class="field__item"> <a href="/blog/category/nondualism"> <span class="field__item">Nondualism</span> </a> </div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-tags field--type-entity-reference field--label-above"> <div class="field__label">Tags</div> <div class="field__items"> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-18" hreflang="en">Audience</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags" hreflang="en">Emergency Service Personnel</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-9" hreflang="en">Yoga Teachers</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-10" hreflang="en">Yoga Therapists</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-1" hreflang="en">Clinical Psychologists</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-2" hreflang="en">Social Workers</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-4" hreflang="en">Educators</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-5" hreflang="en">iRest Teachers</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-6" hreflang="en">iRest Students</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-24" hreflang="en">Benefits</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-23" hreflang="en">Anxiety</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-20" hreflang="en">Depression</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-19" hreflang="en">Joy</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-22" hreflang="en">Peace and Well-Being</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-16" hreflang="en">PTSD</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-14" hreflang="en">Stress</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-13" hreflang="en">Trauma</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-25" hreflang="en">Nondualism</a></div> </div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-published-date field--type-datetime field--label-above"> <div class="field__label">Published date</div> <div class="field__item"><time datetime="2022-04-22T12:00:00Z" class="datetime">Friday, April 22, 2022 - 12:00</time> </div> </div> <section data-ajax_comment_pager="comment_node_article-3953" class="field field--name-comment-node-article field--type-comment field--label-hidden comment-wrapper"> <div class="comments_ajax_pager_wrap"></div> </section> <div class="field field--name-field-hero-image field--type-entity-reference field--label-above"> <div class="field__label">Hero Image</div> <div class="field__item"> <img loading="lazy" src="/sites/default/files/images/Desktop%20Banner_Nurture%20Your%20Eco-Resilience.jpg" width="3000" height="1400" alt="Desktop Banner for Nurture Your Eco-Resilience Through the Wholeness of Nature" typeof="foaf:Image" /> </div> </div> Thu, 21 Apr 2022 06:01:00 +0000 eli@irest.org 3953 at https://www.irest.org What I Learned Teaching iRest to At-Risk Women in Guatemala: A Q&A Interview With Level 2 iRest Teacher Warren Spencer https://www.irest.org/blog/interviews-community/what-i-learned-teaching-irest-risk-women-guatemala-qa-interview-level-2 <span class="field field--name-title field--type-string field--label-hidden">What I Learned Teaching iRest to At-Risk Women in Guatemala: A Q&amp;A Interview With Level 2 iRest Teacher Warren Spencer</span> <div class="field field--name-field-teacher field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field__items"> <div class="field__item">13053</div> </div> <span class="field field--name-uid field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden"><a title="View user profile." href="/user/samantha-feller" lang="" about="/user/samantha-feller" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="" class="username">sfeller</a></span> <span class="field field--name-created field--type-created field--label-hidden">Tue, 02/08/2022 - 23:00</span> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field__item"><p>While the iRest teachings are timeless and unchanging, the manner in which they are expressed and facilitated by teachers is unique to each person’s interests and the fields they feel drawn to focus on.</p> <p>In this interview, Warren Spencer, who’s currently enrolled in iRest certification, shares some of the ways he’s felt called to share iRest within his local communities and those he’s had the privilege of visiting.</p> <p><strong>1. How did you get started with iRest practices?</strong></p> <p>I was introduced to iRest Yoga Nidra as part of a regular offering by Jennifer Cabanero at The Yoga Tree, a yoga studio in the greater Seattle area. I was hooked and so I attended a three-day retreat. Some months later, I took the level 1 training.</p> <p><strong>2. What impact has iRest had on your day-to-day life?</strong></p> <p>The greatest impact has been to become more aware of the non-stop chattering mind. You know how in daily life the mind starts talking and then talks, and talks, and talks? In these moments I’m not really aware of my surroundings, understanding what others might be saying, or in a position to gain meaningful insights.</p> <p>I’m working on, and getting better at, stepping back to notice my chatter and say: “Okay enough! You’ve had your say about us, and there is more to life than all the processing you are so good at. For now, I’m going to focus on looking at the moment through a different lens–a lens of awareness that might provide some different insights.”</p> <p><strong>3. What was the catalyst for you deciding to enroll in our certification program?</strong></p> <p>My level 1 teacher training was a catalyst because it was great and because you can take it before making any further commitments. However, it was really the benefits gained from that first deeper dive into the practice that led me to believe that its secular approach to self-awareness and self-healing would make it available and acceptable to many of the co-cultures in which I interact. These include my family, the Hispanic community, my drum circle friends, fellow yogis, and my faith-based community.</p> <img loading="lazy" src="/sites/default/files/images/IMG_5132.jpeg" width="480" height="640" alt="Warren about to head into his at-home studio." typeof="foaf:Image" /><p>Warren about to head into his at-home studio.</p> <img loading="lazy" src="/sites/default/files/images/IMG_4751.jpeg" width="640" height="480" alt="Inside Warren's at-home studio." typeof="foaf:Image" /><p>Inside Warren's at-home studio.</p> <p><strong>4. Within your personal iRest practice, are there any experiences or realizations that stand out for you?</strong></p> <p>One day deep into the COVID experience, I decided to do a personal practice with my eyes open, sitting in my at-home office. This is not a calm setting in front of two large computer screens.</p> <p>My normal practice is lying down with a comfy blanket, darkened room, and my eyes closed. This was a challenge and my attempt to see how this might provide different messengers and help integrate the benefits of my normal practice into the challenges of everyday life.</p> <p>I set my intention on just keeping drishti eyes or what others might call “owl gazing” or “green gazing.”</p> <p>The practice ended with nothing in particular standing out. Then, two hours later, I couldn’t take my post-meditation eyes off the maple and lace yin-yang “artwork” hanging on the wall within sight of my prior gazing. Within the lighter part of one side, the dark circle stood out. Within the darker side, the white circle of light stood out.</p> <p>Within times of darkness, there is a message of light within it. Within times of light and delight, there may be hidden some fear that wants to be heard. What stood out to me was an understanding of holding opposites at the same time. They become something new – a complete circle of life, with shades of light and shades of color that form a unity in order to embrace our diversity. When the stress of work hits me from all directions, I now look up at what was once “just a piece of art” to what is now so much more.</p> <img loading="lazy" src="/sites/default/files/images/IMG_0898.jpeg" width="480" height="640" alt="Image of artwork Warren describes." typeof="foaf:Image" /><p> </p> <p><strong>5. You’ve mentioned that as part of your iRest training process, you guided your two daughters-in-law through multiple sessions. What did you gain from that experience?</strong></p> <p>A greater awareness of the unity that we are all in this together–how inner awareness of an individual gained through the iRest practice is important for the strength and unity of couples, family connections, and friendships. And, how those connections are then able to unite us and help our community to interact in meaningful ways. On a personal level, I experientially learned that iRest works outside the framework of a yoga studio in a multitude of settings. Without the setting of COVID for all its negative impacts, I would not have had the privilege of this opportunity.</p> <p><strong>6. What feedback did your daughters-in-law give you about their experience?</strong></p> <p>The multiple sessions were with one daughter-in-law in person and the other via zoom. Both commented, with kindness, in their own way that the meditation presentations got better as the sessions progressed. My delivery of meditation sessions got better when I put my note cards down, closed my eyes, and delivered the various protocol dialogues by visualizing the process for me during the delivery. This really helped with timing.</p> <p>They both really liked the freedom of self-inquiry provided by iRest (rather than a counseling setting), and the choice to share or not share their experiences from the mediation process. These sessions included discourse presentations before each session and time for questions after each session. That enabled a safe container and meaningful way for them to gain knowledge of their experience. Of course, we also established the mutual trust that they were free to share their experiences outside of the sessions, but that I would hold everything as confidential.</p> <p><strong>7. Prior to lockdown, you had an opportunity to share iRest with a group of at-risk women in Guatemala. Please tell us about your experience.</strong></p> <p>A dear friend needed an English/Spanish speaker to assist with interpretation as she provided spiritual direction and self-discovery through art and contemplative prayer. It began as me being an interpreter until I nudged my way in to provide some guided meditation. With approval, I grabbed the Spanish translations from our teacher’s resources for help.</p> <p>While well-written and perfect for many, I used them for idea generation and decided that my natural and non-native Spanish dialogue would be better received as a good example of imperfection. Laughter proved to be a great way to create trust and a safe environment.</p> <p>Now, what to do in a short week and a few sessions? The mind went into full gear. What part of iRest could I provide that would be useful while there, but also after I left. Could I provide elements of iRest acceptable in their environment and culture? Are there elements that would provide hope or provide continued exploration into the beautiful Essential Self and act as reminders to not be self-defined by negative experiences?</p> <p>Needless to say, I was humbled by my experience. Most participants had to work hard to find a way to get a few hours away from jobs or helping their families with daily survival needs. While many worked hard to get there, they also stood back as events started.</p> <p>Trust is hard to come by and has to be earned, not presumed. Starting with my friend’s watercolor art therapy provided a great environment for creating a safe environment and leading the way for meditation later on.</p> <p><strong>8. Did your experience in Guatemala evolve your understanding of the benefits/uses of iRest in any way?</strong></p> <p>Absolutely. I quickly realized that all my thoughts leading up to this experience were essentially about me. All I needed to do was to select some key steps within the 10-step protocol and let the self-exploration take place in a safe environment. That is the beauty of iRest. It is not about directing but rather being alongside others as a guide fostering a safe environment.</p> <p>This resulted in our meditation sessions exploring sensations. Exploring first the outer environment and then gently exploring some emotions as opposites. Then, turning to focus on the development and awareness of our inner resource that is available whenever the need arises.</p> <img loading="lazy" src="/sites/default/files/images/IMG_4080.jpeg" width="640" height="480" alt="Guatemala class setting for seated meditations." typeof="foaf:Image" /><p>Guatemala class setting for seated meditations.</p> <img loading="lazy" src="/sites/default/files/images/IMG_4214.jpeg" width="640" height="480" alt="Art therapy in Guatemala." typeof="foaf:Image" /><p>Art therapy in Guatemala.</p> <p><strong>9. What was some of the feedback from the women you guided?</strong></p> <p>Tears. Smiles. Laughter. But mostly “thanks for caring”. I left with the knowledge that every little bit helps and with the hope that even this small bit of input might be a link to finding safety and joy in their futures.</p> <p><strong>10. How did this experience impact how you guide iRest sessions/want to use iRest in the future?</strong></p> <p>Historically, I’ve always thought of meditation as being a yoga thing. I’ve known iRest isn’t exclusively linked to yoga but I had to gain experiential knowledge by guiding iRest outside of the yoga box to fully understand this. For me, this means that I’m now more comfortable to explore and present the idea of participating in iRest sessions to a variety of different groups–whether or not that’s how I name it at the time.</p> <p><strong>11. What are your future plans as an iRest teacher?</strong></p> <p>My hope is to provide iRest in a group setting for people with Parkinson's disease and for people who have gone through cancer treatments.</p> <p>My wife and I have set up a day retreat to bring groups to our property to have a day away from being self-defined by Parkinson's disease or cancer.</p> <p>We have a yoga studio, drum circle facility, fire pit for evening songs or talking, raised gardens, a quiet room, and paved winding trails for walkers, wheelchairs, or grandchildren with bikes and electric cars.</p> <img loading="lazy" src="/sites/default/files/images/IMG_0713.jpeg" width="480" height="640" alt="Outdoor shot of the &quot;quiet room&quot; on Warren's property for co-meditation dyads." typeof="foaf:Image" /><p>Outdoor shot of the "quiet room" on Warren's property for co-meditation dyads.</p> <img loading="lazy" src="/sites/default/files/images/IMG_0714.jpeg" width="480" height="640" alt="Indoor shot of the &quot;quiet room&quot; on Warren's property for co-meditation dyads." typeof="foaf:Image" /><p>Outdoor shot of the "quiet room" on Warren's property for co-meditation dyads.</p> <p><strong>12. How do you see your role in helping others through the modality of iRest? What’s your unique approach or perspective?</strong></p> <p>If there is a unique approach, I would say it’s preconditioning the setting for iRest meditation through walks, chanting, or singing, and most particularly through drumming meditation.</p> <p><strong>13. What do you want people who are struggling to find inner peace to understand about iRest?</strong></p> <p>While there is clearly a role for counseling (which iRest is not), iRest meditation is a wonderful doorway for expanding your understanding of self, by providing a new awareness of your environment and life situation that may enable you to easily experience inner peace. With iRest, you only have to be honest with yourself–there are no others to please, no others to whom you have to explain anything.</p> <p><strong>14. Any final contemplations/inspirations about iRest that you’d like to share with the community?</strong></p> <p>We are all in this together and through our unity we can embrace our diversity.</p> <p><em>If you're inspired by Warren's story and feel called to share iRest in your unique way, begin your journey with our <a href="https://www.irest.org/event/irest-level-1-training-stephanie-jennifer-2022-march" media_library="Media Library" rel=" noopener" target="_blank">Hybrid L1 Teacher Training</a> in March. Learn from two of the best: Senior Director of Teachings and Programs, Stephanie Lopez, and Senior iRest Trainer, Jennifer Cabanero.</em></p> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-article-type field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field__items"> <div class="field__item"> <a href="/blog/category/interviews"> <span class="field__item">Interviews</span> </a> </div> <div class="field__item"> <a href="/blog/category/community"> <span class="field__item">Community</span> </a> </div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-tags field--type-entity-reference field--label-above"> <div class="field__label">Tags</div> <div class="field__items"> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-18" hreflang="en">Audience</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-5" hreflang="en">iRest Teachers</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-6" hreflang="en">iRest Students</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-7" hreflang="en">Other</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-24" hreflang="en">Benefits</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-12" hreflang="en">Other</a></div> </div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-published-date field--type-datetime field--label-above"> <div class="field__label">Published date</div> <div class="field__item"><time datetime="2022-02-09T12:00:00Z" class="datetime">Wednesday, February 9, 2022 - 12:00</time> </div> </div> <section data-ajax_comment_pager="comment_node_article-3933" class="field field--name-comment-node-article field--type-comment field--label-hidden comment-wrapper"> <div class="comments_ajax_pager_wrap"></div> </section> <div class="node__links"> <ul class="links inline"><li class="comment-forbidden"><a href="/user/login?destination=/blog/interviews-community/what-i-learned-teaching-irest-risk-women-guatemala-qa-interview-level-2%23comment-form">Log in</a> or <a href="/user/register?destination=/blog/interviews-community/what-i-learned-teaching-irest-risk-women-guatemala-qa-interview-level-2%23comment-form">register</a> to post comments</li></ul> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-hero-image field--type-entity-reference field--label-above"> <div class="field__label">Hero Image</div> <div class="field__item"> <img loading="lazy" src="/sites/default/files/images/Interview_with_Warren_Spencer_Blog_Post_Hero_Image_FINAL.jpeg" width="3000" height="1400" alt="Lake Atitlan, Guatemala" typeof="foaf:Image" /> </div> </div> Wed, 09 Feb 2022 07:00:00 +0000 sfeller 3933 at https://www.irest.org iRest’s Board Of Directors: New Members And A New Approach https://www.irest.org/blog/news-and-announcements/irest-s-board-directors-new-members-and-new-approach <span class="field field--name-title field--type-string field--label-hidden">iRest’s Board Of Directors: New Members And A New Approach</span> <div class="field field--name-field-teacher field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field__items"> <div class="field__item">13053</div> </div> <span class="field field--name-uid field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden"><a title="View user profile." href="/user/samantha-feller" lang="" about="/user/samantha-feller" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="" class="username">sfeller</a></span> <span class="field field--name-created field--type-created field--label-hidden">Wed, 01/19/2022 - 23:01</span> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field__item"><p>At iRest Institute, 2021 was a year of clarity. Areas ripe for evolution came into sharp focus, we <strong><a href="https://www.irest.org/blog/news-and-announcements-community/message-thanks-and-update-irest-institute-executive-director" media_library="Media Library" rel=" noopener" target="_blank">made distinct commitments</a></strong>, and we took precise action to make those commitments a reality.</p> <p>Happily, our goal of expanding our board of directors was easily fulfilled ahead of schedule. The nominating committee worked with iRest executives to interview eight potential candidates with the goal of appointing one new member in 2021 and one in early 2022. The conversations went well and we appointed three new board members by the end of 2021.</p> <p>We invite you to <strong><a href="https://www.irest.org/board-directors" media_library="Media Library" rel=" noopener" target="_blank">meet them here</a></strong>. Each member is mission-driven, inspired, and motivated to actively engage with the opportunities and challenges that arise as iRest Institute matures and expands.</p> <p>“Since its inception in 2006, iRest Institute has offered healing and peace to thousands around our precious planet,” Board President Cam Mckinley commented. “With immense gratitude to the founding board, excellent staff, iRest teachers, and supporters who have stewarded the organization to this point, I’m honored to welcome three new board members. They join our community and our shared commitment to bring these transformative teachings and practices to all who might benefit from them. Our shared vision, heart-felt dedication, and eagerness to serve will light the path forward.”</p> <p>We’ve also created our first iRest Advisory Committee — a diverse group of knowledgeable volunteers dedicated to help guide our organization as it evolves. The committee’s purpose is to advise the board as needed, addressing specific issues and tasks, gathering information, and offering valuable counsel. We’re excited to introduce our Advisory Committee members to you in a future blog announcement.</p> <h3><strong>The New Generative Approach of Our Board of Directors</strong></h3> <p>In the early stages of a nonprofit organization (NPO), most boards are founder-led. As an NPO matures it grows in complexity and scope at which point it’s natural for a shift in both function and leadership style to occur. iRest Institute reached this milestone last year and we’ve made the transition to a generative board.</p> <p>Simply put, a generative board offers unique and informed perspectives, questions the status quo, and engages the “why” of business decisions and strategies. Its focus is constructive dialogue, exponential thinking, and the exchange of different views and approaches. This enables the board to be a source of leadership, logic, innovative thinking, and sense-making for the organization.</p> <p>The intention of our board of directors is that each leader’s input is purpose-driven, inventive, and visionary. Each member acts in alignment with iRest Institute’s singular mission while supporting conscious and conscientious leadership, advocating for transformation when needed, and endorsing future-focused growth and resilience.</p> <p>Leveling up to this next stage of iRest Institute has been invigorating and constructive. We’re pleased to introduce our new board members and strategic leadership strategy. We’re excited to see what emerges from this new constellation of wise and caring folks, all in support of better serving you and our global community.</p> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-article-type field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field__items"> <div class="field__item"> <a href="/blog/category/news-and-announcements"> <span class="field__item">News and Announcements</span> </a> </div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-tags field--type-entity-reference field--label-above"> <div class="field__label">Tags</div> <div class="field__items"> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-18" hreflang="en">Audience</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-7" hreflang="en">Other</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-24" hreflang="en">Benefits</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-12" hreflang="en">Other</a></div> </div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-published-date field--type-datetime field--label-above"> <div class="field__label">Published date</div> <div class="field__item"><time datetime="2022-01-20T12:00:00Z" class="datetime">Thursday, January 20, 2022 - 12:00</time> </div> </div> <section data-ajax_comment_pager="comment_node_article-3923" class="field field--name-comment-node-article field--type-comment field--label-hidden comment-wrapper"> <div class="comments_ajax_pager_wrap"></div> </section> <div class="node__links"> <ul class="links inline"><li class="comment-forbidden"><a href="/user/login?destination=/blog/news-and-announcements/irest-s-board-directors-new-members-and-new-approach%23comment-form">Log in</a> or <a href="/user/register?destination=/blog/news-and-announcements/irest-s-board-directors-new-members-and-new-approach%23comment-form">register</a> to post comments</li></ul> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-hero-image field--type-entity-reference field--label-above"> <div class="field__label">Hero Image</div> <div class="field__item"> <img loading="lazy" src="/sites/default/files/images/Desktop_banner.jpeg" width="13333" height="4167" alt="Image of hand in the sunglight." typeof="foaf:Image" /> </div> </div> Thu, 20 Jan 2022 07:01:16 +0000 sfeller 3923 at https://www.irest.org A Message Of Thanks And An Update From iRest Institute Executive Director Alana Siska https://www.irest.org/blog/news-and-announcements-community/message-thanks-and-update-irest-institute-executive-director <span class="field field--name-title field--type-string field--label-hidden">A Message Of Thanks And An Update From iRest Institute Executive Director Alana Siska</span> <div class="field field--name-field-teacher field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field__items"> <div class="field__item">13053</div> </div> <span class="field field--name-uid field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden"><a title="View user profile." href="/user/eli-bresler" lang="" about="/user/eli-bresler" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="" class="username">eli@irest.org</a></span> <span class="field field--name-created field--type-created field--label-hidden">Thu, 12/16/2021 - 23:01</span> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field__item"><p><em>“As you start to walk on the way, the way appears.” ―Rumi</em></p> <p>iRest Institute began walking a new way this year and will continue to do so in service to you in 2022.</p> <p>We invite you to hear how far we’ve come, and share in the heartfelt gratitude for your presence in our community.</p> <p>Please take a few minutes to watch the video below from iRest Executive Director Alana Siska.</p> <article class="media media--type-vimeo media--view-mode-default" data-align="center"><div class="field field--name-field-media-oembed-video field--type-string field--label-visually_hidden"> <div class="field__label visually-hidden">Remote video URL</div> <div class="field__item"><iframe src="/media/oembed?url=https%3A//vimeo.com/657507575&amp;max_width=0&amp;max_height=0&amp;hash=0bPWy7uKM-wTgNWAcQa4k4Ss18vEZpyu2RNW3HFY32A" frameborder="0" allowtransparency="" width="360" height="640" class="media-oembed-content" title="A Message Of Thanks And An Update From iRest Director Alana Siska"></iframe> </div> </div> </article><p>It’s our delight to be able to continue to support your healing, transformation, and inner peace.</p> <p>Thank you for being here.</p> <p><strong><em><a href="https://www.irest.org/blog/news-and-announcements-community/board-directors-update-executive-director-alana-siska" media_library="Media Library" rel=" noopener" target="_blank">View Alana's previous video update from July, 2021.</a></em></strong></p> <hr /><p><em>Please consider helping us continue with our mission in 2022 by <strong><a href="https://www.irest.org/online-donation" media_library="Media Library" rel=" noopener" target="_blank">taking one minute to donate</a></strong>. Your contribution enables us to help more people and funds scholarships for those wanting to teach.</em></p> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-article-type field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field__items"> <div class="field__item"> <a href="/blog/category/news-and-announcements"> <span class="field__item">News and Announcements</span> </a> </div> <div class="field__item"> <a href="/blog/category/community"> <span class="field__item">Community</span> </a> </div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-tags field--type-entity-reference field--label-above"> <div class="field__label">Tags</div> <div class="field__items"> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-18" hreflang="en">Audience</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-5" hreflang="en">iRest Teachers</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-6" hreflang="en">iRest Students</a></div> </div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-published-date field--type-datetime field--label-above"> <div class="field__label">Published date</div> <div class="field__item"><time datetime="2021-12-17T12:00:00Z" class="datetime">Friday, December 17, 2021 - 12:00</time> </div> </div> <section data-ajax_comment_pager="comment_node_article-3909" class="field field--name-comment-node-article field--type-comment field--label-hidden comment-wrapper"> <div class="comments_ajax_pager_wrap"></div> </section> <div class="node__links"> <ul class="links inline"><li class="comment-forbidden"><a href="/user/login?destination=/blog/news-and-announcements-community/message-thanks-and-update-irest-institute-executive-director%23comment-form">Log in</a> or <a href="/user/register?destination=/blog/news-and-announcements-community/message-thanks-and-update-irest-institute-executive-director%23comment-form">register</a> to post comments</li></ul> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-hero-image field--type-entity-reference field--label-above"> <div class="field__label">Hero Image</div> <div class="field__item"> <img loading="lazy" src="/sites/default/files/images/shutterstock_1561794796.jpg" width="3000" height="1400" alt="Announcement from Executive Director Alana Siska Hero Image" typeof="foaf:Image" /> </div> </div> Fri, 17 Dec 2021 07:01:00 +0000 eli@irest.org 3909 at https://www.irest.org 3 Practical iRest Meditation Exercises To Help Your Children Navigate Life [+ Free Poster] https://www.irest.org/blog/resources/3-practical-irest-meditation-exercises-help-your-children-navigate-life-free-poster <span class="field field--name-title field--type-string field--label-hidden">3 Practical iRest Meditation Exercises To Help Your Children Navigate Life [+ Free Poster]</span> <div class="field field--name-field-teacher field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field__items"> <div class="field__item">13053</div> </div> <span class="field field--name-uid field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden"><a title="View user profile." href="/user/eli-bresler" lang="" about="/user/eli-bresler" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="" class="username">eli@irest.org</a></span> <span class="field field--name-created field--type-created field--label-hidden">Wed, 12/15/2021 - 21:30</span> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field__item"><p>Imagine your child, or a child you know, has had a bad day at school. Their best friend was mean to them, a soccer ball landed on their newly sprouting bean stalk, and their teacher told them they had to redo their homework. They’re sad, angry, and irritated.</p> <p>There are two main ways in which iRest can help you to help your children healthily process and manage their emotions and experiences. The first is a child-centric path, which entails learning and using easy, practical tools with your child.</p> <p>The second, more integral path, is a parent-centric one because it's about you learning to regulate your nervous system so that your child can co-regulate with you. If you’re unable to do this, the direct path is potentially of little use.</p> <p>Combining these two approaches empowers you and your child to navigate the ups and downs of life in constructive, connecting, and healthy ways.</p> <h4>The Nervous System 101</h4> <p>The nervous system controls everything that you do, including breathing, moving, thinking, and feeling. It includes the brain, spinal cord, and all the nerves in your body. It allows you to navigate your environment and keeps you safe from harm. It also plays a critical role in your ability to connect to other people. A healthy, flexible nervous system, with high <strong><a href="https://vimeo.com/manage/videos/592219691" media_library="Media Library">vagal tone</a></strong>, is able to effectively process and regulate emotions.</p> <p>Emotional regulation is your ability to cope with and process the full spectrum of emotions, and associated stress, in a healthy way. When your nervous system is able to regulate your emotions in the manner it’s designed to, it enables you to be resilient, supports your immune system, and increases your capacity for friendship, connection, and compassion.</p> <p>Trauma of all kinds, chronic stress, and a lack of co-regulation in your childhood impact your nervous system’s ability to do what it’s built to do. These kinds of experiences contribute to a rigid nervous system that struggles to regulate emotion well and is associated with depression, social anxiety, and low immunity.</p> <h4>The Parent-Centric Path: Attending To Your Nervous System To Support Your Child</h4> <p>Have you ever noticed how when you’re stressed and rushing around, your child becomes unsettled, and when you’re feeling grounded and peaceful, your child is calm? This is because your child’s nervous system attunes itself to yours.</p> <p>You have the superpower to help your child regulate their emotions through the management of your nervous system, and you have the responsibility of maintaining a flexible and healthy nervous system in order to anchor a sense of wellbeing in your household.</p> <p>iRest meditation trains and primes your nervous system to down-regulate when it’s been hyper-active and grows your capacity to handle difficult or triggering situations and stress without getting reactive or overwhelmed. It nourishes your ability to respond consciously to, and improves your level of resilience for, managing stress and life’s daily challenges. Take five minutes to listen to the guided meditation. Notice what you experience as you explore bodily sensation.</p> <article class="media media--type-vimeo media--view-mode-default" data-align="center"><div class="field field--name-field-media-oembed-video field--type-string field--label-visually_hidden"> <div class="field__label visually-hidden">Remote video URL</div> <div class="field__item"><iframe src="/media/oembed?url=https%3A//vimeo.com/595456438/9f6cf61e5b&amp;max_width=0&amp;max_height=0&amp;hash=F4A6zWq3RiEmfxhw3CEVTYkk1ri4Zxw1DGcgUlN3shk" frameborder="0" allowtransparency="" width="640" height="360" class="media-oembed-content" title="Section 6: Sensing the Body: Foundational Principles | Module 3"></iframe> </div> </div> </article><p>In the short video below, Senior iRest Trainer, Clearlight Gerald, explains co-regulation between parent and child, and how iRest meditation offers you proactive tools to nourish your ability to stay calm, or return to calm, as needed.</p> <article class="media media--type-vimeo media--view-mode-default" data-align="center"><div class="field field--name-field-media-oembed-video field--type-string field--label-visually_hidden"> <div class="field__label visually-hidden">Remote video URL</div> <div class="field__item"><iframe src="/media/oembed?url=https%3A//vimeo.com/654245236&amp;max_width=0&amp;max_height=0&amp;hash=PgHKnNj1lghQOtB0qdnDtbIQUFpcGh13a8wtuwSf0fU" frameborder="0" allowtransparency="" width="640" height="360" class="media-oembed-content" title="Nervous System Co-Regulation Between Parent And Child"></iframe> </div> </div> </article><h4>The Child-Centric Path: iRest Tools For Kids</h4> <p>There are specific steps in the 10-part iRest protocol that are particularly beneficial for children. These include Inner Resource, BodySensing, and BreathSensing. Because iRest is somatic, body-based meditation it’s effective for helping children cultivate resilience for meeting difficult experiences and emotions, and learning how to stay with big emotions as sensation in the body.</p> <p>The first two practices below are abridged excerpts from Clearlight Gerald’s online course:<em> <strong><a href="https://www.irest.org/catalog/product/irest-educators-and-parents-nourishing-wellbeing" media_library="Media Library">iRest for Parents and Educators: Nourishing Wellbeing</a></strong></em>. All three practices are offered here as a starting point.</p> <p><strong>1. Inner Resource:</strong> Once you’ve established your own felt-sense of an Inner Resource through your practice of iRest, you’re best able to guide your children in this process.</p> <p><strong>Use:</strong> This exercise fosters an internal, ever present place of safety and strength for your child to call on whenever they’re experiencing a stressful event, big emotions, or are needing to relax.</p> <p><strong>Exercise:</strong> Invite your child to conjure and cultivate an alive and sensory experience of their personal Inner Resource by asking the following questions as a slow, winding exploration.</p> <p><em>Can you think of a time when you felt really relaxed and happy? What were you doing?</em></p> <p><em>Can you remember how your body felt as relaxed and happy? </em></p> <p><em>Is there a special place that you either imagine or remember, that when you think of it you feel happy, safe and really good inside? This might be a place in nature, a place you play or a special hiding spot. </em></p> <p><em>Can you describe this place with all of your five senses?</em></p> <p>Once established, help them anchor their experience by revisiting their Inner Resource each night before bed and explaining that it’s a special inner space they can call on whenever they feel scared, or down, or upset, or want to relax.</p> <p><strong>2. BodySensing: </strong>This helps your child stay anchored and grounded in their body, sensations, and the present moment, while normalizing and acclimatizing them to whatever they feel, wherever in their body.</p> <p><strong>Use:</strong> Help your child develop a capacity to stay with sensation as it arises in the body rather than become overwhelmed or get lost in the mind’s story.</p> <p><strong>Exercise:</strong> When your child is experiencing an emotion, guide them into a body-based exploration of it with these questions:</p> <p><em>Where is the sensation located in your body? </em></p> <p><em>Does the sensation move or is it still? </em></p> <p><em>Does it have a temperature, a color, a texture?</em></p> <p>It’s important to understand that you’re not trying to change your child’s experience of sensation but rather help them feel into it and describe it as vividly as possible.</p> <p>If you’d like a visual aid for helping your child access and describe their emotions as sensation, you can download the Weather As Emotions poster below to print.</p> <article class="media media--type-file media--view-mode-default" data-align="center"><div class="field field--name-field-media-file field--type-file field--label-visually_hidden"> <div class="field__label visually-hidden">File</div> <div class="field__item"> <span class="file file--mime-application-pdf file--application-pdf"> <a href="/system/files/2021-12/Weather_as_Emotions_Poster.pdf" type="application/pdf">Weather_as_Emotions_Poster.pdf</a></span> </div> </div> </article><p>Note how not all sunny sensations are happy, or all stormy sensations uncomfortable. This is important because it includes and validates your child’s experience. For example, they may experience anger as bright suns burning in their cheeks and chest.</p> <p><strong>3. BreathSensing: </strong>The breath is a vital tool that can offer support when we’re stressed and struggling, and help us down-regulate to a calmer state.</p> <p><strong>Use: </strong>Regularly practice the three breathing techniques below with your child so that they’re available to you both in times of stress or when you’re wanting to relax. Explain to your child that they can use their favorite breath any time they want to feel relaxed, or brave, or awake.</p> <img loading="lazy" src="/sites/default/files/images/Three%20Breathing%20Technique.png" width="782" height="381" alt="Three Breathing Techniques for Children" typeof="foaf:Image" /><p> </p> <p>We wish you endless self-compassion as you navigate the joys and challenges of raising, educating, and caring for children. May these tools support you in doing the best you can and grant you grace for when it’s just one of <em>those days</em>.</p> <hr /><p>Many of the tools and the information provided in this article are sourced from Senior iRest Trainer, Clearlight Gerald’s<strong><em><a href="https://www.irest.org/catalog/product/irest-educators-and-parents-nourishing-wellbeing" media_library="Media Library"> iRest for Educators and Parents: Nourishing Wellbeing</a></em></strong> online course. This course focuses on practical tools to help you regulate your nervous system, navigate life’s daily challenges, and build inner resilience so that you’re available as a safe and calming parent, caregiver, or educator to the children in your life. <strong><a href="https://www.irest.org/catalog/product/irest-educators-and-parents-nourishing-wellbeing" media_library="Media Library">Read the full course details here.</a></strong></p> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-article-type field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field__items"> <div class="field__item"> <a href="/blog/category/resources"> <span class="field__item">Resources</span> </a> </div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-tags field--type-entity-reference field--label-above"> <div class="field__label">Tags</div> <div class="field__items"> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-18" hreflang="en">Audience</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-4" hreflang="en">Educators</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-5" hreflang="en">iRest Teachers</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-6" hreflang="en">iRest Students</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-7" hreflang="en">Other</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-24" hreflang="en">Benefits</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-19" hreflang="en">Joy</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-22" hreflang="en">Peace and Well-Being</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-14" hreflang="en">Stress</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-12" hreflang="en">Other</a></div> </div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-published-date field--type-datetime field--label-above"> <div class="field__label">Published date</div> <div class="field__item"><time datetime="2021-12-10T12:00:00Z" class="datetime">Friday, December 10, 2021 - 12:00</time> </div> </div> <section data-ajax_comment_pager="comment_node_article-3906" class="field field--name-comment-node-article field--type-comment field--label-hidden comment-wrapper"> <div class="comments_ajax_pager_wrap"></div> </section> <div class="node__links"> <ul class="links inline"><li class="comment-forbidden"><a href="/user/login?destination=/blog/resources/3-practical-irest-meditation-exercises-help-your-children-navigate-life-free-poster%23comment-form">Log in</a> or <a href="/user/register?destination=/blog/resources/3-practical-irest-meditation-exercises-help-your-children-navigate-life-free-poster%23comment-form">register</a> to post comments</li></ul> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-hero-image field--type-entity-reference field--label-above"> <div class="field__label">Hero Image</div> <div class="field__item"> <img loading="lazy" src="/sites/default/files/images/shutterstock_1414611380.jpg" width="3000" height="1400" alt="3 Practical iRest Meditation Exercises Banner Image" typeof="foaf:Image" /> </div> </div> Thu, 16 Dec 2021 05:30:00 +0000 eli@irest.org 3906 at https://www.irest.org The Sanctuary of Welcoming https://www.irest.org/blog/resources-nondualism/sanctuary-welcoming <span class="field field--name-title field--type-string field--label-hidden">The Sanctuary of Welcoming</span> <div class="field field--name-field-teacher field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field__items"> <div class="field__item">221</div> </div> <span class="field field--name-uid field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden"><a title="View user profile." href="/user/samantha-feller" lang="" about="/user/samantha-feller" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="" class="username">sfeller</a></span> <span class="field field--name-created field--type-created field--label-hidden">Tue, 11/23/2021 - 23:01</span> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field__item"><p>What an extraordinary experiment!</p> <p>We welcome perceptions without trying to fix them or change them. We practice welcoming ourselves, and each other, in our brokenness and in our Wholeness. We include and accompany the orphaned aspects of ourselves back home into the sanctuary of belonging.</p> <p>Is it possible that even feeling unsafe can be safe with us?</p> <p><em>The Practice of Welcoming</em> and iRest® offer life-skills in the form of meditative self-inquiries that shift our perspectives and create a new track in the way our nervous system fires and wires together. Instead of addressing “the human condition”, and our conditioning as a problem, this practice establishes updated pathways of synaptic connections in our nervous system. The more we practice walking down the new pathway in a “little and often” manner, the more the previously habitual route becomes overgrown.</p> <p>Neural pathways are like the <em>arroyo</em>, where energy in the form of water creates channels in the landscape. Over time, these channels turn into deep and narrow grooves, with no alternative routes for the energy to travel. Our reactions and perceptions which have become embedded behavioral patterns in our nervous system are like this. As we become aware of these established grooves in our neurocircuitry we learn to honor and respect them. Then, neither caught up in, nor swayed by our ever-changing states, we’re able to remain a witness to their aliveness.</p> <p>We come to understand these states as the primal self’s attempt to feel safe and secure. Thankfully, the landscapes of our body and mind are adaptable and accommodate new energetic currents effortlessly.</p> <p>It’s because of this that the contours of what we perceive have the ability to soften. The contracted definitions we hold of ourselves can burst at the seams. We foster the ability to see through the mirage that simultaneously held us “safe” and captive. While separation and individuation are necessary developmental stages in our evolution, as we grow, our sense of separation can confine us to a limited repertoire of reactions which keep us separate and prevent our experience of freedom.</p> <p>The invitation is to observe, welcome, and be present with all phenomena that arise in the foreground of Awareness, without getting tangled up in them. As we strengthen our ability to not identify with these perceptions, space opens up. A new perspective is revealed when we allow this space to remain unfurnished and free of conceptual clutter. Ultimately, we learn to live in Not-Knowing.</p> <p>The observer dissolves into observing, then into pure <em>Being</em>.</p> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-article-type field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field__items"> <div class="field__item"> <a href="/blog/category/resources"> <span class="field__item">Resources</span> </a> </div> <div class="field__item"> <a href="/blog/category/nondualism"> <span class="field__item">Nondualism</span> </a> </div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-tags field--type-entity-reference field--label-above"> <div class="field__label">Tags</div> <div class="field__items"> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-18" hreflang="en">Audience</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-9" hreflang="en">Yoga Teachers</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-10" hreflang="en">Yoga Therapists</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-5" hreflang="en">iRest Teachers</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-6" hreflang="en">iRest Students</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-24" hreflang="en">Benefits</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-22" hreflang="en">Peace and Well-Being</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-25" hreflang="en">Nondualism</a></div> </div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-published-date field--type-datetime field--label-above"> <div class="field__label">Published date</div> <div class="field__item"><time datetime="2021-11-24T12:00:00Z" class="datetime">Wednesday, November 24, 2021 - 12:00</time> </div> </div> <section data-ajax_comment_pager="comment_node_article-3891" class="field field--name-comment-node-article field--type-comment field--label-hidden comment-wrapper"> <div class="comments_ajax_pager_wrap"></div> </section> <div class="node__links"> <ul class="links inline"><li class="comment-forbidden"><a href="/user/login?destination=/blog/resources-nondualism/sanctuary-welcoming%23comment-form">Log in</a> or <a href="/user/register?destination=/blog/resources-nondualism/sanctuary-welcoming%23comment-form">register</a> to post comments</li></ul> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-hero-image field--type-entity-reference field--label-above"> <div class="field__label">Hero Image</div> <div class="field__item"> <img loading="lazy" src="/sites/default/files/images/Sanctuary%20of%20Welcome%20Banner.jpg" width="3000" height="1400" alt="Sanctuary of Welcoming Banner" typeof="foaf:Image" /> </div> </div> Wed, 24 Nov 2021 07:01:00 +0000 sfeller 3891 at https://www.irest.org The Four Types of Fatigue You Don't Know You Have And What To Do About Them https://www.irest.org/blog/resources/four-types-fatigue-you-dont-know-you-have-and-what-do-about-them <span class="field field--name-title field--type-string field--label-hidden">The Four Types of Fatigue You Don&#039;t Know You Have And What To Do About Them</span> <div class="field field--name-field-teacher field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field__items"> <div class="field__item">13053</div> </div> <span class="field field--name-uid field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden"><a title="View user profile." href="/user/eli-bresler" lang="" about="/user/eli-bresler" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="" class="username">eli@irest.org</a></span> <span class="field field--name-created field--type-created field--label-hidden">Mon, 11/15/2021 - 23:01</span> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field__item"><p><em>“When I was a kid I never would have guessed that being an adult and ‘going to bed whenever I want’ would mean 9:30 p.m.”</em>—Travis McElroy</p> <p>It appears that, for many, one of the defining markers of adulthood is the amount of time spent discussing how tired we all are and how we’re looking forward to an early night and getting some rest this weekend.</p> <p>In recent years, best-selling books like “<a href="https://www.amazon.com/Why-We-Sleep-Unlocking-Dreams/dp/1501144316" media_library="Media Library">Why We Sleep</a>”, and “<a href="https://www.amazon.com/Sleep-Revolution-Transforming-Your-Night/dp/110190402X" media_library="Media Library">The Sleep Revolution</a>” have implored us to accept that sleeping less in an attempt to produce more is not only unwise, it’s actually impossible. As <a href="https://www.sleepdiplomat.com/" media_library="Media Library">Matthew Walker</a> explains: <em>“Sleep is the Swiss Army knife of health. The shorter your sleep, the shorter your life....People often tell me that they do not have enough time to sleep because they have so much work to do...perhaps the reason they still have so much to do at the end of the day is precisely because they do not get enough sleep at night.”</em></p> <p>Given that we’ve all personally experienced how quickly we lose our productivity, motivation, and joy when we don’t get enough sleep, many of us are already onboard with prioritizing sleep quality and quantity.</p> <p>Why then, are we still waking up tired or feeling like, despite sleeping, we’re not well rested? As it turns out, getting enough quality sleep is only part of the equation. We also need rest, which, you’re about to learn, looks very different to shut-eye.</p> <p><a href="https://www.drdaltonsmith.com/" media_library="Media Library">Dr. Saundra Dalton-Smith</a> says the real reason we’re low on energy is because sleep and rest are not the same thing and we’ve dumbed down rest to the point that it appears ineffective. Rest is not lying on the couch binge-watching series. The right type of rest depends on the type of fatigue we’re experiencing.</p> <p> </p> <h2>Screen and Zoom Fatigue</h2> <p>Screen fatigue happens when you spend consecutive uninterrupted hours focusing on your laptop, tablet, phone, TV, or, all four. Screens are tiring because our eyes have to work harder to focus, it’s more physically and mentally taxing to read off a screen and we blink less when staring at them. All this equals increased eye strain and greater mental load. Even when it looks like nothing much is happening.</p> <p>“Zoom fatigue” is a new term which describes that depleted, empty feeling you’re left with after a day of back-to-back online meetings. The recent study, <a href="https://tmb.apaopen.org/pub/nonverbal-overload/release/1" media_library="Media Library">Non-Verbal Overload: A theoretical argument for the causes of Zoom Fatigue</a>, showed that in online meetings, our brains have to work overtime to make up for lost context and it’s cognitively exhausting to watch ourselves on screen (i.e. stare at a mirror all day), especially for women.</p> <p>People were less available for all-day back-to-back meetings before the world went remote because in-person meetings required drive-time and in-office casual conversations did a lot of the work. Now, people are arranging Zoom calls for quick-touch conversations that used to happen at the water cooler and everyone’s forgotten that it’s normal to need time to reset and refresh between meetings.</p> <p><strong>Symptoms</strong></p> <p>The physical toll of staring at a screen is easy to see. Eye strain, blurry vision, headaches, neck and shoulder tension and disturbed sleep cycles all indicate that your body needs you to move away from your screen.</p> <p>If you notice that after a few back-to-back online meetings you’re feeling foggy or you experience a quiet sense of dread about upcoming meetings, you’re probably overdoing the video-on, Zoom time.</p> <p><strong>Prevention</strong></p> <p>If you aren’t in a position to make the call for how and when company meetings happen, it’s worth sharing this information and the study referenced above with those who are.</p> <p>Remote work calls for policies that include full days blocked out for deep work and no meetings, clustering meetings together for efficiency, and encouraging employees to block out 15min after each meeting and before the next one. So, for every 1-hour meeting you get booked for, you block out 75 minutes in your schedule and you’re only available for another meeting then.</p> <p>Two effective ways to reduce the time you spend staring at yourself on-screen is to choose to be video-off for some meetings. For those where video-on is necessary, set Zoom to “speaker” mode and cover your thumbnail image with a sticky note.</p> <p>When it comes to screen fatigue, <a href="https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=net.langhoangal.chuongchanhniem&amp;hl=en_ZA&amp;gl=US" media_library="Media Library">install a mindfulness bell</a> to chime every 30-minutes and when it does, look up from your computer, blink a few times and focus on something in the distance to rest your eyes. First prize is to take regular breaks and go outside for some sun and fresh air.</p> <p><strong>Recovery</strong></p> <ul><li>Switching between sensory organs can also be deeply restorative. Close your eyes and immerse yourself in a profoundly restful auditory experience with this immersive sound therapy guided meditation.</li> </ul><article class="media media--type-vimeo media--view-mode-default" data-align="center"><div class="field field--name-field-media-oembed-video field--type-string field--label-visually_hidden"> <div class="field__label visually-hidden">Remote video URL</div> <div class="field__item"><iframe src="/media/oembed?url=https%3A//vimeo.com/459388152&amp;max_width=0&amp;max_height=0&amp;hash=asSAFJSvoCCFVwhZ16yA_F4u3l_TvjsBqpz9cLQYDJ0" frameborder="0" allowtransparency="" width="426" height="240" class="media-oembed-content" title="Sound Therapy and Chakra Healing with Robin Carnes"></iframe> </div> </div> </article><ul><li>Take a few minutes to do some <a href="https://yogainternational.com/article/view/4-yoga-exercises-for-eye-strain" media_library="Media Library">eye yoga</a> at lunch or at the end of your work day.</li> <li>Pack your laptop away after work and go do anything that does not involve a screen, for a few hours. Even though TV-watching at night may feel passive, if you work online all day, it’s not restorative.</li> <li>If you’re going for hero-status, find a small box and dub it your phone’s bed. This box lives outside your bedroom and your phone goes to bed at 7 p.m. every night. End of story.</li> </ul><p> </p> <h2>Emotional Fatigue</h2> <p>Have you ever had a solid cry before bed and then woken up feeling listless, exhausted, and unmotivated the next day? Emotional hangovers are real and emotional fatigue feels the same but plays out over an extended period of time.</p> <p>Emotional fatigue is the result of prolonged periods of excessive stress in any area of your life. Given the past two years, it’s safe to assume that the majority of us have been feeling, and perhaps still are, emotionally spent.</p> <p><strong>Symptoms</strong></p> <p>Physically you feel okay. Your body wants to move but you can’t find the drive to exercise. You may feel more irritable, less motivated, or experience brain fog. You may not be able to find meaning and fulfillment in the ways you once did, and struggle to connect with others because you don’t have the energetic capacity to engage in deep, emotional conversations.</p> <p><strong>Prevention</strong></p> <p>While we cannot prevent or control what circumstances (personal or global) arise, we can control how we choose to perceive and respond to them. In order to harness our ability to respond well, we need to be resourced.</p> <p>Sufficient sleep (the meditation below can assist), regular movement, and good nutrition are baseline imperatives. Attending to our nervous system and increasing our vagal tone are also vital because when our nervous system is regulated we’re able to meet emotional stressors from a place of being resourced. We’re then able to process stress in realtime and return to neutral, rather than become overwhelmed, or hold onto or resist emotion.</p> <article class="media media--type-vimeo media--view-mode-default" data-align="center"><div class="field field--name-field-media-oembed-video field--type-string field--label-visually_hidden"> <div class="field__label visually-hidden">Remote video URL</div> <div class="field__item"><iframe src="/media/oembed?url=https%3A//vimeo.com/514356239&amp;max_width=0&amp;max_height=0&amp;hash=6PpxcWuAfrC_Hwz3__2ulo9mwBoVszkVsjVE6fM-3Uo" frameborder="0" allowtransparency="" width="426" height="240" class="media-oembed-content" title="iRest Meditation for Soothing Sleep with Senior iRest Trainer Robin Carnes"></iframe> </div> </div> </article><p> </p> <p>The Sangha (community) Session below explains how to use iRest to rebalance your nervous system.</p> <article class="media media--type-vimeo media--view-mode-default" data-align="center"><div class="field field--name-field-media-oembed-video field--type-string field--label-visually_hidden"> <div class="field__label visually-hidden">Remote video URL</div> <div class="field__item"><iframe src="/media/oembed?url=https%3A//vimeo.com/592219691&amp;max_width=0&amp;max_height=0&amp;hash=v9d7ivdFPajLsRX_ErMuGdwb58hOhu9d9lrIzYt49ec" frameborder="0" allowtransparency="" width="640" height="360" class="media-oembed-content" title="Online Sangha Session with Stephanie Lopez - August 24, 2021"></iframe> </div> </div> </article><p> </p> <p><strong>Recovery</strong></p> <ul><li>Emotional fatigue and a hyper-aroused nervous system go hand-in-hand. Activities that you find grounding and centering (and which shift you from go-mode to flow-mode), can help you process and release stuck emotions and memories. Think gardening, creative arts, nature walks, dancing.</li> <li>If you haven’t had a break in a while, it’s time to take leave and plan a holiday without too many plans.</li> <li>The self-inquiry practice below was created to help you process and release difficult emotions in a safe space.</li> </ul><article class="media media--type-vimeo media--view-mode-default" data-align="center"><div class="field field--name-field-media-oembed-video field--type-string field--label-visually_hidden"> <div class="field__label visually-hidden">Remote video URL</div> <div class="field__item"><iframe src="/media/oembed?url=https%3A//vimeo.com/569841110&amp;max_width=0&amp;max_height=0&amp;hash=p3QKYSqT9uws0ZlIyxExzQkXpW5XEWK45sJPWx9q2fI" frameborder="0" allowtransparency="" width="640" height="360" class="media-oembed-content" title="iRest for Meeting Difficult Emotions with iRest Supervisor and Mentor Kathleen Knipp"></iframe> </div> </div> </article><p> </p> <h2>Social Fatigue</h2> <p>After long months of staying home and staying away from each other, our social muscles have atrophied. Socializing takes energy because you’re concentrating in order to follow conversational threads, sharing your inner world, and processing a lot of information and external stimuli.</p> <p>If you feel drained rather than connected and nourished after a social event, or if you’re feeling resistant rather than excited about an upcoming dinner, you may have social fatigue. It can affect anyone no matter where you fall on the sliding scale between introversion and extroversion.</p> <p><strong>Symptoms</strong></p> <p>You want to see your friends, family, and colleagues. You miss them. And at the same time, you don’t feel up to seeing them. You have a strong urge to withdraw and events and invites that used to excite you don’t appeal anymore. You may feel over-reactive, extra sensitive, or detached and low on energy.</p> <p><strong>Prevention</strong></p> <p>Know thyself and be thyself. Do you know what’s more exhausting than too much socializing? Putting on a facade and being inauthentic to try to fit in or please others. One of the fastest ways to exhaust yourself is to try to be someone you’re not, in public.</p> <p>Choose the way of integrity by choosing your true nature (say, seeing a friend one-on-one for a walk twice a week) over what others want or expect of you. Know your boundaries and hold them. Figure out how much social time, and what kind, works for you and say “no, thanks” to the rest.</p> <p>Start to take note of who energizes you and who depletes you. Choose the former and kindly let the latter go. Don’t judge yourself for needing or wanting alone time. It’s very healthy to be able to spend undistracted time with yourself.</p> <p><strong>Recovery</strong></p> <p>Stop agreeing to plans and invites. Either reduce how much you’re socializing or take a complete break.</p> <p>Choose wisely. Only socialize with people who you can be yourself with and who leave you feeling better for having spent your time with them.</p> <p>Spend time alone. Time that you intentionally set aside for being, not doing. Making space to do nothing but sit with yourself is a powerful choice. Take 40-minutes and offer yourself the guided yoga nidra practice below for self-nourishment.</p> <article class="media media--type-vimeo media--view-mode-default" data-align="center"><div class="field field--name-field-media-oembed-video field--type-string field--label-visually_hidden"> <div class="field__label visually-hidden">Remote video URL</div> <div class="field__item"><iframe src="/media/oembed?url=https%3A//vimeo.com/471473407&amp;max_width=0&amp;max_height=0&amp;hash=hvne661jUARBrBrDwr1FTAK74PITjm2gemdj-IBJTig" frameborder="0" allowtransparency="" width="426" height="240" class="media-oembed-content" title="iRest Yoga Nidra for Self-Nourishment with Clearlight Gerald"></iframe> </div> </div> </article><p> </p> <h2>Sensory Fatigue</h2> <p>Better understood as sensory overload, this occurs when one or more of your bodily senses is receiving too much stimulation from your environment. Bright screens, flashing lights, incessant loud noise, social gatherings, and public transport can be over-stimulating.</p> <p><strong>Symptoms</strong></p> <p>Sensory overload is experienced as irritability, reactivity to stimulus that doesn’t seem to bother others, feeling wired, or a sense of anxiety related to your environment.</p> <p><strong>Prevention</strong></p> <p>Our nervous systems are unique and we can all handle different amounts of sensory input before feeling flooded.</p> <p>Taking sensory breaks during the day can help your nervous system process and return to neutral by halting sensory input for a few minutes. If your work involves a lot of screen time, closing your eyes for two minutes every few hours is a sensory break. Use noise-cancelling headphones or earplugs to help cancel out background noise. If you’ve been in a noisy environment all day, or had to do a lot of talking, having a bath after work and submerging your ears beneath the water is restful.</p> <p>Incorporating a regular autogenic practice into your daily routine helps foster your ability to return to baseline and process stimuli without getting overwhelmed. Try the autogenic practice below.</p> <article class="media media--type-vimeo media--view-mode-default" data-align="center"><div class="field field--name-field-media-oembed-video field--type-string field--label-visually_hidden"> <div class="field__label visually-hidden">Remote video URL</div> <div class="field__item"><iframe src="/media/oembed?url=https%3A//vimeo.com/413735026&amp;max_width=0&amp;max_height=0&amp;hash=mBEcawr3mswI_Wczvd54oZWBLjK3v5BllVXP_9y13yg" frameborder="0" allowtransparency="" width="426" height="240" class="media-oembed-content" title="Autogenic Practice with Leigh Blashki"></iframe> </div> </div> </article><p> </p> <p><strong>Recovery</strong></p> <p>Reduce the amount of sensory input by “closing off” one of your senses for a few minutes. Taking five minutes to meditate can help you to rest and refresh any time you need a break. Try a 5-Minute rest and refresh meditation below.</p> <article class="media media--type-vimeo media--view-mode-default" data-align="center"><div class="field field--name-field-media-oembed-video field--type-string field--label-visually_hidden"> <div class="field__label visually-hidden">Remote video URL</div> <div class="field__item"><iframe src="/media/oembed?url=https%3A//vimeo.com/473941640&amp;max_width=0&amp;max_height=0&amp;hash=lG1W2OQ7xGX3kEuMafwr-X7qj0fmieqk29cs_fXwV_A" frameborder="0" allowtransparency="" width="426" height="240" class="media-oembed-content" title="5-Minute Rest and Refresh Meditation with Stephanie Lopez"></iframe> </div> </div> </article><p> </p> <p>If you can’t remove yourself from a situation, it’s helpful to turn your attention inwards, using your breath as an anchor to the present moment. The 3-minute breathing exercise below can be done on-the-go</p> <article class="media media--type-vimeo media--view-mode-default" data-align="center"><div class="field field--name-field-media-oembed-video field--type-string field--label-visually_hidden"> <div class="field__label visually-hidden">Remote video URL</div> <div class="field__item"><iframe src="/media/oembed?url=https%3A//vimeo.com/605638317&amp;max_width=0&amp;max_height=0&amp;hash=n29UkK5ueO19i3bvPAUrIb7IsQ82eQqOxxtwpluEOa8" frameborder="0" allowtransparency="" width="640" height="360" class="media-oembed-content" title="The Pause That Refreshes: Breathing for Life 12-Month Course"></iframe> </div> </div> </article><p> </p> <p>And this 10-minute exercise induces deep relaxation and renewal.</p> <article class="media media--type-vimeo media--view-mode-default" data-align="center"><div class="field field--name-field-media-oembed-video field--type-string field--label-visually_hidden"> <div class="field__label visually-hidden">Remote video URL</div> <div class="field__item"><iframe src="/media/oembed?url=https%3A//vimeo.com/605627897&amp;max_width=0&amp;max_height=0&amp;hash=Qwx4T8LsBJo_DVxw_6EElx56zuGo-6euSDEJK9yzDbs" frameborder="0" allowtransparency="" width="640" height="322" class="media-oembed-content" title="Square Breathing: Breathing for Life 12-Month Course"></iframe> </div> </div> </article><p> </p> <h1 class="text--dark"><strong>Rest for Success</strong></h1> <p><em>“Staying busy is easy. Staying well-rested is the challenge. Rest is not for weaklings...It means saying no. It means having limits with ourselves. It means having limits with others. It takes courage to rest in the midst of an outcome-driven society.”</em> —Dr. Saundra Dalton-Smith</p> <p>May this be your permission slip to take the rest you need.</p> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-article-type field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field__items"> <div class="field__item"> <a href="/blog/category/resources"> <span class="field__item">Resources</span> </a> </div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-tags field--type-entity-reference field--label-above"> <div class="field__label">Tags</div> <div class="field__items"> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-18" hreflang="en">Audience</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-5" hreflang="en">iRest Teachers</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-6" hreflang="en">iRest Students</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-24" hreflang="en">Benefits</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-22" hreflang="en">Peace and Well-Being</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-15" hreflang="en">Sleep</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-14" hreflang="en">Stress</a></div> </div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-published-date field--type-datetime field--label-above"> <div class="field__label">Published date</div> <div class="field__item"><time datetime="2021-11-16T12:00:00Z" class="datetime">Tuesday, November 16, 2021 - 12:00</time> </div> </div> <section data-ajax_comment_pager="comment_node_article-3880" class="field field--name-comment-node-article field--type-comment field--label-hidden comment-wrapper"> <div class="comments_ajax_pager_wrap"> <article role="article" data-comment-user-id="390" id="comment-56" class="comment js-comment"> <div class="comment__author-photo"> <span class="user-picture__placeholder"></span> </div> <div class="comment__content"> <header class="comment__header"> <h3 class="comment__author"> Gail O’Reilly <span class="hidden new" data-comment-timestamp="1637244308"></span></h3> <div class="comment__header-meta"> <span class="comment__permalink"><a href="/comment/56#comment-56" hreflang="en">Permalink</a></span> November 18, 2021 at 6:05am </div> </header> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-comment-body field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field__item"><p>I am grateful for all of the practices that you have shared and the information in the article is excellent!</p> </div> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderLinks" arguments="0=56&amp;1=default&amp;2=en&amp;3=" token="V1Qu_29upv6yDqy15gnEIfgDsb3NNBTcwTZyVhh4JBc"></drupal-render-placeholder> </div> </article> </div> </section> <div class="node__links"> <ul class="links inline"><li class="comment-forbidden"><a href="/user/login?destination=/blog/resources/four-types-fatigue-you-dont-know-you-have-and-what-do-about-them%23comment-form">Log in</a> or <a href="/user/register?destination=/blog/resources/four-types-fatigue-you-dont-know-you-have-and-what-do-about-them%23comment-form">register</a> to post comments</li></ul> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-hero-image field--type-entity-reference field--label-above"> <div class="field__label">Hero Image</div> <div class="field__item"> <img loading="lazy" src="/sites/default/files/images/shutterstock_1677423370.jpg" width="4500" height="1400" alt="The Four Types of Fatigue You Don&#039;t Know You Have And What To Do About Them Banner Image" typeof="foaf:Image" /> </div> </div> Tue, 16 Nov 2021 07:01:00 +0000 eli@irest.org 3880 at https://www.irest.org Expanding our Understanding of Heartfelt Desire and its Important Purpose in our Lives https://www.irest.org/blog/community-nondualism/expanding-our-understanding-heartfelt-desire-and-its-important-purpose <span class="field field--name-title field--type-string field--label-hidden">Expanding our Understanding of Heartfelt Desire and its Important Purpose in our Lives</span> <div class="field field--name-field-teacher field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field__items"> <div class="field__item">36</div> </div> <span class="field field--name-uid field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden"><a title="View user profile." href="/user/eli-bresler" lang="" about="/user/eli-bresler" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="" class="username">eli@irest.org</a></span> <span class="field field--name-created field--type-created field--label-hidden">Mon, 09/27/2021 - 11:00</span> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field__item"><p>"<em>Let yourself be silently drawn by the strange pull of what you really love. It will not lead you astray.</em>" —Rumi</p> <p>Alive in your heart is the code to living a fulfilling, purposeful life that is unique to you. Your heart is like a homing device or beacon that steers you ever toward fulfillment by what feels right and true. Every heartfelt “yes” or “no” is a clarion call from your most authentic self that can show you the way home to abiding peace and wholehearted living.</p> <p>In a traditional Yoga Nidra practice the <em>sankalpa</em> or <em>resolve</em> is the first step consisting of a one-sentence silent proclamation of something the practitioner wants to actualize in their life. It could be said that the main purpose in Yoga Nidra is to achieve the sankalpa.</p> <p>In iRest Yoga Nidra, the sankalpa is potentiated by breaking it down into three significant parts; the Intention, the Heartfelt Desire and the Inner Resource. Each step helps clarify the direction and enhances the outcome of the practice.</p> <p>The addition of a <em>Heartfelt Desire</em> to the sankalpa can help to deepen a resolve to something of greater impact and meaning in one’s life. This could include the longing for liberation into our true nature that is already whole and perfect in this and every moment.</p> <p>Each time we avail ourselves to our heart’s call, we are mining for gold by listening to and receiving our marching orders from our heart of hearts. We accomplish this by asking ourselves these questions: <em>What is it that I deeply long for? What is life asking of me? </em>and <em>How best can I serve my heart’s longing?</em> We pause in silence as we ask, and then allow the desire to blossom as thought, and thought to action.</p> <p>Some of us can’t relate to the words <em>Heartfelt Desire</em> and so we can offer variations that include <em>Heartfelt Mission, Heartfelt Purpose, Heart Song, Core Value</em> or <em>Dharma</em>. Each of these can act as a doorway to new possibilities. These variations of the Heartfelt Desire may evoke a higher calling that invites a greater harmony with life. Correspondingly, the word “dharma” comes from the Sanskrit root rta, which means to be in total harmony with the universe.</p> <p>Formulated at the beginning of iRest yoga nidra practice, Heartfelt Desire is seeded into the conscious and subconscious mind as a simple affirmation stated silently to one’s self. It’s then germinated, so to speak, through the deep relaxation and receptivity that is invoked by sensing the body and breath.</p> <p>It’s blossoming can come when Heartfelt Desire is invited back into awareness towards the end of the practice, as one opens to the experience of deep calm and ease, and the feeling of just being. It’s in this openness of being that the truth of the Heart's Purpose or Dharma can shine forth uncloaked by one’s conditioning or past limitations.</p> <p>As we open to the possibility of our desire, mission, or purpose being actualized, and allow spontaneous images, feelings and emotions to emerge of what this is like, we are building new neural connections in our brain that hardwire it as our new reality. As Rick Hanson, neuropsychologist and author of the New York Times best selling book <em>Hardwiring Happiness</em> wrote, “emotions are like rocket fuel for building new neural circuitry”.</p> <p>When you feel into the quiet of your own inner heart, what longing emerges to inform your direction in life? The Brihadaranyaka Upanishad reminds us:</p> <p>“You are what your deep, driving desire is.<br /> As your desire is, so is your will.<br /> As your will is, so is your deed.<br /> As your deed is, so is your destiny.”</p> <p>The forces of destiny are ever present, beating in your very own heart. Will you heed the call?</p> <p>Join Senior iRest Trainer, <a href="https://www.irest.org/user/anne-douglas" media_library="Media Library">Anne Douglas</a> for the 4-part series “<a href="https://www.irest.org/event/irest-workshop-anne-douglas-2021-october-0" media_library="Media Library">Living Your Heart’s Desire</a>” in October, to attune to your heart’s longing and learn how to co-create your most fulfilling life.</p> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-article-type field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field__items"> <div class="field__item"> <a href="/blog/category/community"> <span class="field__item">Community</span> </a> </div> <div class="field__item"> <a href="/blog/category/nondualism"> <span class="field__item">Nondualism</span> </a> </div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-tags field--type-entity-reference field--label-above"> <div class="field__label">Tags</div> <div class="field__items"> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-18" hreflang="en">Audience</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-9" hreflang="en">Yoga Teachers</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-10" hreflang="en">Yoga Therapists</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-5" hreflang="en">iRest Teachers</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-6" hreflang="en">iRest Students</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-24" hreflang="en">Benefits</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-19" hreflang="en">Joy</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-22" hreflang="en">Peace and Well-Being</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-25" hreflang="en">Nondualism</a></div> </div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-published-date field--type-datetime field--label-above"> <div class="field__label">Published date</div> <div class="field__item"><time datetime="2021-09-27T12:00:00Z" class="datetime">Monday, September 27, 2021 - 12:00</time> </div> </div> <section data-ajax_comment_pager="comment_node_article-3853" class="field field--name-comment-node-article field--type-comment field--label-hidden comment-wrapper"> <div class="comments_ajax_pager_wrap"></div> </section> <div class="node__links"> <ul class="links inline"><li class="comment-forbidden"><a href="/user/login?destination=/blog/community-nondualism/expanding-our-understanding-heartfelt-desire-and-its-important-purpose%23comment-form">Log in</a> or <a href="/user/register?destination=/blog/community-nondualism/expanding-our-understanding-heartfelt-desire-and-its-important-purpose%23comment-form">register</a> to post comments</li></ul> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-hero-image field--type-entity-reference field--label-above"> <div class="field__label">Hero Image</div> <div class="field__item"> <img loading="lazy" src="/sites/default/files/images/shutterstock_1815497444.jpg" width="7126" height="3508" alt="Expanding Our Understanding Of Heartfelt Desire Banner" typeof="foaf:Image" /> </div> </div> Mon, 27 Sep 2021 18:00:00 +0000 eli@irest.org 3853 at https://www.irest.org The Revolving Door of Social Re-Entry and Restrictions - 13 Practical Tools for Navigating Risk, Anxiety, And Constant Change https://www.irest.org/blog/community-resources/revolving-door-social-re-entry-and-restrictions-13-practical-tools <span class="field field--name-title field--type-string field--label-hidden">The Revolving Door of Social Re-Entry and Restrictions - 13 Practical Tools for Navigating Risk, Anxiety, And Constant Change</span> <div class="field field--name-field-teacher field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field__items"> <div class="field__item">13053</div> </div> <span class="field field--name-uid field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden"><a title="View user profile." href="/user/eli-bresler" lang="" about="/user/eli-bresler" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="" class="username">eli@irest.org</a></span> <span class="field field--name-created field--type-created field--label-hidden">Mon, 09/20/2021 - 23:30</span> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field__item"><p>For a moment there, in varying degrees across the world, our lives were reforming back into familiar shapes. City life, work life, social life. What started to feel like freedom, in different ways in different countries, now appears as a series of false starts.</p> <p>Those of us who found stepping out into the world challenging were still trying to assess where we fall on the risk scale and whether or not we're swinging to either extreme of recklessness or paranoia. Clearly, the subjective middle path of healthy caution and suitable levels of social re-engagement looks different for everyone.</p> <p>If you’re exhausted, more anxious than usual, or notice that your emotions are more intense and closer to the surface, you’re normal. You’re not failing, you’re not lazy, and you’re not bad.</p> <p>What you are is a human with a functioning nervous system that’s expending too much psychological and emotional energy over an extended period of time. For many of us, with little or short-lived reprieve. In a sense, and depending on your personal experience of <em>all of this</em>, your reptilian brain thinks you’ve been running away from a lion for almost two years.</p> <p>What’s required now is the slow and gentle rebuilding of trust in ourselves (can I peacefully handle a busy train ride?), in others (there’s a new variant, are you being cautious?), and in the world (is it safe to engage and make big plans again?).</p> <p><strong>What comes first: Risk or trust?</strong></p> <p>As psychologist <a href="https://www.estherperel.com/" media_library="Media Library">Esther Perel</a> frames it: “Risk is about tolerating the unknown. But, if we don’t take the risk, we will never know. It’s really interesting. It’s a “both, and” because the question is: “Do we need to feel trusting to take risks, or is it the act of risk-taking that allows us to develop trust?”.</p> <p>We’re going from the new familiar to the unknown and back again. At a meta-systemic level, we’re met with large question marks when we dare contemplate big themes like “how does global society move forward from here?”, “when will the next pandemic hit?”, “how do I make meaning in a world changing at an exponential rate?”.</p> <p>At a personal level, beneath the “do I take extra precautions against the latest variant or not?” stress, we’ve all gained new and very real insights that refuse to be hidden. People are facing and actioning huge shifts in their careers, relationships, and purpose-of-my-life fronts.</p> <p>Our journeys may be unique, but we’re all faced with having to keep moving forward one baby step at a time: left foot risk, right foot trust, all the way into the unknown future.</p> <p>Know this: whatever you’re feeling is okay. It’s been tough and we could all do with some self-acknowledgement and extra support. Below is your trove of easy, practical tools to help support your nervous system and mental health as you acclimate to the re-entry/restriction revolving door of current life, however that looks for you right now.</p> <p> </p> <h2>Practical Tools For Self Support</h2> <p><strong>Self regulating your nervous system</strong></p> <p>When you’re feeling anxious your nervous system becomes hyper-aroused because your reptilian brain is registering a threat. Even if you’re just thinking about that upcoming social engagement, your brain tells your body to prepare to run from danger.</p> <p>Below are practical, try-it-now options for down-regulating your nervous system by activating your <a href="https://www.forbes.com/sites/womensmedia/2021/04/15/what-the-vagus-nerve-is-and-how-to-stimulate-it-for-better-mental-health/?sh=17286d176250" media_library="Media Library">vagus nerve</a>, responsible for relax-rest-digest.</p> <p><strong>Meditation</strong></p> <p><img alt="" data-entity-type="" data-entity-uuid="" height="544" src="https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/ZOfPYAVP_6ZsJgkZJfUnTQ6k6_nkOExLAOvVsFrgl-aqE_-Za8Cjfe8hN2bKJtFlPLWCdcumagXFL0wJ5sL01pEfeRrj3TI5bZ2n8da9u9bOQC163NgNs4pw1dVP-rbvbLmfC508=s0" width="857" /></p> <p data-entity-type="" data-entity-uuid="">Countless <a href="https://www.irest.org/irest-research" media_library="Media Library">research studies</a> have proven the transformative effects of meditation for people struggling with stress, PTSD, anxiety, and trauma, to name a few.</p> <p>With the iRest protocol, the benefit is twofold. 1. A yoga nidra meditation can provide relief during and after practice, and 2. You gain tools which gradually build your resilience and inner resource. Meaning, you expand your ability to cope under stress, and navigate and regulate intense and uncomfortable emotions.</p> <p>Lean on <a href="https://vimeo.com/showcase/7910003" media_library="Media Library">our comprehensive library of free meditations</a>. There’s something for everyone.</p> <p>We recommend these as a powerful starter-kit:</p> <ul><li><a href="https://vimeo.com/showcase/7910003/video/473941640" media_library="Media Library">5-Minute Rest and Refresh </a></li> <li><a href="https://vimeo.com/showcase/7910003/video/540689344" media_library="Media Library">Micro-Practices for Anxiety</a></li> <li><a href="https://vimeo.com/showcase/7910003/video/543764669" media_library="Media Library">Rest and Digest </a></li> <li><a href="https://vimeo.com/showcase/7910003/video/471473407" media_library="Media Library">Yoga Nidra for Self Nourishment</a></li> </ul><p><strong>Vagal Breathing</strong></p> <p>There are two breathing hacks for stimulating the vagus nerve and cultivating calm: breath retention and lengthening your exhale.</p> <p>Exercise: Inhale for a count of four, hold for four, exhale for eight, hold for four. Repeat for five minutes.</p> <p>You can also follow along with this centering and energizing <a href="https://vimeo.com/showcase/7910003/video/443073116" media_library="Media Library">guided breathwork practice</a>.</p> <p><pwe a="" as="" powerful="" recommend="" starter-kit:="" these=""></pwe></p> <p data-entity-type="" data-entity-uuid=""><span><img alt="" data-entity-type="" data-entity-uuid="" height="373" src="https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/PnAbYQzGT-lZ4KPwGf4w57E2CbDrXsZeZ7tWz10xFRE9izPTZzgH5WJiG8MsRlALeQ4st4QnGE3afEEWYC_NCBGxwdGUAlMKaHK9RcGEeP36GuxG-uFn5IMA93uSyYmuI0W6Ak50=s0" width="373" /><span title="Click and drag to resize">​</span></span></p> <p data-entity-type="" data-entity-uuid=""><strong>Vagal Massage</strong></p> <p data-entity-type="" data-entity-uuid="">Two minutes of stimulating the nerve via points in your ears. This is best understood through a video.</p> <p data-entity-type="" data-entity-uuid=""><em>Exercise: </em><a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9uZ1rnKF5DU" media_library="Media Library">Learn how and follow along here</a>.</p> <p data-entity-type="" data-entity-uuid=""><strong>Self-Massage</strong></p> <p>Loving touch is a basic human need. Self-massage is nourishing, calming, and grounding.</p> <p><em>Exercise:</em> Put a timer on for 10 minutes and grab some body cream. Slowly massage each hand, taking time to do so with focused attention. Include each finger, joint, and tendon. Alternate between noticing the sensations in the hand being massaged and the hand doing the massaging.</p> <p>A foot massage is also an effective option.</p> <p><a href="https://integratedlistening.com/porges/" media_library="Media Library">Click here</a> for more vagal nerve resources.</p> <p><strong>Shaking and Tremoring</strong></p> <p>When you see a dog trembling after a thunderstorm, it’s tempting to try to soothe it to get it to stop. The wiser choice is to copy it. Shaking the body stimulates the parasympathetic nervous system. It releases excess energy built up by stress and returns the body to a balanced state.</p> <p><em>Exercise:</em> Stand outside, barefoot if possible. Bend your knees gently and start to pulse lightly by pushing off the ground without lifting your feet. Allowing the movement to move up your entire body. Breathe mindfully as you shake. It helps to not take yourself too seriously while doing this.</p> <p><a href="https://traumaprevention.com/" media_library="Media Library">Click here</a> to learn about the scientific TRE tremoring technique as a way to release stress, trauma, and anxiety.</p> <p><strong>Going into Nature</strong></p> <p><span style="font-size:11pt; font-variant-ligatures:normal; font-variant-east-asian:normal; font-variant-position:normal; white-space:pre-wrap"><span style="font-family:Arial"><span style="color:#000000"><span style="font-weight:700"><span style="font-style:normal"><span style="text-decoration:none"><span style="border:none"><span style="display:inline-block"><span style="overflow:hidden"><span style="width:624px"><span style="height:327px"><img alt="" data-entity-type="" data-entity-uuid="" height="450" src="https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/EqRj0LCZKaJ6ry-FOyIFQ1HDEhS2xyjfTAaZ5ygg2WJf9KRYVdmUdLLrsC0BvJWzMrkj3ME6kByU4Sy3LYoImnqqdfmYybWk4zIw1uyl3kd33nSdgLR_O-L2UG3KamuneON4Sxgt=s0" width="859" /></span></span></span></span></span></span></span></span></span></span></span></p> <p>Doctors are prescribing forest bathing as a way to get people who are feeling stressed, depressed, or anxious to go outside and commune with the natural world. Nature improves our physical, mental, and emotional wellbeing.</p> <p><em>Exercise:</em> A city park is not the same as an old growth forest. Make time to go to one of your favorite wild nature spots and spend a few hours walking, noticing, and absorbing some vitamin D.</p> <p> </p> <h2>Co-Regulating Your Nervous System</h2> <p>If you’re struggling with anxiety or other difficult emotions to the degree that they’re triggering past trauma or it’s feeling debilitating, self-regulating can be difficult if you’re not already well-versed. This is where co-regulation comes in.</p> <p>Co-regulating involves asking someone you trust to help you. It’s one nervous system soothing another. “As you co-regulate with someone, the mirror neurons in their brain are activated, and this enables the person in the deregulated state to literally ‘mirror’ your calmness.” —Caroline Leaf, PhD</p> <p><strong>Co-Meditation Dyads</strong></p> <p>This is a form of one-on-one meditation and self-inquiry during which you’re facilitated and supported by someone as you explore what’s happening in your inner world. In iRest, co-meditation would be done as a <a href="https://www.irest.org/teachers" media_library="Media Library">private session with a teacher.</a></p> <p>At home, you can ask someone you trust to be able to stay present to be your witness and gently ask what’s happening for you as you sit and feel sensation in your body without changing it.</p> <p>[Note: iRest teachers can brush up on their Co-Meditation Dyad skills for free by logging in and <a href="https://www.irest.org/catalog/product/irest-co-meditation-dyads-review-update-and-inspire-0" media_library="Media Library">watching this free class</a>.]</p> <p>Alternatively, anyone can do the co-breathing below. No experience required.</p> <p><strong>Breathing Together</strong></p> <p>This exercise is courtesy of Dr. Nicole La Pera. <a href="https://www.facebook.com/the.holistic.psychologist/videos/this-is-what-co-regulation-looks-likemany-of-us-are-reactive-during-difficult-co/2787367934926201/" media_library="Media Library">Watch her 20-second clip</a>.</p> <p><em>Exercise: </em>Sit across from your friend, partner, or family member, and place your hand on each other’s hearts. Close your eyes and take a deep belly breath. You’ll feel each other’s hearts rising which will allow you to sync your breathing. Visualize your nervous systems both calming each other. Exhale slowly at the same time. Repeat 3-5 times.</p> <p><strong>Eye Gazing</strong></p> <p>There are many reasons to practice eye gazing, the two we’re interested in here are 1. Building confidence looking people in the eye in person again, and 2. As a tool for building trust and increasing connection.</p> <p><em>Exercise:</em> Start small. Set a timer for one minute. Sit opposite your partner/friend and softly gaze into each other’s eyes, blinking as you need to but not looking away.</p> <p>If you don’t have someone to practice with like this, use a mirror for self-practice or challenge yourself to gently meet the eyes of the clerk at the grocery store or each person you pass on your walk.</p> <p> </p> <h2>Shifting Your Mindset</h2> <p>It’s easy to get stuck in negative perspectives if we’re spending a lot of time alone and in our heads. Rebuilding confidence in your ability to engage risk is an inside job. The more you trust yourself the more you can tolerate uncertainty.</p> <p><strong>Nurture Self-Trust</strong></p> <p><em>Exercise</em>: Contemplate some of the biggest risks you’ve ever taken in your life. Journal about what they were and acknowledge how and why you were brave in each of these circumstances.</p> <p>Reminding ourselves of the facts about previous times when we chose risk reframes our current relationship with risk by revealing our capacity for it. Showing yourself you’ve done it before proves that you can do it again.</p> <p><strong>Prepare Yourself with a Confidence Boosting or Anxiety Relieving Meditation</strong></p> <p>In the same way you prepare your body and your belongings before leaving the house, make time to prepare your mind.</p> <p><em>Exercise</em>: Choose a theme that resonates and <a href="https://vimeo.com/showcase/7910003?page=3" media_library="Media Library">take a guided meditation</a> to resource yourself before you run that big meeting or step out into the world for the day.</p> <p>You could try <a href="https://vimeo.com/showcase/7910003/video/454464830" media_library="Media Library">Relieving Stress with The Power of Attention</a> or <a href="https://vimeo.com/showcase/7910003/video/412352087" media_library="Media Library">Meeting Your Emotions</a>.</p> <p><strong>Re-Engage Your Sense of Humor</strong></p> <p>Pandemics are not funny. What can be taken lightly is our fumbly re-entry into the outside world. On the days you feel more newborn fawn than mature steed, give yourself a break. Have a giggle at your new inability to not be a little weird in a restaurant, or how you’ve perfected opening public doors with your elbows.</p> <p>If there’s one thing we’ve all learned, it’s to care less about things that don’t really matter, and preserve our energy for what does. By now we’ve earned the wisdom needed to know the difference</p> <p><strong>Where To From Here?</strong></p> <p>In short, we’re all being asked to alter and transform our relationship with control. You can’t control reality but you can accept it while controlling how you choose to respond to it.</p> <p>Decision fatigue sounds like: Do we give in to social pressure and/or ignore calls to restrict contact again? Do we trust our discernment over our peers with different perspectives and needs? Can we make room for the discomfort of dissonant decisions among our peers and family?</p> <p>When lockdown laws were first issued we cohesively accepted the mandate to shrink our lives in order to minimize risk. Now, as we re-enter society in various ways, the silent ask is to increase our tolerance for uncertainty and take small risks often.</p> <p>There is no one right way to live through a pandemic. Befriend yourself by accepting that 75% may be your best for now. Make time to do the practices that soothe and replenish you.</p> <p>Trust yourself and accept your own timing by upholding your boundaries. Some of us have been freely out and about for months, others are still feeling hyper-cautious. Do what feels supportive for you, while not risking others’ safety.</p> <p>Lean on your resources. Now more than ever we all need to take more time to engage in the practices that ground us within ourselves, making us feel connected, loved, and nurtured.</p> <p>Note: If you’d like to nourish and resource yourself with practical, research-backed iRest tools during this time of prolonged stress and challenges, you can <a href="https://www.irest.org/events-landing-page" media_library="Media Library">find all our live online event options here</a>.</p> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-article-type field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field__items"> <div class="field__item"> <a href="/blog/category/community"> <span class="field__item">Community</span> </a> </div> <div class="field__item"> <a href="/blog/category/resources"> <span class="field__item">Resources</span> </a> </div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-tags field--type-entity-reference field--label-above"> <div class="field__label">Tags</div> <div class="field__items"> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-18" hreflang="en">Audience</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-8" hreflang="en">Healthcare Workers</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-9" hreflang="en">Yoga Teachers</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-10" hreflang="en">Yoga Therapists</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-5" hreflang="en">iRest Teachers</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-6" hreflang="en">iRest Students</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-7" hreflang="en">Other</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-24" hreflang="en">Benefits</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-23" hreflang="en">Anxiety</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-21" hreflang="en">Chronic Pain</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-20" hreflang="en">Depression</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-19" hreflang="en">Joy</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-22" hreflang="en">Peace and Well-Being</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-15" hreflang="en">Sleep</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-14" hreflang="en">Stress</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-12" hreflang="en">Other</a></div> </div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-published-date field--type-datetime field--label-above"> <div class="field__label">Published date</div> <div class="field__item"><time datetime="2021-09-17T12:00:00Z" class="datetime">Friday, September 17, 2021 - 12:00</time> </div> </div> <section data-ajax_comment_pager="comment_node_article-3850" class="field field--name-comment-node-article field--type-comment field--label-hidden comment-wrapper"> <div class="comments_ajax_pager_wrap"></div> </section> <div class="node__links"> <ul class="links inline"><li class="comment-forbidden"><a href="/user/login?destination=/blog/community-resources/revolving-door-social-re-entry-and-restrictions-13-practical-tools%23comment-form">Log in</a> or <a href="/user/register?destination=/blog/community-resources/revolving-door-social-re-entry-and-restrictions-13-practical-tools%23comment-form">register</a> to post comments</li></ul> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-hero-image field--type-entity-reference field--label-above"> <div class="field__label">Hero Image</div> <div class="field__item"> <img loading="lazy" src="/sites/default/files/images/shutterstock_1085457614.jpg" width="7126" height="3508" alt="The Revolving Door of Social Re-Entry and Restrictions Banner Image" typeof="foaf:Image" /> </div> </div> Tue, 21 Sep 2021 06:30:00 +0000 eli@irest.org 3850 at https://www.irest.org The Sacred Practice of Loving Ourselves, Each Other, and The World https://www.irest.org/blog/community-nondualism-other/sacred-practice-loving-ourselves-each-other-and-world <span class="field field--name-title field--type-string field--label-hidden">The Sacred Practice of Loving Ourselves, Each Other, and The World</span> <div class="field field--name-field-teacher field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field__items"> <div class="field__item">2708</div> </div> <span class="field field--name-uid field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden"><a title="View user profile." href="/user/eli-bresler" lang="" about="/user/eli-bresler" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="" class="username">eli@irest.org</a></span> <span class="field field--name-created field--type-created field--label-hidden">Mon, 09/06/2021 - 23:30</span> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field__item"><p><em>What is true loving relationship? Senior iRest Trainer, <a href="https://www.irest.org/user/ford-peck" style="text-decoration:none">Ford Peck </a>shares his understanding and explores aspects of what he’ll be offering in his<a href="https://www.irest.org/user/ford-peck" style="text-decoration:none"> </a><a href="https://www.irest.org/event/irest-immersion-ford-peck-2021-september-0" style="text-decoration:none">upcoming September Immersion</a></em></p> <p> </p> <p>Most of us could agree that, in its many forms and expressions, there is nothing more important in our lives than love. Every act of care we offer to ourselves, to each other, to the planet, can be seen as an expression of love. Every simple kindness, every generous, wise and beneficial action, can be seen as an expression of love. </p> <p>In contrast, every indifferent act that causes harm, or neglect, every time we avert our attention from our own genuine needs, the needs of others, and the plight of the planet—all this is symptomatic of a lack of conscious care and love. </p> <p>What is authentic love and how can we support its beneficial expression? How can we grow our capacity to love ourselves and each other? These are some of the important questions we’ll be exploring in the upcoming iRest Immersion, <a href="https://www.irest.org/event/irest-immersion-ford-peck-2021-september-0" media_library="Media Library"><em>Relating from the Depth of the Heart in Loving Relationship</em></a> from September 17-19.</p> <p> </p> <p><strong>A Deeper Understanding of Loves Many Forms</strong></p> <p>A felt-sense of love for something can be evoked when we see its beauty and preciousness. When in this experience of love, we are drawn to give care, to appreciate, to connect. Love is also the inner response that’s evoked when we feel deeply aligned, in harmony, mutually supported, and united with others. Very often we feel this with our closest family and friends. </p> <p>Romantic love arises when we discover and feel a connection with another that promises a depth of union. A union that we sense could bring us profound happiness. A happiness that nothing else can tarnish or diminish. And yet human relationships into which we “fall in love” always involve subsequent moments when we “fall out of love”. When the promise of the other as a source of happiness and fulfillment and the unguarded union of hearts, feels broken.  </p> <p>What is the role of the sacred in love? Divine love is most often felt or seen as a love that is unconditional: forgiving, fully accepting of us as we are, and an ever-present source of blessing and support. Some turn to this divine love as a safe haven. A connection that might bring an unbreakable sense of connection and support. How can we translate this evolved understanding into the way we do and don’t love each other in our closest relationships? </p> <p> </p> <p><strong>Love As An Inside Job</strong></p> <p>When it comes to love, one principle holds true: “as within, so without”. When we feel deeply secure, at peace, and in harmony with ourselves, we are most likely to be naturally loving to those around us, and those closest to us. When we are troubled, divided, and suffering on the inside, all bets are off in terms of how we might react to others. We’ve all experienced the unloving consequences of externalized inner conflict.  </p> <p>Clearly, there’s no greater act of love than to foster peace, harmony, and wholeness within ourselves. There’s no greater way to love others than to learn to truly love ourselves. And there is no better way to come to deeply see the good in others than to discover and embrace the goodness inherent in our own essential nature.</p> <p> </p> <p><strong>How Do We Practice Self-Love?</strong></p> <p>For me, the action of love is “to attend”. Our conscious, welcoming, undivided attention is the truest currency and expression of love. In iRest, we love ourselves through every step of the practice. We offer a heartfelt, welcoming quality of attention to our own inner experience. There is no greater way of honoring ourselves, healing ourselves, and loving ourselves. And when we look deeply enough into each and every aspect of ourselves, no matter how it may have appeared on the surface, we discover essential wholeness and goodness. Indeed, we can encounter the Sacred. </p> <p>Our practice of iRest, is the greatest support and act of love for ourselves, and those around us. The invitation is to approach our iRest practice as an expression of love and with an awareness of its profoundly positive and healing effects, individually and relationally.  </p> <p>May the love that is offered and discovered within us ripple out into all our relationships and throughout the world.</p> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-article-type field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field__items"> <div class="field__item"> <a href="/blog/category/community"> <span class="field__item">Community</span> </a> </div> <div class="field__item"> <a href="/blog/category/nondualism"> <span class="field__item">Nondualism</span> </a> </div> <div class="field__item"> <a href="/blog/category/other"> <span class="field__item">Other</span> </a> </div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-tags field--type-entity-reference field--label-above"> <div class="field__label">Tags</div> <div class="field__items"> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-18" hreflang="en">Audience</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-9" hreflang="en">Yoga Teachers</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-10" hreflang="en">Yoga Therapists</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-5" hreflang="en">iRest Teachers</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-6" hreflang="en">iRest Students</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-7" hreflang="en">Other</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-24" hreflang="en">Benefits</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-19" hreflang="en">Joy</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-22" hreflang="en">Peace and Well-Being</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-25" hreflang="en">Nondualism</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-12" hreflang="en">Other</a></div> </div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-published-date field--type-datetime field--label-above"> <div class="field__label">Published date</div> <div class="field__item"><time datetime="2021-09-07T12:00:00Z" class="datetime">Tuesday, September 7, 2021 - 12:00</time> </div> </div> <section data-ajax_comment_pager="comment_node_article-3846" class="field field--name-comment-node-article field--type-comment field--label-hidden comment-wrapper"> <div class="comments_ajax_pager_wrap"></div> </section> <div class="node__links"> <ul class="links inline"><li class="comment-forbidden"><a href="/user/login?destination=/blog/community-nondualism-other/sacred-practice-loving-ourselves-each-other-and-world%23comment-form">Log in</a> or <a href="/user/register?destination=/blog/community-nondualism-other/sacred-practice-loving-ourselves-each-other-and-world%23comment-form">register</a> to post comments</li></ul> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-hero-image field--type-entity-reference field--label-above"> <div class="field__label">Hero Image</div> <div class="field__item"> <img loading="lazy" src="/sites/default/files/images/shutterstock_1917995336.jpg" width="3200" height="1500" alt="The Sacred Practice of Loving Ourselves, Each Other, and The World" typeof="foaf:Image" /> </div> </div> Tue, 07 Sep 2021 06:30:00 +0000 eli@irest.org 3846 at https://www.irest.org A Board of Directors Update from Executive Director Alana Siska https://www.irest.org/blog/news-and-announcements-community/board-directors-update-executive-director-alana-siska <span class="field field--name-title field--type-string field--label-hidden">A Board of Directors Update from Executive Director Alana Siska</span> <div class="field field--name-field-teacher field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field__items"> <div class="field__item">13053</div> </div> <span class="field field--name-uid field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden"><a title="View user profile." href="/user/eli-bresler" lang="" about="/user/eli-bresler" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="" class="username">eli@irest.org</a></span> <span class="field field--name-created field--type-created field--label-hidden">Thu, 07/08/2021 - 02:21</span> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field__item"><p>It's easy for the important things to go unnoticed until something happens that makes us realize that we need them. This past year spoke truth of the fragility, impermanence, and interconnectedness of all life. It motivated a collective stock-take of what we want more of and what’s no longer working.</p> <p>To that end, as the Executive Director of iRest, I’d like to introduce myself and speak with you. I’d like you to know that I’m here, that my whole team is here, working to support you, evolve with you, and nurture an authentic community.</p> <p>For many it has been a season of lessons and the past few months have seen iRest commit to board changes, internal and ethics policy upgrades, and new program initiatives. I’m happy to personally share the progress made to date, and our next steps, in the video below.</p> <article class="media media--type-vimeo media--view-mode-default" data-align="center"><div class="field field--name-field-media-oembed-video field--type-string field--label-visually_hidden"> <div class="field__label visually-hidden">Remote video URL</div> <div class="field__item"><iframe src="/media/oembed?url=https%3A//vimeo.com/572264171&amp;max_width=0&amp;max_height=0&amp;hash=Pe-kQL1obOLE7wUMRDpOqTQgByKzXZR74KRB-D4PmAw" frameborder="0" allowtransparency="" width="360" height="360" class="media-oembed-content" title="Update from iRest Institute Executive Director, Alana Siska"></iframe> </div> </div> </article><p class="text-align-center"><u><strong><a href="https://www.irest.org/irest-institute-ethics" title="iRest Institute Ethics Page">Please click here to view our Ethics page</a></strong></u></p> <p>iRest Institute’s Head of Online Programming, Clearlight Gerald, has created a nourishing iRest guided meditation around the theme of resiliency which you can access below.  </p> <p>I hope it brings an embodied sense of our community. May you feel anchored into a collective felt-sense of unwavering well-being, and may we all re-emerge together and choose to continue onwards with renewed resilience, deeper understanding, and true connection.</p> <article class="media media--type-vimeo media--view-mode-default" data-align="center"><div class="field field--name-field-media-oembed-video field--type-string field--label-visually_hidden"> <div class="field__label visually-hidden">Remote video URL</div> <div class="field__item"><iframe src="/media/oembed?url=https%3A//vimeo.com/564280934&amp;max_width=0&amp;max_height=0&amp;hash=tTtjZiStD_p8a3yyiWERd8Q99o4tv5_apaGYflHovFs" frameborder="0" allowtransparency="" width="640" height="360" class="media-oembed-content" title="iRest for Our Community"></iframe> </div> </div> </article><p> </p> <p>Thank you for your time and attention. I’m grateful to be able to share our journey with you as we continue working to strengthen our community, evolve our approach, and grow together.</p> <p>I’ll be reaching out again to check in, share, and connect.</p> <p>Take care and talk soon,</p> <p><img alt="Alana Siska Signature" data-entity-type="file" data-entity-uuid="8726bb15-943a-489d-9d3c-6d29bbf3cc1c" height="51" src="/sites/default/files/inline-images/AS2%20%281%29.png" width="183" loading="lazy" /></p> <p>Alana Siska</p> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-article-type field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field__items"> <div class="field__item"> <a href="/blog/category/news-and-announcements"> <span class="field__item">News and Announcements</span> </a> </div> <div class="field__item"> <a href="/blog/category/community"> <span class="field__item">Community</span> </a> </div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-tags field--type-entity-reference field--label-above"> <div class="field__label">Tags</div> <div class="field__items"> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-18" hreflang="en">Audience</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-5" hreflang="en">iRest Teachers</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-6" hreflang="en">iRest Students</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-7" hreflang="en">Other</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-24" hreflang="en">Benefits</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-12" hreflang="en">Other</a></div> </div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-published-date field--type-datetime field--label-above"> <div class="field__label">Published date</div> <div class="field__item"><time datetime="2021-07-08T12:00:00Z" class="datetime">Thursday, July 8, 2021 - 12:00</time> </div> </div> <section data-ajax_comment_pager="comment_node_article-3824" class="field field--name-comment-node-article field--type-comment field--label-hidden comment-wrapper"> <div class="comments_ajax_pager_wrap"></div> </section> <div class="field field--name-field-hero-image field--type-entity-reference field--label-above"> <div class="field__label">Hero Image</div> <div class="field__item"> <img loading="lazy" src="/sites/default/files/images/BOD%20Update%20Banner.jpg" width="3200" height="1000" alt="Update from iRest Institute Executive Director Alana Siska Banner" typeof="foaf:Image" /> </div> </div> Thu, 08 Jul 2021 09:21:01 +0000 eli@irest.org 3824 at https://www.irest.org A Statement from the iRest Institute Board of Directors https://www.irest.org/blog/news-and-announcements-community/statement-irest-institute-board-directors <span class="field field--name-title field--type-string field--label-hidden">A Statement from the iRest Institute Board of Directors</span> <div class="field field--name-field-teacher field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field__items"> <div class="field__item">13053</div> </div> <span class="field field--name-uid field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden"><a title="View user profile." href="/user/eli-bresler" lang="" about="/user/eli-bresler" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="" class="username">eli@irest.org</a></span> <span class="field field--name-created field--type-created field--label-hidden">Fri, 03/19/2021 - 11:00</span> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field__item"><p>Dear iRest Community,</p> <p>iRest Institute is at a turning point in its growth and development. As we move forward, it is imperative that we build upon and continue to strengthen our core goals of accountability, transparency, and integrity—values that serve a sustainable and ethical foundation of the organization and the iRest teachings. <br />  <br /> To that end, the Board of Directors, working with the organization’s executive leadership, has approved the following new initiatives which will start immediately and are to be completed over the next year: </p> <p><strong>Overhaul our Board of Directors </strong></p> <ul><li> <p>As part of an overall succession plan, the Board of Directors accepts the resignation of Richard Miller and another long-standing board member, Ross Guest, from the Board of Directors</p> </li> <li> <p>Recruit 1-2 new board members from outside of our immediate community to create a greater diversity of experience and perspective on the board</p> </li> </ul><p><strong>Reform our Ethics Committee and strengthen our ethics procedures</strong></p> <ul><li> <p>Expand the number of people on the Ethics Committee with a minimum of two additional members </p> </li> <li> <p>Recruit new members under the conditions that they are from outside of our immediate community and have demonstrated expertise in the field of ethics</p> </li> <li> <p>Update our website with detailed information about the purpose and function of the Ethics Committee, including its mandate, procedures, and steps to file a grievance</p> </li> </ul><p><strong>Redesign our programming</strong></p> <ul><li> <p>Richard Miller will be stepping away from teaching at iRest Institute events for a six month period and has committed to begin taking ethics and sensitivity training immediately. To support the continuation of iRest Institute’s evolution and full accessibility to iRest trainings and programs, we will:</p> <ul><li> <p>Design programming that will provide the option to complete the full iRest teacher training curriculum and attend retreats, immersions, workshops, and other offerings with or without studying with Richard Miller</p> </li> <li> <p>Offer programs led by a greater variety of senior trainers and retreat leaders to engage more voices and create more choice for students and participants</p> </li> </ul></li> </ul><p><strong>Enable and prioritize a diversity of thought, perspective, and influence </strong></p> <ul><li> <p>Create a Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Advisory Board to continually educate and guide iRest Institute toward the most balanced, informed, ethical, and open-minded operational strategy, activity, and evolution</p> </li> </ul><p><strong>Re-evaluate and update Human Resources (HR) procedures</strong></p> <ul><li> <p>Perform a detailed review of all HR procedures, including the use of Non-Disclosure Agreements at the conclusion of employment </p> </li> </ul><p><strong>Strengthen and maintain an ethically-informed and mission-driven organizational culture</strong></p> <ul><li> <p>Develop new board, executive, and employee training programs that further establish an organizational culture grounded in the values of diversity, ethics, integrity, accountability, and iRest Institute’s mission to <em>help people resolve their pain and suffering, and experience deep healing and peace</em></p> </li> </ul><p>With these new initiatives, we believe we are on a path to take concrete and transparent action to build on the integrity of our organization. We are deeply dedicated to continue meeting the challenge of walking our talk, which is and has been fundamental to our existence. In doing so, we want to recognize the incredible response from our community, and the support we have received through feedback that was both loving and very difficult to digest—but all needed. </p> <p>We will continue to listen. Our minds and hearts remain open as we renew our commitment to iRest Institute’s mission and engage a broader perspective with which to move forward.<br />  <br /> Sincerely, <br /> The iRest Institute Board of Directors</p> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-article-type field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field__items"> <div class="field__item"> <a href="/blog/category/news-and-announcements"> <span class="field__item">News and Announcements</span> </a> </div> <div class="field__item"> <a href="/blog/category/community"> <span class="field__item">Community</span> </a> </div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-tags field--type-entity-reference field--label-above"> <div class="field__label">Tags</div> <div class="field__items"> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-7" hreflang="en">Other</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-12" hreflang="en">Other</a></div> </div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-published-date field--type-datetime field--label-above"> <div class="field__label">Published date</div> <div class="field__item"><time datetime="2021-03-19T12:00:00Z" class="datetime">Friday, March 19, 2021 - 12:00</time> </div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-hero-image field--type-entity-reference field--label-above"> <div class="field__label">Hero Image</div> <div class="field__item"> <img loading="lazy" src="/sites/default/files/images/shutterstock_85819054.jpg" width="3888" height="2592" alt="iRest Institute Board of Directors Statement Banner" typeof="foaf:Image" /> </div> </div> Fri, 19 Mar 2021 18:00:00 +0000 eli@irest.org 3752 at https://www.irest.org Yoga as Social Justice: Introducing Anusha Wijeyakumar https://www.irest.org/blog/community-other/yoga-social-justice-introducing-anusha-wijeyakumar <span class="field field--name-title field--type-string field--label-hidden">Yoga as Social Justice: Introducing Anusha Wijeyakumar</span> <div class="field field--name-field-teacher field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field__items"> <div class="field__item">13053</div> </div> <span class="field field--name-uid field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden"><a title="View user profile." href="/user/jeremy-caldwell" lang="" about="/user/jeremy-caldwell" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="" class="username">jeremy</a></span> <span class="field field--name-created field--type-created field--label-hidden">Thu, 02/18/2021 - 00:00</span> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field__item"><p>“The wallpaper of your mind becomes the landscape of your life,” writes Anusha Wijeyakumar in the opening chapter of her new book <em>Meditation with Intention: Quick &amp; Easy Ways to Create Lasting Peace.</em> With clear purpose and straightforward language, <em>Meditation with Intention</em> offers tangible ways to revolutionize your mind and the world around you, too. The book presents a wealth of insight, stories, and exercises to support curious meditation practitioners.</p> <p>Anusha— who will be in conversation with Richard Miller during the<a href="https://www.irest.org/livestream-sangha-sessions-richard-and-stephanie"> iRest Sangha Sessions on February 23</a>— has steadily built a realm of expertise that conveys vision, authenticity, and a high priority on community. </p> <p><br /><img alt="Anusha Wijeyakumar" data-entity-type="file" data-entity-uuid="042f4807-fcbf-4345-8f75-6904e8517db7" src="/sites/default/files/inline-images/PAS-13.jpeg" width="348" height="522" loading="lazy" /></p> <p>As a wellness consultant for Hoag Hospital in Newport Beach, California, Anusha has helped create one of the first meditation programs used in clinical research, primarily working with breast cancer patients and pregnant people. With over 15 years of senior management experience, including with Fortune 500 corporations, she is also a certified life coach and yoga teacher. </p> <p>Anusha, who is the daughter of Sri Lankan Tamil Hindu immigrants, cofounded <a href="http://instagram.com/wocandwellness">Womxn of Color + Wellness</a> to help decolonize wellness and make yoga more equitable, accessible, and inclusive. Her insight on the cultural appropriation of yoga has recently helped lead a relevant conversation about yoga and white supremacy in the West.  As she wrote in <a href="https://www.instyle.com/beauty/health-fitness/yoga-racism-white-supremacy">this 2020 article</a>, “Yoga, is, in fact, social justice, and incredibly relevant to these times. Holding a crystal and chanting OM is not enough and never has been.”</p> <p>Here, read an excerpt from her book entitled “Meditation in the West”* &gt; [link to come]</p> <p>iRest Institute is honored to welcome Anusha Wijeyakumar in conversation with founder Richard Miller at the iRest Sangha Session on February 23. <a href="https://www.irest.org/livestream-sangha-sessions-richard-and-stephanie">Sign up for the free event here.</a></p> <p><img alt="Meditation with Intention" data-entity-type="file" data-entity-uuid="79bc53ad-2f00-4904-9061-53931ffcf52f" src="/sites/default/files/inline-images/Screen%20Shot%202021-02-15%20at%204.57.11%20PM.png" width="286" height="406" loading="lazy" /></p> <p><a href="http://shantiwithin.com/">Find the book and learn more about Anusha’s work &gt;</a></p> <p><em>* This excerpt appears courtesy of Anusha Wijeyakumar  and Llewellyn Worldwide.</em></p> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-article-type field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field__items"> <div class="field__item"> <a href="/blog/category/community"> <span class="field__item">Community</span> </a> </div> <div class="field__item"> <a href="/blog/category/other"> <span class="field__item">Other</span> </a> </div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-tags field--type-entity-reference field--label-above"> <div class="field__label">Tags</div> <div class="field__items"> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-2" hreflang="en">Social Workers</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-7" hreflang="en">Other</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-12" hreflang="en">Other</a></div> </div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-published-date field--type-datetime field--label-above"> <div class="field__label">Published date</div> <div class="field__item"><time datetime="2021-02-18T12:00:00Z" class="datetime">Thursday, February 18, 2021 - 12:00</time> </div> </div> <section data-ajax_comment_pager="comment_node_article-3608" class="field field--name-comment-node-article field--type-comment field--label-hidden comment-wrapper"> <div class="comments_ajax_pager_wrap"></div> </section> <div class="node__links"> <ul class="links inline"><li class="comment-forbidden"><a href="/user/login?destination=/blog/community-other/yoga-social-justice-introducing-anusha-wijeyakumar%23comment-form">Log in</a> or <a href="/user/register?destination=/blog/community-other/yoga-social-justice-introducing-anusha-wijeyakumar%23comment-form">register</a> to post comments</li></ul> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-hero-image field--type-entity-reference field--label-above"> <div class="field__label">Hero Image</div> <div class="field__item"> <img loading="lazy" src="/sites/default/files/images/shutterstock_1758829946%20%281%29.jpg" width="6279" height="3200" alt="Yoga as Social Justica" typeof="foaf:Image" /> </div> </div> Thu, 18 Feb 2021 08:00:00 +0000 jeremy 3608 at https://www.irest.org The Healing Power of Play: In Conversation with Robin Carnes https://www.irest.org/blog/interviews-resources-nondualism-other/healing-power-play-conversation-robin-carnes <span class="field field--name-title field--type-string field--label-hidden">The Healing Power of Play: In Conversation with Robin Carnes</span> <div class="field field--name-field-teacher field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field__items"> <div class="field__item">13053</div> </div> <span class="field field--name-uid field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden"><a title="View user profile." href="/user/jeremy-caldwell" lang="" about="/user/jeremy-caldwell" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="" class="username">jeremy</a></span> <span class="field field--name-created field--type-created field--label-hidden">Thu, 01/07/2021 - 00:00</span> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field__item"><p>Play is not just a silly diversion, says Senior iRest Trainer Robin Carnes, who will be <a href="https://www.irest.org/event/find-your-flow-irest-creative-expression-and-play">leading a course</a> on the topic beginning this Saturday, 1/9.  “It’s a profound thing.” </p> <p>When integrated consciously into our lives, play becomes a healing practice that helps us unlock new human potential and facilitates what Robin calls “the opposite of trauma”. </p> <p>“When we’re able to access that potential,” Robin says, “our nervous system, bodies, and minds are no longer constricted by what trauma brings.”</p> <p><img alt="Robin Carnes" data-entity-type="file" data-entity-uuid="e9b552d0-f08e-4825-89b3-4f57fc5e9dce" src="/sites/default/files/inline-images/Robin%20Carnes%20headshot%20fist%20on%20face_0.jpg" width="348" height="314" loading="lazy" /></p> <p>Widely recognized as a pioneer in mind-body therapies for more than 30 years, Robin has worked extensively with veterans and survivors of military sexual abuse; as well as civilians who have endured trauma, anxiety, depression, and other afflictions. </p> <p>In her early career, however, “Trauma wasn’t in the lexicon,” says Robin. “We didn’t know what to call it.” Through ongoing exploration, Robin developed what she calls “a lifelong curriculum to not just mitigate symptoms of trauma, but to address its cause.” </p> <p>Key amid the curriculum, as it turned out, has been play.</p> <p>Robin had been teaching kinetic dance for more than a decade when she began to truly step into her flow. “Dance was deeply healing for me, and I began to realize that a lot of that was about play.” </p> <p>She soon discovered <a href="https://www.interplay.org/index.cfm/go/about:cynthia-winton-henry-and-phil-porter/">InterPlay</a>, a creative system of experimental healing practices developed by fellow dancers and community leaders Cynthia Winton Henry and Phil Porter. Through storytelling, sound-making, and guided movement, InterPlay not only invites participants to feel more at home in their bodies, but to dwell in community, too.</p> <p>“InterPlay elicits the wisdom of the body,” says Robin, “ and, much like yoga practice, gives us connection to each other.”</p> <p><img alt="Play and Community" data-entity-type="file" data-entity-uuid="639f2440-4de7-4ba2-95af-97cdd5e3ec86" src="/sites/default/files/inline-images/2017-03-15%2013.52.08.jpg" width="348" height="464" loading="lazy" /></p> <p>Among the several factors of a successful InterPlay practice, Robin names:</p> <ul><li><strong>Easy focus</strong> is “the opposite of laser focus” and encourages a light mind and openness to any outcome.</li> <li><strong>Incrementality</strong> invites participants to move at their own comfort level, with a balance of comfort and freedom.</li> </ul><p>With programming that can be adapted for children, the elderly, inmates, faith groups, and beyond, InterPlay has a worldwide following. Its website offers: <em>If you would like to become a “recovering serious person”  then InterPlay might be for you.</em></p> <p>Indeed, many folks are “recovering” from chronic seriousness. At any given moment, we find plenty of excuses to skip play: <em>We have to work. We have no money. We’re socially isolating. </em>Yet the times we’re troubled or preoccupied are the times that play becomes most transformative. </p> <p>“You don’t have to feel playful to play,” says Robin. “You can practice.”</p> <p>In line with the tenets of iRest and nondualism, “Play is flow,” says Robin, “as our essential nature is flow. When life is living through us, that is flow. Even if you’re in the midst of life’s challenge, you can be easeful.” </p> <p> </p> <p><em>Want to find your flow again? <a href="https://www.irest.org/event/find-your-flow-irest-creative-expression-and-play">Join Robin for her 4-week course on creative expression and play starting this Saturday &gt;</a></em></p> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-article-type field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field__items"> <div class="field__item"> <a href="/blog/category/interviews"> <span class="field__item">Interviews</span> </a> </div> <div class="field__item"> <a href="/blog/category/resources"> <span class="field__item">Resources</span> </a> </div> <div class="field__item"> <a href="/blog/category/nondualism"> <span class="field__item">Nondualism</span> </a> </div> <div class="field__item"> <a href="/blog/category/other"> <span class="field__item">Other</span> </a> </div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-tags field--type-entity-reference field--label-above"> <div class="field__label">Tags</div> <div class="field__items"> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-9" hreflang="en">Yoga Teachers</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-10" hreflang="en">Yoga Therapists</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-1" hreflang="en">Clinical Psychologists</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-2" hreflang="en">Social Workers</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-4" hreflang="en">Educators</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-5" hreflang="en">iRest Teachers</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-6" hreflang="en">iRest Students</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-7" hreflang="en">Other</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-23" hreflang="en">Anxiety</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-20" hreflang="en">Depression</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-19" hreflang="en">Joy</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-22" hreflang="en">Peace and Well-Being</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-16" hreflang="en">PTSD</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-14" hreflang="en">Stress</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-13" hreflang="en">Trauma</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-12" hreflang="en">Other</a></div> </div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-published-date field--type-datetime field--label-above"> <div class="field__label">Published date</div> <div class="field__item"><time datetime="2021-01-07T12:00:00Z" class="datetime">Thursday, January 7, 2021 - 12:00</time> </div> </div> <section data-ajax_comment_pager="comment_node_article-3599" class="field field--name-comment-node-article field--type-comment field--label-hidden comment-wrapper"> <div class="comments_ajax_pager_wrap"></div> </section> <div class="node__links"> <ul class="links inline"><li class="comment-forbidden"><a href="/user/login?destination=/blog/interviews-resources-nondualism-other/healing-power-play-conversation-robin-carnes%23comment-form">Log in</a> or <a href="/user/register?destination=/blog/interviews-resources-nondualism-other/healing-power-play-conversation-robin-carnes%23comment-form">register</a> to post comments</li></ul> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-hero-image field--type-entity-reference field--label-above"> <div class="field__label">Hero Image</div> <div class="field__item"> <img loading="lazy" src="/sites/default/files/images/shutterstock_132949136.jpg" width="5616" height="3744" alt="The Healing Power of Play" typeof="foaf:Image" /> </div> </div> Thu, 07 Jan 2021 08:00:00 +0000 jeremy 3599 at https://www.irest.org Start the Year with Loving Self-Renewal: A Guided Meditation with Richard Miller https://www.irest.org/blog/resources-other/start-year-loving-self-renewal-guided-meditation-richard-miller <span class="field field--name-title field--type-string field--label-hidden">Start the Year with Loving Self-Renewal: A Guided Meditation with Richard Miller</span> <div class="field field--name-field-teacher field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field__items"> <div class="field__item">13053</div> </div> <span class="field field--name-uid field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden"><a title="View user profile." href="/user/amy-bess-cook" lang="" about="/user/amy-bess-cook" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="" class="username">amybess</a></span> <span class="field field--name-created field--type-created field--label-hidden">Wed, 12/30/2020 - 00:00</span> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field__item"><p>At the close of any given year, we are inclined to pause, reflect, shed the old, and begin anew. This year in particular, many folks feel an especially acute need for such catharsis—and our own Richard Miller is here to help shepherd the way. </p> <p>In his gentle and reassuring style, Richard invites you to use your breath and attention to discover an inherent sense of harmony that lies within. The nourishing 40-minute practice utilizes such techniques as BodySensing and “square” breathing to lead you deep within, where you’ll find abundant love and well-being to carry forth into 2021. </p> <p>In the spirit of community, we hope you’ll share this nourishing meditation with friends and family. Happy New Year!</p> <p><strong><a href="https://vimeo.com/493991648/b92782d301">Click here to join the practice&gt;</a></strong></p> <p> </p> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-article-type field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field__items"> <div class="field__item"> <a href="/blog/category/resources"> <span class="field__item">Resources</span> </a> </div> <div class="field__item"> <a href="/blog/category/other"> <span class="field__item">Other</span> </a> </div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-tags field--type-entity-reference field--label-above"> <div class="field__label">Tags</div> <div class="field__items"> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-9" hreflang="en">Yoga Teachers</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-10" hreflang="en">Yoga Therapists</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-5" hreflang="en">iRest Teachers</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-6" hreflang="en">iRest Students</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-7" hreflang="en">Other</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-23" hreflang="en">Anxiety</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-20" hreflang="en">Depression</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-19" hreflang="en">Joy</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-22" hreflang="en">Peace and Well-Being</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-14" hreflang="en">Stress</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-25" hreflang="en">Nondualism</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-12" hreflang="en">Other</a></div> </div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-published-date field--type-datetime field--label-above"> <div class="field__label">Published date</div> <div class="field__item"><time datetime="2020-12-30T12:00:00Z" class="datetime">Wednesday, December 30, 2020 - 12:00</time> </div> </div> <section data-ajax_comment_pager="comment_node_article-3408" class="field field--name-comment-node-article field--type-comment field--label-hidden comment-wrapper"> <div class="comments_ajax_pager_wrap"></div> </section> <div class="node__links"> <ul class="links inline"><li class="comment-forbidden"><a href="/user/login?destination=/blog/resources-other/start-year-loving-self-renewal-guided-meditation-richard-miller%23comment-form">Log in</a> or <a href="/user/register?destination=/blog/resources-other/start-year-loving-self-renewal-guided-meditation-richard-miller%23comment-form">register</a> to post comments</li></ul> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-hero-image field--type-entity-reference field--label-above"> <div class="field__label">Hero Image</div> <div class="field__item"> <img loading="lazy" src="/sites/default/files/images/bart-larue-jMd3WS9LBcc-unsplash%20%281%29.jpg" width="4500" height="3000" alt=" Start the Year with Loving Self-Renewal" typeof="foaf:Image" /> </div> </div> Wed, 30 Dec 2020 08:00:00 +0000 amybess 3408 at https://www.irest.org Self-Care Treasury: A Retrospective of Free Meditation Monday Offerings https://www.irest.org/blog/resources-nondualism-other/self-care-treasury-retrospective-free-meditation-monday-offerings <span class="field field--name-title field--type-string field--label-hidden">Self-Care Treasury: A Retrospective of Free Meditation Monday Offerings</span> <div class="field field--name-field-teacher field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field__items"> <div class="field__item">13053</div> </div> <span class="field field--name-uid field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden"><a title="View user profile." href="/user/jeremy-caldwell" lang="" about="/user/jeremy-caldwell" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="" class="username">jeremy</a></span> <span class="field field--name-created field--type-created field--label-hidden">Mon, 12/14/2020 - 00:00</span> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field__item"><p>Just as regular deposits into your bank account grow your savings, steady self-care builds your health and well-being like a trove of gleaming gold. When the world shifted this spring, we at iRest Institute hastened to offer our community the opportunity to create that priceless sense of abundance and security. We began sending you weekly meditation practices, each led by a favorite iRest Trainer, Supervisor, or Mentor and highlighting a theme you told us you’d been facing. </p> <p>You have listened to these meditation practices over 35,000 times . Your dedication shines. </p> <p>Did you miss out, or just want to revisit some of these nourishing practices? Rejoice—we’ve now archived all of the recordings here on the iRest blog. Explore a wide range of topics: try <a href="https://vimeo.com/446806972">this practice</a> with your kids, or <a href="https://vimeo.com/461827122">this one</a> for addressing addictive behaviors, or perhaps <a href="https://vimeo.com/454464830">this one</a> for stress relief. No matter your needs, we at iRest Institute strive to meet you where you are and support you on your journey.  </p> <p>See you next week!</p> <p><a href="https://vimeo.com/showcase/7910003">Access the full archive of Meditation Mondays here&gt;</a></p> <p><a href="https://www.irest.org/civicrm/contribute/transact?reset=1&amp;id=73">Donate to support offerings like these&gt;</a></p> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-article-type field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field__items"> <div class="field__item"> <a href="/blog/category/resources"> <span class="field__item">Resources</span> </a> </div> <div class="field__item"> <a href="/blog/category/nondualism"> <span class="field__item">Nondualism</span> </a> </div> <div class="field__item"> <a href="/blog/category/other"> <span class="field__item">Other</span> </a> </div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-tags field--type-entity-reference field--label-above"> <div class="field__label">Tags</div> <div class="field__items"> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags" hreflang="en">Emergency Service Personnel</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-8" hreflang="en">Healthcare Workers</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-9" hreflang="en">Yoga Teachers</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-10" hreflang="en">Yoga Therapists</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-0" hreflang="en">Physical Therapists</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-1" hreflang="en">Clinical Psychologists</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-2" hreflang="en">Social Workers</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-11" hreflang="en">Military</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-3" hreflang="en">Corporate Wellness</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-4" hreflang="en">Educators</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-5" hreflang="en">iRest Teachers</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-6" hreflang="en">iRest Students</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-7" hreflang="en">Other</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-23" hreflang="en">Anxiety</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-21" hreflang="en">Chronic Pain</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-20" hreflang="en">Depression</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-19" hreflang="en">Joy</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-22" hreflang="en">Peace and Well-Being</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-17" hreflang="en">Pain Relief</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-16" hreflang="en">PTSD</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-15" hreflang="en">Sleep</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-14" hreflang="en">Stress</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-13" hreflang="en">Trauma</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-25" hreflang="en">Nondualism</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-12" hreflang="en">Other</a></div> </div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-published-date field--type-datetime field--label-above"> <div class="field__label">Published date</div> <div class="field__item"><time datetime="2020-12-14T12:00:00Z" class="datetime">Monday, December 14, 2020 - 12:00</time> </div> </div> <section data-ajax_comment_pager="comment_node_article-3600" class="field field--name-comment-node-article field--type-comment field--label-hidden comment-wrapper"> <div class="comments_ajax_pager_wrap"></div> </section> <div class="node__links"> <ul class="links inline"><li class="comment-forbidden"><a href="/user/login?destination=/blog/resources-nondualism-other/self-care-treasury-retrospective-free-meditation-monday-offerings%23comment-form">Log in</a> or <a href="/user/register?destination=/blog/resources-nondualism-other/self-care-treasury-retrospective-free-meditation-monday-offerings%23comment-form">register</a> to post comments</li></ul> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-hero-image field--type-entity-reference field--label-above"> <div class="field__label">Hero Image</div> <div class="field__item"> <img loading="lazy" src="/sites/default/files/images/shutterstock_410792830.jpg" width="4971" height="5471" alt="Self-Care Treasury" typeof="foaf:Image" /> </div> </div> Mon, 14 Dec 2020 08:00:00 +0000 jeremy 3600 at https://www.irest.org Closing the Exposure Gap: iRest Scholar Antwinae McNeil https://www.irest.org/blog/interviews-community-other/closing-exposure-gap-irest-scholar-antwinae-mcneil <span class="field field--name-title field--type-string field--label-hidden">Closing the Exposure Gap: iRest Scholar Antwinae McNeil </span> <div class="field field--name-field-teacher field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field__items"> <div class="field__item">13053</div> </div> <span class="field field--name-uid field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden"><a title="View user profile." href="/user/amy-bess-cook" lang="" about="/user/amy-bess-cook" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="" class="username">amybess</a></span> <span class="field field--name-created field--type-created field--label-hidden">Sat, 12/05/2020 - 00:00</span> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field__item"><p>“In African-American culture there is an exposure gap,” explains 21-year-old iRest Scholar Antwinae McNeil. "Prior to discovering iRest, I had no idea what meditation was and how it could be beneficial. The exposure gap is not only for meditation but mental health as a whole.” </p> <p>Now a Level 1 iRest Teacher, Antwinae is working to close that gap—both for herself and the peers she serves in regular iRest classes. Many of her students, like Antwinae herself, have experienced hardship at some point of their young lives. </p> <p><img alt="Antwinae McNeil" data-entity-type="file" data-entity-uuid="8dc65d82-77ec-4adc-8c78-8c9515f2019d" src="/sites/default/files/inline-images/AntwinaeMcNeil.jpeg" width="348" height="537" loading="lazy" /></p> <p>Growing up in the foster care system in inner-city Detroit, Antwinae fought severe depression and survived multiple suicide attempts. She struggled to get the help she needed. “In the Black community,” she says, “depression is considered an attitude problem.” </p> <p>Now a student at Western Michigan University (and the first in her family to attend college) Antwinae displays a resilience that seems intrinsic to her character, innate to her very being. She also credits much of her success to iRest Meditation. </p> <p>She first encountered the practice through <a href="https://www.irest.org/users/yunrau">Dr. Yvonne Unrau</a>, a professor of social work at the university. “When we would practice,” says Antwinae, “I would always fall asleep. That meant a lot to me because I was struggling with sleep.” </p> <p>Soon, Antwinae began seeking out Dr. Unrau for private sessions. The tools she gained were powerful. “Foster care was traumatic and painful, and iRest allowed me to heal through it, not separate from it.” </p> <p>Establishing a steady iRest practice turned out to be more of a gift than she could have imagined: By age 20, she would be diagnosed with late-stage breast cancer. “When I tell you iRest has saved my life,” she says, “I mean it has allowed me to breathe another breath.” </p> <p>Previously, Antwinae had grappled with suicidal thoughts. “I spent my entire life wanting to die. Then cancer came and my body was killing itself, while I was just trying to stay alive. I finally realized my life mattered, and for the first time, I didn’t want to die.”</p> <p>A consistent meditation practice gave Antwinae insight that helped her stay positive during treatment. “The cancer was not who I was,” she says. When she started losing hair and weight, she was still able to see her own beauty. “I would look into the mirror and tell myself, I have strength beneath all of this.” </p> <p><img alt="Antwinae McNeil Survivor" data-entity-type="file" data-entity-uuid="b5929575-4f3d-4552-8a7d-6b835d6a5c24" src="/sites/default/files/inline-images/AntwinaeSurvivor.jpeg" width="348" height="464" loading="lazy" /></p> <p>Overall, “iRest taught me that there is a space in me untouched by trauma.”</p> <p>It’s a gift she wants to pay forward. Now, she declares, “I want to help people who are like me. I want to combine psychology with iRest to offer another option for healing.”</p> <p>Meanwhile, Antwinae cherishes the found family that has emerged through her practice and study. “There is a quote that people are in your life for a reason, a season, or a lifetime,” she says. “The iRest network has shown me what that lifetime looks like. These people will be with me forever, in every way, in my heart.”</p> <p> </p> <p><a href="https://www.irest.org/civicrm/contribute/transact?reset=1&amp;id=79">Donate to the iRest Institute Scholarship Fund&gt;</a></p> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-article-type field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field__items"> <div class="field__item"> <a href="/blog/category/interviews"> <span class="field__item">Interviews</span> </a> </div> <div class="field__item"> <a href="/blog/category/community"> <span class="field__item">Community</span> </a> </div> <div class="field__item"> <a href="/blog/category/other"> <span class="field__item">Other</span> </a> </div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-tags field--type-entity-reference field--label-above"> <div class="field__label">Tags</div> <div class="field__items"> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-9" hreflang="en">Yoga Teachers</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-10" hreflang="en">Yoga Therapists</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-2" hreflang="en">Social Workers</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-5" hreflang="en">iRest Teachers</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-6" hreflang="en">iRest Students</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-7" hreflang="en">Other</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-23" hreflang="en">Anxiety</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-20" hreflang="en">Depression</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-17" hreflang="en">Pain Relief</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-16" hreflang="en">PTSD</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-13" hreflang="en">Trauma</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-12" hreflang="en">Other</a></div> </div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-published-date field--type-datetime field--label-above"> <div class="field__label">Published date</div> <div class="field__item"><time datetime="2020-12-05T12:00:00Z" class="datetime">Saturday, December 5, 2020 - 12:00</time> </div> </div> <section data-ajax_comment_pager="comment_node_article-3403" class="field field--name-comment-node-article field--type-comment field--label-hidden comment-wrapper"> <div class="comments_ajax_pager_wrap"> <article role="article" data-comment-user-id="13889" id="comment-398" class="comment js-comment"> <div class="comment__author-photo"> <img src="/sites/default/files/styles/comment_author/public/pictures/2021-09/Go%20Irish%202_0.jpg?h=3dbd9eac&amp;itok=qiFcn9xe" width="130" height="130" alt="" loading="lazy" typeof="foaf:Image" class="image-style-comment-author" /> </div> <div class="comment__content"> <header class="comment__header"> <h3 class="comment__author"> Jeffrey Hunt <span class="hidden new" data-comment-timestamp="1647384070"></span></h3> <div class="comment__header-meta"> <span class="comment__permalink"><a href="/comment/398#comment-398" hreflang="en">Permalink</a></span> March 15, 2022 at 3:41pm </div> </header> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-comment-body field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field__item"><p>What a tremendous person.  Wow!</p> </div> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderLinks" arguments="0=398&amp;1=default&amp;2=en&amp;3=" token="6GJ7I4qcs9eQWkF6syF11EjRfqKlWD7lj_s4kuC7SnM"></drupal-render-placeholder> </div> </article> </div> </section> <div class="node__links"> <ul class="links inline"><li class="comment-forbidden"><a href="/user/login?destination=/blog/interviews-community-other/closing-exposure-gap-irest-scholar-antwinae-mcneil%23comment-form">Log in</a> or <a href="/user/register?destination=/blog/interviews-community-other/closing-exposure-gap-irest-scholar-antwinae-mcneil%23comment-form">register</a> to post comments</li></ul> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-hero-image field--type-entity-reference field--label-above"> <div class="field__label">Hero Image</div> <div class="field__item"> <img loading="lazy" src="/sites/default/files/images/Webpage_2.jpg" width="13333" height="4167" alt="Closing the Gap" typeof="foaf:Image" /> </div> </div> Sat, 05 Dec 2020 08:00:00 +0000 amybess 3403 at https://www.irest.org A Continuous Feast: Finding Abundance to Nourish You for a Lifetime  https://www.irest.org/blog/community-other/continuous-feast-finding-abundance-nourish-you-lifetime <span class="field field--name-title field--type-string field--label-hidden">A Continuous Feast: Finding Abundance to Nourish You for a Lifetime </span> <div class="field field--name-field-teacher field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field__items"> <div class="field__item">13053</div> </div> <span class="field field--name-uid field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden"><a title="View user profile." href="/user/amy-bess-cook" lang="" about="/user/amy-bess-cook" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="" class="username">amybess</a></span> <span class="field field--name-created field--type-created field--label-hidden">Wed, 11/25/2020 - 00:00</span> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field__item"><p>Now begins a season of togetherness and revelry across cultures and around the world. Yet this year, for many, the holidays will play out quite differently than in the past. </p> <p>Table settings may be more sparse, with health warnings keeping loved ones apart and some folks simply unable to afford a decadent holiday meal. At a time when we are meant to celebrate abundance, many people are struggling with feelings of grief. How do we conjure thanks when we might feel anything but? </p> <p>It’s not easy—but it’s definitely possible. iRest can help.</p> <p>In her book <em>Everyday Grace: Having Hope, Finding Forgiveness And Making Miracles</em>, Marianne Williamson writes, “As long as we remain vigilant at building our internal abundance—an abundance of integrity, an abundance of forgiveness, an abundance of service, an abundance of love—then external lack is bound to be temporary.”</p> <p>Indeed, the world is not bankrupt, and neither are we. </p> <p>Discovering this “internal abundance” is like finding a hidden treasure. We never knew it existed, or had only heard of it in legends. When we finally behold its glory, our lives are forever changed as we realize the vast wealth and bounty living inside us. We contain more than enough love, goodness, power, and joy to last a lifetime. </p> <p>It’s normal that many of us need a treasure map to find that abundance. That’s where iRest can be useful, along with other tools. Believing the abundance it exists, and paying careful attention along the journey, bodes well for any seeker. iRest founder Richard Miller writes, “Gratitude manifests the more you attend to its feeling in your body. It’s that simple. The more you experience gratitude, the easier it becomes to access, feel, and express gratitude.”</p> <p>Key steps along the path include:</p> <ul><li>Know that inner abundance is your birthright. </li> <li>Practice gratitude often. Keep a journal that marks at least one thing to be grateful for every day. Express your gratitude to others.</li> <li>Practice giving. It’s a phenomenon of humanity that, the more we give, the more we seem to have. As Anne Frank famously wrote, “No one has ever become poor from giving.”</li> <li>Need help getting centered? <a href="https://vimeo.com/481364465">Try this free meditation from Kathleen Knipp</a>.</li> </ul><p>Ancient Greek philosopher Epicurus dedicated his life to sharing teachings of simple pleasures, freedom from pain, and the joy of human connection. We can’t say for sure, but think that, based on these principles, he would’ve been a natural addition to the iRest community. He famously said, "The grateful heart sits at a continuous feast." </p> <p>This holiday and beyond, we at iRest Institute wish you a never ending feast. May you find your inborn abundance and savor this life!</p> <p> </p> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-article-type field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field__items"> <div class="field__item"> <a href="/blog/category/community"> <span class="field__item">Community</span> </a> </div> <div class="field__item"> <a href="/blog/category/other"> <span class="field__item">Other</span> </a> </div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-tags field--type-entity-reference field--label-above"> <div class="field__label">Tags</div> <div class="field__items"> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-5" hreflang="en">iRest Teachers</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-6" hreflang="en">iRest Students</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-7" hreflang="en">Other</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-19" hreflang="en">Joy</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-22" hreflang="en">Peace and Well-Being</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-25" hreflang="en">Nondualism</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-12" hreflang="en">Other</a></div> </div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-published-date field--type-datetime field--label-above"> <div class="field__label">Published date</div> <div class="field__item"><time datetime="2020-11-25T12:00:00Z" class="datetime">Wednesday, November 25, 2020 - 12:00</time> </div> </div> <section data-ajax_comment_pager="comment_node_article-3398" class="field field--name-comment-node-article field--type-comment field--label-hidden comment-wrapper"> <div class="comments_ajax_pager_wrap"></div> </section> <div class="node__links"> <ul class="links inline"><li class="comment-forbidden"><a href="/user/login?destination=/blog/community-other/continuous-feast-finding-abundance-nourish-you-lifetime%23comment-form">Log in</a> or <a href="/user/register?destination=/blog/community-other/continuous-feast-finding-abundance-nourish-you-lifetime%23comment-form">register</a> to post comments</li></ul> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-hero-image field--type-entity-reference field--label-above"> <div class="field__label">Hero Image</div> <div class="field__item"> <img loading="lazy" src="/sites/default/files/images/shutterstock_1547501318.jpg" width="5701" height="2982" alt="Feast" typeof="foaf:Image" /> </div> </div> Wed, 25 Nov 2020 08:00:00 +0000 amybess 3398 at https://www.irest.org "For the Common Good": Reflections on Community-Building from Sister Pat Farrell of Santa Sabina Center https://www.irest.org/blog/community-other/common-good-reflections-community-building-sister-pat-farrell-santa-sabina <span class="field field--name-title field--type-string field--label-hidden">&quot;For the Common Good&quot;: Reflections on Community-Building from Sister Pat Farrell of Santa Sabina Center</span> <div class="field field--name-field-teacher field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field__items"> <div class="field__item">13053</div> </div> <span class="field field--name-uid field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden"><a title="View user profile." href="/user/amy-bess-cook" lang="" about="/user/amy-bess-cook" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="" class="username">amybess</a></span> <span class="field field--name-created field--type-created field--label-hidden">Sat, 11/14/2020 - 00:00</span> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field__item"><blockquote> <p> </p> <p><strong><em>“I believe that the community—in the fullest sense: a place and all its creatures—is the smallest unit of health and that to speak of the health of an isolated individual is a contradiction in terms.” </em></strong></p> </blockquote> <blockquote> <p><strong>― Wendell Berry, The Art of the Commonplace: The Agrarian Essays</strong></p> <p> </p> <p><strong><em>“Community is learned.”</em></strong></p> <p><strong>―Sister Pat Farrell, OP</strong></p> <p> </p> </blockquote> <p>Most of us like the idea of community. Are we willing to work for it, though? </p> <p>We want to surround ourselves with people who share our values, folks we can count on through thick and thin. Yet we struggle to coexist with family, neighbors, and coworkers, striving to compromise while also letting our own deepest truth shine. And we realize, sometimes painfully, that the quest for community is never finished, but is an ongoing challenge. </p> <p>In her remarkable career, Dominican Sister Pat Farrell, OP, has faced such challenges over and again. As she prepares to celebrate her 25th jubilee (or holy year) with the Catholic Church, Sister Pat has not only dedicated her life to serving the community around her, but has lived closely in community with fellow sisters along the way. A friend of iRest Institute, Sister Pat serves as hosting manager at Santa Sabina Center in San Rafael, California, where she has helped organize countless iRest retreats. In her role at Santa Sabina, she works with a wide range of groups to “hold space in a way that promotes contemplative ways of being”. </p> <p>According to Sister Pat, hard work is required if we want the benefit of community. “It’s a lot of give and take. A lot of kindness. A lot of forgiveness.”</p> <p>Kindness is important, she says, but it is not enough to edify a community. “If we are faith-filled people walking some kind of spiritual path, do I not want to be kind? ...but that’s where the rubber hits the road.”  Flexibility and a willingness to compromise, she emphasizes, is also required. “All must be negotiated… for the common good.<br />  </p> <p>To know how to live in community—locally or globally—is an increasingly valued skill.  While loneliness and isolation certainly existed prior to the pandemic, says Sister Pat, the health crisis has exacerbated the divide we often feel between one another. To improve our capacity to build community, we must look at its basic building blocks:</p> <ul><li><strong>Rituals:</strong> <em>holding sacred time together</em></li> <li><strong>Chores:</strong> <em>sharing work</em></li> <li><strong>Meetings:</strong> <em>communicating openly</em></li> <li><strong>Celebrations</strong>: <em>cutting loose together</em></li> </ul><p>Also crucial? A rock-solid sense of our individual selves. “As human beings, we’re geared to be in relationship with one another,” says Sister Pat, “but also connected to ourselves.”</p> <p>We at iRest Institute are honored to host a conversation on the theme of “community” with Sister Pat Farrell in our upcoming Sangha Session with Richard Miller on Tuesday, November 17. <a href="https://www.irest.org/live-stream-sangha-sessions-richard-and-stephanie">Register for the 11/17 Sangha Session&gt;</a></p> <p>Meanwhile, we celebrate the rare and beautiful treasure of community you all have helped create, with gratitude to Sister Pat for her years of work, and to each and every one of you who mindfully and skillfully works to build togetherness in the iRest community.<strong><em> Thank you!</em></strong></p> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-article-type field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field__items"> <div class="field__item"> <a href="/blog/category/community"> <span class="field__item">Community</span> </a> </div> <div class="field__item"> <a href="/blog/category/other"> <span class="field__item">Other</span> </a> </div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-tags field--type-entity-reference field--label-above"> <div class="field__label">Tags</div> <div class="field__items"> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-9" hreflang="en">Yoga Teachers</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-10" hreflang="en">Yoga Therapists</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-5" hreflang="en">iRest Teachers</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-6" hreflang="en">iRest Students</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-7" hreflang="en">Other</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-25" hreflang="en">Nondualism</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-12" hreflang="en">Other</a></div> </div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-published-date field--type-datetime field--label-above"> <div class="field__label">Published date</div> <div class="field__item"><time datetime="2020-11-14T12:00:00Z" class="datetime">Saturday, November 14, 2020 - 12:00</time> </div> </div> <section data-ajax_comment_pager="comment_node_article-3393" class="field field--name-comment-node-article field--type-comment field--label-hidden comment-wrapper"> <div class="comments_ajax_pager_wrap"> <article role="article" data-comment-user-id="14900" id="comment-11" class="comment js-comment"> <div class="comment__author-photo"> <span class="user-picture__placeholder"></span> </div> <div class="comment__content"> <header class="comment__header"> <h3 class="comment__author"> Steben Schnell <span class="hidden new" data-comment-timestamp="1613670819"></span></h3> <div class="comment__header-meta"> <span class="comment__permalink"><a href="/comment/11#comment-11" hreflang="en">Permalink</a></span> November 14, 2020 at 9:52am </div> </header> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-comment-body field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field__item"><p>I just re-read Pema Chodron's *Six Kinds of Loneliness*. While I'm never sure I understand anything it seems she is saying not to to run from isolation or being alone. Do not try to cover it up with eating or drinking or watching TV or thinking or doing anything else in particular. She says to just sit and be "content" with isolation. Having endured 7 or 8 months of partial isolation what she says is beginning to get through to me. Does way of looking at things conflict with the formation of Community?</p> <p>Many Thanks<br /> Old-man-way</p> </div> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderLinks" arguments="0=11&amp;1=default&amp;2=en&amp;3=" token="0A85YrcWGCWvxuODug41XsQvMKO0gFynzZGMdBi--mg"></drupal-render-placeholder> </div> </article> <div class="indented"> <article role="article" data-comment-user-id="14917" id="comment-12" class="comment js-comment"> <p class="visually-hidden">In reply to <a href="/comment/11#comment-11" class="permalink" rel="bookmark" hreflang="en">I just re-read Pema Chodron…</a> by <a title="View user profile." href="/user/steben-schnell" lang="" about="/user/steben-schnell" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="" class="username">Old-man-way</a></p> <div class="comment__author-photo"> <span class="user-picture__placeholder"></span> </div> <div class="comment__content"> <header class="comment__header"> <h3 class="comment__author"> Yao t <span class="hidden new" data-comment-timestamp="1613670798"></span></h3> <div class="comment__header-meta"> <span class="comment__permalink"><a href="/comment/12#comment-12" hreflang="en">Permalink</a></span> November 16, 2020 at 9:52am </div> </header> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-comment-body field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field__item"><p>Thanks!</p> <ul></ul></div> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderLinks" arguments="0=12&amp;1=default&amp;2=en&amp;3=" token="Sk0O2QeUMK6QxjnXWQPK6VkeGg4AZNFkU9-Od55fSmg"></drupal-render-placeholder> </div> </article> </div> <article role="article" data-comment-user-id="14917" id="comment-13" class="comment js-comment"> <div class="comment__author-photo"> <span class="user-picture__placeholder"></span> </div> <div class="comment__content"> <header class="comment__header"> <h3 class="comment__author"> Yao t <span class="hidden new" data-comment-timestamp="1613670839"></span></h3> <div class="comment__header-meta"> <span class="comment__permalink"><a href="/comment/13#comment-13" hreflang="en">Permalink</a></span> November 15, 2020 at 9:52am </div> </header> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-comment-body field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field__item"><p>Thanks for the awesome recommendation of Pema Chrodon's!</p> <p>After reading, I feel ultimately it won't conflict although it may seem to conflict from time to time.</p> <p>I also feel you're a young person although your nickname is old-man-way haha.</p> <p>Many thanks,<br /> Yao</p> </div> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderLinks" arguments="0=13&amp;1=default&amp;2=en&amp;3=" token="Ou6y29anVjWqLTSkfLj1VBJgcbZCKOzE9EDLesNaUnY"></drupal-render-placeholder> </div> </article> </div> </section> <div class="node__links"> <ul class="links inline"><li class="comment-forbidden"><a href="/user/login?destination=/blog/community-other/common-good-reflections-community-building-sister-pat-farrell-santa-sabina%23comment-form">Log in</a> or <a href="/user/register?destination=/blog/community-other/common-good-reflections-community-building-sister-pat-farrell-santa-sabina%23comment-form">register</a> to post comments</li></ul> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-hero-image field--type-entity-reference field--label-above"> <div class="field__label">Hero Image</div> <div class="field__item"> <img loading="lazy" src="/sites/default/files/images/shutterstock_144653342%20%281%29.jpg" width="4500" height="3000" alt="Community" typeof="foaf:Image" /> </div> </div> Sat, 14 Nov 2020 08:00:00 +0000 amybess 3393 at https://www.irest.org “Healing is Very Personal”: Insight from Veteran and Sexual Trauma Counselor Renee Champagne Davis https://www.irest.org/blog/interviews-community-other/healing-very-personal-insight-veteran-and-sexual-trauma-counselor <span class="field field--name-title field--type-string field--label-hidden">“Healing is Very Personal”: Insight from Veteran and Sexual Trauma Counselor Renee Champagne Davis</span> <div class="field field--name-field-teacher field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field__items"> <div class="field__item">13053</div> </div> <span class="field field--name-uid field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden"><a title="View user profile." href="/user/amy-bess-cook" lang="" about="/user/amy-bess-cook" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="" class="username">amybess</a></span> <span class="field field--name-created field--type-created field--label-hidden">Sun, 11/08/2020 - 00:00</span> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field__item"><p>As a military veteran, sexual assault survivor, cancer survivor, and mother of three who has completed more than 50 marathons and triathlons, <a href="https://sustainingyouthandfamilies.com/about-me-1">Renee Champagne Davis</a> is an undeniable force. It was reckoning with vulnerability, however, that sparked her awakening and now compels her to guide others toward their own awareness. iRest Meditation, she says, has played a pivotal part in her journey.</p> <p>While serving in the Air Force, Renee was raped. In this experience, she is not alone: <a href="https://www.stripes.com/news/us/pentagon-reports-of-sexual-assault-harassment-in-the-military-have-increased-1.627966">at least 25% </a>of women serving in the U.S. military have been sexually assaulted. Women in the military are more likely to be raped by fellow soldiers than killed in combat. </p> <p>“I remember going to my bunk and crying. Then I woke up, put on my uniform, and went back into the field.” At that time, back in the early 2000s, support for military personnel affected by sexual trauma was very limited, she recalls. </p> <p>In addition, recruits were expected to be self-sufficient, so asking for help did not feel like an option. “We have all these go-getter personalities in the military. I thought,<em> I can’t freakin’ fall apart.</em>’” </p> <p>She didn’t fall apart—but because she was haunted by her trauma, Renee wound up leaving the job she deeply loved. In her new career, she began bringing yoga and health classes to military colleagues. </p> <p>Yet exercise often served as a form of escape, rather than connection. “When you go through trauma, it’s very easy to disconnect,” she says. “I was teaching yoga, but I wasn’t really practicing. There’s a very big difference.”</p> <p>That sense of disconnection heightened in 2007, when Renee was stationed in Germany and her trauma unexpectedly resurfaced. In response, a psychiatrist prescribed medications that ultimately exacerbated her feelings of fear and disbelief, rendering her suicidal. </p> <p>In that dark moment, she reached out to a person she only knew by reputation: iRest Teacher and Trainer Robin Carnes, co-founder of <a href="http://warriorsatease.org/about-us/">Warriors at Ease</a>. Robin helped Renee arrange an iRest training session in California with Richard Miller.</p> <p>The training was extremely challenging for Renee. “I had to lie on my back. I felt really vulnerable,” she says. “I just started crying. I stood up in the middle of the training and went back to Richard [Miller] and said, 'This is bullshit.’”</p> <p>With support, she made it through the event, and with time and practice, her life gradually opened up. In 2008, Renee completed her iRest Level 2 Training and has continued to both use it in her own healing and share it with others. She emphasizes that, through iRest and other modalities, she has found a freedom that prescription drugs simply do not offer.</p> <p>“iRest helped me find my faith, experience love again and connect—really connect—with my family and myself. It’s not easy, and I have to practice, or I end up disconnecting and falling in old patterns.”</p> <p><img alt="Renee Champagne Davis" data-entity-type="file" data-entity-uuid="62e66ff4-23e1-4ec9-898a-ad8df35d2160" src="/sites/default/files/inline-images/Professional-photo-Tidewater1.jpg" width="348" height="537" loading="lazy" /></p> <p>Today, Renee holds a Master’s Degree in Clinical Mental Health from the College of William and Mary, is a 500-hour E-RYT, iRest© Level 2 Teacher, and is a trauma counselor and yoga therapist who partners with national and local organizations, including Warriors At Ease (among many others). </p> <p>“Healing is very personal,” says Renee. “You have to be ready. It’s not just something you go do. You do it when you’re ready to heal and you’re in a safe environment.”</p> <p> </p> <p><a href="https://sustainingyouthandfamilies.com/">Learn more about the powerful work of Renee Champagne Davis here &gt;</a></p> <p><a href="https://www.irest.org/civicrm/contribute/transact?reset=1&amp;id=1">Donate to iRest Institute here&gt;</a></p> <p> </p> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-article-type field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field__items"> <div class="field__item"> <a href="/blog/category/interviews"> <span class="field__item">Interviews</span> </a> </div> <div class="field__item"> <a href="/blog/category/community"> <span class="field__item">Community</span> </a> </div> <div class="field__item"> <a href="/blog/category/other"> <span class="field__item">Other</span> </a> </div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-tags field--type-entity-reference field--label-above"> <div class="field__label">Tags</div> <div class="field__items"> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags" hreflang="en">Emergency Service Personnel</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-8" hreflang="en">Healthcare Workers</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-9" hreflang="en">Yoga Teachers</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-10" hreflang="en">Yoga Therapists</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-11" hreflang="en">Military</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-5" hreflang="en">iRest Teachers</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-6" hreflang="en">iRest Students</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-7" hreflang="en">Other</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-20" hreflang="en">Depression</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-19" hreflang="en">Joy</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-22" hreflang="en">Peace and Well-Being</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-16" hreflang="en">PTSD</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-15" hreflang="en">Sleep</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-14" hreflang="en">Stress</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-13" hreflang="en">Trauma</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-12" hreflang="en">Other</a></div> </div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-published-date field--type-datetime field--label-above"> <div class="field__label">Published date</div> <div class="field__item"><time datetime="2020-11-08T12:00:00Z" class="datetime">Sunday, November 8, 2020 - 12:00</time> </div> </div> <section data-ajax_comment_pager="comment_node_article-3385" class="field field--name-comment-node-article field--type-comment field--label-hidden comment-wrapper"> <div class="comments_ajax_pager_wrap"></div> </section> <div class="node__links"> <ul class="links inline"><li class="comment-forbidden"><a href="/user/login?destination=/blog/interviews-community-other/healing-very-personal-insight-veteran-and-sexual-trauma-counselor%23comment-form">Log in</a> or <a href="/user/register?destination=/blog/interviews-community-other/healing-very-personal-insight-veteran-and-sexual-trauma-counselor%23comment-form">register</a> to post comments</li></ul> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-hero-image field--type-entity-reference field--label-above"> <div class="field__label">Hero Image</div> <div class="field__item"> <img loading="lazy" src="/sites/default/files/images/shutterstock_525676777.jpg" width="5760" height="3840" alt="Healing is Personal" typeof="foaf:Image" /> </div> </div> Sun, 08 Nov 2020 08:00:00 +0000 amybess 3385 at https://www.irest.org Unity of Purpose: iRest Around the World https://www.irest.org/blog/community-other/unity-purpose-irest-around-world <span class="field field--name-title field--type-string field--label-hidden">Unity of Purpose: iRest Around the World</span> <div class="field field--name-field-teacher field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field__items"> <div class="field__item">13053</div> </div> <span class="field field--name-uid field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden"><a title="View user profile." href="/user/amy-bess-cook" lang="" about="/user/amy-bess-cook" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="" class="username">amybess</a></span> <span class="field field--name-created field--type-created field--label-hidden">Thu, 10/29/2020 - 00:00</span> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field__item"><p>Overworked doctors in Wuhan, China. Anxious academics in Utrecht, The Netherlands. Weary first responders in New England. In every corner of the globe, a growing number of people in the midst of these challenging times are discovering the gently transformative power of iRest Meditation. While some folks are cautiously gathering in small, socially distanced groups, far more often, meditation practice and instruction happens online.</p> <p>What does that look like, exactly—and are there benefits to this emerging online connectivity? To find answers, we talked with five iRest teachers in different countries. They described a range of applications of iRest, along with techniques they use in these uncommon circumstances and trends they detect.</p> <p>Take the tour below. Then <a href="https://www.irest.org/online-learning">join an online practice</a> of your own.</p> <h2> </h2> <h2><strong>Margaret Guerra Rojas | Caracas, Venezuela</strong></h2> <p><img alt="Margaret Guerra" data-entity-type="file" data-entity-uuid="3902d8ef-36f9-4bd5-b575-31ce82d8435f" src="/sites/default/files/inline-images/unnamed%20%283%29.jpg" width="348" height="564" loading="lazy" /></p> <blockquote> <p>"The anxiety produced by the pandemic crisis has highlighted the importance of creating meaningful connections during times of social distancing. Offering free meditations online allowed me to bring people from different parts of the world together in a way that reduced the health risks of loneliness and isolation. Our relationships have transcended the limitations of space and time. In this new form of container, we have held our uncertainty, sharing the same emotions and fears while accepting that the world is adjusting to a new reality, and understanding that it is perfectly okay to feel this way.</p> <p>The human experience includes challenges as we navigate the unknown. The way a person reacts to their environment can inform us of their mental and emotional state. It makes a big difference when someone is willing to access a free resource and create a discipline around healing and mindfulness.</p> <p>One of my favorite teachings of Richard Miller is when he says, 'We must take care of our own garden.'  I knew tending my garden meant offering free daily meditations online at a time when the world needed it most."</p> <p><strong><a href="https://www.yogami.space/">Learn more about Margaret and her work &gt;</a></strong></p> <p> </p> </blockquote> <blockquote> </blockquote> <h2>Astrid van Wesenbeeck | Tienhoven (Pr. Utrecht), The Netherlands</h2> <p><img alt="Astrid van Westerbeek" data-entity-type="file" data-entity-uuid="0e390201-99fd-4105-b6e2-0affafd44750" src="/sites/default/files/inline-images/Screen%20Shot%202020-10-27%20at%202.36.56%20PM.png" width="326" height="363" loading="lazy" /></p> <blockquote> <p>"I saw great opportunities in offering online iRest meditation for my colleagues at the National Library. I thought some meditation with a focus on dropping into the body could be of help for our utterly academic organization. </p> <p>So since March 22nd, I meet daily with a handful of colleagues—sometimes 20 sometimes 4—from all working areas and levels in the library. We sit or lie down for 30 minutes, and when we have some time left, we chat about what’s going on. These moments became quite special. </p> <p>One colleague recently said: 'I am living alone, and these meditations give me the opportunity to be with others without having to talk about work. See some faces, look some people in the eye. It really helps in feeling socially engaged.'</p> <p>I recently worked with the home space a bit more. For example: We start with looking around. Let the eyes go through the room, meet objects that are familiar or perhaps forgotten, connect with them, then rest attention on an object you love, gaze with it, explore the periphery of what you see and explore your feeling of being grounded when in connection with that object. I also experimented a bit more with integration of soft somatic movements, because I often hear people say that their bodies become sore after working at home for such a long period.</p> <p>In the end, I always try to make these meditations as nourishing as possible, with a lot of time spending on <em>sankalpa</em>, BodySensing and BreathSensing. When people feel really bad I suggest we do a dyad, I think this offers more space to meet and greet difficult stuff. Also the dyad works perfectly online. It’s altogether very nourishing, for them and for me."</p> </blockquote> <blockquote> <p><a href="http://Www.rijkinstilte.nl">Learn more about Astrid and her work &gt; </a></p> <p> </p> </blockquote> <p> </p> <blockquote> </blockquote> <h2><strong>Dr. Lauren Tober | Byron Bay, Australia</strong></h2> <p><img alt="Dr. Lauren Tober" data-entity-type="file" data-entity-uuid="1f9044e5-ad60-43cc-a5d7-0ac3620e8f22" src="/sites/default/files/inline-images/Dr-Lauren-Tober-laughing-Photo-credit-Drishti-Photography-scaled%20%281%29.jpg" width="348" height="522" loading="lazy" /></p> <blockquote> <p>I've been teaching iRest Meditation online for several years now. My students are all over the world. One of the things I love about sharing meditation online is that students can practice from wherever they are in the world, at whatever time works for them. So the course suits people from all different walks of life, including nurses on shift work, parents with young children, people in corporate jobs, or those living in regional or remote areas who wouldn't otherwise have access to iRest. And they don't even need to get out of their pajamas if they don't want to (which can be handy, as after the class you can roll straight into bed!).  </p> <p>I joke, but actually the feedback I've received from my students is that it's a real bonus to be able to relax where they are after the meditation class. They don't need to get up or drive home after the meditation practice, they can stay exactly where they are. This is especially beneficial for those with sleep difficulties, as they can practice in the evening, and smoothly transition off to bed and then to sleep.</p> <p><strong><a href="http://www.meditationpuresimple.com">Learn more about Lauren and her work&gt;</a></strong></p> </blockquote> <h2>Jing Qian | Huntsville, Alabama, United States, and Wuhan, China</h2> <p><img alt="Jing Qian" data-entity-type="file" data-entity-uuid="6efa7de0-c216-49dd-82c3-8762d7c9085c" src="/sites/default/files/inline-images/FBC413B6-A305-49F7-9DF8-6C31F964A399.jpeg" width="348" height="211" loading="lazy" /></p> <blockquote> <p>"In February 2020, when China was busily fighting coronavirus, Amy Liu contacted. Ms. Liu had a charitable project in China focused on supporting the frontline doctors and nurses trying to save people’s lives. They were very stressed from the devastating situation. She asked me if iRest would like to help.</p> <p>I talked to iRest founder Dr. Richard Miller, who had a very quick response to offer help. After a few online meetings with Ms. Liu, we formed an iRest volunteer group to work with the charitable project. Under Dr. Miller’s guidance, we chose some iRest recordings to support Chinese communities. With another volunteer, I translated the recordings and then recorded again in Chinese language.</p> <p>In March, the articles about iRest and recordings were ready to offer to the healthcare workers. iRest effectively helped the frontline doctors and nurses reduce their stress and helped them sleep better to continue their work. In order to help more Chinese people who were suffering from loss of family members and under significant stress, Ms. Liu put the recordings to the biggest audio platform in China, Himalaya APP. By September, the number of visits on the recordings was nearly 1 million clicks.</p> <p>iRest is continuing to support the Chinese community today."</p> </blockquote> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-article-type field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field__items"> <div class="field__item"> <a href="/blog/category/community"> <span class="field__item">Community</span> </a> </div> <div class="field__item"> <a href="/blog/category/other"> <span class="field__item">Other</span> </a> </div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-tags field--type-entity-reference field--label-above"> <div class="field__label">Tags</div> <div class="field__items"> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags" hreflang="en">Emergency Service Personnel</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-8" hreflang="en">Healthcare Workers</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-9" hreflang="en">Yoga Teachers</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-10" hreflang="en">Yoga Therapists</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-11" hreflang="en">Military</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-5" hreflang="en">iRest Teachers</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-7" hreflang="en">Other</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-12" hreflang="en">Other</a></div> </div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-published-date field--type-datetime field--label-above"> <div class="field__label">Published date</div> <div class="field__item"><time datetime="2020-10-29T12:00:00Z" class="datetime">Thursday, October 29, 2020 - 12:00</time> </div> </div> <section data-ajax_comment_pager="comment_node_article-3380" class="field field--name-comment-node-article field--type-comment field--label-hidden comment-wrapper"> <div class="comments_ajax_pager_wrap"></div> </section> <div class="node__links"> <ul class="links inline"><li class="comment-forbidden"><a href="/user/login?destination=/blog/community-other/unity-purpose-irest-around-world%23comment-form">Log in</a> or <a href="/user/register?destination=/blog/community-other/unity-purpose-irest-around-world%23comment-form">register</a> to post comments</li></ul> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-hero-image field--type-entity-reference field--label-above"> <div class="field__label">Hero Image</div> <div class="field__item"> <img loading="lazy" src="/sites/default/files/images/shutterstock_1228568743.jpg" width="3759" height="2542" alt="Unity of Purpose" typeof="foaf:Image" /> </div> </div> Thu, 29 Oct 2020 07:00:00 +0000 amybess 3380 at https://www.irest.org iRest in Peace: Reflections on Awakening to the Undying Self https://www.irest.org/blog/resources-nondualism-other/irest-peace-reflections-awakening-undying-self <span class="field field--name-title field--type-string field--label-hidden">iRest in Peace: Reflections on Awakening to the Undying Self</span> <div class="field field--name-field-teacher field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field__items"> <div class="field__item">36</div> </div> <span class="field field--name-uid field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden"><a title="View user profile." href="/user/amy-bess-cook" lang="" about="/user/amy-bess-cook" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="" class="username">amybess</a></span> <span class="field field--name-created field--type-created field--label-hidden">Wed, 10/21/2020 - 00:00</span> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field__item"><p>“We don’t have to wait for the end to awaken to what most matters to us,” writes Senior iRest Trainer and Retreat Leader Anne Douglas. Drawing from the tenets of iRest Yoga Nidra Meditation, Anne has developed a gentle support program to help those who are navigating times of loss and transition. “iRest in Peace” includes the following contemplative essay, along with a two-hour webinar offering the opportunity to reframe death as part of a natural cycle. Read more from Anne below and <a href="https://www.irest.org/catalog/product/webinar-irest-peace-meditations-end-life-awakening-undying-self" media_library="Media Library">learn more about the webinar here</a></p> <p><img alt="iRest in Peace: by Anne Douglas" data-entity-type="file" data-entity-uuid="0330051d-7b6a-4b28-b997-b2c5c92ea533" src="/sites/default/files/inline-images/anton-darius-zfqaaue4sEs-unsplash.jpg" width="348" height="220" loading="lazy" /></p> <blockquote> <p><strong>"We have to nourish our insight into impermanence every day.  If we do, we will live more deeply, suffer less, and enjoy life much more." ~Thich Nhat Hanh</strong></p> </blockquote> <p>The ancient practice of yoga nidra is as relevant and impactful today as it was thousands of years ago.  Yoga nidra (or yogic sleep) invites us to “wake up” to the profound well-being that fundamentally abides within. Any devotee of iRest Yoga Nidra Meditation knows the potential of its time-tested practices to nurture the human capacity to meet life’s challenges and encourage resiliency. iRest awakens the experience of resting in peace, and <em>as</em> peace.</p> <p>When facing final days or hours, folks might reflect upon the moments that mattered most—recalling precious offerings of unconditional love, the freedom of forgiveness, or playful encounters with our nearest and dearest. Yet there is no need to wait for the end to awaken to such meaning. iRest in Peace offers a “dress rehearsal” for death that invites you to come to this clarity now, and thereby live life more fully each day. </p> <p>Death dress rehearsals help to soften the fear of death. The more we practice dying, the more fearlessly and fully alive we can become. The abiding peace and imperturbability from our practice begins to manifest more and more in the foreground of our daily experience.</p> <p>Yoga nidra mimics the experience of falling into sleep. In sleep, we lay down our heads and let go of our bodies, and gradually the sense of self goes “off- line”. In iRest, we lay down and progressively feel more deeply, letting go of each layer of experience, opening to profound states of relaxation and ease. We can use this practice of letting go as a metaphor for the surrender that is asked of each of us at the end of life, as body functions gradually shut down. </p> <p>iRest works by guiding us from gross levels of experience to subtle levels of sensations, of brain wave states, and states of consciousness. We thus build capacity to sensitize to qualities of our essential nature that are unchanging and eternal, equanimous, and sublime. In this way, that which was previously elusive can be deeply met and embodied.   </p> <p>As we wake up to the undying, eternal self, let us come to the end of our days free from fear and ready to surrender the cloak of the body-mind, dissolving like a wave into the ocean of consciousness. In that surrender, we can see death not as a tragic end or failure, but as a natural cycle in its completion. The body dies, but the true self is undying.</p> <p> </p> <p>Want to learn more about cultivating peace and waking up to the undying self? Download the full webinar: <a href="https://www.irest.org/catalog/product/webinar-irest-peace-meditations-end-life-awakening-undying-self" media_library="Media Library">iRest in Peace:  Meditations for End of Life &amp; Awakening to the Undying Self</a></p> <p><img alt="iRest in Peace with Anne Douglas" data-entity-type="file" data-entity-uuid="4bf0bcdb-2496-4407-af8f-3429d3f72175" src="/sites/default/files/inline-images/Screen%20Shot%202020-10-21%20at%202.59.32%20PM.png" width="272" height="271" loading="lazy" /></p> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-article-type field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field__items"> <div class="field__item"> <a href="/blog/category/resources"> <span class="field__item">Resources</span> </a> </div> <div class="field__item"> <a href="/blog/category/nondualism"> <span class="field__item">Nondualism</span> </a> </div> <div class="field__item"> <a href="/blog/category/other"> <span class="field__item">Other</span> </a> </div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-tags field--type-entity-reference field--label-above"> <div class="field__label">Tags</div> <div class="field__items"> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags" hreflang="en">Emergency Service Personnel</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-8" hreflang="en">Healthcare Workers</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-9" hreflang="en">Yoga Teachers</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-10" hreflang="en">Yoga Therapists</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-5" hreflang="en">iRest Teachers</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-7" hreflang="en">Other</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-23" hreflang="en">Anxiety</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-20" hreflang="en">Depression</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-19" hreflang="en">Joy</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-22" hreflang="en">Peace and Well-Being</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-17" hreflang="en">Pain Relief</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-25" hreflang="en">Nondualism</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-12" hreflang="en">Other</a></div> </div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-published-date field--type-datetime field--label-above"> <div class="field__label">Published date</div> <div class="field__item"><time datetime="2020-10-21T12:00:00Z" class="datetime">Wednesday, October 21, 2020 - 12:00</time> </div> </div> <section data-ajax_comment_pager="comment_node_article-3377" class="field field--name-comment-node-article field--type-comment field--label-hidden comment-wrapper"> <div class="comments_ajax_pager_wrap"></div> </section> <div class="node__links"> <ul class="links inline"><li class="comment-forbidden"><a href="/user/login?destination=/blog/resources-nondualism-other/irest-peace-reflections-awakening-undying-self%23comment-form">Log in</a> or <a href="/user/register?destination=/blog/resources-nondualism-other/irest-peace-reflections-awakening-undying-self%23comment-form">register</a> to post comments</li></ul> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-hero-image field--type-entity-reference field--label-above"> <div class="field__label">Hero Image</div> <div class="field__item"> <img loading="lazy" src="/sites/default/files/images/ralf-skirr-lUyyXQreahA-unsplash.jpg" width="6000" height="4000" alt="Statue" typeof="foaf:Image" /> </div> </div> Wed, 21 Oct 2020 07:00:00 +0000 amybess 3377 at https://www.irest.org Maps and Souvenirs: Sam Loe on Visual Learning and the Power of Creative Practice https://www.irest.org/blog/interviews-community-resources/maps-and-souvenirs-sam-loe-visual-learning-and-power-creative <span class="field field--name-title field--type-string field--label-hidden">Maps and Souvenirs: Sam Loe on Visual Learning and the Power of Creative Practice</span> <div class="field field--name-field-teacher field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field__items"> <div class="field__item">13053</div> </div> <span class="field field--name-uid field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden"><a title="View user profile." href="/user/amy-bess-cook" lang="" about="/user/amy-bess-cook" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="" class="username">amybess</a></span> <span class="field field--name-created field--type-created field--label-hidden">Sat, 10/17/2020 - 00:00</span> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field__item"><p>“Visual learners are said to make up 65% of a typical class,” writes artist and movement teacher Sam Loe, “yet often in yoga or relaxation classes we mostly rely on auditory and kinesthetic learning styles.” </p> <p>As an iRest Mentor and Supervisor who is trained in both the visual and movement arts, Sam aims to serve that majority with a more holistic approach to learning. In her twenty years of teaching experience, she has worked in universities, hospitals, and health centers; currently she is a faculty member of New Zealand Contemporary Yoga Teacher Training. We recently asked Sam to share her insight on the intersection of creativity and spiritual practice.</p> <p>Read our interview with Sam below. As well, be sure to download the <a href="https://www.irest.org/catalog/product/irest-10-step-protocol-illustrated-poster" media_library="Media Library">lively illustration of the iRest 10-Step Protocol </a>that she created with fellow artist Megan Salole for use at home or in the classroom. All proceeds fund iRest scholarships.</p> <p><img alt="Sam Loe" data-entity-type="file" data-entity-uuid="33913539-730e-4c6c-b743-99fa8b7e5d60" src="/sites/default/files/inline-images/Screen%20Shot%202020-10-16%20at%205.29.42%20PM.png" width="348" height="202" loading="lazy" /></p> <p><img alt="Click to download" data-entity-type="file" data-entity-uuid="f4aabbe2-5ac3-414c-a004-eb36763a8f02" src="/sites/default/files/inline-images/Sam-Loe-Illustration-Watermarked_0%20%281%29.jpg" width="348" height="492" loading="lazy" /></p> <p> </p> <p><strong>Tell us who you are and what you do.</strong></p> <blockquote> <p>I practice and facilitate mindful movement, gentle and restorative yoga, and iRest Yoga Nidra classes, private sessions, retreats, and events in New Zealand. My practice and teaching come from a somatic place of listening deeply within. </p> <p>I have been blessed to have studied in depth with Donna Farhi, and through her guidance, have been opened up to a truly loving and sustainable practice. She introduced me to the integrating practice of yoga nidra. When Richard Miller came to Australia in 2013, Donna and I travelled there to dive into iRest training, which expanded my understanding and exploration of this ancient art. I have continued to study with Richard Miller and the amazing array of iRest teachers and completed my certification with Kirsten Guest in 2018. I feel honoured to now be a Supervisor for others who are completing the Certification journey.</p> </blockquote> <p> </p> <p><strong>Why did you decide to illustrate the iRest 10-Step Protocol?</strong></p> <blockquote> <p>Drawing and making art have been a part of my life ever since I could hold a pencil. My main love is life drawing. I also often draw when I am listening and learning as a way of making sense of the information. Visual imagery is something I have found to be helpful, not just as a student, but also as a teacher. In my classes, I will often draw on the whiteboard or on huge sheets of paper to explain concepts, processes, maps or principles. These have to be scrubbed out at the end of the day and are really just rough sketches. I had wanted to develop these sketches into more sustainable learning resources.</p> <p>Late last year, my good friend <a href="http://www.salole.co.nz">Megan Salole</a> came to stay for a few days. She’s created a niche offering helping people tell complex ideas simply by harnessing the power of illustration. She’s also a member of the League of Live Illustrators, a fun group of creative alchemists who bring ideas to life in real time. People talk, they draw. At workshops, events, and conferences, they produce awe-inspiring illustrations that summarize the ideas as they are spoken. </p> <p>In between our family meals and activities, I was describing to Megan the treasures and facets of iRest. One evening, she took my basic scribbles and expanded them into such a wonderful representation of the main concepts and stages of iRest for me to use in my classes. Her graphics were able to add so much to my basic forms. We thought it would be a <a href="https://www.irest.org/catalog/product/irest-10-step-protocol-illustration-samantha-loe">great resource</a> to offer all those of you sharing iRest.</p> <p> </p> </blockquote> <p><img alt="Sam Loe Drawing" data-entity-type="file" data-entity-uuid="e17959e8-e3b1-4d10-99be-1fa691441cbf" src="/sites/default/files/inline-images/IMG-4235.jpeg" width="348" height="261" loading="lazy" /></p> <p> </p> <p><strong>Folks have different learning styles, and diagrams can help those who learn visually. Would you like to speak to this idea?</strong></p> <blockquote> <p>Pictures activate different parts of the brain than words. They get interpreted more as stories and having a narrative makes memory much easier for most people. Diagrams can be very helpful when learning, but illustration offers another level of nuance, as it can convey feeling and emotion and the essence of an idea. Visual learners are said to make up 65% of a typical class and yet often in yoga or relaxation classes we mostly rely on auditory and kinesthetic learning styles. I encourage yoga teachers to bring in more visual imagery into the classroom, even if it’s showing a photo or sharing images from a book.</p> <p> </p> </blockquote> <p><strong>Are you trained as an artist, or self-taught? Tell us about your visual arts background.</strong></p> <blockquote> <p>My background is in Fine Art and Contemporary Critical Theory and I studied at Goldsmiths University in London. I found the theory and philosophy fascinating and valuable but also inhibiting in terms of my artistic expression. It took quite some time and exploration to reconcile my cognitive processing with the simple joy and connectedness I felt through my natural urge to draw, paint and make art. Did I need to be able to explain it within the modern discourse of the art world? </p> <p>My degree at age 18 was really the beginning of my journey into self-inquiry and exploration of what authentic expression might be as well as what it might mean to be human. This ontological questioning in my experience is also what my yoga practice brings me back to again and again, the journey and mystery that is involved in being human and in fact to be a female human! My final degree show was an installation of animated women superheroes trying to stay still in challenging physical forms or what I now know to be yoga postures. In a way, I was figuring out how to animate life force through a set of hand-drawn stills.</p> <p>I ended up going into the multimedia world, specifically online learning, rather than the art world. This meant finding ways of using visual media including diagrams, maps and illustrations that help people to learn and integrate new material.</p> <p>These days, I have come full circle, returning to engaging with my creativity in the service of relaxation and joy. Simple figure drawings are my preferred expression. I often use these drawings to illustrate my class handouts.</p> </blockquote> <p><img alt="Illustrations by Sam Loe" data-entity-type="file" data-entity-uuid="29d326a9-5145-437d-ad4a-c48d294730b5" src="/sites/default/files/inline-images/Screen%20Shot%202020-10-16%20at%205.21.00%20PM.png" width="348" height="147" loading="lazy" /></p> <p><strong>Describe your own spiritual or meditative practice.</strong></p> <blockquote> <p>I love to explore somatic movements that support my daily activities—mindful movements that help me rest, sit, stand, and walk well. I start every day with a ritual of seated meditation and movement and check in with all my <em>Koshic</em> layers. </p> </blockquote> <blockquote> <p>Many times, it’s my artistic side that guides me in my physical practice, and I will find inspiration from a poem or music. This allows movement to arise through fluid form, perhaps even evolving into dance or just getting really creative with how I’m expressing body shapes and practices. It comes from less of a cognitive space and more of a felt sense and intuition. If family duties allow in the afternoons, I will get quiet with restorative postures or a longer yoga nidra practice.</p> <p>My practice is also guided through the sacred geometry of the <em>yantras</em>. I have been learning more about them with the amazing <em>yantrika </em>Sarah Tomlinson. These ancient forms provide a kind of prelinguistic template that connects me back to universal qualities such as love, kindness and wholeness through color, form, and shape. They also connect me back to the ancient tradition of nondual wisdom. </p> <p> </p> </blockquote> <p><strong>Do you have any comments on the intersection of creativity and spirit?</strong></p> <blockquote> <p>Creativity has always been at the intersection of my yoga practice and connection with Spirit. Shakti unites with Shiva! As <a href="https://www.irest.org/blog/non-dualism/finding-doorway-bliss-lorin-roche-discovering-meditation-his-life-s-work-and">Lorin Roche </a>explains in his commentary on the <em>Vijnana Bhairava Tantra</em>, Shakti is the goddess singing to her lover. She is the dynamic creative power of the universe.</p> <p>I’m also thinking of Matangi, the goddess of art and wisdom who sits regally at the intersection between creativity and spirit, uniting Shakti with Shiva. She is the rebel Saraswati who channels creative energy whilst connecting into the higher teachings of Spirit, but her main job is to make them accessible to all beings.</p> <p>Elizabeth Gilbert, a rebel goddess herself, has an inspiring way of viewing creativity in her book <em>Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear.</em> She opened me up to the possibility of freeing the ego and any sense of the tormented artist that can kick in around coming up with ideas or being creative. She insists that if you’re alive, you’re a creative person!</p> <p>Gilbert has a theory that ideas exist as energetic life forms outside of our individual selves, and when we connect to the source of wonder and magic, we become conduits for inspiration. I love how she encourages a receptivity rather than the ego-driven anxiety that I would feel at times under the pressure of having to be the originator or creator of an idea or object. </p> <p>What a relief to simply open up to receiving the ideas rather than conjuring them up from an egoic mind! This approach brings creativity into conversation with Spirit in such an honoring way and beyond the personality.</p> <p> </p> </blockquote> <p><strong>Is artistic practice meditative, in your own experience?</strong></p> <blockquote> <p>Absolutely, although I have been told in the past by meditation teachers that creative thoughts should be considered a distraction the same as any other thought. I used to try and ignore or suppress creative thoughts along with all the other parts of my "monkeymind", but through iRest and nondual practices I have come to welcome creativity and inspiration into the spacious field of Awareness. Sometimes when I facilitate yoga nidra I will put out an invitation for participants to draw from the meditative state, either at the end or during the practice.</p> <p>The flow state, in which one can be fully absorbed and focused, is often described by artists, dancers, writers, or even athletes as the key to full expression. I experience creativity as an embodied state of meditation and even as a state of pure awareness that requires no analysis. Elizabeth Gilbert speaks of it in this way:</p> <p>“Perhaps creativity’s greatest mercy is this: By completely absorbing our attention for a short and magical spell, it can relieve us temporarily from the dreadful burden of being who we are. Best of all, at the end of your creative adventure, you have a souvenir—something that you made, something to remind you forever of your brief but transformative encounter with inspiration”</p> <p>I love the notion that art can be a souvenir from the land of pure Awareness.</p> <p> </p> </blockquote> <p><strong><a href="https://www.irest.org/catalog/product/irest-10-step-protocol-illustrated-poster" media_library="Media Library">Download the Illustration of the iRest 10-Step Protocol &gt;</a></strong></p> <p><img alt="Click to download" data-entity-type="file" data-entity-uuid="e4ca50ed-90a3-4fc9-bec7-cede0be16977" src="/sites/default/files/inline-images/Sam-Loe-Illustration-Watermarked_0%20%282%29.jpg" width="348" height="492" loading="lazy" /></p> <p><em><a href="https://vimeo.com/417665322">Tune in to Sam’s offering on the iRest #MeditationMonday series &gt;</a></em></p> <p><em><a href="https://samloe.yoga/online/nourishing-yoga-moves/">Explore movement practices with Sam</a> in a video series accompanied by illustrated handouts.</em></p> <p><em><a href="https://manaretreat.com/event/nourish/">Attend the Nourish retreat with Sam this November.</a></em></p> <p> </p> <p> </p> <p> </p> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-article-type field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field__items"> <div class="field__item"> <a href="/blog/category/interviews"> <span class="field__item">Interviews</span> </a> </div> <div class="field__item"> <a href="/blog/category/community"> <span class="field__item">Community</span> </a> </div> <div class="field__item"> <a href="/blog/category/resources"> <span class="field__item">Resources</span> </a> </div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-tags field--type-entity-reference field--label-above"> <div class="field__label">Tags</div> <div class="field__items"> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-9" hreflang="en">Yoga Teachers</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-10" hreflang="en">Yoga Therapists</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-1" hreflang="en">Clinical Psychologists</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-4" hreflang="en">Educators</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-5" hreflang="en">iRest Teachers</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-6" hreflang="en">iRest Students</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-7" hreflang="en">Other</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-23" hreflang="en">Anxiety</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-19" hreflang="en">Joy</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-22" hreflang="en">Peace and Well-Being</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-14" hreflang="en">Stress</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-25" hreflang="en">Nondualism</a></div> </div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-published-date field--type-datetime field--label-above"> <div class="field__label">Published date</div> <div class="field__item"><time datetime="2020-10-17T12:00:00Z" class="datetime">Saturday, October 17, 2020 - 12:00</time> </div> </div> <section data-ajax_comment_pager="comment_node_article-3376" class="field field--name-comment-node-article field--type-comment field--label-hidden comment-wrapper"> <div class="comments_ajax_pager_wrap"></div> </section> <div class="node__links"> <ul class="links inline"><li class="comment-forbidden"><a href="/user/login?destination=/blog/interviews-community-resources/maps-and-souvenirs-sam-loe-visual-learning-and-power-creative%23comment-form">Log in</a> or <a href="/user/register?destination=/blog/interviews-community-resources/maps-and-souvenirs-sam-loe-visual-learning-and-power-creative%23comment-form">register</a> to post comments</li></ul> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-hero-image field--type-entity-reference field--label-above"> <div class="field__label">Hero Image</div> <div class="field__item"> <img loading="lazy" src="/sites/default/files/images/shutterstock_1134619991%20%281%29.jpg" width="3200" height="2216" alt="Maps and Souvenirs" typeof="foaf:Image" /> </div> </div> Sat, 17 Oct 2020 07:00:00 +0000 amybess 3376 at https://www.irest.org Revolution from Within: Yoga for Healing Ethnic and Race-Based Trauma with Dr. Gail Parker https://www.irest.org/blog/community-resources-other/revolution-within-yoga-healing-ethnic-and-race-based-trauma-dr-gail <span class="field field--name-title field--type-string field--label-hidden">Revolution from Within: Yoga for Healing Ethnic and Race-Based Trauma with Dr. Gail Parker</span> <div class="field field--name-field-teacher field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field__items"> <div class="field__item">13053</div> </div> <span class="field field--name-uid field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden"><a title="View user profile." href="/user/amy-bess-cook" lang="" about="/user/amy-bess-cook" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="" class="username">amybess</a></span> <span class="field field--name-created field--type-created field--label-hidden">Sun, 10/04/2020 - 00:00</span> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field__item"><p>In times when citizens of the world press for change, tensions inevitably rise. Along the way, folks working for policy or leadership shifts may become frustrated waiting on the action of others. Yet the most profound change, writes psychologist and certified yoga therapist <a href="https://www.drgailparker.com/">Dr. Gail Parker</a>, comes from within.</p> <p>“Change the world by changing yourself,” Dr. Parker writes in her new book, <em>Restorative Yoga for Ethnic and Race-Based Stress. </em>“Become the change you want to see. That is how you will make a difference.” </p> <p>As president of the <a href="https://blackyogateachersalliance.org/">Black Yoga Teachers Alliance</a>, Dr. Parker has thoroughly analyzed the vast potential of yoga and meditation to heal and transform lives. As the title of her book suggests, her work explores trauma of ethnic and racial origin, which, she emphasizes, we all may hold. </p> <p>“In a racialized world,” she writes, “each of us has wounds based on events of ethnic and race-baced stress that are unacknowledged and therefore unhealed.” </p> <p>In this week’s iRest Sangha Session, Dr. Parker joins founder Richard Miller for a sitting and discussion exploring the heart of her work. <a href="https://www.irest.org/live-stream-sangha-sessions-richard-and-stephanie">Pre-register to join the free session here.</a> </p> <p>In anticipation of the event, we at iRest Institute invite you to become more familiar with her book through the excerpt below, which appears courtesy of Dr. Gail Parker and <a href="https://www.ubcpress.ca/singing-dragon">Singing Dragon / Jessica Kingsley Publishers</a>.</p> <p><img alt="Dr. Gail Parker" data-entity-type="file" data-entity-uuid="215aca26-ff3d-4cdb-8876-d1c9d5f35a1e" src="/sites/default/files/inline-images/Screen_Shot_2020-08-17_at_1.25.09_PM%20%281%29.png" width="348" height="528" loading="lazy" /></p> <blockquote> <h4><strong>The Yoga of Relationship</strong></h4> <p>We are hardwired for connection and motivated to avoid situations that socially exclude. Social exclusion, whether institutional, systemic or personal , conscious or unconscious, intentional or unintentional, is harmful, negatively affecting physical health and psychological well-being. Research has shown, for example, that people who have experienced the humiliation of social exclusion, and who report experiences of emotional loss and rejection early in childhood, are vulnerable to depression and to experiences of physical pain that have no medical explanation, such as fibromyalgia (Eisenberger 2012). Evolutionary history suggests that connection to others is beneficial because it increases our chances of survival by providing protection, safety, and additional resources. These findings should inspire us to think more carefully about the consequences of systematized, ongoing, recurrent ethnic and racial social exclusion and its impact.</p> <p>As yogis, we have amazing tools that we can use to address ethnic and racial wounding and help the world become a better place for everyone. Yoga means union; the connection of body, mind, heart, and soul; the connection of one human being to another. It invites us into relationship with ourselves and with each other, even to those who are different from us. As the yoga community becomes more racially and ethnically diverse, we have an opportunity—actually, an obligation—to create welcoming communities that are culturally aware, supportive, and emotionally safe, and that promote social engagement and enhance well-being for all. But we have to work on ourselves first. This is an inside-out as well as an outside-in job. We live in a culture that is reactive to or in denial about issues associated with race and ethnicity, including cultural context. We have reflexive responses that might express as forms of social exclusion, shutting down a conversation, or minimizing someone else’s pain in an effort to avoid dealing with our own. It can be as simple as diverting eye contact, which we may not think of as harmful but can actually be devastating.</p> <p>Let me give you an example. A former client gave a TED Talk about her journey from abject poverty as a homeless, pregnant teenager eating out of garbage cans, to an abundant life as a well-respected Ph.D. university professor. Hers is a compelling story. But what I remember most about the story she told is this. She said the most painful experience of her life, while she was homeless, was the refusal of people to look at her, to see her, and acknowledge her humanity. In effect rendering her invisible. </p> <p>Let us not make that mistake with one another. As aware yogis, let us do our part to ease the pain of ethnic and racial distress by intentionally practicing the yoga of relationship. Let us be in connection, and conversation with one another, eye to eye, heart to hear, and soul to soul, while honoring one another’s humanity, regardless of racial and ethnic identity. Let this become our culture. This is how we begin to heal the wounds of racial distress, and this is what yoga has to do with it. </p> <p><img alt="Restorative Yoga for Ethnic and Race-Based Trauma" data-entity-type="file" data-entity-uuid="26fdba5d-6779-4640-bfc8-6b3b03f51bae" src="/sites/default/files/inline-images/Screen%20Shot%202020-10-02%20at%206.11.13%20PM.png" width="333" height="500" loading="lazy" /></p> <p>© 2020 Singing Dragon. Reprinted with permission. This article may not be reproduced for any other use without permission.</p> <p> </p> <p> </p> </blockquote> <p> </p> <p> </p> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-article-type field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field__items"> <div class="field__item"> <a href="/blog/category/community"> <span class="field__item">Community</span> </a> </div> <div class="field__item"> <a href="/blog/category/resources"> <span class="field__item">Resources</span> </a> </div> <div class="field__item"> <a href="/blog/category/other"> <span class="field__item">Other</span> </a> </div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-tags field--type-entity-reference field--label-above"> <div class="field__label">Tags</div> <div class="field__items"> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-8" hreflang="en">Healthcare Workers</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-9" hreflang="en">Yoga Teachers</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-10" hreflang="en">Yoga Therapists</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-2" hreflang="en">Social Workers</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-4" hreflang="en">Educators</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-5" hreflang="en">iRest Teachers</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-6" hreflang="en">iRest Students</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-7" hreflang="en">Other</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-19" hreflang="en">Joy</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-22" hreflang="en">Peace and Well-Being</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-13" hreflang="en">Trauma</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-12" hreflang="en">Other</a></div> </div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-published-date field--type-datetime field--label-above"> <div class="field__label">Published date</div> <div class="field__item"><time datetime="2020-10-04T12:00:00Z" class="datetime">Sunday, October 4, 2020 - 12:00</time> </div> </div> <section data-ajax_comment_pager="comment_node_article-3356" class="field field--name-comment-node-article field--type-comment field--label-hidden comment-wrapper"> <div class="comments_ajax_pager_wrap"></div> </section> <div class="node__links"> <ul class="links inline"><li class="comment-forbidden"><a href="/user/login?destination=/blog/community-resources-other/revolution-within-yoga-healing-ethnic-and-race-based-trauma-dr-gail%23comment-form">Log in</a> or <a href="/user/register?destination=/blog/community-resources-other/revolution-within-yoga-healing-ethnic-and-race-based-trauma-dr-gail%23comment-form">register</a> to post comments</li></ul> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-hero-image field--type-entity-reference field--label-above"> <div class="field__label">Hero Image</div> <div class="field__item"> <img loading="lazy" src="/sites/default/files/images/conscious-design-nDnLMXYqOVs-unsplash.jpg" width="6048" height="4024" alt="Revolution from Within" typeof="foaf:Image" /> </div> </div> Sun, 04 Oct 2020 07:00:00 +0000 amybess 3356 at https://www.irest.org “Little and Often”: Savoring Meditation, Bite by Bite https://www.irest.org/blog/research-resources/little-and-often-savoring-meditation-bite-bite <span class="field field--name-title field--type-string field--label-hidden">“Little and Often”: Savoring Meditation, Bite by Bite</span> <div class="field field--name-field-teacher field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field__items"> <div class="field__item">13053</div> </div> <span class="field field--name-uid field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden"><a title="View user profile." href="/user/amy-bess-cook" lang="" about="/user/amy-bess-cook" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="" class="username">amybess</a></span> <span class="field field--name-created field--type-created field--label-hidden">Sat, 09/26/2020 - 00:00</span> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field__item"><p><strong><em>Myth: </em></strong>Meditation only works if you really commit. Monks wake up at 4 a.m. and practice for several hours—and that’s just before breakfast. Go big or go home!</p> <p><strong><em>Reality:</em></strong> Meditation works, even in small bursts. Weaving regular meditation into your life in digestible bites enables you to experience its transformative power. Science says so!</p> <p>Experienced practitioners and newbies alike can be easily overwhelmed by the prospect of integrating meditation into their busy lives. That’s why iRest founder Richard Miller encourages students to practice in small, manageable ways.</p> <p>"You can’t know what an apple is unless you taste it,” Dr. Miller has written in his popular book <em><a href="https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00PMRT32M/ref=dbs_a_def_rwt_hsch_vapi_tkin_p1_i0">The iRest Program for Healing PTSD</a></em>.  “You can’t know the power of iRest Yoga Nidra for health, healing and well-being unless you practice it. Regular practice, little and often, enables you to experience the power of the iRest for achieving optimal health and well-being.” </p> <p>The phrase “little and often” has become a sort of mantra among iRest practitioners. For many, it’s a comforting reminder that every little bit helps. Indeed, it does: <a href="https://positivepsychology.com/benefits-of-meditation/">according to a range of scientific studies</a>, even brief moments of mindfulness can benefit memory function, stress management, depression and anxiety, substance abuse, impulse control, emotional regulation, and other aspects of life.</p> <p>“So, keep reminding yourself,” says Dr. Miller, “Little and often… day by day… everyday” so that iRest becomes your ever-present companion.”</p> <p>Want to experience just how effective a brief meditation can be? Try this seven-minute meditation from Dr. Miller, originally featured in <a href="https://www.yogajournal.com/lifestyle/meditation-tap-sense-unchaning-well-being"><em>Yoga Journal</em></a>. </p> <article class="media media--type-audio media--view-mode-default" data-align="center"><div class="field field--name-field-media-audio-file field--type-file field--label-hidden field__item"> <div class="audio-player"> <audio controls="controls"><source src="/system/files/2021-02/1%20The%20Feeling%20of%20Being%20%281%29.mp3" type="audio/mpeg"></source></audio><a href="/system/files/2021-02/1%20The%20Feeling%20of%20Being%20%281%29.mp3" class="audio-player__download" download=""><svg version="1.1" xmlns="http://www.w3.org/2000/svg" width="17" height="18" viewbox="0 0 17 18"><title>download</title><path fill="#21984e" d="M12.857 13.5c0-0.352-0.291-0.643-0.643-0.643s-0.643 0.291-0.643 0.643 0.291 0.643 0.643 0.643 0.643-0.291 0.643-0.643zM15.429 13.5c0-0.352-0.291-0.643-0.643-0.643s-0.643 0.291-0.643 0.643 0.291 0.643 0.643 0.643 0.643-0.291 0.643-0.643zM16.714 11.25v3.214c0 0.532-0.432 0.964-0.964 0.964h-14.786c-0.532 0-0.964-0.432-0.964-0.964v-3.214c0-0.532 0.432-0.964 0.964-0.964h4.671l1.356 1.366c0.372 0.362 0.854 0.563 1.366 0.563s0.994-0.201 1.366-0.563l1.366-1.366h4.661c0.532 0 0.964 0.432 0.964 0.964zM13.45 5.535c0.1 0.241 0.050 0.522-0.141 0.703l-4.5 4.5c-0.121 0.131-0.291 0.191-0.452 0.191s-0.331-0.060-0.452-0.191l-4.5-4.5c-0.191-0.181-0.241-0.462-0.141-0.703 0.1-0.231 0.331-0.392 0.593-0.392h2.571v-4.5c0-0.352 0.291-0.643 0.643-0.643h2.571c0.352 0 0.643 0.291 0.643 0.643v4.5h2.571c0.261 0 0.492 0.161 0.593 0.392z"></path></svg> Download MP3</a> </div> </div> </article></div> <div class="field field--name-field-article-type field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field__items"> <div class="field__item"> <a href="/blog/category/research"> <span class="field__item">Research</span> </a> </div> <div class="field__item"> <a href="/blog/category/resources"> <span class="field__item">Resources</span> </a> </div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-tags field--type-entity-reference field--label-above"> <div class="field__label">Tags</div> <div class="field__items"> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-6" hreflang="en">iRest Students</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-7" hreflang="en">Other</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-19" hreflang="en">Joy</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-22" hreflang="en">Peace and Well-Being</a></div> </div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-published-date field--type-datetime field--label-above"> <div class="field__label">Published date</div> <div class="field__item"><time datetime="2020-09-26T12:00:00Z" class="datetime">Saturday, September 26, 2020 - 12:00</time> </div> </div> <section data-ajax_comment_pager="comment_node_article-3355" class="field field--name-comment-node-article field--type-comment field--label-hidden comment-wrapper"> <div class="comments_ajax_pager_wrap"></div> </section> <div class="node__links"> <ul class="links inline"><li class="comment-forbidden"><a href="/user/login?destination=/blog/research-resources/little-and-often-savoring-meditation-bite-bite%23comment-form">Log in</a> or <a href="/user/register?destination=/blog/research-resources/little-and-often-savoring-meditation-bite-bite%23comment-form">register</a> to post comments</li></ul> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-hero-image field--type-entity-reference field--label-above"> <div class="field__label">Hero Image</div> <div class="field__item"> <img loading="lazy" src="/sites/default/files/images/shutterstock_1095105608.jpg" width="5941" height="3966" alt="Little and Often" typeof="foaf:Image" /> </div> </div> Sat, 26 Sep 2020 07:00:00 +0000 amybess 3355 at https://www.irest.org “The Guru is Within”: Insight from Musician and Author Justin Michael Williams https://www.irest.org/blog/interviews-community-other/guru-within-insight-musician-and-author-justin-michael-williams <span class="field field--name-title field--type-string field--label-hidden">“The Guru is Within”: Insight from Musician and Author Justin Michael Williams</span> <div class="field field--name-field-teacher field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field__items"> <div class="field__item">13053</div> </div> <span class="field field--name-uid field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden"><a title="View user profile." href="/user/amy-bess-cook" lang="" about="/user/amy-bess-cook" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="" class="username">amybess</a></span> <span class="field field--name-created field--type-created field--label-hidden">Sat, 09/19/2020 - 00:00</span> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field__item"><p>As the crow flies, the distance between the Oakland suburb where Justin Michael Williams spent his childhood and his more recent Los Angeles home is not vast—but his journey has been epic. Raised by a single mother amid layers of violence and poverty, Justin beat considerable odds to rise as a recording artist, author, and motivational speaker who is committed to uplifting folks most in need. Along his path, meditation has served as an “integration ground”, he says, where he can bring together the threads of his wide-ranging life experiences. </p> <p>Originally from Pittsburg, California, Justin rode out of his low-income neighborhood on a full academic scholarship to UCLA. Once in Los Angeles, he discovered yoga and ventured to try a meditation class, too—but emphatically hated it. The same day of his first failed meditation class, he wound up at a party with renowned spiritual teacher Lorin Roche, an encounter he describes as ”life changing”. This chance encounter led to a three-year apprenticeship with Lorin and a new life direction.</p> <p>Justin penned <em><a href="https://www.justinmichaelwilliams.com/stay-woke-give-back" target="_blank">Stay Woke: A Meditation Guide for the Rest of Us</a></em> for audiences that might not typically gravitate toward meditation. The book has been called “godsend” by Jon Kabat-Zinn and "clear, empowering, practical, and joyful” by Jack Kornfield. </p> <p>We at <a href="http://www.irest.org">iRest Institute</a> asked the charismatic and multitalented Justin to share more of his perspective (below). As well, he joined Richard Miller and Kamala Berrio-Hayward for a recent Sangha Session. <a href="https://vimeo.com/456191554">Replay the session here&gt;</a></p> <p><img alt="Stay Woke" data-entity-type="file" data-entity-uuid="57c54f59-66c2-4a3c-b6a0-028734c3a719" src="/sites/default/files/inline-images/Screen%20Shot%202020-09-18%20at%2010.02.16%20AM.png" width="348" height="451" loading="lazy" /></p> <p> </p> <p><strong>What is Freedom Meditation and why is it so powerful?</strong></p> <blockquote> <p>Meditation is not about relaxing. It's about becoming more alive. Becoming more alive means having the full capacity to paint with all the colors on our emotional palette and on the palette of our lives.</p> <p>When I’m teaching, I don’t actually tell people what to do. I give them ingredients and a recipe and then invite them to use as much or as little of those ingredients as they want. This can include how long they meditate, the mantra, what they meditate with, or what their practice is focused on. This way, people can really understand that they have the agency and answers within them and that ultimately the guru is within them. </p> <p> </p> </blockquote> <p><strong>Your book is subtitled "A Meditation Guide for the Rest of Us". Who is "the rest of us" and why are you compelled to reach such an audience? </strong></p> <p><img alt="Stay Woke Page 3" data-entity-type="file" data-entity-uuid="b6b631d7-3fca-4333-b8cb-6a4f01070d98" src="/sites/default/files/inline-images/stay%20woke%20-%20page%203.jpg" width="348" height="450" loading="lazy" /></p> <blockquote> <p>So many of us have been taught that meditation is something that is disconnected from the reality of our lives; or that we do to escape from our lives. But meditation helps us become more of who we really are. </p> </blockquote> <blockquote> <p>What the world needs now, more than ever, is for all of us—the conscious people, the spiritual people, the woke people, those of us who believe in justice and equality, and  people of all colors, genders, and social and economic identities—to come together, to step into the full power of who we are. </p> <p> </p> </blockquote> <p><strong>Can you speak to why you are passionate about reaching audiences of color?</strong></p> <blockquote> <p>What I have found, historically, is that many of these practices—meditation and mindfulness, crystals and astrology and tarot cards, and pretty much all of the spiritual practices that we do in our community, come originally from people of color. </p> <p>At some point in history, these practices got demonized, colonized, corporatized, and then sold back to us in a way that we often feel like “Oh, that’s not for us!” in a way that we can't relate to. So it’s an honor for me to play a role in bringing these tools back to our communities. </p> <p>When people come to these practices, they feel like they're coming home to themselves. This is essential for all of us: that we come home to ourselves.</p> <p> </p> </blockquote> <p><strong>How does your style and approach confront the issue of spiritual bypassing?</strong></p> <blockquote> <p>I have a section of the book called “The Magic is in the Mess”. People think that meditation is supposed to make you feel good—and I think that's a lie. Meditation is supposed to make you feel, period.</p> <p>We often have to push things down to survive in the very real world we're living in. But if we keep pushing things down, they seep into our lives in places where they don't belong. I invite people to welcome their challenging emotions and dive deep into the shadows so that we can learn why it’s all happening and release it.</p> <p>What doesn't heal repeats. If we bypass it, it just keeps going, in ourselves, in our lives—same cycles, same bullshit, over and over. If we don’t heal it, we pass it to the next generation. So we have to do our best here!<br />  </p> </blockquote> <p><strong>Talk more about what “toxic” means. That word gets thrown around a lot these days. You say that nothing in the universe is toxic. How is the word useful, and when is it less so?</strong></p> <blockquote> <p>I don’t use the book to shame or blame people in whatever habits they’re doing. I don’t think it works, and I don’t think it’s useful.</p> <p>What I do is invite readers to look at any habit in their life—what they’re eating, the thoughts they’re having, how they spend their time, even things that are seemingly benign—and I ask a different question. Is that habit or thing taking me closer to who I want to become, or further away?</p> <p>That’s it. There’s no middle ground. Every choice we make, every action we take, every thought that we have, everything that we do, is taking us toward our vision or further away from it. One of my aims is to help people look at the ways in which we become our own poison.</p> </blockquote> <p> </p> <p><strong>Does meditation practice shape your musicianship, and vice versa? Have you felt that meditation has changed your artistry, and if so, how?</strong></p> <blockquote> <p>My entire practice has informed my artistry and my best artistry has come from my practice. Music for me is not just about art or entertainment. Music can minister into our hearts and bodies. My mission with music is interwoven and integrated into everything I do. It has to go beyond words and be about feeling, embodying, going deep within where change really happens. Music is a key that unlocks the door to the space within us that activates change.</p> </blockquote> <p> </p> <p><strong>Why is it helpful to find a personal mantra? How does your book help folks do that? </strong></p> <blockquote> <p>The real point is to realize that the guru is inside of us. So often we are told that we have all the answers within, but no one ever tells us how to find them. </p> <p>When people source the answers from within, they usually end up enjoying their practice much more because they get to be with something they love. Meditation, then, turns into a treat. It’s like taking a vacation with yourself; having a moment to fill yourself up with the energy that you really want.</p> <p>In guiding this process, I’ve heard so many mantras—everything from the typical “Love”, “Peace”, and “Discipline”, to things like “Beyonce” and “Salty Rocks”!  It's super important that people form mantras in their own native tongue; in their own languages. </p> <p>There was someone who I was working with whose mantra was  “I am the sun” but it wasn’t connecting. I realized his native tongue was Spanish, so he changed it to “<em>Soy el sol brilliante.</em>” It changed everything. And suddenly, he loved his practice.<br />  </p> </blockquote> <p><strong>What is your own meditation practice like?</strong></p> <blockquote> <p>Prayer is when you speak to your source of higher power and meditation is when you listen to the messages coming back to you. I practice every morning. It's the first thing that I do--I check in with myself and with spirit before I check my phone, for sure! My practice is the most important thing I do in a day because it plugs me into the right energy center.</p> <p>I encourage people to practice when they can and remember that meditation is not some extra thing that you’re doing to take a break from your life. It's what we do to become more alive.</p> </blockquote> <p> </p> <p><a href="https://www.justinmichaelwilliams.com/stay-woke-give-back" target="_blank">Learn more about Justin's work and find his book for sale&gt;</a></p> <p><a href="https://vimeo.com/456191554">Replay our recent Sangha Session featuring Justin Michael Williams, Kamala Berrio-Hayward, and Richard Miller&gt; </a></p> <p><br /><br /><br /><br />  </p> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-article-type field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field__items"> <div class="field__item"> <a href="/blog/category/interviews"> <span class="field__item">Interviews</span> </a> </div> <div class="field__item"> <a href="/blog/category/community"> <span class="field__item">Community</span> </a> </div> <div class="field__item"> <a href="/blog/category/other"> <span class="field__item">Other</span> </a> </div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-tags field--type-entity-reference field--label-above"> <div class="field__label">Tags</div> <div class="field__items"> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-9" hreflang="en">Yoga Teachers</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-10" hreflang="en">Yoga Therapists</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-2" hreflang="en">Social Workers</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-5" hreflang="en">iRest Teachers</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-6" hreflang="en">iRest Students</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-7" hreflang="en">Other</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-12" hreflang="en">Other</a></div> </div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-published-date field--type-datetime field--label-above"> <div class="field__label">Published date</div> <div class="field__item"><time datetime="2020-09-19T12:00:00Z" class="datetime">Saturday, September 19, 2020 - 12:00</time> </div> </div> <section data-ajax_comment_pager="comment_node_article-3352" class="field field--name-comment-node-article field--type-comment field--label-hidden comment-wrapper"> <div class="comments_ajax_pager_wrap"></div> </section> <div class="node__links"> <ul class="links inline"><li class="comment-forbidden"><a href="/user/login?destination=/blog/interviews-community-other/guru-within-insight-musician-and-author-justin-michael-williams%23comment-form">Log in</a> or <a href="/user/register?destination=/blog/interviews-community-other/guru-within-insight-musician-and-author-justin-michael-williams%23comment-form">register</a> to post comments</li></ul> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-hero-image field--type-entity-reference field--label-above"> <div class="field__label">Hero Image</div> <div class="field__item"> <img loading="lazy" src="/sites/default/files/images/Webpage.jpg" width="6667" height="2083" alt="The Guru is Within: Justin Michael Williams" typeof="foaf:Image" /> </div> </div> Sat, 19 Sep 2020 07:00:00 +0000 amybess 3352 at https://www.irest.org iRest for First Responders: A Retired Firefighter Paramedic Saves Lives in New Ways https://www.irest.org/blog/interviews-community-other/irest-first-responders-retired-firefighter-paramedic-saves-lives <span class="field field--name-title field--type-string field--label-hidden">iRest for First Responders: A Retired Firefighter Paramedic Saves Lives in New Ways</span> <div class="field field--name-field-teacher field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field__items"> <div class="field__item">13053</div> </div> <span class="field field--name-uid field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden"><a title="View user profile." href="/user/amy-bess-cook" lang="" about="/user/amy-bess-cook" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="" class="username">amybess</a></span> <span class="field field--name-created field--type-created field--label-hidden">Sat, 09/05/2020 - 00:00</span> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field__item"><p>Transformation can be painful—but its rewards, immense. Just ask retired firefighter paramedic, executive coach, and iRest trainee <a href="https://www.johnrchristy.com/">John Christy</a>.</p> <p>After dedicating most of his career to safeguarding civilians, John shifted his focus dramatically to supporting the well-being of his colleagues. A first responder since age 18, he had been a stalwart leader of the San Francisco Fire Department when he sustained serious injury in the line of duty. The dark days that followed brought John to a turning point.</p> <p>“I wound up addicted to alcohol and opiates. It got bad,” he says. “So I asked for help from the SFFD peer support team. It was my last call before suicide.” </p> <p>With help, his life began to change. “Meditation and EMDR saved my ass,” he says plainly.</p> <p>Then, even as further tragedy struck, an opportunity for leadership emerged. In 2011, two firefighters were killed in a house fire in San Francisco. So many first responders needed emotional support that the public system became overwhelmed. John’s own painful experience allowed him to guide his colleagues.</p> <p>“People started coming to me organically. I wound up joining, then leading the San Francisco Fire Department’s stress unit—or 'peer support team'—and rebuilding it to include more resources for mental health resilience and post-traumatic stress.”</p> <p> </p> <p><strong>First Responders and the “Oh Shit” Moment</strong></p> <p>Since, John has helped countless peers who are experiencing workplace trauma, either working on the scene of critical incidents or in the weeks or months that follow. </p> <p>The first step in his work is to hold space—physical and otherwise—for the first responder to acknowledge their emotional state. “The goal is to get them to talk about their feelings. We talk about what we call the ‘oh shit moment’. Maybe it’s that you’ve found a dead kid. Maybe it’s that you thought you’d die yourself.”</p> <p>He facilitates the conversation in a way to help the colleague feel safe. “There is no crosstalk,” says John, “no operational debriefing, no investigators present.” </p> <p>Once the colleague feels heard, John may either offer guidance or refer them to a specialist. “We talk about PTSD. I try to get them to understand that they have experienced trauma, an emotional injury.” </p> <p>Importantly, John emphasizes that drugs or alcohol will compound the problem.</p> <p>“I offer to send them home,” John says, “like an athlete injured on the field. Of course, only that person knows if they really need to go home. So I try to encourage them to check in with themselves to make that decision.”</p> <p> </p> <p><strong>The Power and Potential of iRest </strong></p> <p>What is the place of iRest in this work? John sees great possibilities. </p> <p>By now, he is a longtime meditator and particular fan of the binaural beats method. When he discovered iRest, however, he found he could go deeply into his practice, more quickly than ever. In part, he attributes this to its physicality.</p> <p>“iRest helps because of the focus on nondualism. You’re focused on the body, and the separate self disengages.” As first responders are often working in a highly physical state, notes John, iRest is an appropriate and effective tool.</p> <p>Now taking the iRest Teacher Training, he is eager to explore the practice and share it with others—particularly young firefighter recruits, police officers, and paramedics. He champions the concept that building mental health shapes a better work culture.</p> <p>“If it gets as dark for them as it was for me,” he says, “there’s no way they’ll make it through their career. The ones that last are the ones who are mindful.”</p> <p><img alt="John Christy" data-entity-type="file" data-entity-uuid="17beb8fe-b985-4afd-a463-dd03d54d5459" src="/sites/default/files/inline-images/JohnChristy2.jpg" width="348" height="522" loading="lazy" /></p> <p><u>Ways to Support First Responders</u></p> <ul><li>Say Thank You</li> <li><a href="https://www.nfrf.org/stairclimb">Donate to National First Responders Fund</a></li> <li><a href="https://www.irest.org/civicrm/contribute/transact?reset=1&amp;id=1">Support iRest Scholarships for First Responders</a></li> </ul></div> <div class="field field--name-field-article-type field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field__items"> <div class="field__item"> <a href="/blog/category/interviews"> <span class="field__item">Interviews</span> </a> </div> <div class="field__item"> <a href="/blog/category/community"> <span class="field__item">Community</span> </a> </div> <div class="field__item"> <a href="/blog/category/other"> <span class="field__item">Other</span> </a> </div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-tags field--type-entity-reference field--label-above"> <div class="field__label">Tags</div> <div class="field__items"> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags" hreflang="en">Emergency Service Personnel</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-8" hreflang="en">Healthcare Workers</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-11" hreflang="en">Military</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-7" hreflang="en">Other</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-12" hreflang="en">Other</a></div> </div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-published-date field--type-datetime field--label-above"> <div class="field__label">Published date</div> <div class="field__item"><time datetime="2020-09-05T12:00:00Z" class="datetime">Saturday, September 5, 2020 - 12:00</time> </div> </div> <section data-ajax_comment_pager="comment_node_article-3340" class="field field--name-comment-node-article field--type-comment field--label-hidden comment-wrapper"> <div class="comments_ajax_pager_wrap"></div> </section> <div class="node__links"> <ul class="links inline"><li class="comment-forbidden"><a href="/user/login?destination=/blog/interviews-community-other/irest-first-responders-retired-firefighter-paramedic-saves-lives%23comment-form">Log in</a> or <a href="/user/register?destination=/blog/interviews-community-other/irest-first-responders-retired-firefighter-paramedic-saves-lives%23comment-form">register</a> to post comments</li></ul> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-hero-image field--type-entity-reference field--label-above"> <div class="field__label">Hero Image</div> <div class="field__item"> <img loading="lazy" src="/sites/default/files/images/shutterstock_143200246_0.jpg" width="5616" height="3744" alt="iRest for First Responders" typeof="foaf:Image" /> </div> </div> Sat, 05 Sep 2020 07:00:00 +0000 amybess 3340 at https://www.irest.org The Power of Gazing and Dyad Meditation: An Experiment by Amnesty International https://www.irest.org/blog/research-resources-nondualism-other/power-gazing-and-dyad-meditation-experiment-amnesty <span class="field field--name-title field--type-string field--label-hidden">The Power of Gazing and Dyad Meditation: An Experiment by Amnesty International</span> <div class="field field--name-field-teacher field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field__items"> <div class="field__item">29</div> </div> <span class="field field--name-uid field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden"><a title="View user profile." href="/user/amy-bess-cook" lang="" about="/user/amy-bess-cook" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="" class="username">amybess</a></span> <span class="field field--name-created field--type-created field--label-hidden">Tue, 09/01/2020 - 00:00</span> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field__item"><p>In an era seemingly dominated by conflict and division, that which unites us offers cause for celebration. Dyad meditation is a tool, often integrated into iRest practice and events, that can transform human relations by inviting us to simultaneously connect with our own inner “source” and the greater “Source” that links all of us. </p> <p>In the dyad format, two people gaze into one another’s eyes, focusing on a single question or point of contemplation. This approach traces back through history: Rumi, for example, locked himself away with his teacher Shams for a full month to practice sacred gazing. More recently, research by <a href="https://news.berkeley.edu/2015/02/12/love-in-the-lab/">American psychologist Arthur Aron</a> showed that a reconciliation between two strangers could readily happen if they looked into one another’s eyes for four minutes. </p> <p>In 2016, Aron’s work compelled Amnesty International to direct <a href="https://www.amnesty.org/en/latest/news/2016/05/look-refugees-in-the-eye/">this experimental film</a> highlighting that seeing the world through another person's eyes is always beneficial.  Conceived in Poland and produced in Berlin, “Look Beyond Borders" chronicles the meeting of European citizens with refugees who have been in the country for one year or less. For two days, its creators set up cameras near Checkpoint Charlie, the now-closed point where millions of refugees crossed between East Berlin and West Berlin during the Cold War. They asked both refugees (especially from Syria) and Europeans (Poles, Italians, Germans and Belgians) to sit with one another for an extended period. No scenes were pre-arranged, and the participants had never met. </p> <p>The resulting short film is a powerful testimony to the idea that gazing can significantly bring two people closer together. “Look Beyond Borders” not only conveys the dynamic spontaneity of human chemistry, but shows that people who are in theory foreign to each other and from different cultures can become deeply close and inspiring to one another. Borders exist between countries, not between human beings.</p> <p>We clearly do not always have the option to practice a fully developed dyad meditation with the strangers we encounter. Yet we can, whenever possible, look our fellow humans in the eye and hold space for their unique experiences and our shared humanity, too. </p> <p> </p> <p>Additional Resources:</p> <p><a href="https://www.simonandschuster.com/books/The-Spiritual-Practices-of-Rumi/Will-Johnson/9781594772009"><em>The Spiritual Practices of Rumi </em></a> | Will Johnson</p> <p><em><a href="https://doi.org/10.1016/0092-6566(89)90020-2">Looking and loving: The effects of mutual gaze on feelings of romantic love</a> | </em>Joan Kellerman, James Lewis, James D. Laird</p> <p><a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JTQTDfxBaoo">Gazing vs. staring, as explained by Robert Epstein</a></p> <p> </p> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-article-type field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field__items"> <div class="field__item"> <a href="/blog/category/research"> <span class="field__item">Research</span> </a> </div> <div class="field__item"> <a href="/blog/category/resources"> <span class="field__item">Resources</span> </a> </div> <div class="field__item"> <a href="/blog/category/nondualism"> <span class="field__item">Nondualism</span> </a> </div> <div class="field__item"> <a href="/blog/category/other"> <span class="field__item">Other</span> </a> </div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-tags field--type-entity-reference field--label-above"> <div class="field__label">Tags</div> <div class="field__items"> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-9" hreflang="en">Yoga Teachers</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-10" hreflang="en">Yoga Therapists</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-1" hreflang="en">Clinical Psychologists</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-5" hreflang="en">iRest Teachers</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-6" hreflang="en">iRest Students</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-7" hreflang="en">Other</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-19" hreflang="en">Joy</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-22" hreflang="en">Peace and Well-Being</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-25" hreflang="en">Nondualism</a></div> </div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-published-date field--type-datetime field--label-above"> <div class="field__label">Published date</div> <div class="field__item"><time datetime="2020-09-01T12:00:00Z" class="datetime">Tuesday, September 1, 2020 - 12:00</time> </div> </div> <section data-ajax_comment_pager="comment_node_article-3335" class="field field--name-comment-node-article field--type-comment field--label-hidden comment-wrapper"> <div class="comments_ajax_pager_wrap"></div> </section> <div class="node__links"> <ul class="links inline"><li class="comment-forbidden"><a href="/user/login?destination=/blog/research-resources-nondualism-other/power-gazing-and-dyad-meditation-experiment-amnesty%23comment-form">Log in</a> or <a href="/user/register?destination=/blog/research-resources-nondualism-other/power-gazing-and-dyad-meditation-experiment-amnesty%23comment-form">register</a> to post comments</li></ul> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-hero-image field--type-entity-reference field--label-above"> <div class="field__label">Hero Image</div> <div class="field__item"> <img loading="lazy" src="/sites/default/files/images/shutterstock_435388555.jpg" width="5760" height="3840" alt="Dyad" typeof="foaf:Image" /> </div> </div> Tue, 01 Sep 2020 07:00:00 +0000 amybess 3335 at https://www.irest.org Finding A Doorway into Bliss: Lorin Roche on Discovering Meditation, His Life’s Work, and The Radiance Sutras https://www.irest.org/blog/interviews-community-nondualism/finding-doorway-bliss-lorin-roche-discovering-meditation-his <span class="field field--name-title field--type-string field--label-hidden">Finding A Doorway into Bliss: Lorin Roche on Discovering Meditation, His Life’s Work, and The Radiance Sutras </span> <div class="field field--name-field-teacher field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field__items"> <div class="field__item">13053</div> </div> <span class="field field--name-uid field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden"><a title="View user profile." href="/user/amy-bess-cook" lang="" about="/user/amy-bess-cook" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="" class="username">amybess</a></span> <span class="field field--name-created field--type-created field--label-hidden">Sat, 08/22/2020 - 00:00</span> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field__item"><p>Long before he was an influential scholar and teacher, Lorin Roche was a carefree surfer and student. While in school at the University of California at Irvine, Roche signed up to be a subject in a social sciences experiment that involved regularly sitting alone for hours in the dark. There, he discovered a newfound “wonder and delight. It was as if my entire previous life had taken place in a mild sleep state, and now I was fully alert.” </p> <p>Thus began a lifelong quest to conjure that bliss and share it with others, too. As part of this work, Roche spent 27 years interpreting an ancient Sanskrit text, the Vijnana Bhairava Tantra—efforts that culminated in the publication of <em>The Radiance Sutras</em>, a popular book reminding seekers that ecstasy comes in many forms. </p> <p>“There are many types of people in the world,” says Roche, “and some of them have different doorways into meditation. Some people are only comfortable meditating outdoors, with their eyes open. Others need to dance first, to get their yah yahs out, and then, when the music and movement have created a sweet hum in the body, they can sit down or lie down and do body sensing with the afterglow of the music and dance.”</p> <p><em>Lorin Roche will be speaking in conversation with iRest founder Richard Miller in our next free community Sangha Session this Tuesday, August 25th, at 4 p.m PST USA. <a href="https://www.irest.org/live-stream-sangha-sessions-richard-and-stephanie">We invite you to join us for the livestreaming conversation here.</a></em></p> <p><img alt="The Radiance Sutras" data-entity-type="file" data-entity-uuid="13576a02-67a0-4f00-a07d-3284c740c772" src="/sites/default/files/inline-images/2418_360x%20%281%29.jpg" width="348" height="522" loading="lazy" /></p> <p> </p> <p><strong>When you describe your discovery of meditation, it almost sounds like you fell into it by accident. Would you like to share how that happened?</strong></p> <p>It was total luck. And I just fell in. Right now, my hair stands on end a little to think about it.</p> <p>In 1968, I was an overly serious and anxious freshman at the University of California at Irvine. Working my way through school. I mowed the greens at the nearby golf course every day before dawn. The department I was in, Social Sciences, had a requirement that you had to participate in lab experiments every quarter. This was partly because the researchers needed guinea pigs for their experiments, and partly because they wanted students to get out into the field and do things related to their studies. The attitude at UCI Social Sciences was, <em>Hey, if you think you might want to be a psychologist, why don’t you go volunteer to help out at a community clinic? Go make yourself useful, don’t just read books.</em></p> <p>One afternoon when I was in class, a graduate student with a clipboard came in to sign people up for a brain-wave biofeedback study. I needed to get my lab time for the quarter, so signed on. Learning to control your brain waves by looking at flashing lights sounded interesting. Also, they paid more than I was making mowing the greens at a nearby golf course. </p> <p>By what turned out to be incredible luck, by the flip of a coin, I was selected to be a control subject in the study. </p> <p><img alt="Lorin Roche as an early seeker at UC Irvine" data-entity-type="file" data-entity-uuid="95a4c378-02d2-48ca-a4da-03502c992175" src="/sites/default/files/inline-images/Lorin%20suit.jpeg" width="348" height="464" loading="lazy" /></p> <p>I received no instructions whatsoever.They just wired me up, with electroencephalogram (EEG) wires stuck all over my head and then left in total darkness in a soundproofed room in the physiology lab. I remember the first day in the lab, when the research assistant stuck the EEG conductive paste all over my skull, attached the wires and on the way out the door said, “I’ll be back in a couple of hours. Try to not move much, it’ll rip the wires off.” </p> <p>At the time, I had never heard of meditation. I had no preconceptions at all. Not knowing what else to do, I simply paid attention to the darkness and silence. Gradually my senses opened up and I seemed to be waking up in some new way. The sense of who I am melted into the darkness. There was a sense of relief as I merged with blackness and infinity and entered a world of spacious peace. I had the feeling of being able to breathe freely, perhaps more than ever in my life except while surfing. And I had never in my life felt so peaceful. There were so many perceptions to notice because I was wide awake inside and had no thoughts at all. Space itself seemed to be made out of harmony. </p> <p>Then the research assistant came back and took the wires off. When I walked out of the lab into the sunny California afternoon, I felt refreshed and wonderful. I just felt like myself—more relaxed than I had ever been, even after a day of surfing. I had spent most of my life surfing, and was actually gestated on a surfboard—both my mother and father were avid surfers in the 1940s and 1950s. In Southern California, the ocean is cold most of the year, so I had adapted to going in and out of freezing water, which is stunning and refreshing. The state I was in now, after the hours in the lab, was like that but much more intense. </p> <p>I felt <strong><em>awake. </em></strong>And in wonder and delight. It was as if my entire previous life had taken place in a mild sleep state, and now I was fully alert. It was as if I had never seen the world before, and everything alive seemed to glow, especially the trees. I began to appreciate every detail of light, every touch of air, every sound, with extraordinary clarity. Light itself seemed soluble, an elixir I was drinking in through my eyes and the pores of my skin. </p> <p>The perceptions seemed natural—this is the way the world has always been—but I had been too oblivious to notice. I was very much in my body, aware of the current of life flowing through me, and at the same time I could feel an extended sense of touch reaching out in all directions. I was in love with existence. I did not feel enlightened at all, or superior to anyone, or more awake than anyone. The opposite—and this was somehow characteristic of my state—I had the feeling that everyone else already knew, and I was the one who was late to the party. </p> <p>For weeks I went to the lab each afternoon, spending hours in the darkness. Whatever this feeling was permeated the cells of my body more and more. I got used to living in this free and open state in which I just breezed through tasks that previously had been chores. I noticed that even taking calculus tests was easy; my mind was lucid, and I could remember a formula that I had glanced at the night before, then derive its applications right there during the test. </p> <p>The heightened sensing and superb functioning lasted for a month or so after the experiment was over. It was a continuous, self-maintaining state. Then after four or five weeks, I told a friend, “Whatever this is, it’s slowly fading away.” I got desperate and went to the library and read through all kinds of spiritual books and yoga books and started playing with techniques.</p> <p><img alt="Lorin Roche as an early seeker" data-entity-type="file" data-entity-uuid="c3e46603-7829-4b1f-90d1-9be4a8f94d0a" src="/sites/default/files/inline-images/Lorin%20on%20ice.jpeg" width="348" height="341" loading="lazy" /></p> <p><strong><em>The Radiance Sutras</em> are a translation and interpretation of the Vijnana Bhairava Tantra, an ancient sacred Sanskrit text. What is this text, and why did you choose to share it more widely? What did you do to make it approachable for modern readers? </strong></p> <p>Another blessing of luck. I was mad on the search. Nothing I was reading was really clicking. Too dry. The physiology lab seemed like an interesting place, and I needed a job, so I started to work there. </p> <p>Then there was another remarkable flash of luck. At a meeting of people who worked at the lab, a female graduate student read from the Vijnana Bhairava Tantra, reciting just a few lines of the conversation between Shakti and Shiva. She was reading from a paperback book that had an appendix in the back containing the first translation into English of the Vijnana Bhairava Tantra, by Swami Lakshmanjoo and Paul Reps. </p> <blockquote> <p> </p> <p><em>Radiant one, this experience </em></p> <p><em>may dawn between two breaths. </em></p> <p><em>After breath comes in</em></p> <p><em>and just before flowing out </em></p> <p><em>—the beneficence. </em></p> </blockquote> <blockquote> <p><em>As the breath turns from down to up, </em></p> <p><em>and again as breath curves from up to down</em></p> <p><em>—through both these turns, </em></p> <p><em>realize. </em></p> <p> </p> </blockquote> <p>When she spoke this, a flashbulb went off in my head. I knew that whoever composed that had experienced what happened to me in the lab. After the meeting was over, I asked her about it. She handed me the book, a paperback copy of <em>Zen Flesh, Zen Bones</em> by Paul Reps. I immediately jumped in my Volkswagen Bug and zoomed over to the nearest bookstore to buy a copy. It became my map, my dance partner, my love, and it still is.</p> <p>The text is a very concise little encyclopedia of meditative experience and technique. It’s only 162 sentences, about 40 minutes of chanting. I did a word-for-word analysis of the Sanskrit, noting where the imagery and metaphors in the word meanings point to embodied experience. Sanskrit is intrinsically poetic. It is intentionally multi-sensory and multi-evocative. I call <em>The Radiance Sutras</em> a version of the text rather than a translation. </p> <p>Over a period of 27 years I got up most mornings around 4 in the morning, which is a really sweet time for chanting Sanskrit if you can manage to be rested. I would walk around in the pre-dawn silence, humming the text one verse at a time, for it is very delicious Sanskrit. I would let the Sanskrit enchant me and teach me about itself, and meanwhile I would have all 8 or 10 meanings of each word of the verse written out on big cards on the floor, in clusters. Each verse has about 8 words usually. So the verse (the Sutra) is now a mandala of meanings spread out. I would keep chanting, keep looking at the semantic field of the verse, and read everything Swami Lakshmanjoo said about the practice. Then I would do 10 or 20 different translations of the verse and print them out and put them on the floor.  </p> <p>Then [my partner] Camille would come in later in the day and start to dance with what I had written. She would tell me which ways of putting the Sanskrit into English conveyed some Shakti, and which fell flat, were dry and academic. Sometimes groups of women dancers and male musicians would chant or sing the different versions of each verse and let me know which ones vibrate in their bodies. Lots of wonderful people helped, for years.</p> <p>In essence, what is in <em>The Radiance Sutras</em> are the sentence in English that to Camille and the other yogis feel like embodiment mantras. I am still delighted by the text and learn new things from it almost every day. I also really enjoy hearing other people read it. I prefer the way Richard reads the text over the way I read it!</p> <p> </p> <p><strong>You have talked previously about how meditation practice, like physical training or exercise, should include rest. iRest practitioners typically appreciate this insight. Can you talk about why it’s important, and how we might better integrate downtime into our meditation training? </strong></p> <p>Rest and downtime are not appreciated enough. The body and brain do a great deal of healing and repair when we are resting. The lessons of the day are assimilated and put into muscle memory, instead of cluttering your head. </p> <p>Physiologically, meditation is a deeper state of rest than deep sleep, and this—if you learn the skills of meditating in an effortless way, and if you construct a practice you feel safe to let go into. </p> <p>Once you have some skills in meditation, naps take on a different character. They become sort of divine. </p> <p> </p> <p><strong>How might leaders in the wellness field make meditation teachings more accessible to a wider population of people? </strong></p> <p>There are many types of people in the world and some of them have different doorways into meditation. We need to learn more about this. Some people are only comfortable meditating outdoors, with their eyes open. Others need to dance first, to get their yah yahs out, and then, when the music and movement have created a sweet hum in the body, they can sit down or lie down and do body sensing with the afterglow of the music and dance. Some people are better off watching comedy first, and laughing deep belly laughs and then meditating. Some people need to cry and cry and then after the floodgates open, the path to meditation opens.</p> <p>Some people need to learn three minutes at a time, doing very short practices, otherwise they will build up bad habits that prevent them from going deep. Others are good to go, just give them a hint and off they go on their exploration. </p> <p>We need much more research on what people are actually experiencing when they set out to meditate. We need more detailed descriptions of how they interpret the instructions, what they think their technique is. When you listen to random meditators out there what you hear is that people’s negative inner voices, their inner critic, has co-opted Vipassana or Mindfulness and is using that language. People are beating themselves up a lot. Judging themselves for having monkey minds. </p> <p>The data is that about 35 million people are experimenting with meditation just in the United States. We need to find out why they quit, how do they start again, what is happening. The other day I was teaching in a hospital, and three nurses in the group all said the same thing: “I tried to meditate but I couldn’t do it. I couldn’t stop my thinking.” </p> <p> </p> <p><strong>The times are changing. Do you have any insight to help folks—both trained meditators and newbies alike—who might be having trouble navigating very real issues such as unemployment, illness, and racism?</strong></p> <p>Human beings are built to adapt to crisis. We need it to function at our best. The current set of multiple crises is not in the same league as that which our grandparents and great grandparents dealt with. We can handle this. </p> <p>One thing that is needed is for meditators to welcome crisis and challenge into their practice and realize this makes them stronger. Facing a local and world crisis, even an impossible situation, is like lifting weights or working out. Your workout challenges the body. This causes microscopic damage to your tissues. You can feel the fatigue and stress. Then when you rest, your body rebuilds itself stronger. </p> <p>This is the basic principle of training and getting in shape. It is universally known in terms of the physical body. It is also true of our mental body, we could say. Or we can call it our resilience. Our skills at adaptation. </p> <p> </p> <p><strong>Who have been some of your greatest teachers, and why?</strong></p> <p>My first teacher was the transmission I received from Swami Lakshmanjoo, from Kashmir, an initiate in this tradition the Vijnana Bhairava Tantra comes from. Paul Reps, who worked with Lakshmanjoo on the translation, was part of that. Then, by another miracle, I met several people who had just come from being with him, and they taught me to meditate. </p> <p>Another teacher was Edward T. Hall, the anthropologist who authored <em>The Silent Language</em> and <em>The Dance of Life</em>. Hall had discovered in his own way what I call mudra, the wisdom of spontaneous gesture, and he taught me how to see the fleeting dance of facial expression and hand gestures as deep communication.</p> <p>Abraham Maslow was another teacher, and one of his themes was to study healthy people—see how they do it! See if you can model it. This set me off on decades of interviewing, in which I sought out meditators who are thriving in their practice while living busy lives.</p> <p>Joseph Campbell taught me to observe the narrative structure of everyday life, how our personal stories and even dreams follow classic patterns of adventure stories.</p> <p>Ida Rolf taught me about gravity and being in the body, and her work helped me stay healthy while in very intense meditation teacher training.</p> <p>Fritz Perls, the founder of Gestalt Therapy, taught me about how healthy the instincts are. </p> <p>Jim Fadiman taught me a lightness of spirit. </p> <p>George Leonard taught me his innovative form of Aikido, an evolved martial art in which there are no enemies, only dancers.</p> <p>I just remembered that maybe a year before that experience in the lab, there was a moment when I looked at the clock on the wall and said to life: </p> <blockquote> <p><em>I will go ANYwhere </em></p> <p><em>I will do ANYthing</em></p> <p><em>I will submit to ANY ordeal that is necessary, </em></p> <p><em>just get me the hell out of here.</em></p> <p> </p> </blockquote> <p>I guess life heard me!</p> <p> </p> <blockquote> <p><em>I will die and be reborn</em></p> <p><em>I will face any monster</em></p> <p> </p> </blockquote> <p><a href="https://lorinroche.com/"><em>Learn more about the teachings of Lorin Roche and find a copy of </em>The Radiance Sutras<em>&gt;</em></a></p> <p><a href="https://www.irest.org/live-stream-sangha-sessions-richard-and-stephanie"><em>Sign up for the iRest Sangha Session with Lorin Roche and Richard Miller&gt;</em></a></p> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-article-type field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field__items"> <div class="field__item"> <a href="/blog/category/interviews"> <span class="field__item">Interviews</span> </a> </div> <div class="field__item"> <a href="/blog/category/community"> <span class="field__item">Community</span> </a> </div> <div class="field__item"> <a href="/blog/category/nondualism"> <span class="field__item">Nondualism</span> </a> </div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-tags field--type-entity-reference field--label-above"> <div class="field__label">Tags</div> <div class="field__items"> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-9" hreflang="en">Yoga Teachers</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-10" hreflang="en">Yoga Therapists</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-5" hreflang="en">iRest Teachers</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-6" hreflang="en">iRest Students</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-7" hreflang="en">Other</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-25" hreflang="en">Nondualism</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-12" hreflang="en">Other</a></div> </div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-published-date field--type-datetime field--label-above"> <div class="field__label">Published date</div> <div class="field__item"><time datetime="2020-08-22T12:00:00Z" class="datetime">Saturday, August 22, 2020 - 12:00</time> </div> </div> <section data-ajax_comment_pager="comment_node_article-3326" class="field field--name-comment-node-article field--type-comment field--label-hidden comment-wrapper"> <div class="comments_ajax_pager_wrap"></div> </section> <div class="node__links"> <ul class="links inline"><li class="comment-forbidden"><a href="/user/login?destination=/blog/interviews-community-nondualism/finding-doorway-bliss-lorin-roche-discovering-meditation-his%23comment-form">Log in</a> or <a href="/user/register?destination=/blog/interviews-community-nondualism/finding-doorway-bliss-lorin-roche-discovering-meditation-his%23comment-form">register</a> to post comments</li></ul> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-hero-image field--type-entity-reference field--label-above"> <div class="field__label">Hero Image</div> <div class="field__item"> <img loading="lazy" src="/sites/default/files/images/shutterstock_747004435.jpg" width="5591" height="3717" alt="Finding Your Doorway into Bliss" typeof="foaf:Image" /> </div> </div> Sat, 22 Aug 2020 07:00:00 +0000 amybess 3326 at https://www.irest.org Back to School with iRest: Discover the JabuMind Self-Care App for Teachers https://www.irest.org/blog/news-and-announcements-interviews-community-resources-other/back-school-irest-discover <span class="field field--name-title field--type-string field--label-hidden">Back to School with iRest: Discover the JabuMind Self-Care App for Teachers</span> <div class="field field--name-field-teacher field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field__items"> <div class="field__item">13053</div> </div> <span class="field field--name-uid field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden"><a title="View user profile." href="/user/amy-bess-cook" lang="" about="/user/amy-bess-cook" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="" class="username">amybess</a></span> <span class="field field--name-created field--type-created field--label-hidden">Sat, 08/15/2020 - 00:00</span> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field__item"><p>The arrival of a typical school year conjures eager anticipation along with inevitable undercurrents of anxiety. This, as we all know, is no typical school year. Tensions surge as teachers and homeschooling parents shoulder the burden of carefully preparing kids to learn amid unusual circumstances—whether that means enduring long hours of wearing masks in class, or being separated from their friends during distance learning. If you’re an educator in need of support, you’ll find relief in a new app created just for you.</p> <p><a href="https://jabumind.com/">JabuMind</a> was developed by a team of teachers, administrators, artists, and mental health clinicians to bring iRest–based meditations and mindfulness courses directly to your fingertips via mobile device for self-care throughout the school day. Like any other iRest meditations, these practices are completely secular (non-religious) and easy to engage at your own pace. Initially launched in the United States, JabuMind will soon be available worldwide.</p> <p>JabuMind was co-created by <a href="https://jillamanly.com/">Jill Apperson Manly</a>, a Certified iRest Teacher who says she has “always had a fascination with the deeper self”. Jill spent her early career overseas teaching elementary children in such destinations as Saudi Arabia, Japan, and Eswatini (formerly Swaziland). Inspired by rich cultural exchanges and fueled by her passion for social and emotional learning (SEL), Jill wrote a children’s book called <em>Nothando’s Journey</em> that has since been used in learning curricula around the world. One character in the book is named Jabu, taken from a Zulu word meaning “rejoice together”. JabuMind, then, is named for a happy mind.</p> <p><strong>With the JabuMind app, educators can expect to learn:</strong></p> <ul><li>Tools to practice mindfulness meditation.</li> <li>Methods for meeting and navigating intense emotions.</li> <li>Ways to improve communication and interactions with students and peers.</li> <li>How to cultivate positive states of mind like gratitude, kindness, joy, and compassion</li> <li>Techniques to manage stress, overwhelm, frustration, anxiety, and depression.</li> <li>Ways to improve restful sleep and relaxation.</li> </ul><p><a href="https://www.irest.org/">iRest Institute</a> recently talked with Jill about the JabuMind app—a project on which our own Richard Miller advised —and its enormous potential to uplift educators.</p> <p><img alt="Jill Manly" data-entity-type="file" data-entity-uuid="d17c135c-d800-42ce-b7e2-ddd130fca7cb" src="/sites/default/files/inline-images/Jill%20Manly%20Headshot%20%281%29.jpg" width="348" height="291" loading="lazy" /></p> <p><strong>What is JabuMind and why is it important?</strong></p> <p>JabuMind brings mindfulness to teachers.</p> <p>During the school year, children typically spend more time with their teachers than with their parents. The positive influence of a teacher is paramount to the success, growth, and well-being of the child. If we rely so heavily on our teachers, then why don’t we treat them as people to be honored and valued?</p> <p>On the contrary, the America we have today leaves teachers out of the conversation. Too often, we don’t respect a teacher’s advice when asked how best to support the well-being of our children. We underpay our teachers. We underappreciate our teachers. It is no wonder nearly 50 percent of new teachers leave the profession after five years. The social emotional health of our teachers must be addressed.</p> <p>We know that mindfulness apps are powerful social emotional tools. We know that certain proven methods of mindfulness, such as iRest, are especially effective. JabuMind is a smartphone app that utilizes a proven method of mindfulness to deliver self-care to teachers in an engaging, easy-to-use way. JabuMind is specifically designed to meet the needs of teachers.</p> <p> </p> <p><strong>Tell us about "SEL": for those unfamiliar with the lingo of educational development, what does it mean?</strong></p> <p><a href="https://casel.org/">The Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning (CASEL)</a> is a trusted source for knowledge about high-quality, evidence-based social and emotional learning (SEL). CASEL supports educators and policy leaders and enhances the experiences and outcomes for all pre-K-12 students.</p> <p>The story of a child growing into an adult is universal—cultures, families, religions all play a part. How and what a child learns in school varies from country to country, and decade to decade. Right now in the United States and globally, societies are plagued with higher than ever rates of child trauma, suicides, depression, anxiety, and stress.</p> <p>To respond to this crisis, the United States has set standards called SEL, or social and emotional learning. School districts, private schools, and charter schools are all jumping to provide children with SEL lessons. They want teachers to teach SEL in the classroom. Yet teachers need support if they are going to teach these skills.</p> <p> </p> <p><strong>How might iRest be helpful?</strong></p> <p>If you are speaking the language of school administrators, you could say that iRest is adult SEL. iRest can prepare the adult to be more self-aware and to be able to have a conversation with another person about their own beliefs, thoughts, and emotions and see themselves in a much deeper way. Similarly, our app gives the teachers the 10 fundamental iRest steps in bite-sized pieces. </p> <p>There are many great mindfulness practices out there. I have done quite a few. For me, the accessibility of iRest is why I choose it.</p> <p> </p> <p><strong>Did you have an "a-ha" moment that led to the creation of JabuMind, or was it a more gradual evolution?  </strong></p> <p>It was an “a-ha”. I will never forget the time I was teaching SEL to children and a principal asked me to teach mindfulness to his teachers. What I saw when I met with these teachers forever changed me, and that’s when I knew teachers needed our immediate attention.</p> <p>This happened about four years ago. I was leading a first day of school mindfulness meditation for teachers. I asked the teachers to close their eyes and reflect upon their day. I had created a safe space for teachers to carve out a moment of silence after a chaotic day and deeply connect with their feelings. As I gazed out on these teachers, my focus landed on one of the most respected, valued, and wise teachers of the school who began to weep.</p> <p>To me, this was not something to be ashamed of. This was a brilliant way for this teacher to release stress. We know that one tear releases more stress hormones than any other way of removing stress from our bodies. I was proud of this teacher and moved by the impact meditation had on this group. I was proud of the principal who cared for his staff and teachers enough to provide them with this self-care. Lastly, I was proud of the community for supporting the principal in adopting this program. We need more like it. When teachers feel appreciated and cared for, they can show up as their best selves for our children. With mindfulness practices, we can refill our teachers’ depleted cups and restore them to their passionate, optimistic selves.</p> <p> </p> <p><strong>How did your own work with children play into the creation of the app?</strong></p> <p>I see firsthand the impact an adults' lack of self-awareness unknowingly harms children. To me, this is a big deal. I include myself in this group always.</p> <p> </p> <p><strong>Prior to establishing at an iRest practice, you traveled extensively and worked overseas. What perspectives or practices did you pick up along the way that you apply to your work today?</strong></p> <p>I want this app to be global. My books are part of a SEL curriculum in 14 countries. The stories in my books come from my overseas experiences. What I saw and what we are seeing is that many countries are using schools to address their social needs. They hope that, by teaching SEL, kids can be more compassionate and have more empathy.</p> <p>This is a good idea, but the adults teaching it need to first grasp internally the power of this topic. Kids are smart and perceptive. The old adage rings true here: you cannot teach what you do not know.</p> <p>Globally schools  are  moving to address inequities, bullying, suicide, depression, anxiety. My travel and years overseas taught me the world and its inhabitants are more alike than different.</p> <p> </p> <p><strong>Who are some of your primary influences in the realm of yoga and meditation (and perhaps beyond) and why?</strong></p> <p>Janice Gates, Richard Miller, the late David Simon MD, Eckhart Tolle and nature, people and myself. I use iRest to see myself where I can learn about the world. I move outward-in or inward-out. I try to surf life and avoid riptides, and iRest is my surfboard.</p> <p>I am a work in progress.</p> <p> </p> <p><a href="https://jabumind.com/">Download the JabuMind app (free through August 2020)  &gt;</a></p> <p><a href="https://jabumind.com/category/meditations/">Try a JabuMind meditation&gt;</a></p> <p><img alt="JabuMind" data-entity-type="file" data-entity-uuid="38733aa6-ea79-44a7-bb83-fd5a05106750" src="/sites/default/files/inline-images/logo%20-%20jabumind%20%281%29.png" width="348" height="303" loading="lazy" /></p> <p> </p> <p> </p> <p> </p> <p> </p> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-article-type field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field__items"> <div class="field__item"> <a href="/blog/category/news-and-announcements"> <span class="field__item">News and Announcements</span> </a> </div> <div class="field__item"> <a href="/blog/category/interviews"> <span class="field__item">Interviews</span> </a> </div> <div class="field__item"> <a href="/blog/category/community"> <span class="field__item">Community</span> </a> </div> <div class="field__item"> <a href="/blog/category/resources"> <span class="field__item">Resources</span> </a> </div> <div class="field__item"> <a href="/blog/category/other"> <span class="field__item">Other</span> </a> </div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-tags field--type-entity-reference field--label-above"> <div class="field__label">Tags</div> <div class="field__items"> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-9" hreflang="en">Yoga Teachers</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-4" hreflang="en">Educators</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-5" hreflang="en">iRest Teachers</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-7" hreflang="en">Other</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-12" hreflang="en">Other</a></div> </div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-published-date field--type-datetime field--label-above"> <div class="field__label">Published date</div> <div class="field__item"><time datetime="2020-08-15T12:00:00Z" class="datetime">Saturday, August 15, 2020 - 12:00</time> </div> </div> <section data-ajax_comment_pager="comment_node_article-3322" class="field field--name-comment-node-article field--type-comment field--label-hidden comment-wrapper"> <div class="comments_ajax_pager_wrap"></div> </section> <div class="node__links"> <ul class="links inline"><li class="comment-forbidden"><a href="/user/login?destination=/blog/news-and-announcements-interviews-community-resources-other/back-school-irest-discover%23comment-form">Log in</a> or <a href="/user/register?destination=/blog/news-and-announcements-interviews-community-resources-other/back-school-irest-discover%23comment-form">register</a> to post comments</li></ul> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-hero-image field--type-entity-reference field--label-above"> <div class="field__label">Hero Image</div> <div class="field__item"> <img loading="lazy" src="/sites/default/files/images/shutterstock_154985321.jpg" width="4243" height="2818" alt="Back to School with iRest" typeof="foaf:Image" /> </div> </div> Sat, 15 Aug 2020 07:00:00 +0000 amybess 3322 at https://www.irest.org The Art of Lying Still: Refining Yoga Nidra Posture with Donna Farhi https://www.irest.org/blog/community-resources/art-lying-still-refining-yoga-nidra-posture-donna-farhi <span class="field field--name-title field--type-string field--label-hidden">The Art of Lying Still: Refining Yoga Nidra Posture with Donna Farhi</span> <div class="field field--name-field-teacher field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field__items"> <div class="field__item">13053</div> </div> <span class="field field--name-uid field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden"><a title="View user profile." href="/user/amy-bess-cook" lang="" about="/user/amy-bess-cook" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="" class="username">amybess</a></span> <span class="field field--name-created field--type-created field--label-hidden">Tue, 08/04/2020 - 00:00</span> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field__item"><p>You’re ready for a deep, restorative iRest practice and the teacher begins by asking you to find a comfortable position on your back. You look around the room (or as the case may be, the Zoom) and everyone else seems to be managing well. In fact, they all look pretty blissed out. Why can it be so hard to just lie still? </p> <p>Not every practitioner can safely lie down with their legs extended, confirms yoga teacher <a href="https://www.donnafarhi.co.nz/">Donna Farhi</a> in her book <a href="https://www.amazon.com/Pathways-Centered-Body-Therapy-Stability/dp/0473385589"><em>Pathways to a Centered Body: Gentle Yoga Therapy for Core Stability, Healing Back Pain and Moving with Ease </em>(coauthored with Leila Stuart)</a>. The solutions and alternatives are sometimes straightforward: a pillow or bolster under the knees, for example, can ease pelvic and spinal discomfort. Since that is not always a surefire bet, Farhi offers other options of effective reclining poses. </p> <ul><li><strong>Constructive Rest Position </strong>This pose can be ideal for iRest Yoga Nidra Meditation “not only because it helps to release the deep spinal muscles,” writes Farhi, “but also because it offers a physical balance between attentiveness and relaxation”. It releases the deep psoas muscles while rebalancing and lengthening the spinal column, making it a powerful way to alleviate spinal discomfort. Want to give it a try? <a href="https://www.irest.org/sites/default/files/Article%201%20Donna%20Farhi%20iRest.pdf">Explore this article</a>, complete with photo diagrams.</li> </ul><p> </p> <ul><li><strong>Constructive Rest for Bendy Backs</strong> It’s a complicated word with even more complicated effects: hyperlordosis is an accentuated curvature in the lumbar spine that can cause compression, pain, and even numbness and tingling down the legs. Take heart: a variation of Constructive Rest Position can help you to release and lengthen your spine and reduce your lumbar curvature while enjoying the benefits of iRest. <a href="https://www.irest.org/sites/default/files/Article%202%20Donna%20Farhi%20iRest.pdf">Check it out here.</a></li> </ul><p> </p> <p>Is there a way to be more proactive with your back care? Indeed. To help ensure you don’t encounter pain during your meditation practice or in daily life, Farhi offers several therapeutic spinal releases. These are wonderful antidotes to long days of sitting or standing, when you are likely to have achy joints and feel mentally depleted. <a href="https://www.irest.org/sites/default/files/Article%202%20Donna%20Farhi%20iRest.pdf">Try this practice</a> to lengthen your spine and boost energy levels, and prepare you for a more comfortable iRest practice. </p> <p> </p> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-article-type field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field__items"> <div class="field__item"> <a href="/blog/category/community"> <span class="field__item">Community</span> </a> </div> <div class="field__item"> <a href="/blog/category/resources"> <span class="field__item">Resources</span> </a> </div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-tags field--type-entity-reference field--label-above"> <div class="field__label">Tags</div> <div class="field__items"> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-9" hreflang="en">Yoga Teachers</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-10" hreflang="en">Yoga Therapists</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-0" hreflang="en">Physical Therapists</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-5" hreflang="en">iRest Teachers</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-6" hreflang="en">iRest Students</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-7" hreflang="en">Other</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-21" hreflang="en">Chronic Pain</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-17" hreflang="en">Pain Relief</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-14" hreflang="en">Stress</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-12" hreflang="en">Other</a></div> </div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-published-date field--type-datetime field--label-above"> <div class="field__label">Published date</div> <div class="field__item"><time datetime="2020-08-04T12:00:00Z" class="datetime">Tuesday, August 4, 2020 - 12:00</time> </div> </div> <section data-ajax_comment_pager="comment_node_article-3315" class="field field--name-comment-node-article field--type-comment field--label-hidden comment-wrapper"> <div class="comments_ajax_pager_wrap"></div> </section> <div class="node__links"> <ul class="links inline"><li class="comment-forbidden"><a href="/user/login?destination=/blog/community-resources/art-lying-still-refining-yoga-nidra-posture-donna-farhi%23comment-form">Log in</a> or <a href="/user/register?destination=/blog/community-resources/art-lying-still-refining-yoga-nidra-posture-donna-farhi%23comment-form">register</a> to post comments</li></ul> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-hero-image field--type-entity-reference field--label-above"> <div class="field__label">Hero Image</div> <div class="field__item"> <img loading="lazy" src="/sites/default/files/images/shutterstock_1492014413%20%282%29_0.jpg" width="4000" height="2278" alt="The Art of Lying Still" typeof="foaf:Image" /> </div> </div> Tue, 04 Aug 2020 07:00:00 +0000 amybess 3315 at https://www.irest.org iRest for Pregnancy and Childbirth: An Interview with Clearlight Gerald https://www.irest.org/blog/interviews-resources/irest-pregnancy-and-childbirth-interview-clearlight-gerald <span class="field field--name-title field--type-string field--label-hidden">iRest for Pregnancy and Childbirth: An Interview with Clearlight Gerald</span> <div class="field field--name-field-teacher field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field__items"> <div class="field__item">13053</div> </div> <span class="field field--name-uid field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden"><a title="View user profile." href="/user/amy-bess-cook" lang="" about="/user/amy-bess-cook" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="" class="username">amybess</a></span> <span class="field field--name-created field--type-created field--label-hidden">Tue, 07/28/2020 - 00:00</span> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field__item"><p>“Everything grows rounder and wider and weirder,” wrote the late actress and screenwriter Carrie Fisher to her unborn child, “and I sit here in the middle of it all and wonder who in the world you will turn out to be.” Indeed, wonder and uncertainty often go hand-in-hand during pregnancy and childbirth.</p> <p>Even prior to the onset of the current pandemic, the process of becoming a mother has typically brought a tenuous hope that can be accompanied by uncertainty, fear, and trepidation. Now that the coronavirus has taken hold, expectant parents face additional unknown elements. At the time of this publication, there is no reason to believe pregnancy is associated with greater susceptibility to the virus. Yet other factors related to the pandemic, such as an increased risk of infection in hospital wards, have led to an uptick of home births. What has emerged, then, is an acute need for greater support of expectant mothers. </p> <p>One person in the iRest community who has long been providing such support is Clearlight Gerald. As a Certified iRest Teacher, certified yoga therapist (C-IAYT), and a yoga teacher (E-RYT500/RPYT), Clearlight specializes in women’s health and well-being with a focus on pregnancy, childbirth, and postpartum. She has been teaching wellness principles and practices for more than two decades, offering her skills as an iRest Mentor and Certification Supervisor since 2007. </p> <p> </p> <p><strong>
Please tell us about yourself and your work.</strong><br /><br /> I am a yoga therapist, iRest meditation teacher, and yoga teacher who specializes in women’s health and well-being, with a focus on pregnancy, childbirth, and postpartum. I’ve been teaching full time since 1999, and have been integrating the nondual wisdom teachings and principles of iRest since studying with Richard Miller and Joan Ruvinsky in 2004. In 2007, I started supporting the iRest Certification Program as an iRest Mentor and Certification Supervisor, delighting in the incredible sangha we share.</p> <p>I live in the Montréal area with my husband Eric and twin girls. </p> <p> </p> <p><strong>How did you first encounter iRest, and what compelled you to share the teachings with expectant mothers?</strong></p> <p>When I was working as a program assistant at the Kripalu Center in the early 2000s, I started to feel that something fundamental was missing. Boredom began to creep into my practice and teaching. I remember one program well, as a teacher who had worked with Richard read one of his yoga nidra scripts, and this initiation to yoga nidra fundamentally changed my life. </p> <p>It was both a beginning, and an end: It was the beginning of a journey that brought me home to myself, to my beloved teachers and mentors Richard Miller and Joan Ruvinsky, to a community of practitioners that is now a second family, and to recognition of the ultimate home of the ground of being and awareness. It was a complete end of boredom. The nondual teachings and iRest practices have breathed inquiry, wonder and perspective into everything I live and teach, and it has been such a gift.  </p> <p>I had been working with pregnant and new mothers since I first began teaching, and as I dove into an intensive study of nondual wisdom teachings, the iRest practices and teachings began to touch all parts of my life, including my work with pregnant mamas. In this work, I discovered that iRest is a perfect fit for this part of a woman’s life. </p> <p>As we all know, the nature of life experience is that it is always changing… with peaks and valleys… ups and downs. In pregnancy and postpartum, everything takes on a new intensity. The peaks are typically extra high and the valleys extra low, and navigating these waves is one of the challenges built into the journey of becoming a mother. And, there is an initiation that happens somewhere along the way, in pregnancy, in birth, in parenting, the universe is sure to let us know that you are not in charge. The iRest teachings and practices provide such a powerful way to navigate this journey and to reclaim the ground of well-being independent of the details of the unfolding of becoming a mother. </p> <p> </p> <p><strong>Which of the iRest tools do you find most consistently useful for pregnant women, and why?</strong></p> <p>There is nothing in the iRest toolset I do not use. That said, certain tools for pregnancy and childbirth are foundational essentials. For instance, the Inner Resource is particularly effective. Once established, this can both deepen a connection to ease and be used to navigate challenges in pregnancy, childbirth, and baby-land. It is helpful to establish Inner Resource  in advance, so it becomes familiar. </p> <p>However I remember once introducing it for the first time to a woman whose birth I was attending. She had become overwhelmed with fear, but when I guided her to help her locate an inner sanctuary, she was able to reconnect with a felt sense of well-being in moments. It was incredible to witness her panic melt into softness, ease, and welcoming. </p> <p>Other tools include BodySensing, which develops a relationship of deep listening with the body. Although cognitive learning is super helpful in orienting the mind, the body already “knows” and “has” everything it needs. The wisdom of pregnancy and birthing is innate to the human animal. Part of connecting to that wisdom is learning to trust the body and process, and to invite the mind to “get out of the way”. By cultivating deep listening through movement and yoga nidra, the wisdom-messengers of the body are so much more accessible. These are the very messengers that convey a perfect response to whatever is coming up in pregnancy, in childbirth, or with a new baby. </p> <p><br /> The practice of welcoming opposites is another standby tool, and in the application of experiencing pure sensation in the body it is very helpful in supporting women in disidentifying with intense sensation and pointing the way towards recognition of themselves as the unchanging ground of presence in which the sensations come and go—<em>already whole, always okay</em>. Of course, this is a tool that is also used to meet emotions and core beliefs in this landscape of enhanced intensity. The list goes on! 
</p> <p> </p> <p><strong>What are some of the impacts of the current pandemic on pregnancy and childbirth?</strong>
      </p> <p>I think it is fair to say that none of us anticipated this new landscape of human reality. Yet here we are. I can’t imagine navigating any of this without the orientation of the teachings and practices that comprise iRest. Pregnancy is already a time of incredible transition—of a woman’s body, relationships, identity, and priorities. The pandemic has only added to the uncertainties and changes that a woman already encounters, so it has definitely brought up more anxiety and fear for many women. </p> <p>Another impact has been isolation. Women tend to feel stronger, more confident, and happier when sharing their journeys amongst other pregnant and new moms. We need each other, and the experience of humanity is one of community. This has been a challenge to address, and one way I’ve been doing this is to provide a little time before livestreaming pregnancy classes and mama-and-baby classes for women to virtually gather to share and talk about their feelings and experiences. We are fortunate to have this option of connecting virtually, although it doesn’t replace the in-person contact, and so we are all working with what we have.</p> <p>Another very real impact has been the changing landscape of the context of labor and delivery. Certain things we’ve taken for granted, such as the presence of a partner and/or doula, are no longer given meaning a woman’s inner toolbox of coping strategies is that much more relevant and essential. </p> <p>We are living through challenging times, yet the invitation and opportunity is here  to reclaim a sense of unshakeable well-being. It’s been here all along. </p> <p><br />  </p> <p><strong>Are there any policies you'd like to see in place that could better support alternative childbirth?</strong></p> <p>No doubt, there are many changes to the usual, mainstream approach of supporting birthing women that would be beneficial. So this is important work. The culture of “management” and fear that often surrounds childbirth is not an ideal match to support a process that relies on the hormones of safety, security, connection and love. </p> <p>That said, in my experience of working with thousands of women, I have observed that a positive childbirth experience is not related to whether a woman had an epidural or not, or whether she birthed at home with a midwife, or whether she was at the hospital birthing center with an obstetrician, or whether she had a vaginal birth or a belly birth. The real factors seem to depend on a women’s inner orientation, how she is able to navigate the challenges (whatever they are) and her capacity to fully process the experience and transition. They depend on  whether she feels supported and loved just as she is, and whether she canunderstand the big picture and the mystery living through us.</p> <p>So I focus my attention on equipping women to navigate the life-changing transformations of becoming a mother in all circumstances of childbirth, while greatly supporting all who work for positive change on the policy front.</p> <p> </p> <p><strong>What advice do you have to offer expectant mothers during this unusual time in our world?</strong></p> <p>If you don’t already have a regular iRest practice, now is the perfect time to establish one! You can refer to a pregnancy iRest practice, but you will also benefit from practicing any iRest practice. Many of the benefits of iRest are subtle and accumulate gradually to provide a fundamental shift of perspective that is transformative, and will support you well during the months and years ahead. </p> <p><br /> Life has always been unpredictable. We never were in charge of the unfolding, and this particular moment of unfolding is a great reminder of this truth. The collective illusion of predictability is less compelling than usual. Pregnancy offers an incredible opportunity to explore and awaken to what is most meaningful in your heart and your life, and to remember the big picture to bring perspective to the day-to-day dramas. This perspective and inner direction is also an incredible aid in parenting. </p> <p><br /> These teachings and practices orient us to feel back into that which is not changing, including the core and essence of simply being, to feel back into that which doesn’t need any particular circumstance to know well-being, while simultaneously honoring whatever action we may need to take to respond to any given situation. As parents, we are warriors, and the iRest practices invite us to be warriors of love.</p> <p> </p> <p>Learn more about Clearlight's work, and discover more resources for pregnancy and childbirth, <a href="http://www.yogaspace.com">here</a>. To join Clearlight for a special practice supporting expectant mothers and parents, <a href="https://vimeo.com/440006350">explore our recent Meditation Monday offering</a>.</p> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-article-type field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field__items"> <div class="field__item"> <a href="/blog/category/interviews"> <span class="field__item">Interviews</span> </a> </div> <div class="field__item"> <a href="/blog/category/resources"> <span class="field__item">Resources</span> </a> </div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-tags field--type-entity-reference field--label-above"> <div class="field__label">Tags</div> <div class="field__items"> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-8" hreflang="en">Healthcare Workers</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-9" hreflang="en">Yoga Teachers</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-10" hreflang="en">Yoga Therapists</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-5" hreflang="en">iRest Teachers</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-7" hreflang="en">Other</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-19" hreflang="en">Joy</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-22" hreflang="en">Peace and Well-Being</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-17" hreflang="en">Pain Relief</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-15" hreflang="en">Sleep</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-14" hreflang="en">Stress</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-12" hreflang="en">Other</a></div> </div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-published-date field--type-datetime field--label-above"> <div class="field__label">Published date</div> <div class="field__item"><time datetime="2020-07-28T12:00:00Z" class="datetime">Tuesday, July 28, 2020 - 12:00</time> </div> </div> <section data-ajax_comment_pager="comment_node_article-3306" class="field field--name-comment-node-article field--type-comment field--label-hidden comment-wrapper"> <div class="comments_ajax_pager_wrap"></div> </section> <div class="node__links"> <ul class="links inline"><li class="comment-forbidden"><a href="/user/login?destination=/blog/interviews-resources/irest-pregnancy-and-childbirth-interview-clearlight-gerald%23comment-form">Log in</a> or <a href="/user/register?destination=/blog/interviews-resources/irest-pregnancy-and-childbirth-interview-clearlight-gerald%23comment-form">register</a> to post comments</li></ul> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-hero-image field--type-entity-reference field--label-above"> <div class="field__label">Hero Image</div> <div class="field__item"> <img loading="lazy" src="/sites/default/files/images/shutterstock_225973879.jpg" width="4012" height="2804" alt="Pregnancy and iRest" typeof="foaf:Image" /> </div> </div> Tue, 28 Jul 2020 07:00:00 +0000 amybess 3306 at https://www.irest.org Finding a New Way to Serve: Introducing Our Director of Military Programming https://www.irest.org/blog/news-and-announcements-interviews-community/finding-new-way-serve-introducing-our-director <span class="field field--name-title field--type-string field--label-hidden">Finding a New Way to Serve: Introducing Our Director of Military Programming </span> <div class="field field--name-field-teacher field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field__items"> <div class="field__item">13053</div> </div> <span class="field field--name-uid field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden"><a title="View user profile." href="/user/amy-bess-cook" lang="" about="/user/amy-bess-cook" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="" class="username">amybess</a></span> <span class="field field--name-created field--type-created field--label-hidden">Sat, 07/18/2020 - 00:00</span> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field__item"><p>Did you know that iRest Institute has deep roots in military wellness? Our organization first emerged in 2006, when <a href="https://www.irest.org/projects/veterans">founder Dr. Richard Miller led a study with Walter Reed Army Medical Center</a> on the efficacy of yoga nidra on post-traumatic stress disorder. In the years since, iRest Institute has continued to forge bonds with and support the military community. We are proud to introduce our latest Director of Military Programming, U.S. Army Lieutenant Colonel (Retired) <a href="https://www.irest.org/users/kerrynstory">Kerryn Story</a>.</p> <p>In 2017, LTC(R) Story was stationed in Sembach Kaserne, Germany, when a colleague introduced her to the transformative power of iRest Yoga Nidra Meditation. Inspired, she began working to host an iRest training for her fellow service members. The event was so successful that, later, when LTC(R) Story was transferred to a base in Oklahoma, she was driven to organize another iRest event for cadre assigned to basic training units. Cadre were working very long hours, from early mornings until late nights.  “I couldn’t give them back those hours of missed sleep,” Story recalls, “but I could give them a practice like iRest to make their sleeping hours more restful.” </p> <p>LTC(R) Story retired from active duty in 2018, soon transitioning into her current position as the iRest Institute Director of Military Programming. With a spouse who is still in active duty service, she remains keenly attuned to the needs of military personnel. Story recently took time to share her perspective on the wellness needs of the military community:</p> <p> </p> <p><strong>What does iRest offer that makes it distinctive from other wellness programs available to the military?  </strong></p> <p>iRest is simply a nice complement to all of the wellness programs available to our military and veteran community.  </p> <p> </p> <p><strong>How would you like to see iRest military outreach grow? </strong></p> <p>It would be great to see iRest offered as part of each service’s Resiliency Training Program.  It has been shared throughout our military communities in settings such as pre- and post-deployment Yellow Ribbon Events, with cadre assigned to duty in training environments to enhance resiliency and recovery in service members participating in intensive outpatient programs developed to help with stress, anxiety, depression, substance abuse, and PTSD; and with leaders looking for a way to better manage life’s day to day stressors.  </p> <p> </p> <p><strong>What would you recommend to veterans or military who are new to iRest or just getting started on an alternative healing path?</strong></p> <p>I’d invite them to be open to discovering a new tool that can perhaps help ease the burden on the body from everyday stressors, to witness the healing power of an amazing practice that ultimately helps us achieve true well-being and peace of mind.  </p> <p> </p> <p><strong>What is the greatest challenge of sharing iRest with the military community? </strong></p> <p>Leaders may highlight time as being the greatest challenge or a limiting factor in sharing the practice of iRest with the military community.  There are already so many tasks to accomplish in a work day without enough hours!  But, I believe Richard Miller says it best:  “practice little and often, day by day, everyday.” A practice can be as short as a few minutes, simply using mindfulness to bring awareness during everyday tasks. For example, prior to opening up email to begin the day in the office, just taking a few minutes to tune into the breath, noticing the breath without trying to change or fix it, air moving in and out of the nostrils, awareness of the body breathing, noticing how this simple practice may give you an entirely new perspective, offering a sense of peace and calm to start the day.   </p> <p> </p> <p><strong>What is the greatest reward? </strong></p> <p>In a fast-paced military environment, one of the greatest rewards of having a practice like iRest in your toolkit is that it empowers you to confidently respond to situations, instead of reacting to them. No matter how challenging or difficult a circumstance, the tools the practice offers allow us to better deal with our emotions and thoughts in the moment and respond professionally, regardless of what’s going on around us.  </p> <p> </p> <p><strong><u>Recommended Resources:</u></strong></p> <ul><li><a href="https://www.ptsd.va.gov/appvid/mobile/">Mindfulness Coach App for Veterans</a></li> <li><a href="https://www.warrelatedillness.va.gov/clinical/integrative-health/ca/WRIISC-What-is-Yoga-Nidra-Meditation.pdf">Free Weekly Class with Louise Mahoney</a></li> <li><a href="http://warriorsatease.org/">Warriors at Ease</a></li> <li><a href="https://www.exaltedwarrior.com/">Exalted Warrior Foundation</a></li> <li><a href="http://veteransalternative.org/">Veterans Alternative</a></li> <li><a href="https://veteransrestorativeproject.org/">H</a><a href="https://www.harmoniouspathways.com/irest-for-veterans/" media_library="Media Library">armonious Pathways</a></li> <li><a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HmDX8r2nprY">Veteran's PATH Interview with Dr. Richard Miller</a></li> <li><a href="https://yogainternational.com/article/view/richard-miller-on-yoga-nidra-as-a-way-of-life"><em>Yoga International</em> Interview with Richard Miller</a></li> </ul><p><a href="https://www.irest.org/meditation-military-veterans">Click here</a> to learn more about iRest in the military and how you can integrate iRest into your personal life or professional practice.</p> <p><img alt="Kerryn Story" data-entity-type="file" data-entity-uuid="355aec42-140d-4088-90ee-e2c3f7b06c2f" src="/sites/default/files/inline-images/Screen%20Shot%202020-07-17%20at%201.11.43%20PM.png" width="329" height="245" loading="lazy" /></p> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-article-type field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field__items"> <div class="field__item"> <a href="/blog/category/news-and-announcements"> <span class="field__item">News and Announcements</span> </a> </div> <div class="field__item"> <a href="/blog/category/interviews"> <span class="field__item">Interviews</span> </a> </div> <div class="field__item"> <a href="/blog/category/community"> <span class="field__item">Community</span> </a> </div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-tags field--type-entity-reference field--label-above"> <div class="field__label">Tags</div> <div class="field__items"> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags" hreflang="en">Emergency Service Personnel</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-8" hreflang="en">Healthcare Workers</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-11" hreflang="en">Military</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-7" hreflang="en">Other</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-12" hreflang="en">Other</a></div> </div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-published-date field--type-datetime field--label-above"> <div class="field__label">Published date</div> <div class="field__item"><time datetime="2020-07-18T12:00:00Z" class="datetime">Saturday, July 18, 2020 - 12:00</time> </div> </div> <section data-ajax_comment_pager="comment_node_article-3300" class="field field--name-comment-node-article field--type-comment field--label-hidden comment-wrapper"> <div class="comments_ajax_pager_wrap"></div> </section> <div class="node__links"> <ul class="links inline"><li class="comment-forbidden"><a href="/user/login?destination=/blog/news-and-announcements-interviews-community/finding-new-way-serve-introducing-our-director%23comment-form">Log in</a> or <a href="/user/register?destination=/blog/news-and-announcements-interviews-community/finding-new-way-serve-introducing-our-director%23comment-form">register</a> to post comments</li></ul> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-hero-image field--type-entity-reference field--label-above"> <div class="field__label">Hero Image</div> <div class="field__item"> <img loading="lazy" src="/sites/default/files/images/shutterstock_1702569064.jpg" width="4272" height="2848" alt="Army soldier" typeof="foaf:Image" /> </div> </div> Sat, 18 Jul 2020 07:00:00 +0000 amybess 3300 at https://www.irest.org “Secret Angels”: Meditation for Caregivers and Health Professionals https://www.irest.org/blog/research-resources-other/secret-angels-meditation-caregivers-and-health-professionals <span class="field field--name-title field--type-string field--label-hidden">“Secret Angels”: Meditation for Caregivers and Health Professionals</span> <div class="field field--name-field-teacher field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field__items"> <div class="field__item">13053</div> </div> <span class="field field--name-uid field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden"><a title="View user profile." href="/user/amy-bess-cook" lang="" about="/user/amy-bess-cook" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="" class="username">amybess</a></span> <span class="field field--name-created field--type-created field--label-hidden">Thu, 07/02/2020 - 00:00</span> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field__item"><p>Our modern world summons us to support one another in myriad ways—sometimes sweet and simple, while other times highly demanding. An unemployed friend might compel us to offer financial support, or an elderly neighbor might need grocery delivery. From frontline hospital workers fighting coronavirus to parents spending long hours homeschooling their children, caregiving in the pandemic era takes many forms. Whether you are in such a role professionally or informally, it pays to be aware of related risks and actively manage your own well-being. </p> <p>In a recent two-part series of <a href="https://www.irest.org/recorded-sangha-sessions-richard-and-stephanie">iRest Sangha Sessions</a>, Stephanie Lopez provided meditative tools and guidance to help caregivers and healthcare workers thrive. </p> <ul><li><strong><a href="https://vimeo.com/422474865">Part l: Meeting Emotions</a></strong></li> <li><strong><a href="https://vimeo.com/422481605">Part II: Tending Yourself to Care for Others </a></strong></li> </ul><p>While caregiving taps our innate human desire to connect and gives rise to a flush of positive emotions, the feelings become complicated when our own needs are not met. A person who acclimates to an overabundance of suffering, for example, might “numb out” and lose compassion. This sure sign of burnout can appear along with the following:</p> <ul><li>Physical Illness</li> <li>Apathy </li> <li>Anxiety</li> <li>Depression</li> <li>Grief</li> <li>Overwhelm</li> </ul><p>While Stephanie offers a few approaches to avoiding burnout, one stands out as a “no-brainer”: The power of taking small breaks cannot be underestimated. A few moments of downtime does wonders—whether spent on a meditative practice or for a favorite activity like dancing, painting, or strolling in the woods. </p> <p>John O'Donohue was an Irish poet, priest, and philosopher. His poem “For a Nurse” reminds us all—but especially healthcare professionals—to pause and nourish ourselves. Savor this excerpt, feel your inner well replenish, and know that, as a caregiver, you are treasured as a “secret angel”.</p> <blockquote> <p> </p> <p><em>May you embrace the beauty in what you do </em></p> <p><em>And how you stand like a secret angel</em></p> <p><em>Between the bleak despair of illness </em></p> <p><em>And the unquenchable light of spirit </em></p> <p><em>That can turn the darkest destiny towards dawn. </em></p> <p> </p> <p><em>May you never doubt the gifts you bring; </em></p> <p><em>Rather, learn from these frontiers </em></p> <p><em>Wisdom for your own heart. </em></p> <p><em>May you come to inherit </em></p> <p><em>The blessings of your kindness </em></p> <p><em>And never be without care and love </em></p> <p><em>When winter enters your own life.</em></p> <p> </p> </blockquote> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-article-type field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field__items"> <div class="field__item"> <a href="/blog/category/research"> <span class="field__item">Research</span> </a> </div> <div class="field__item"> <a href="/blog/category/resources"> <span class="field__item">Resources</span> </a> </div> <div class="field__item"> <a href="/blog/category/other"> <span class="field__item">Other</span> </a> </div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-tags field--type-entity-reference field--label-above"> <div class="field__label">Tags</div> <div class="field__items"> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags" hreflang="en">Emergency Service Personnel</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-8" hreflang="en">Healthcare Workers</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-10" hreflang="en">Yoga Therapists</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-1" hreflang="en">Clinical Psychologists</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-11" hreflang="en">Military</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-7" hreflang="en">Other</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-23" hreflang="en">Anxiety</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-19" hreflang="en">Joy</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-22" hreflang="en">Peace and Well-Being</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-17" hreflang="en">Pain Relief</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-15" hreflang="en">Sleep</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-14" hreflang="en">Stress</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-12" hreflang="en">Other</a></div> </div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-published-date field--type-datetime field--label-above"> <div class="field__label">Published date</div> <div class="field__item"><time datetime="2020-07-02T12:00:00Z" class="datetime">Thursday, July 2, 2020 - 12:00</time> </div> </div> <section data-ajax_comment_pager="comment_node_article-3297" class="field field--name-comment-node-article field--type-comment field--label-hidden comment-wrapper"> <div class="comments_ajax_pager_wrap"></div> </section> <div class="node__links"> <ul class="links inline"><li class="comment-forbidden"><a href="/user/login?destination=/blog/research-resources-other/secret-angels-meditation-caregivers-and-health-professionals%23comment-form">Log in</a> or <a href="/user/register?destination=/blog/research-resources-other/secret-angels-meditation-caregivers-and-health-professionals%23comment-form">register</a> to post comments</li></ul> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-hero-image field--type-entity-reference field--label-above"> <div class="field__label">Hero Image</div> <div class="field__item"> <img loading="lazy" src="/sites/default/files/images/shutterstock_1684060963.jpg" width="3840" height="2161" alt="People with masks" typeof="foaf:Image" /> </div> </div> Thu, 02 Jul 2020 07:00:00 +0000 amybess 3297 at https://www.irest.org Towards Right Action: Black Lives Matter, iRest Institute, and the World https://www.irest.org/blog/news-and-announcements-community-resources/towards-right-action-black-lives-matter-irest <span class="field field--name-title field--type-string field--label-hidden">Towards Right Action: Black Lives Matter, iRest Institute, and the World</span> <div class="field field--name-field-teacher field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field__items"> <div class="field__item">13053</div> </div> <span class="field field--name-uid field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden"><a title="View user profile." href="/user/amy-bess-cook" lang="" about="/user/amy-bess-cook" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="" class="username">amybess</a></span> <span class="field field--name-created field--type-created field--label-hidden">Mon, 06/22/2020 - 00:00</span> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field__item"><p>iRest Institute unwaveringly supports the global quest for human equality and justice.</p> <p>Our organizational mission is to help ease suffering. With tensions roiling across the United States and the world—fueled by violence, systemic racism, economic instability, and a continuing pandemic—conditions for suffering are ripe. Through it all, no population has been burdened as heavily as the Black community, which has been disproportionately affected by factors such as the <a href="https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/need-extra-precautions/racial-ethnic-minorities.html">coronavirus</a> and <a href="https://www.usatoday.com/story/money/2020/06/04/black-unemployment-2020-joblessness-compounds-anguish-over-brutality/3138521001/">unemployment</a>, furthermore bearing <a href="https://www.sentencingproject.org/publications/un-report-on-racial-disparities/">well-documented discrimination</a> within the criminal justice system and a <a href="https://www.usatoday.com/pages/interactives/1619-african-slavery-history-maps-routes-interactive-graphic/">history of enslavement</a>. In the face of such somber circumstances, we at iRest Institute are moved to offer new forms of support.</p> <p><em><strong>Black lives matter.</strong></em> For this rallying cry to truly prevail, action is imperative.</p> <p>Right action begins by listening within. As iRest Institute more closely attunes to our direction, we invite fellow seekers of love and justice on a similar journey. We humbly pledge to not only do the inner work required to find our own right actions as an organization, but to refine our meditative offerings which allow every curious practitioner to find their right actions, too. </p> <p>In this way, we aim to help create a more peaceful world.</p> <p>To ensure that we move consciously and sensitively toward this vision, we at iRest Institute are redoubling efforts to educate ourselves about race relations and white privilege. We commit to amplifying a greater range of voices—including those of Black wellness leaders—in our teachings and publications. As we move forward, we will do so with diversity and inclusivity guiding our undertakings and influencing our organizational growth. We plan to report back to you, our community, on our progress.</p> <p>As part of our toolkit for wellbeing, iRest Institute offers resources to anyone wishing to explore right action. These practices can help us each find and follow our inner compass. With regard to current events, this might mean recognizing parts of ourselves that have been complicit in racism. Self-inquiry is almost always a deeply uncomfortable process, but iRest supports us as we meet all of ourselves—even the parts that hold damaging beliefs or cause harm. Facing ourselves in this raw, honest way can be painful, but is worthwhile. It allows us to acknowledge wrongdoing and engage in a more authentic and harmonious life.<br /><br /> iRest practitioners who are grappling personally with world events and with the perils of racism may find solace and direction in our free weekly Sangha Sessions, which recently have featured racial justice and equality as central topics of contemplation. Last week, our founder Richard Miller engaged in a discussion and meditation with Kamala Berrio-Hayward entitled <a href="https://vimeo.com/430166456">“Meeting Racism, Nourishing Anti-Racism”</a>. If you missed this or any other Sangha Session, please feel free to <a href="https://www.irest.org/recorded-sangha-sessions-richard-and-stephanie">replay them here.</a> </p> <p><br /> iRest Institute vows to more effectively serve Black, Indigenous, and people of color by making our programs more thoughtful and inclusive. While we have plenty of work ahead, our commitment is steadfast: by both acknowledging our organization’s room for growth and continuing to share our teachings as they are needed, we humbly step forth to do our part in the nurturing of a global community dedicated to equality, health, and wellbeing.</p> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-article-type field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field__items"> <div class="field__item"> <a href="/blog/category/news-and-announcements"> <span class="field__item">News and Announcements</span> </a> </div> <div class="field__item"> <a href="/blog/category/community"> <span class="field__item">Community</span> </a> </div> <div class="field__item"> <a href="/blog/category/resources"> <span class="field__item">Resources</span> </a> </div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-tags field--type-entity-reference field--label-above"> <div class="field__label">Tags</div> <div class="field__items"> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-5" hreflang="en">iRest Teachers</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-6" hreflang="en">iRest Students</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-7" hreflang="en">Other</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-12" hreflang="en">Other</a></div> </div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-published-date field--type-datetime field--label-above"> <div class="field__label">Published date</div> <div class="field__item"><time datetime="2020-06-22T12:00:00Z" class="datetime">Monday, June 22, 2020 - 12:00</time> </div> </div> <section data-ajax_comment_pager="comment_node_article-3296" class="field field--name-comment-node-article field--type-comment field--label-hidden comment-wrapper"> <div class="comments_ajax_pager_wrap"></div> </section> <div class="node__links"> <ul class="links inline"><li class="comment-forbidden"><a href="/user/login?destination=/blog/news-and-announcements-community-resources/towards-right-action-black-lives-matter-irest%23comment-form">Log in</a> or <a href="/user/register?destination=/blog/news-and-announcements-community-resources/towards-right-action-black-lives-matter-irest%23comment-form">register</a> to post comments</li></ul> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-hero-image field--type-entity-reference field--label-above"> <div class="field__label">Hero Image</div> <div class="field__item"> <img loading="lazy" src="/sites/default/files/images/shutterstock_1382818559.jpg" width="3840" height="2160" alt="Stop Racism" typeof="foaf:Image" /> </div> </div> Mon, 22 Jun 2020 07:00:00 +0000 amybess 3296 at https://www.irest.org A Message of Love and Solidarity https://www.irest.org/blog/news-and-announcements-community-other/message-love-and-solidarity <span class="field field--name-title field--type-string field--label-hidden">A Message of Love and Solidarity </span> <div class="field field--name-field-teacher field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field__items"> <div class="field__item">13053</div> </div> <span class="field field--name-uid field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden"><a title="View user profile." href="/user/amy-bess-cook" lang="" about="/user/amy-bess-cook" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="" class="username">amybess</a></span> <span class="field field--name-created field--type-created field--label-hidden">Wed, 06/03/2020 - 00:00</span> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field__item"><p><em><strong>We draw strength from our diversity.</strong></em></p> <p>iRest Institute believes in our common humanity. We believe all people deserve respect and the opportunity for their voices to be heard and validated. While we do not condone violence, brutality, or unjust actions, we respect that change—especially cultural change—is never the result of comfortable or easy conversations. It only emerges when we are brave and vulnerable enough to confront hatred, inequality, and injustice with full attention and forward-thinking actions.</p> <p><a href="https://blacklivesmatter.com/"><strong><em>Black lives matter.</em></strong></a></p> <p>This unequivocal truth guides us as we listen and bear witness. As iRest practitioners, we look inside to welcome our helplessness, discomfort, anger, and grief. By meeting ourselves and our emotions just as they are, we come to right actions that meet this important moment. Each of us will discover a unique call to action. May we use our iRest practices to correct injustice with skill and compassion. May we create a refuge for unheard voices everywhere.</p> <p>We must keep working for better ways. We must keep fighting for justice, income, healthcare and education reform, and for all things that make violence less likely. We must work together towards all people having equity and justice until the pain that is deeply entrenched in our souls is fully healed.</p> <p>Many people feel anxious, afraid, disenfranchised, and disempowered. At iRest Institute our goal has been and always will be to create programs that empower us all to feel connected, to inquire deeply within ourselves and the world around us, and to build interactions that are inclusive of everyone, drawing strength from our diversity. Together we can achieve what at times seems unachievable. </p> <p><strong><em>Together we can achieve what at times seems unachievable. </em></strong></p> <p>First, we must foster and communicate mutual respect, so that all who are hurting know they are not alone. It’s important to connect with one another, so that we feel nourished within our shared humanity. The ideas and solutions that arise from these bonds will shape a brighter future. </p> <p>We cannot return to the old normal. The old normal gives no sense of comfort when all around us is on fire. We must not avert our eyes from the blaze, but instead bear witness to the wounds, pain, and grief, for this is where the light enters for true healing to take place. As Martin Luther King, Jr. so rightly said, “Our survival depends on our ability to stay awake, to remain vigilant, and face the challenge of change."
 With every breath we take we must commit to creating a more just world for everyone. </p> <p>Let our helplessness and anger transform into pain. Let our pain reveal the sadness and grief that lies beneath. Let our grief fuel positive action that turns the tide against injustice so that all feel seen, heard, and connected with a sense of belonging in our shared humanity.<br /><br /> In love and solidarity,</p> <p><strong>iRest Institute </strong></p> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-article-type field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field__items"> <div class="field__item"> <a href="/blog/category/news-and-announcements"> <span class="field__item">News and Announcements</span> </a> </div> <div class="field__item"> <a href="/blog/category/community"> <span class="field__item">Community</span> </a> </div> <div class="field__item"> <a href="/blog/category/other"> <span class="field__item">Other</span> </a> </div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-tags field--type-entity-reference field--label-above"> <div class="field__label">Tags</div> <div class="field__items"> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-5" hreflang="en">iRest Teachers</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-6" hreflang="en">iRest Students</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-7" hreflang="en">Other</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-12" hreflang="en">Other</a></div> </div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-published-date field--type-datetime field--label-above"> <div class="field__label">Published date</div> <div class="field__item"><time datetime="2020-06-03T12:00:00Z" class="datetime">Wednesday, June 3, 2020 - 12:00</time> </div> </div> <section data-ajax_comment_pager="comment_node_article-3295" class="field field--name-comment-node-article field--type-comment field--label-hidden comment-wrapper"> <div class="comments_ajax_pager_wrap"> <article role="article" data-comment-user-id="11471" id="comment-14" class="comment js-comment"> <div class="comment__author-photo"> <img src="/sites/default/files/styles/comment_author/public/Grad%20Pic%20Dale%20Ann.JPG?h=adf1b7f8&amp;itok=Em3NOKFM" width="130" height="130" alt="" loading="lazy" typeof="foaf:Image" class="image-style-comment-author" /> </div> <div class="comment__content"> <header class="comment__header"> <h3 class="comment__author"> Dale Ann Gray <span class="hidden new" data-comment-timestamp="1613670908"></span></h3> <div class="comment__header-meta"> <span class="comment__permalink"><a href="/comment/14#comment-14" hreflang="en">Permalink</a></span> June 4, 2020 at 9:54am </div> </header> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-comment-body field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field__item"><p>While I appreciate the title, the content disturbs me. Under the heading of “Black Lives Matter” the words “black,” “race” and “people of color” never occur. The message seems to be “All Lives Matter,” a fraught sentiment in the least.</p> <p>“All” will only become visible if we consciously, with intention, heart-felt calling and all our being, see black bodies.</p> <p>Inclusive generalities rarely are.</p> <p>They de-focus the crux.</p> <p>“God has a preferential option for the poor”, a tenet of Liberation Theology, today becomes “God has a preferential option for black bodies” ... spotlighting them until seen, recognized, and the pervasive systems that denigrate them are no more.</p> </div> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderLinks" arguments="0=14&amp;1=default&amp;2=en&amp;3=" token="skGpcZFoOquSlGTFo25a2VqyLi62sXtq0hba2qkOIow"></drupal-render-placeholder> </div> </article> </div> </section> <div class="node__links"> <ul class="links inline"><li class="comment-forbidden"><a href="/user/login?destination=/blog/news-and-announcements-community-other/message-love-and-solidarity%23comment-form">Log in</a> or <a href="/user/register?destination=/blog/news-and-announcements-community-other/message-love-and-solidarity%23comment-form">register</a> to post comments</li></ul> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-hero-image field--type-entity-reference field--label-above"> <div class="field__label">Hero Image</div> <div class="field__item"> <img loading="lazy" src="/sites/default/files/images/shutterstock_371882890_4.jpg" width="3888" height="2592" alt="Message of Love and Solidarity Banner Image" typeof="foaf:Image" /> </div> </div> Wed, 03 Jun 2020 07:00:00 +0000 amybess 3295 at https://www.irest.org Self Compassion: Now More than Ever, Go Easy https://www.irest.org/blog/resources-other/self-compassion-now-more-ever-go-easy <span class="field field--name-title field--type-string field--label-hidden">Self Compassion: Now More than Ever, Go Easy</span> <div class="field field--name-field-teacher field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field__items"> <div class="field__item">13053</div> </div> <span class="field field--name-uid field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden"><a title="View user profile." href="/user/amy-bess-cook" lang="" about="/user/amy-bess-cook" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="" class="username">amybess</a></span> <span class="field field--name-created field--type-created field--label-hidden">Thu, 05/28/2020 - 00:00</span> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field__item"><p>What happens when we’re <em>really</em> nice to ourselves? Do we go soft? ... let ourselves get away with bad behavior? If I skip a day of homeschooling the kids to throw a family ice cream party, will they wind up failing school?</p> <p><a href="http://ccare.stanford.edu/uncategorized/the-scientific-benefits-of-self-compassion-infographic/">Research shows </a> a sunnier outcome. Being nice to ourselves does a world of good, as Stephanie Lopez shared in a recent <a href="https://vimeo.com/414837742">iRest sangha session</a>.</p> <p>Self-compassion is an extension of warmth towards ourselves in a time of difficulty. To show ourselves compassion at any time—but especially when the world is in turmoil—is one of the most powerful life skills we can develop. As we banish our own ruthless inner critic, we begin to welcome ourselves unconditionally and meet whatever arises. Studies link self-compassion with:</p> <ul><li>Greater coping abilities</li> <li>Lower levels of anxiety</li> <li>Decreased stress levels</li> </ul><p><em>Sign me up, </em>you’re thinking. <em>But how? </em></p> <p>For folks who’d like to develop greater self-compassion, Stephanie recommends the work of widely recognized authority on the topic, Dr. Kristen Neff. Neff breaks down compassion into <a href="https://greatergood.berkeley.edu/video/item/the_three_components_of_self_compassion">three components</a>:</p> <ul><li><strong>Self-Kindness </strong> <ul><li><em>First, recognize that you are suffering. Take a moment to breathe.</em></li> </ul></li> <li><strong>Common Humanity  </strong> <ul><li><em>Feeling connected to others is vital to survival and has been proven to ease suffering. Instead of wondering “why me?” or thinking your experience is singular, try framing your experience in a common way.</em></li> </ul></li> <li><strong>Mindfulness </strong> <ul><li><em>In order to face suffering skillfully, we must first be aware of it. There is no need to fix it immediately—just notice it and observe.</em></li> </ul></li> </ul><p><a href="https://self-compassion.org/">Learn more about the work of Dr. Kristen Neff here. </a></p> <p>Self-compassion does not erase our problems, alas. Rather, it helps us see what’s arising and face it with a distinctive sense of ease. We soon learn to meet ourselves with gentleness and a warm embrace, finding peace in our own daily experience.<br /><br /> Want to find your self-compassion? Join Stephanie Lopez for this free<a href="https://vimeo.com/414837742"> iRest sangha session&gt; </a></p> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-article-type field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field__items"> <div class="field__item"> <a href="/blog/category/resources"> <span class="field__item">Resources</span> </a> </div> <div class="field__item"> <a href="/blog/category/other"> <span class="field__item">Other</span> </a> </div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-tags field--type-entity-reference field--label-above"> <div class="field__label">Tags</div> <div class="field__items"> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-9" hreflang="en">Yoga Teachers</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-10" hreflang="en">Yoga Therapists</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-5" hreflang="en">iRest Teachers</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-6" hreflang="en">iRest Students</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-7" hreflang="en">Other</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-23" hreflang="en">Anxiety</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-20" hreflang="en">Depression</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-19" hreflang="en">Joy</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-22" hreflang="en">Peace and Well-Being</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-14" hreflang="en">Stress</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-12" hreflang="en">Other</a></div> </div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-published-date field--type-datetime field--label-above"> <div class="field__label">Published date</div> <div class="field__item"><time datetime="2020-05-28T12:00:00Z" class="datetime">Thursday, May 28, 2020 - 12:00</time> </div> </div> <section data-ajax_comment_pager="comment_node_article-3291" class="field field--name-comment-node-article field--type-comment field--label-hidden comment-wrapper"> <div class="comments_ajax_pager_wrap"></div> </section> <div class="node__links"> <ul class="links inline"><li class="comment-forbidden"><a href="/user/login?destination=/blog/resources-other/self-compassion-now-more-ever-go-easy%23comment-form">Log in</a> or <a href="/user/register?destination=/blog/resources-other/self-compassion-now-more-ever-go-easy%23comment-form">register</a> to post comments</li></ul> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-hero-image field--type-entity-reference field--label-above"> <div class="field__label">Hero Image</div> <div class="field__item"> <img loading="lazy" src="/sites/default/files/images/shutterstock_1089173432_0.jpg" width="4650" height="3100" alt="Self Compassion: Now More than Ever, Go Easy" typeof="foaf:Image" /> </div> </div> Thu, 28 May 2020 07:00:00 +0000 amybess 3291 at https://www.irest.org Lighten Your Allostatic Load: Stress Management Amid Pandemic Times https://www.irest.org/blog/research-resources-other/lighten-your-allostatic-load-stress-management-amid-pandemic-times <span class="field field--name-title field--type-string field--label-hidden">Lighten Your Allostatic Load: Stress Management Amid Pandemic Times </span> <div class="field field--name-field-teacher field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field__items"> <div class="field__item">13053</div> </div> <span class="field field--name-uid field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden"><a title="View user profile." href="/user/amy-bess-cook" lang="" about="/user/amy-bess-cook" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="" class="username">amybess</a></span> <span class="field field--name-created field--type-created field--label-hidden">Tue, 05/19/2020 - 00:00</span> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field__item"><p><em>Allostatic load</em>: It sounds like a setting on a washer/dryer, not a potential health risk. Like your laundry basket, you’ll want to keep your allostatic load fresh and light. iRest—along with basic tools like diet, exercise, and social support—can help.</p> <p>The root of the term is <em>allostasis</em>, which refers to the process of achieving stability in the midst of change. These days, many of us are enduring changes of monumental proportions—from career and finances to housing and relationships. Along the way, we shoulder accumulated chronic stress, the measure of which is known as allostatic load. <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YPNOUC0ybvQ">Here’s an illustrated explanation for laypeople</a>. </p> <p>Just as we would tire of walking up a long, steep hill, we grow weary from carrying an unwieldy allostatic load. While some types of anxiety and stress help us identify threats and survive, continual stress can become pathological and highly damaging. After several months of living amid a pandemic, some of these behaviors will seem familiar: </p> <ul><li><a href="https://www.vice.com/en_us/article/n7jap8/allostatic-load-is-the-reason-you-feel-anxious-stressed-from-isolation">Memory loss, brain fog</a></li> <li><a href="https://www.vox.com/culture/2020/5/11/21250518/oliver-j-robinson-interview-pandemic-anxiety-reading">Compromised attention span</a> </li> <li>Poor decision making that is more impulsive, less reflective</li> <li>Lack of innovation, reliance on routine behavior</li> <li>Eroding ability to weather adversity</li> </ul><p>Today, these factors exist simultaneously with what COVID-19 itself can do to the human brain, as described <a href="https://www.wired.com/story/what-does-covid-19-do-to-your-brain/">here</a>. </p> <p>What’s especially dangerous is that these behavioral changes can occur gradually, without our awareness. Honestly, it’s stressful just to think about, isn’t it?</p> <p>iRest offers practical support for anyone experiencing chronic stress. (<a href="https://www.irest.org/mp3/5-minute-iRest-alleviating-stress-tension-anxiety.mp3">This study</a> is just one example of reported evidence.) With meditative practices such as <a href="https://www.irest.org/blog/non-dualism/discover-bodysensing">BodySensing</a> and <a href="https://www.irest.org/newsletter/201612/32SanghaGiving/BreathYJRMiller">BreathSensing</a>, iRest can offer you a better feel for your health as you tune into your physical being and observe its needs. Where you find chronic stress, you might send more breath and energy. In any case, knowing your body will allow you to safely navigate any dangers ahead. </p> <p>Want to try using iRest meditation to monitor and lighten your allostatic load? <a href="https://www.irest.org/mp3/5-minute-iRest-alleviating-stress-tension-anxiety.mp3">Try this simple practice for stress management</a>. </p> <p> </p> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-article-type field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field__items"> <div class="field__item"> <a href="/blog/category/research"> <span class="field__item">Research</span> </a> </div> <div class="field__item"> <a href="/blog/category/resources"> <span class="field__item">Resources</span> </a> </div> <div class="field__item"> <a href="/blog/category/other"> <span class="field__item">Other</span> </a> </div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-tags field--type-entity-reference field--label-above"> <div class="field__label">Tags</div> <div class="field__items"> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-8" hreflang="en">Healthcare Workers</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-9" hreflang="en">Yoga Teachers</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-10" hreflang="en">Yoga Therapists</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-0" hreflang="en">Physical Therapists</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-1" hreflang="en">Clinical Psychologists</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-4" hreflang="en">Educators</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-5" hreflang="en">iRest Teachers</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-6" hreflang="en">iRest Students</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-7" hreflang="en">Other</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-23" hreflang="en">Anxiety</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-14" hreflang="en">Stress</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-12" hreflang="en">Other</a></div> </div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-published-date field--type-datetime field--label-above"> <div class="field__label">Published date</div> <div class="field__item"><time datetime="2020-05-19T12:00:00Z" class="datetime">Tuesday, May 19, 2020 - 12:00</time> </div> </div> <section data-ajax_comment_pager="comment_node_article-3284" class="field field--name-comment-node-article field--type-comment field--label-hidden comment-wrapper"> <div class="comments_ajax_pager_wrap"></div> </section> <div class="node__links"> <ul class="links inline"><li class="comment-forbidden"><a href="/user/login?destination=/blog/research-resources-other/lighten-your-allostatic-load-stress-management-amid-pandemic-times%23comment-form">Log in</a> or <a href="/user/register?destination=/blog/research-resources-other/lighten-your-allostatic-load-stress-management-amid-pandemic-times%23comment-form">register</a> to post comments</li></ul> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-hero-image field--type-entity-reference field--label-above"> <div class="field__label">Hero Image</div> <div class="field__item"> <img loading="lazy" src="/sites/default/files/images/shutterstock_1278761818.jpg" width="5616" height="3744" alt="Allostatic Load: Stress Management" typeof="foaf:Image" /> </div> </div> Tue, 19 May 2020 07:00:00 +0000 amybess 3284 at https://www.irest.org Gratitude as Good Medicine https://www.irest.org/blog/resources-other/gratitude-good-medicine <span class="field field--name-title field--type-string field--label-hidden">Gratitude as Good Medicine</span> <div class="field field--name-field-teacher field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field__items"> <div class="field__item">13053</div> </div> <span class="field field--name-uid field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden"><a title="View user profile." href="/user/amy-bess-cook" lang="" about="/user/amy-bess-cook" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="" class="username">amybess</a></span> <span class="field field--name-created field--type-created field--label-hidden">Tue, 05/12/2020 - 00:00</span> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field__item"><p>Beloved country crooner Willie Nelson once famously said, “When I started counting my blessings, my whole life turned around." This opportunity for personal transformation is available to each of us, as Stephanie Lopez illuminated in a <a href="https://vimeo.com/411592328">recent iRest sangha session</a>.</p> <p><em>Sounds great</em>, you may be thinking, <em>but how?</em> It can be awfully tricky to be thankful when life isn’t going our way. In an era that has brought heightened daily tension, the risk of life-threatening illness, and painful lifestyle changes, the suggestion to linger in gratitude might seem presumptuous—even downright absurd. </p> <p>It’s hard to argue with science, though. According to multiple <a href="https://www.whartonhealthcare.org/the_neuroscience_of_gratitude">studies</a>, taking time to notice the better parts of life can have dramatic effects. After a single session of gratitude meditation, practitioners experienced decreased depression, higher levels of well being, greater trust in strangers, and improved sleep quality. In short, gratitude is good for what ails us.</p> <p>Alas, we humans often have a hard time finding good, a fact for which there is a biological explanation. Since the dawn of history, our brains have been programmed with a <a href="https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/articles/200306/our-brains-negative-bias">negativity bias</a> to carefully note potential threats and keep us out of harm's way. To balance this primal sense of caution with more evolved, conscious thinking is certainly a task—but one that is worthwhile, according to experts.</p> <p>One such expert is neurologist Rick Hanson, author of <em>Hardwiring Happiness,</em> who offers <a href="https://www.rickhanson.net/rick-packs/a-free-guide-to-growing-gratitude/growing-gratitude/">this helpful guide</a> to finding gratitude. To relish any experience and turn it into one that produces optimal happiness, Hanson recommends breaking the process into four basic steps:</p> <ol><li>Have a good experience. </li> <li>Enrich the experience. Spend time absorbing it. Let the senses come alive.</li> <li> Intentionally let the experience sink in and be encoded into your neural structure. </li> <li>Mentally link the experience with something challenging. </li> </ol><p>The key here is attention. In order to be changed by life’s delights, we are invited to notice them and stay with our positive feelings. A meditation practice like iRest, which offers a deep sensory exploration, can greatly enrich this process.</p> <p><br /> In the iconic book <em>Man’s Search for Meaning</em>, which chronicled his experiences as a prisoner in Nazi concentration camps, Viktor Frankl writes, “Everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of the human freedoms—to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one’s own way.”  With this wisdom in mind, let us each choose the path to greater joy and well-being—beginning in gratitude. </p> <p>Curious to hear more about this topic? Replay the sangha session with Stephanie Lopez <a href="https://vimeo.com/411592328">here </a>and sign up for future sangha sessions <a href="https://www.irest.org/live-stream-sangha-sessions-richard-and-stephanie">here</a>, all free of charge. </p> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-article-type field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field__items"> <div class="field__item"> <a href="/blog/category/resources"> <span class="field__item">Resources</span> </a> </div> <div class="field__item"> <a href="/blog/category/other"> <span class="field__item">Other</span> </a> </div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-tags field--type-entity-reference field--label-above"> <div class="field__label">Tags</div> <div class="field__items"> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-9" hreflang="en">Yoga Teachers</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-10" hreflang="en">Yoga Therapists</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-5" hreflang="en">iRest Teachers</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-6" hreflang="en">iRest Students</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-7" hreflang="en">Other</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-19" hreflang="en">Joy</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-22" hreflang="en">Peace and Well-Being</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-12" hreflang="en">Other</a></div> </div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-published-date field--type-datetime field--label-above"> <div class="field__label">Published date</div> <div class="field__item"><time datetime="2020-05-12T12:00:00Z" class="datetime">Tuesday, May 12, 2020 - 12:00</time> </div> </div> <section data-ajax_comment_pager="comment_node_article-3283" class="field field--name-comment-node-article field--type-comment field--label-hidden comment-wrapper"> <div class="comments_ajax_pager_wrap"> <article role="article" data-comment-user-id="14043" id="comment-15" class="comment js-comment"> <div class="comment__author-photo"> <span class="user-picture__placeholder"></span> </div> <div class="comment__content"> <header class="comment__header"> <h3 class="comment__author"> Laurel H <span class="hidden new" data-comment-timestamp="1613670952"></span></h3> <div class="comment__header-meta"> <span class="comment__permalink"><a href="/comment/15#comment-15" hreflang="en">Permalink</a></span> May 12, 2020 at 9:55am </div> </header> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-comment-body field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field__item"><p>I now gratitude journal "every day" (ok, maybe a couple times a week). There was a while when I gave up the habit, because it was hard for me to gauge whether I was practicing gratitude or self-invalidation. I had this habit that whenever I'd feel disappointment, I'd deny it or try to force gratitude instead. Once I became aware I was doing that, I started choosing to allow disappointment (without judgment)... and all of a sudden gratitude was so easy and clear. Now I see why everyone's talking about this "gratitude" thing :)</p> <ul></ul></div> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderLinks" arguments="0=15&amp;1=default&amp;2=en&amp;3=" token="rNqCNcQQOXfzbkOZt-lpzNIGd8-5jMcJXc7motnrTtc"></drupal-render-placeholder> </div> </article> </div> </section> <div class="node__links"> <ul class="links inline"><li class="comment-forbidden"><a href="/user/login?destination=/blog/resources-other/gratitude-good-medicine%23comment-form">Log in</a> or <a href="/user/register?destination=/blog/resources-other/gratitude-good-medicine%23comment-form">register</a> to post comments</li></ul> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-hero-image field--type-entity-reference field--label-above"> <div class="field__label">Hero Image</div> <div class="field__item"> <img loading="lazy" src="/sites/default/files/images/shutterstock_1325627693.jpg" width="5287" height="3525" alt="Gratitude as Good Medicine" typeof="foaf:Image" /> </div> </div> Tue, 12 May 2020 07:00:00 +0000 amybess 3283 at https://www.irest.org A Breath for Mama: Meditation for Mother's Day https://www.irest.org/blog/resources-other/breath-mama-meditation-mothers-day <span class="field field--name-title field--type-string field--label-hidden">A Breath for Mama: Meditation for Mother&#039;s Day</span> <div class="field field--name-field-teacher field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field__items"> <div class="field__item">13053</div> </div> <span class="field field--name-uid field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden"><a title="View user profile." href="/user/amy-bess-cook" lang="" about="/user/amy-bess-cook" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="" class="username">amybess</a></span> <span class="field field--name-created field--type-created field--label-hidden">Sat, 05/09/2020 - 00:00</span> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field__item"><p>On May 10th, we honor motherhood and those who carry out its loving, nurturing ideals. In recognition of the day, and as a gift to dedicated parents, iRest invites practitioners of all genders to join Senior iRest Trainer and Retreat Leader Anne Douglas to explore the divine feminine force that lies within us all. In this half-hour meditation, delve deep into your own capacity for nurturing and boundless love. Experience the meditation below:</p> <article class="media media--type-audio media--view-mode-default" data-align="center"><div class="field field--name-field-media-audio-file field--type-file field--label-hidden field__item"> <div class="audio-player"> <audio controls="controls"><source src="/system/files/2021-02/Honoring-the-Divine-Feminine-AD.mp3" type="audio/mpeg"></source></audio><a href="/system/files/2021-02/Honoring-the-Divine-Feminine-AD.mp3" class="audio-player__download" download=""><svg version="1.1" xmlns="http://www.w3.org/2000/svg" width="17" height="18" viewbox="0 0 17 18"><title>download</title><path fill="#21984e" d="M12.857 13.5c0-0.352-0.291-0.643-0.643-0.643s-0.643 0.291-0.643 0.643 0.291 0.643 0.643 0.643 0.643-0.291 0.643-0.643zM15.429 13.5c0-0.352-0.291-0.643-0.643-0.643s-0.643 0.291-0.643 0.643 0.291 0.643 0.643 0.643 0.643-0.291 0.643-0.643zM16.714 11.25v3.214c0 0.532-0.432 0.964-0.964 0.964h-14.786c-0.532 0-0.964-0.432-0.964-0.964v-3.214c0-0.532 0.432-0.964 0.964-0.964h4.671l1.356 1.366c0.372 0.362 0.854 0.563 1.366 0.563s0.994-0.201 1.366-0.563l1.366-1.366h4.661c0.532 0 0.964 0.432 0.964 0.964zM13.45 5.535c0.1 0.241 0.050 0.522-0.141 0.703l-4.5 4.5c-0.121 0.131-0.291 0.191-0.452 0.191s-0.331-0.060-0.452-0.191l-4.5-4.5c-0.191-0.181-0.241-0.462-0.141-0.703 0.1-0.231 0.331-0.392 0.593-0.392h2.571v-4.5c0-0.352 0.291-0.643 0.643-0.643h2.571c0.352 0 0.643 0.291 0.643 0.643v4.5h2.571c0.261 0 0.492 0.161 0.593 0.392z"></path></svg> Download MP3</a> </div> </div> </article></div> <div class="field field--name-field-article-type field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field__items"> <div class="field__item"> <a href="/blog/category/resources"> <span class="field__item">Resources</span> </a> </div> <div class="field__item"> <a href="/blog/category/other"> <span class="field__item">Other</span> </a> </div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-tags field--type-entity-reference field--label-above"> <div class="field__label">Tags</div> <div class="field__items"> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-9" hreflang="en">Yoga Teachers</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-10" hreflang="en">Yoga Therapists</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-5" hreflang="en">iRest Teachers</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-6" hreflang="en">iRest Students</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-7" hreflang="en">Other</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-19" hreflang="en">Joy</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-22" hreflang="en">Peace and Well-Being</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-14" hreflang="en">Stress</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-12" hreflang="en">Other</a></div> </div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-published-date field--type-datetime field--label-above"> <div class="field__label">Published date</div> <div class="field__item"><time datetime="2020-05-09T12:00:00Z" class="datetime">Saturday, May 9, 2020 - 12:00</time> </div> </div> <section data-ajax_comment_pager="comment_node_article-3282" class="field field--name-comment-node-article field--type-comment field--label-hidden comment-wrapper"> <div class="comments_ajax_pager_wrap"></div> </section> <div class="node__links"> <ul class="links inline"><li class="comment-forbidden"><a href="/user/login?destination=/blog/resources-other/breath-mama-meditation-mothers-day%23comment-form">Log in</a> or <a href="/user/register?destination=/blog/resources-other/breath-mama-meditation-mothers-day%23comment-form">register</a> to post comments</li></ul> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-hero-image field--type-entity-reference field--label-above"> <div class="field__label">Hero Image</div> <div class="field__item"> <img loading="lazy" src="/sites/default/files/images/alicia-petresc-c3KZP4azG6g-unsplash.jpg" width="5118" height="3648" alt="A Breath for Mama" typeof="foaf:Image" /> </div> </div> Sat, 09 May 2020 07:00:00 +0000 amybess 3282 at https://www.irest.org The Myth of Separation: An Invitation from Richard Miller https://www.irest.org/blog/resources-nondualism/myth-separation-invitation-richard-miller <span class="field field--name-title field--type-string field--label-hidden">The Myth of Separation: An Invitation from Richard Miller </span> <div class="field field--name-field-teacher field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field__items"> <div class="field__item">13053</div> </div> <span class="field field--name-uid field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden"><a title="View user profile." href="/user/amy-bess-cook" lang="" about="/user/amy-bess-cook" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="" class="username">amybess</a></span> <span class="field field--name-created field--type-created field--label-hidden">Fri, 05/01/2020 - 00:00</span> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field__item"><p>Even prior to the global pandemic, we lived in a world where our singularity was often valued more greatly than our inherent unity.  Now that circumstances require us to physically distance ourselves from one another, we notice that extreme individuality can quickly give way to loneliness and fear. <em>Take heart</em>, says iRest founder Dr. Richard Miller, <em>there is a balm</em>: Recognizing and nourishing our universal connectivity empowers us to thrive, even during challenging times.</p> <p>In this <a href="https://vimeo.com/412760479">free discussion</a>, Richard shows us how to do just that. After a guided meditation, he engages students to reflect on our changing world and explore how, even amid unsettling times, we might cultivate appreciation for its inherent mystery .</p> <p>This talk is a prelude and invitation to Richard's upcoming online home retreat, <a href="https://www.irest.org/event/irest-meditation-retreat-live-online-2020-may"> "Foundations of Yoga".</a> This silent meditation retreat, scheduled to live-stream May 19th through 24th with recordings made available, is an adaptation of Richard's popular annual in-person event in Oceanside, California. <a href="https://www.irest.org/event/irest-meditation-retreat-live-online-2020-may">Sign up to join Richard on retreat at home.</a></p> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-article-type field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field__items"> <div class="field__item"> <a href="/blog/category/resources"> <span class="field__item">Resources</span> </a> </div> <div class="field__item"> <a href="/blog/category/nondualism"> <span class="field__item">Nondualism</span> </a> </div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-tags field--type-entity-reference field--label-above"> <div class="field__label">Tags</div> <div class="field__items"> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-9" hreflang="en">Yoga Teachers</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-10" hreflang="en">Yoga Therapists</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-5" hreflang="en">iRest Teachers</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-6" hreflang="en">iRest Students</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-7" hreflang="en">Other</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-19" hreflang="en">Joy</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-22" hreflang="en">Peace and Well-Being</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-25" hreflang="en">Nondualism</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-12" hreflang="en">Other</a></div> </div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-published-date field--type-datetime field--label-above"> <div class="field__label">Published date</div> <div class="field__item"><time datetime="2020-05-01T12:00:00Z" class="datetime">Friday, May 1, 2020 - 12:00</time> </div> </div> <section data-ajax_comment_pager="comment_node_article-3278" class="field field--name-comment-node-article field--type-comment field--label-hidden comment-wrapper"> <div class="comments_ajax_pager_wrap"></div> </section> <div class="node__links"> <ul class="links inline"><li class="comment-forbidden"><a href="/user/login?destination=/blog/resources-nondualism/myth-separation-invitation-richard-miller%23comment-form">Log in</a> or <a href="/user/register?destination=/blog/resources-nondualism/myth-separation-invitation-richard-miller%23comment-form">register</a> to post comments</li></ul> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-hero-image field--type-entity-reference field--label-above"> <div class="field__label">Hero Image</div> <div class="field__item"> <img loading="lazy" src="/sites/default/files/images/christopher-sardegna-bSmKli4OTIY-unsplash_0.jpg" width="3456" height="2304" alt="Reflecting on a Changing World: An Inviitation" typeof="foaf:Image" /> </div> </div> Fri, 01 May 2020 07:00:00 +0000 amybess 3278 at https://www.irest.org Find Your Foundation When Life is Crumbling: An Interview with Cancer Survivor Valerie Kunimoto https://www.irest.org/blog/interviews-community-nondualism/find-your-foundation-when-life-crumbling-interview-cancer <span class="field field--name-title field--type-string field--label-hidden">Find Your Foundation When Life is Crumbling: An Interview with Cancer Survivor Valerie Kunimoto</span> <div class="field field--name-field-teacher field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field__items"> <div class="field__item">13053</div> </div> <span class="field field--name-uid field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden"><a title="View user profile." href="/user/amy-bess-cook" lang="" about="/user/amy-bess-cook" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="" class="username">amybess</a></span> <span class="field field--name-created field--type-created field--label-hidden">Tue, 04/28/2020 - 00:00</span> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field__item"><p>“iRest gave me a foundation—the practice—to get through my health issues and to grow strong and live a long full life, building a new house from the ruins.”  —Valerie Kunimoto</p> <p><br /><em>What remains when life seems to collapse? To answer, we must first look within. The human body holds precious information that’s ours for the asking. In a recent <a href="https://vimeo.com/409010752">iRest sangha session</a>, Director of Teachings Stephanie Lopez offered a comforting reminder of our innate ability to harness observation, breath, and movement to build an Inner Resource, or indestructible ground of well-being.  Today, meet an iRest practitioner and teacher who credits this strong sense of foundation with helping to support her health during a trying time. Then, step into the sacred construction zone and work on building an Inner Resource of your own with a free meditation.</em></p> <p> </p> <p>When she was diagnosed with acute myeloid leukemia in 2015, Valerie Kunimoto seemed to be in otherwise good health. While she had previously managed fibromyalgia, she had also taught yoga for more than 30 years and maintained an active lifestyle, physically and spiritually. Yet the cancer brought new challenges—from the physical trauma of chemotherapy to the mental challenge of an uncertain fate.</p> <p>A longtime practitioner, Valerie cites iRest as instrumental in helping to manage her recovery. (She is now in remission.) Attending an annual retreat with Richard Miller, Valerie realized how powerful the practice had truly been: "I had a vision of an old house barely standing, that started to crumble down into dust. Arising out of that dust, a beautiful, steel/gold looking house foundation came to life, looking shiny, strong and new. I really felt that iRest gave me this foundation... the iRest Yoga Nidra practice is extremely beneficial to people going through difficult situations."</p> <p><br /><br /><strong>Tell us who you are and something about yourself.</strong></p> <p>I’m Valerie Kunimoto, a Senior Certified Yoga Teacher with the Yoga Association of Alberta for the past 42 years. I’m also a Certified Restorative Yoga Teacher and have my Level 1 iRest Yoga Nidra Teacher Training. I’ve been teaching yoga in Lethbridge, Alberta, Canada part-time for about 38 years. I’ve been married to my husband Dave Kunimoto for 42 years and we have two married daughters and three granddaughters.</p> <p> </p> <p><strong>When and how did you first encounter iRest Yoga Nidra Meditation? Why did you find the practice so powerful?</strong></p> <p>I attended my first weeklong Richard Miller iRest Yoga Nidra retreat in Calgary, Alberta, in 2007 and have attended the same retreat 11 more times since. I had been practicing mindfulness meditation and had gone to numerous retreats for about five years before that, and while it was calming me down somewhat, I couldn’t seem to get out of my head and came back from the retreats feeling very frazzled. At Richard’s retreats, for the first time, I dropped out of my head and deeply into my body and pure presence, coming home from the retreats feeling as though I was glowing for weeks. </p> <p><br /><strong>When were you diagnosed with cancer? Tell us about the diagnosis.</strong></p> <p>I was diagnosed with acute myeloid leukemia in July 2015. Pure shock was an understatement and I was told I faced about five months of intense chemotherapy treatments away from our home with a 35% chance of survival. </p> <p>Luckily for us, I was able to do the treatments in Edmonton, Alberta, where our two daughters lived so we had a home to live in surrounded by family. After the treatments, I was declared in remission in December, 2015. Unfortunately the leukemia came back in November, 2016, so I was back in Edmonton for three more months of chemotherapy and full-body radiation and then three months in Calgary, Alberta, for a donor bone marrow transplant and three months of recovery.</p> <p> </p> <p><strong>Describe your treatment. What were some of the major obstacles? What was a major victory?</strong></p> <p>Surviving the chemotherapy treatments (four total in 2015) was the major obstacle. The first treatment was in the hospital for a month, having two different chemotherapies flowing into my body for 24 hours a day for seven days. Because the chemo destroys all your blood cells, I survived on blood, platelet, potassium, and magnesium transfusions for the month it took for my body to build up the levels back to a normal level. My white blood cells and nutrifils (immune system) were also destroyed, so I was fighting off numerous infections and on a lot of antibiotics. I knew I could have died at any time from a transfusion rejection or infection. </p> <p>After the first month, I was able to live at my daughter’s home and my husband drove me back and forth to the hospital sometimes twice a day for the following three chemotherapy treatments, transfusions and follow up each lasting a month from the first week of treatments and three weeks of healing.</p> <p>When this returned in 2016, I had the same protocol in Edmonton, but it was three treatments instead of four, and then I moved to the Tom Baker Cancer Centre in Calgary for the donor bone marrow transplant and recovery, this time renting a condo for three months. </p> <p> </p> <p><strong>What role did iRest play in helping you manage your healing?</strong></p> <p>It’s very difficult knowing you really can’t <em>do</em> anything but be there for your treatments and try to rest and recover. Knowing I could practice iRest lying down everyday made me feel that I had one more tool to help me fight this disease. Not only did it give me deep rest and help my body heal more quickly, but it helped my mental state, keeping me in the present moment and much calmer than without the practice.<br />  </p> <p><strong>You have said that iRest has offered you a foundation at a time when you felt "crumbly". Can you talk more about that? </strong></p> <p>In October, 2017, seven months after my bone marrow transplant and final chemotherapy treatment, I attended Richard Miller’s retreat in Calgary. I was in remission, but was still very weak, still had very little hair, and felt very ‘broken’.  </p> <p>On the first night, five minutes into our first meditation, I had a vision of an old house barely standing, that started to crumble down into dust. Arising out of that dust, a beautiful, steel/gold looking house foundation came to life, looking shiny, strong and new. I really felt that iRest gave me this foundation--the practice--to get through my health issues and to grow strong and live a long full life, building a new house from the ruins. </p> <p>A few nights later when Richard was giving a lecture, he said he was hoping this retreat gives everyone a good foundation to go home and continue the practice, so I shared my story of the crumbling house with the group.<br />  </p> <p><strong>What other resources have been useful to your recovery?</strong></p> <p>Besides practicing iRest daily, I did four specific Restorative Yoga postures as often as I could. I also listened to Eckhart Tolle literally on a daily basis to keep myself in a positive frame and as present as possible.</p> <p> </p> <p><strong>What is your daily practice like now that you are cancer-free?</strong></p> <p>For my mental and physical well-being, I still practice iRest Yoga Nidra at least five days a week and go to Richard’s yearly retreat in Alberta every October. I also walk my dog outside everyday, and practice various forms of yoga as often as possible. Although I’m not as strong and active as I once was, I still exercise (golf, play pickleball, etc) as often as I can. I’m still in remission and plan to stay that way.<br />  </p> <p><strong>What message would you like to offer others who might be facing a similar journey?</strong></p> <p>The iRest Yoga Nidra practice is extremely beneficial to people going through difficult situations, but also to everyone living in these busy times. Learning how to relax and be present doesn’t come easily to most people, so I highly recommend taking classes and using all the pre-recorded meditations available to everyone as often as possible. Giving yourself this 30 minutes per day will pay huge dividends in the future.</p> <p> </p> <p><a href="https://www.irest.org/Inner-Resource-Meditation.mp3">Listen to a free meditation to build your Inner Resource.</a></p> <p><a href="https://www.irest.org/recorded-sangha-sessions-richard-and-stephanie">Join our weekly sangha sessions here.</a></p> <p> </p> <p><img alt="Valerie Kunimoto" data-entity-type="file" data-entity-uuid="22186344-5774-45fd-be66-7a17a91cd1a5" src="/sites/default/files/inline-images/IMG_2483.jpeg" width="348" height="519" loading="lazy" /></p> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-article-type field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field__items"> <div class="field__item"> <a href="/blog/category/interviews"> <span class="field__item">Interviews</span> </a> </div> <div class="field__item"> <a href="/blog/category/community"> <span class="field__item">Community</span> </a> </div> <div class="field__item"> <a href="/blog/category/nondualism"> <span class="field__item">Nondualism</span> </a> </div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-tags field--type-entity-reference field--label-above"> <div class="field__label">Tags</div> <div class="field__items"> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-8" hreflang="en">Healthcare Workers</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-9" hreflang="en">Yoga Teachers</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-10" hreflang="en">Yoga Therapists</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-0" hreflang="en">Physical Therapists</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-5" hreflang="en">iRest Teachers</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-6" hreflang="en">iRest Students</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-7" hreflang="en">Other</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-21" hreflang="en">Chronic Pain</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-15" hreflang="en">Sleep</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-14" hreflang="en">Stress</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-13" hreflang="en">Trauma</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-25" hreflang="en">Nondualism</a></div> </div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-published-date field--type-datetime field--label-above"> <div class="field__label">Published date</div> <div class="field__item"><time datetime="2020-04-28T12:00:00Z" class="datetime">Tuesday, April 28, 2020 - 12:00</time> </div> </div> <section data-ajax_comment_pager="comment_node_article-3277" class="field field--name-comment-node-article field--type-comment field--label-hidden comment-wrapper"> <div class="comments_ajax_pager_wrap"> <article role="article" data-comment-user-id="10962" id="comment-16" class="comment js-comment"> <div class="comment__author-photo"> <span class="user-picture__placeholder"></span> </div> <div class="comment__content"> <header class="comment__header"> <h3 class="comment__author"> Valerie Kunimoto <span class="hidden new" data-comment-timestamp="1613670996"></span></h3> <div class="comment__header-meta"> <span class="comment__permalink"><a href="/comment/16#comment-16" hreflang="en">Permalink</a></span> April 30, 2020 at 9:56am </div> </header> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-comment-body field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field__item"><p>Thank you for allowing me to share my story.</p> <ul></ul></div> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderLinks" arguments="0=16&amp;1=default&amp;2=en&amp;3=" token="aa82bESdGQKCWi8uMRdL3XKUwTNWpzYQezXugPbYeDs"></drupal-render-placeholder> </div> </article> <article role="article" data-comment-user-id="41" id="comment-17" class="comment js-comment"> <div class="comment__author-photo"> <img src="/sites/default/files/styles/comment_author/public/pictures/2022-05/Kir%20headshot.jpeg?h=8eb2a663&amp;itok=frjlIrjs" width="130" height="130" alt="" loading="lazy" typeof="foaf:Image" class="image-style-comment-author" /> </div> <div class="comment__content"> <header class="comment__header"> <h3 class="comment__author"> Kirsten Guest <span class="hidden new" data-comment-timestamp="1613671021"></span></h3> <div class="comment__header-meta"> <span class="comment__permalink"><a href="/comment/17#comment-17" hreflang="en">Permalink</a></span> April 30, 2020 at 9:56am </div> </header> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-comment-body field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field__item"><p>I am so pleased to hear this story, in more detail now.  Such love to you, Val.  What a journey this has been, and continues to be.  It is an honour to have been "with you" through this time.  </p> </div> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderLinks" arguments="0=17&amp;1=default&amp;2=en&amp;3=" token="5isjmYk2KTZEcK1HtfaH0Ku5AQT2eBHTBu8nta57bes"></drupal-render-placeholder> </div> </article> </div> </section> <div class="node__links"> <ul class="links inline"><li class="comment-forbidden"><a href="/user/login?destination=/blog/interviews-community-nondualism/find-your-foundation-when-life-crumbling-interview-cancer%23comment-form">Log in</a> or <a href="/user/register?destination=/blog/interviews-community-nondualism/find-your-foundation-when-life-crumbling-interview-cancer%23comment-form">register</a> to post comments</li></ul> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-hero-image field--type-entity-reference field--label-above"> <div class="field__label">Hero Image</div> <div class="field__item"> <img loading="lazy" src="/sites/default/files/images/shutterstock_557477200.jpg" width="6000" height="4000" alt="Foundation" typeof="foaf:Image" /> </div> </div> Tue, 28 Apr 2020 07:00:00 +0000 amybess 3277 at https://www.irest.org On Control: Navigating Ahead When You Feel Swept Away https://www.irest.org/blog/resources-nondualism/control-navigating-ahead-when-you-feel-swept-away <span class="field field--name-title field--type-string field--label-hidden">On Control: Navigating Ahead When You Feel Swept Away</span> <div class="field field--name-field-teacher field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field__items"> <div class="field__item">13053</div> </div> <span class="field field--name-uid field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden"><a title="View user profile." href="/user/amy-bess-cook" lang="" about="/user/amy-bess-cook" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="" class="username">amybess</a></span> <span class="field field--name-created field--type-created field--label-hidden">Sat, 04/25/2020 - 00:00</span> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field__item"><p>From the comfort of a meditation cushion, it can seem relatively easy to relax and release the illusion of control. <em>Hey,</em> we might think, <em>I’m pretty good at this mindfulness thing.</em> Out in the wider world, potentially faced with more daunting and immediate challenges, our calm wavers as we are thrust into the unknown.</p> <p>Lately, a lot of us are navigating that unknown. The language of today’s headlines reveals trends: We call these times “unprecedented” and are plagued by “uncertainty.” Small businesses and individuals alike must “pivot” and stay agile in the face of adversity. “Fear” unsurprisingly <a href="https://www.vox.com/recode/2020/3/12/21175570/coronavirus-covid-19-social-media-twitter-facebook-google">has been measured</a> as a top emotion surfacing in online news and conversations. An obvious correlation arises: We fear what we cannot control. </p> <p>Moreover, when we attempt to control the inevitable, we can do harm to ourselves and others. It is worth discerning, then, the difference between what we can control and what we cannot. It is also worth cultivating coping skills to keep steady, come what may.<br /><br /> In a recent talk entitled “<a href="https://www.facebook.com/watch/live/?v=1079637299076882&amp;external_log_id=dfb7e8ceb0f7d1cfec41f5a517d0f1ee">How to Live With Prolonged Uncertainty and Anticipatory Grief</a>”, psychologist Esther Perel offered relevant perspective: </p> <blockquote> <p>“You have two groups of people. You have those who have a strong sense of self-reliance and self-sufficiency. [The assumption is that] if they survive it’s because they took proper measures. But if they get sick, they only have themselves to blame.<br /><br /> On the other side are the people who accept ... that bad things do happen in life. You don’t control everything. You do the best you can with what’s in front of you. I think the people who will do the best right now are these people.”</p> </blockquote> <p>A fundamental part of our survival, continues Perel, is emotional regulation. Identifying how we are feeling allows us to then decide what action might then be taken to make us feel more safe. </p> <p>We at iRest couldn’t agree more—in fact, emotional regulation is central to our work.  Some of the most powerful efforts you can take toward emotional regulation are reflected in the <a href="https://www.yogajournal.com/meditation/10-steps-of-yoga-nidra">iRest 10-Step Protocol</a>. A few of these include:</p> <ul><li><strong>Finding Your Inner Resource</strong></li> <li><strong>Becoming Aware of Your Breath</strong></li> <li><strong>Welcoming Your Feelings</strong></li> </ul><p><br /> We control very few matters in this great, wide world—but what we can influence turns out to be deeply meaningful. With a little (or a lot of) practice, we build our capacity to endure the trials of uncertainty, surrender to the unknown, and even enjoy the ride—and that is the power of iRest Yoga Nidra.</p> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-article-type field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field__items"> <div class="field__item"> <a href="/blog/category/resources"> <span class="field__item">Resources</span> </a> </div> <div class="field__item"> <a href="/blog/category/nondualism"> <span class="field__item">Nondualism</span> </a> </div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-tags field--type-entity-reference field--label-above"> <div class="field__label">Tags</div> <div class="field__items"> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-9" hreflang="en">Yoga Teachers</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-10" hreflang="en">Yoga Therapists</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-5" hreflang="en">iRest Teachers</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-6" hreflang="en">iRest Students</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-7" hreflang="en">Other</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-23" hreflang="en">Anxiety</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-20" hreflang="en">Depression</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-22" hreflang="en">Peace and Well-Being</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-17" hreflang="en">Pain Relief</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-14" hreflang="en">Stress</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-13" hreflang="en">Trauma</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-25" hreflang="en">Nondualism</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-12" hreflang="en">Other</a></div> </div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-published-date field--type-datetime field--label-above"> <div class="field__label">Published date</div> <div class="field__item"><time datetime="2020-04-25T12:00:00Z" class="datetime">Saturday, April 25, 2020 - 12:00</time> </div> </div> <section data-ajax_comment_pager="comment_node_article-3276" class="field field--name-comment-node-article field--type-comment field--label-hidden comment-wrapper"> <div class="comments_ajax_pager_wrap"></div> </section> <div class="node__links"> <ul class="links inline"><li class="comment-forbidden"><a href="/user/login?destination=/blog/resources-nondualism/control-navigating-ahead-when-you-feel-swept-away%23comment-form">Log in</a> or <a href="/user/register?destination=/blog/resources-nondualism/control-navigating-ahead-when-you-feel-swept-away%23comment-form">register</a> to post comments</li></ul> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-hero-image field--type-entity-reference field--label-above"> <div class="field__label">Hero Image</div> <div class="field__item"> <img loading="lazy" src="/sites/default/files/images/shutterstock_301223963.jpg" width="4300" height="2894" alt="Control" typeof="foaf:Image" /> </div> </div> Sat, 25 Apr 2020 07:00:00 +0000 amybess 3276 at https://www.irest.org Thrive in Solo Quarantine with These Journaling Techniques https://www.irest.org/blog/resources/thrive-solo-quarantine-these-journaling-techniques <span class="field field--name-title field--type-string field--label-hidden">Thrive in Solo Quarantine with These Journaling Techniques</span> <div class="field field--name-field-teacher field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field__items"> <div class="field__item">13053</div> </div> <span class="field field--name-uid field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden"><a title="View user profile." href="/user/amy-bess-cook" lang="" about="/user/amy-bess-cook" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="" class="username">amybess</a></span> <span class="field field--name-created field--type-created field--label-hidden">Mon, 04/20/2020 - 16:20</span> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field__item"><p>For many people around the world, a shelter-in-place mandate continues. As we grapple with this circumstance, we find mental health issues such as depression and anxiety on the rise. For folks sheltering solo, these risks can be particularly high. Even amid efforts to consciously create community, like those explored <a href="https://www.irest.org/blog/cultivating-community-our-new-reality-staying-connected-inside-and-out">here</a>, isolation can surface and precipitate difficult feelings. Such feelings are easily compounded when no one is physically present to comfort us. What to do?</p> <p>One way to proactively manage this risk is with writing therapy, or journaling. Essentially, this practice allows you to meet and keep company with your deepest self.  Like meditation, writing therapy can be self-administered. Distinctive from keeping a record of daily events in a diary, journaling invites us to process experiences, reflect on feelings, and gain new insights into our lives. Offering a prime opportunity to refocus the mind and experiment with safe emotional expression, writing therapy can lead to radically enhanced health, resilience, and wellbeing. </p> <p> </p> <p><strong>Why Journal?</strong></p> <p>While the goals and outcomes of journaling can be different for everyone, one of its great gifts is the opportunity to reframe your life’s story. In the wake of painful events, this can have highly positive effects on your wellbeing. According to <a href="http://projects.hsl.wisc.edu/SERVICE/modules/12/M12_CT_TherapeuticJournaling.pdf">this study</a>, journaling can be as effective as cognitive behavioral therapy, and is known to have a range of positive outcomes, including: </p> <ul><li>Reduces stress</li> <li>Facilitates positive encouragement and self-talk</li> <li>Improves overall mood</li> <li>Increases feelings of well-being</li> <li>Improves blood pressure levels</li> <li>Fortifies immune system</li> <li>Improves memory</li> </ul><p> </p> <p><strong>Get Started </strong></p> <p>To prepare for your foray into journaling, make a few basic preparations. </p> <ul><li>Find a journal that feels comfortable—whether a classic leather bound book, a funky sketchpad, or an online space. Find a favorite writing utensil, too. (Here is a detailed <a href="https://nymag.com/strategist/article/best-notebooks-and-notepads.html">review of journals </a>and <a href="http://nymag.com/strategist/article/best-pens-gel-ballpoint-rollerball-felt-fountain.html?fbclid=IwAR0S4rb8kguV-xMMOcFPzEOAV1VlqNDf33gABtX7WG9R6R26ptn_Coz1Q98">review of pens</a>.) Keep both in a reliable place.</li> <li>Set a timeframe and commit to a schedule. A recommended beginning point is 15-20 minutes a day for four days.</li> <li>To center your thoughts, meditate before you begin. You can try the guided meditation below from iRest Founder Richard Miller to help get  you started.</li> <li>Date each entry, in case you decide to look back on your writing someday and need this information for reference.</li> <li>Keep your journal private, at least for now. This is for you.</li> <li>Write without censoring yourself. Let it flow!</li> </ul><article class="media media--type-audio media--view-mode-default" data-align="center"><div class="field field--name-field-media-audio-file field--type-file field--label-hidden field__item"> <div class="audio-player"> <audio controls="controls"><source src="/system/files/2021-02/22%20Welcoming%20Opposites%20of%20Thought.mp3" type="audio/mpeg"></source></audio><a href="/system/files/2021-02/22%20Welcoming%20Opposites%20of%20Thought.mp3" class="audio-player__download" download=""><svg version="1.1" xmlns="http://www.w3.org/2000/svg" width="17" height="18" viewbox="0 0 17 18"><title>download</title><path fill="#21984e" d="M12.857 13.5c0-0.352-0.291-0.643-0.643-0.643s-0.643 0.291-0.643 0.643 0.291 0.643 0.643 0.643 0.643-0.291 0.643-0.643zM15.429 13.5c0-0.352-0.291-0.643-0.643-0.643s-0.643 0.291-0.643 0.643 0.291 0.643 0.643 0.643 0.643-0.291 0.643-0.643zM16.714 11.25v3.214c0 0.532-0.432 0.964-0.964 0.964h-14.786c-0.532 0-0.964-0.432-0.964-0.964v-3.214c0-0.532 0.432-0.964 0.964-0.964h4.671l1.356 1.366c0.372 0.362 0.854 0.563 1.366 0.563s0.994-0.201 1.366-0.563l1.366-1.366h4.661c0.532 0 0.964 0.432 0.964 0.964zM13.45 5.535c0.1 0.241 0.050 0.522-0.141 0.703l-4.5 4.5c-0.121 0.131-0.291 0.191-0.452 0.191s-0.331-0.060-0.452-0.191l-4.5-4.5c-0.191-0.181-0.241-0.462-0.141-0.703 0.1-0.231 0.331-0.392 0.593-0.392h2.571v-4.5c0-0.352 0.291-0.643 0.643-0.643h2.571c0.352 0 0.643 0.291 0.643 0.643v4.5h2.571c0.261 0 0.492 0.161 0.593 0.392z"></path></svg> Download MP3</a> </div> </div> </article><p> </p> <p> </p> <p><strong>Try a Few Prompts</strong></p> <p>Freewriting</p> <ul><li>With a long history as a tool for writers and artists, freewriting opens the valve of the mind and allows anything and everything to spill out. It’s an ideal way to warm up for your journaling practice. <a href="https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/the-creative-life/201708/the-magic-freewriting">Learn about freewriting.</a></li> </ul><p>Mindmapping</p> <ul><li>A mind map is a graphic representation of ideas and is a wonderful way to organize complicated thoughts. <a href="https://www.mindmapping.com/">Learn about mindmapping.</a></li> </ul><p>100 Things</p> <ul><li>Use a list format to brainstorm around themes like “10 People I’ll Hug After Quarantine”, “100 Places I Want to Travel After the Pandemic”, and “100 Reasons to Get Out of Bed in the Morning”. Play with it!</li> </ul><p>Sentence Stems</p> <ul><li>From a tiny fragment of a sentence, meaningful writing can emerge. Consider starting with one of these: “The thing I am most worried about is…”, “I have trouble sleeping when…”, and “My happiest memory is…”. Such simple prompts allow for experimentation and a shift in perspective.</li> </ul><p>Gratitude Journaling</p> <ul><li>Keep a running list of what you are thankful for. This can momentarily shift your attention from any difficulties you are experiencing and uplift your well being.</li> </ul><p>Third Person Journaling </p> <ul><li>Try writing about your life in the third person. For example, instead of writing, “I finally received my test results”, write, “She finally received her test results”. Doing so has been shown to <a href="https://www.medicaldaily.com/writing-third-person-helps-stressed-people-understand-their-circumstances-more-wisely-287460">increase insight and reduce stress. </a></li> </ul><p> </p> <p><strong>Other Tips</strong></p> <ul><li>It is common for people to feel emotionally raw after a journaling session. Go at your own pace. Pause as necessary. Breathe.</li> <li>Are you finding it too upsetting to write about a certain topic? It’s okay—simply stop or find another, more agreeable topic. Write only about what you can handle now.</li> <li>If you experience extended distress, contact a professional psychologist, counselor, or physician.</li> </ul><p> </p> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-article-type field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field__items"> <div class="field__item"> <a href="/blog/category/resources"> <span class="field__item">Resources</span> </a> </div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-tags field--type-entity-reference field--label-above"> <div class="field__label">Tags</div> <div class="field__items"> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-10" hreflang="en">Yoga Therapists</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-4" hreflang="en">Educators</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-5" hreflang="en">iRest Teachers</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-7" hreflang="en">Other</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-12" hreflang="en">Other</a></div> </div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-published-date field--type-datetime field--label-above"> <div class="field__label">Published date</div> <div class="field__item"><time datetime="2020-04-20T12:00:00Z" class="datetime">Monday, April 20, 2020 - 12:00</time> </div> </div> <section data-ajax_comment_pager="comment_node_article-3274" class="field field--name-comment-node-article field--type-comment field--label-hidden comment-wrapper"> <div class="comments_ajax_pager_wrap"> <article role="article" data-comment-user-id="9909" id="comment-18" class="comment js-comment"> <div class="comment__author-photo"> <img src="/sites/default/files/styles/comment_author/public/pictures/2022-02/2D3EC848-AF1A-4226-915C-EB371A6DFC3E.jpeg?h=3cd06fc8&amp;itok=WYJHdera" width="130" height="130" alt="" loading="lazy" typeof="foaf:Image" class="image-style-comment-author" /> </div> <div class="comment__content"> <header class="comment__header"> <h3 class="comment__author"> Tim Derry <span class="hidden new" data-comment-timestamp="1613671088"></span></h3> <div class="comment__header-meta"> <span class="comment__permalink"><a href="/comment/18#comment-18" hreflang="en">Permalink</a></span> April 21, 2020 at 9:57am </div> </header> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-comment-body field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field__item"><p>Thank You for this. I have always had the hardest time journaling. Given that I have absolutely no reason not to schedule a little bit of time to it these days, I will.</p> <ul></ul></div> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderLinks" arguments="0=18&amp;1=default&amp;2=en&amp;3=" token="jVhirhDd91eC6XV9WsQl4PLehFgKsOgX9j8i4FgvScs"></drupal-render-placeholder> </div> </article> <article role="article" data-comment-user-id="58" id="comment-19" class="comment js-comment"> <div class="comment__author-photo"> <img src="/sites/default/files/styles/comment_author/public/GPullenDec2018.jpeg?h=2a545f93&amp;itok=BNCQMLif" width="130" height="130" alt="" loading="lazy" typeof="foaf:Image" class="image-style-comment-author" /> </div> <div class="comment__content"> <header class="comment__header"> <h3 class="comment__author"> Gabrielle Pullen <span class="hidden new" data-comment-timestamp="1613671112"></span></h3> <div class="comment__header-meta"> <span class="comment__permalink"><a href="/comment/19#comment-19" hreflang="en">Permalink</a></span> April 23, 2020 at 9:57am </div> </header> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-comment-body field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field__item"><p>I love this! When my daughter died, in 2011, I ended up going back to school to get a Masters in Writing and in Teaching Writing, but I have been journaling since the 80's. What I discovered is that there are phases to journaling, which is why it's hard to get the idea across to people new to it. But in a nutshell, let's say the first phase is like a mind dump, where you get to extricate the closeness of your relationship with your thoughts, so that you can have the objectivity to see them on paper. This morning we did the Online Writing session I facilitate and afterwards therapist present commented that when she was journaling, it was the first time she ever really "got" the impact of her inner critic. Another, commented on noticing how good she was at complaining and whining. We all agreed that at some point, there's this magic moment when you realize you are tired of your own "stuff." It's magic, because that's when you get to move on from it. That's when you get to do what they talk about in Composition Studies, which is called, "Write to Learn." You get to write to discover how to cultivate the calmness and peace that we all crave! Please contact me if you are interested in joining us on Thursdays at 8:40 for a free session of online writing every week - we connect - we do a check in - then we write in silence for an hour...Thank you for posting this, Richard! I love the inspired actions you are taking in this time of need for global harmony and grounding.</p> <ul></ul></div> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderLinks" arguments="0=19&amp;1=default&amp;2=en&amp;3=" token="pFM0YP_kPDKouK2EtUL6FOjpmw7K7wAbolYISDNrUb4"></drupal-render-placeholder> </div> </article> </div> </section> <div class="node__links"> <ul class="links inline"><li class="comment-forbidden"><a href="/user/login?destination=/blog/resources/thrive-solo-quarantine-these-journaling-techniques%23comment-form">Log in</a> or <a href="/user/register?destination=/blog/resources/thrive-solo-quarantine-these-journaling-techniques%23comment-form">register</a> to post comments</li></ul> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-hero-image field--type-entity-reference field--label-above"> <div class="field__label">Hero Image</div> <div class="field__item"> <img loading="lazy" src="/sites/default/files/images/aaron-burden-CKlHKtCJZKk-unsplash_0.jpg" width="4592" height="3448" alt="Journaling for Solo Quarantine" typeof="foaf:Image" /> </div> </div> Mon, 20 Apr 2020 23:20:37 +0000 amybess 3274 at https://www.irest.org Home Retreat: How to Make the Most of Sheltering in Place https://www.irest.org/blog/resources-other/home-retreat-how-make-most-sheltering-place <span class="field field--name-title field--type-string field--label-hidden">Home Retreat: How to Make the Most of Sheltering in Place</span> <div class="field field--name-field-teacher field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field__items"> <div class="field__item">13053</div> </div> <span class="field field--name-uid field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden"><a title="View user profile." href="/user/jeremy-caldwell" lang="" about="/user/jeremy-caldwell" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="" class="username">jeremy</a></span> <span class="field field--name-created field--type-created field--label-hidden">Mon, 04/13/2020 - 00:00</span> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field__item"><p>This season, faced with shelter-in-place mandates, we are spending more time in our homes than ever before. This new reality has presented challenges—especially for those who are living in cramped quarters, juggling caretaking duties, or lacking access to open space. Yet folks are finding ways to treasure this unexpected hearthside time, embracing the opportunity to delve deep within and shift their life’s perspective. </p> <p>None of us signed up for this home retreat—but perhaps it’s ours for the taking. How might we turn the confines of quarantine into a nourishing home environment? </p> <p>We at iRest Institute encourage you to experiment with making your time at home as nurturing as possible, whatever your circumstances might be. Maybe your “retreat” can only happen for half an hour each day before the kids wake up. That’s plenty! iRest Institute founder Richard Miller is often quoted as saying that it’s the practices we implement “little and often” that most profoundly transform our lives. </p> <p>Ready for your home retreat? Here’s how to get started:<br />  </p> <p><strong>Set a heartfelt intention.</strong></p> <p>What would you like to gain from your home retreat? Write an intention in your journal or on a sticky note on the fridge. Examples might include:</p> <ul><li>Reconnect with your authentic self.</li> <li>Ease anxiety about your finances.</li> <li>Speak more lovingly to your partner or children.</li> <li>Eat more mindfully.</li> <li>Cultivate steady presence during a transitional time.</li> </ul><p> </p> <p><strong>Make a schedule and stick to it.</strong></p> <p>How much time can you realistically expect to devote to your retreat? Whether you try for an hour, a day, or a week, set an achievable goal—then honor it. This is your time.</p> <p> </p> <p><strong>Clear a sacred space.</strong></p> <p>Whether a cushion on the floor or an entire room, designate a space where you can feel comfortable during your retreat. Gather items that help create a supportive environment—favorite books of devotion, a cozy shawl, and a few candles.</p> <p> </p> <p><strong>Minimize distractions.</strong></p> <p>Now that you have set aside time and space for your retreat, take measures to prevent interruptions. For some folks, this will be easier than for others--but give it your best shot! </p> <ul><li>Tell family members or housemates that you are occupied.</li> <li>Put an “away” response on your email</li> <li>Consider using earplugs or a white noise machine.</li> <li>Plan and prepare meals in advance. </li> </ul><p> </p> <p><strong>Structure your experience. </strong></p> <p>Consider beginning with a theme, such as trust, forgiveness, or uncertainty. With that theme as a starting point, include any of the following components in your schedule: </p> <ul><li>Pranayama </li> <li>iRest meditation</li> <li>Walking meditation</li> <li>Devotional readings</li> <li>Journaling</li> <li>Creative play</li> <li>Recorded talks and teachings </li> </ul><p><br /><strong>Retreat with friends. </strong></p> <p>Whether solo or in good company, a retreat is a worthwhile experience. The value of sharing the experience cannot be underestimated, though. Other people can help you process your experience, enhance your insight, and hold you accountable. Consider getting a buddy to retreat with you (even virtually), then compare notes.</p> <p>Want an instant retreat community? Join us at iRest for one of the following opportunities:</p> <ul><li><a href="https://www.irest.org/recorded-sangha-sessions-richard-and-stephanie">iRest Weekly Sangha Sessions</a> (Free)</li> </ul></div> <div class="field field--name-field-article-type field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field__items"> <div class="field__item"> <a href="/blog/category/resources"> <span class="field__item">Resources</span> </a> </div> <div class="field__item"> <a href="/blog/category/other"> <span class="field__item">Other</span> </a> </div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-tags field--type-entity-reference field--label-above"> <div class="field__label">Tags</div> <div class="field__items"> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-9" hreflang="en">Yoga Teachers</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-10" hreflang="en">Yoga Therapists</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-5" hreflang="en">iRest Teachers</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-6" hreflang="en">iRest Students</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-7" hreflang="en">Other</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-23" hreflang="en">Anxiety</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-19" hreflang="en">Joy</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-22" hreflang="en">Peace and Well-Being</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-15" hreflang="en">Sleep</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-14" hreflang="en">Stress</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-12" hreflang="en">Other</a></div> </div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-published-date field--type-datetime field--label-above"> <div class="field__label">Published date</div> <div class="field__item"><time datetime="2020-04-13T12:00:00Z" class="datetime">Monday, April 13, 2020 - 12:00</time> </div> </div> <section data-ajax_comment_pager="comment_node_article-3601" class="field field--name-comment-node-article field--type-comment field--label-hidden comment-wrapper"> <div class="comments_ajax_pager_wrap"></div> </section> <div class="node__links"> <ul class="links inline"><li class="comment-forbidden"><a href="/user/login?destination=/blog/resources-other/home-retreat-how-make-most-sheltering-place%23comment-form">Log in</a> or <a href="/user/register?destination=/blog/resources-other/home-retreat-how-make-most-sheltering-place%23comment-form">register</a> to post comments</li></ul> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-hero-image field--type-entity-reference field--label-above"> <div class="field__label">Hero Image</div> <div class="field__item"> <img loading="lazy" src="https://irest-website-live.s3.us-west-2.amazonaws.com/images/shutterstock_557795188.jpg" width="4000" height="2667" alt="Woman doing yoga with cat" typeof="foaf:Image" /> </div> </div> Mon, 13 Apr 2020 07:00:00 +0000 jeremy 3601 at https://www.irest.org Your Sleep Solution Emergency Kit https://www.irest.org/blog/resources-other/your-sleep-solution-emergency-kit <span class="field field--name-title field--type-string field--label-hidden">Your Sleep Solution Emergency Kit</span> <div class="field field--name-field-teacher field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field__items"> <div class="field__item">13053</div> </div> <span class="field field--name-uid field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden"><a title="View user profile." href="/user/jeremy-caldwell" lang="" about="/user/jeremy-caldwell" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="" class="username">jeremy</a></span> <span class="field field--name-created field--type-created field--label-hidden">Thu, 04/09/2020 - 00:00</span> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field__item"><p>Long before the outbreak of coronavirus, tens of millions of people worldwide suffered from sleep problems—ranging from insomnia to sleep apnea to night terrors—to the point that The Center for Disease Control officially <a href="https://www.sleepdr.com/the-sleep-blog/cdc-declares-sleep-disorders-a-public-health-epidemic/">declared sleep disorders an epidemic. </a></p> <p>Alas, current events have only exacerbated this issue. Many people have been forced out of their daily routines of work, school, and other activities. Instead, we now spend most of the day indoors, with decreased exposure to the natural light that regulates our sleep patterns. As the threat of the virus looms and lingers, our stress levels rise. In the face of such calamity, a good night’s sleep becomes even more elusive—and more precious, too. </p> <p>Struggling to catch some zzz’s? We at iRest Institute have a few reliable tools that can help. </p> <p><strong>How much sleep is enough?</strong></p> <p>Sleep is fundamental to health, and quantity matters as much as quality. Aim for seven to nine hours per night. Less sleep can bring fatigue and lethargy, and can shorten life expectancy. More sleep can lead to depression and cognitive impairment. Either can lead to a compromised immune system.</p> <p> </p> <p><strong>What do I do if I wake up in the middle of the night? </strong></p> <p>It’s perfectly normal to sleep for four hours, wake up for a little while, then sleep for another four hours. If an hour passes and you can’t get back to sleep, though, that’s a problem. Try these tips:</p> <ul><li>Get out of bed. Staying in bed while you are sleepless can create a negative association with your sleep environment, potentially causing future sleep issues.</li> <li>Open a journal and pick up a pen. Set any disruptive thoughts in writing.</li> <li>If you’re having a particular worry, consider trying “imaginal rehearsal”.  <ul><li>Take the worrying thought and contemplate its opposite. Write it down. </li> <li>Get back into bed and spend the next five minutes imagining or “rehearsing” that reality. </li> <li>Prepare your body to take that reality with you to sleep. </li> </ul></li> </ul><p> </p> <p><strong>How can I better prepare for sleep?</strong></p> <ul><li>Set a regular time to go to bed.</li> <li>Open a window or find another way to lower the temperature. According to the <a href="https://www.sleep.org/articles/does-your-body-temperature-change-while-you-sleep/">National Sleep Foundation</a>, circadian rhythms are closely linked to body temperature.</li> <li>Make sure your bed is super comfy by keeping a mattress that’s ideal for your body and changing it at least every 10 years.</li> <li>Exercise daily, experimenting with the <a href="https://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/health/wellness-and-prevention/exercising-for-better-sleep">time of day</a> that suits you. </li> <li>Avoid or cut down on certain vices. Caffeine and nicotine are stimulants, while alcohol and sleep medications can disrupt sleep cycles.</li> <li>Monitor your use of electronics. Reduce overall screen time, and spend time “powering” down” before bed by placing electronics aside and picking up a book. </li> <li>Meditation provides equanimity that we can take into our daytime activities and into the night, as well. <a href="https://www.irest.org/blog/irest-action/love-zzzzs">Here are two iRest practices,</a> conducted by Dr. Richard Miller, that guide you toward better sleep.</li> </ul><p> </p> <p><strong>What about napping?</strong></p> <p>We at iRest Institute are big fans of napping. Just a 12 to 15 minute nap during the day increases mood, productivity, and chances of sleeping better during the night. It can also heighten immunity. Give it a try!</p> <p> </p> <p><strong>What if I don’t have time to sleep?</strong></p> <p>No matter where you are or what you are doing, calling on your Inner Resource of indestructible joy will enhance your overall well-being. Learn more about the Inner Resource and try a prerecorded <a href="https://www.irest.org/inner-resource">practice here</a>. Conjure this tool while you’re working, driving, walking, or cooking dinner. It’s always within.</p> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-article-type field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field__items"> <div class="field__item"> <a href="/blog/category/resources"> <span class="field__item">Resources</span> </a> </div> <div class="field__item"> <a href="/blog/category/other"> <span class="field__item">Other</span> </a> </div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-tags field--type-entity-reference field--label-above"> <div class="field__label">Tags</div> <div class="field__items"> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-9" hreflang="en">Yoga Teachers</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-10" hreflang="en">Yoga Therapists</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-4" hreflang="en">Educators</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-5" hreflang="en">iRest Teachers</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-6" hreflang="en">iRest Students</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-7" hreflang="en">Other</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-15" hreflang="en">Sleep</a></div> </div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-published-date field--type-datetime field--label-above"> <div class="field__label">Published date</div> <div class="field__item"><time datetime="2020-04-09T12:00:00Z" class="datetime">Thursday, April 9, 2020 - 12:00</time> </div> </div> <section data-ajax_comment_pager="comment_node_article-3602" class="field field--name-comment-node-article field--type-comment field--label-hidden comment-wrapper"> <div class="comments_ajax_pager_wrap"></div> </section> <div class="node__links"> <ul class="links inline"><li class="comment-forbidden"><a href="/user/login?destination=/blog/resources-other/your-sleep-solution-emergency-kit%23comment-form">Log in</a> or <a href="/user/register?destination=/blog/resources-other/your-sleep-solution-emergency-kit%23comment-form">register</a> to post comments</li></ul> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-hero-image field--type-entity-reference field--label-above"> <div class="field__label">Hero Image</div> <div class="field__item"> <img loading="lazy" src="https://irest-website-live.s3.us-west-2.amazonaws.com/images/shutterstock_721660393.jpg" width="4741" height="3165" alt="Sleep Emergency Toolkit" typeof="foaf:Image" /> </div> </div> Thu, 09 Apr 2020 07:00:00 +0000 jeremy 3602 at https://www.irest.org Six Ways to Fortify Your Immunity https://www.irest.org/blog/research-resources-other/six-ways-fortify-your-immunity <span class="field field--name-title field--type-string field--label-hidden">Six Ways to Fortify Your Immunity</span> <div class="field field--name-field-teacher field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field__items"> <div class="field__item">13053</div> </div> <span class="field field--name-uid field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden"><a title="View user profile." href="/user/jeremy-caldwell" lang="" about="/user/jeremy-caldwell" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="" class="username">jeremy</a></span> <span class="field field--name-created field--type-created field--label-hidden">Mon, 04/06/2020 - 00:00</span> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field__item"><p>In a world where health risks lie hidden, we are all vulnerable. While there is no cure for the coronavirus, immunity offers some protection and the opportunity to move through each day with greater confidence. How might we cultivate our own immunity, and continue to thrive? </p> <p>In a recent <a href="https://vimeo.com/403837850">sangha session</a>, Stephanie Lopez discussed this topic, offering ways for us all to boost the immune system. Aside from basic steps—sheltering in place, washing our hands, and avoiding touching our faces—the following practices can make a marked difference. (Read more from the experts at <a href="https://www.health.harvard.edu/blog/coping-with-coronavirus-anxiety-2020031219183">Harvard Medical School</a>.)</p> <blockquote> <p><strong>Place a hand to your heart.</strong> This simple gesture holds profound power. With one hand over your heart, breathe until you arrive at a greater ease of being. Feel your inherent interconnectedness with all beings. Linger.</p> </blockquote> <blockquote> <p><strong>Breathe. </strong>Pranayama is a system of exercises regulating the breath. The ancients knew that these exercises could train the lungs and build the respiratory system (among other benefits). Now that a respiratory virus is at hand, pranayama may be more helpful than ever. New to the practice? Begin with these techniques:</p> </blockquote> <blockquote> <ul><li><a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B6bnFlVkKrE">Skull-shining breath </a></li> <li><a href="https://www.yogajournal.com/videos/nadi-shodhana">Alternate-nostril breathing </a></li> </ul></blockquote> <blockquote> <p><strong>Meditate.</strong> No surprise here—we at iRest Institute are big fans of meditation! Studies show that meditation lowers cortisol while increasing serotonin and oxytocin. With regular practice, meditation can change the brain: the hippocampus grows while the amygdala shrinks, resulting in less stress and greater immunity.</p> </blockquote> <blockquote> <p><strong>Try yoga.</strong> Many of you are already familiar with the benefits of yoga. As <a href="https://www.health.harvard.edu/exercise-and-fitness/introduction-to-yoga">this article</a> from Harvard Medical School illuminates, 90 percent of doctor’s office visits are stress-related. As yoga beautifully regulates stress, its benefits are boundless, and a steady practice can result in greater immunity. </p> </blockquote> <blockquote> <p><strong>Eat right.</strong> Tempting as it may be to indulge in comfort foods these days, there has never been a more important time to eat healthy foods. <a href="https://simplyfoy.com/blog/cbd-health-benefits/how-to-boost-your-immune-system-during-the-coronavirus-crisis/?fbclid=IwAR3FL_cTm11SSc5vf_6afTqIxy1vbIgUSu6magj5V63gRXB20aTBOnceXJk">Listed here</a> are some foods noted for their immunity-building powers. For bonus points, consider adding a multivitamin, too.</p> </blockquote> <blockquote> <p><strong>Exercise</strong>. Any type of exercise will help build your immunity. Whether you take an online <a href="https://www.cbsnews.com/news/coronavirus-free-online-workout-gyms-live-stream-classes-during-outbreak/">fitness </a>or <a href="https://www.dancemagazine.com/online-dance-classes-2645462403.html">dance</a> class or head to an uncrowded outdoor area, your body will benefit.</p> </blockquote> <p>Stay healthy. Be well.</p> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-article-type field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field__items"> <div class="field__item"> <a href="/blog/category/research"> <span class="field__item">Research</span> </a> </div> <div class="field__item"> <a href="/blog/category/resources"> <span class="field__item">Resources</span> </a> </div> <div class="field__item"> <a href="/blog/category/other"> <span class="field__item">Other</span> </a> </div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-tags field--type-entity-reference field--label-above"> <div class="field__label">Tags</div> <div class="field__items"> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-8" hreflang="en">Healthcare Workers</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-9" hreflang="en">Yoga Teachers</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-10" hreflang="en">Yoga Therapists</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-5" hreflang="en">iRest Teachers</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-6" hreflang="en">iRest Students</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-7" hreflang="en">Other</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-21" hreflang="en">Chronic Pain</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-22" hreflang="en">Peace and Well-Being</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-17" hreflang="en">Pain Relief</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-15" hreflang="en">Sleep</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-14" hreflang="en">Stress</a></div> </div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-published-date field--type-datetime field--label-above"> <div class="field__label">Published date</div> <div class="field__item"><time datetime="2020-04-06T12:00:00Z" class="datetime">Monday, April 6, 2020 - 12:00</time> </div> </div> <section data-ajax_comment_pager="comment_node_article-3603" class="field field--name-comment-node-article field--type-comment field--label-hidden comment-wrapper"> <div class="comments_ajax_pager_wrap"></div> </section> <div class="node__links"> <ul class="links inline"><li class="comment-forbidden"><a href="/user/login?destination=/blog/research-resources-other/six-ways-fortify-your-immunity%23comment-form">Log in</a> or <a href="/user/register?destination=/blog/research-resources-other/six-ways-fortify-your-immunity%23comment-form">register</a> to post comments</li></ul> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-hero-image field--type-entity-reference field--label-above"> <div class="field__label">Hero Image</div> <div class="field__item"> <img loading="lazy" src="https://irest-website-live.s3.us-west-2.amazonaws.com/images/brooke-lark-YSA1IRkGAsg-unsplash.jpg" width="5760" height="3840" alt="Immunity" typeof="foaf:Image" /> </div> </div> Mon, 06 Apr 2020 07:00:00 +0000 jeremy 3603 at https://www.irest.org Cultivating Community in Our New Reality: Staying Connected, Inside and Out https://www.irest.org/blog/community-resources-other/cultivating-community-our-new-reality-staying-connected-inside-and <span class="field field--name-title field--type-string field--label-hidden">Cultivating Community in Our New Reality: Staying Connected, Inside and Out</span> <div class="field field--name-field-teacher field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field__items"> <div class="field__item">13053</div> </div> <span class="field field--name-uid field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden"><a title="View user profile." href="/user/jeremy-caldwell" lang="" about="/user/jeremy-caldwell" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="" class="username">jeremy</a></span> <span class="field field--name-created field--type-created field--label-hidden">Tue, 03/31/2020 - 00:00</span> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field__item"><p>One of the fundamental teachings of iRest reminds us that we are all inherently connected—both to ourselves and to others. Previously on the blog, we've reflected on this concept and offered related meditations <a href="https://www.irest.org/blog/non-dualism/come-one-come-all-practice-inclusion">here</a>. At a time when many of us have been ordered to “shelter in place” and are physically disconnected from the wider world, we long to manifest that connectivity. In one <a href="https://vimeo.com/400042111">recent sangha session</a> the question arose: How do we foster community while living in isolation?</p> <p>In response, we at iRest Institute would like to share a few favorite ways to stay connected to the world around us. These ideas are meant to complement a practice of connecting with yourself—through an iRest meditation or another path. Do you have other ideas to add? Feel free to drop them in the comments!</p> <p> </p> <ul><li><strong>Reach Out</strong>. Every day, make a call or send a text. Let someone know you care. </li> </ul><p> </p> <ul><li><strong>Get Neighborly.</strong> Download the <a href="https://nextdoor.com/">NextDoor</a> app, which connects you to your neighbors. You’ll find moral support, goods for swap or sale, safety information, and more. </li> </ul><p> </p> <ul><li><strong>Volunteer.</strong> Many nonprofits are now seeking helping hands to safely deliver groceries and supplies to seniors and other populations in need. It’s an ideal time to offer your services. Not in a position to venture out on the town? It’s still possible to lend support through at-home programs like <a href="https://lovefortheelderly.org/">Love for the Elderly</a>, which invites you to write letters to seniors. </li> </ul><p> </p> <ul><li><strong>Adopt a Pet.</strong> We don’t need to explain why pets can be great company! Faced with the prospect of an isolating quarantine, reports <a href="https://www.usatoday.com/story/entertainment/celebrities/2020/03/27/animal-adoptions-shelters-get-creative-pair-parents-pets-amid-coronavirus/2907199001/">USA Today</a>, “Americans are rushing” to adopt furry friends. </li> </ul><p> </p> <ul><li><strong>Take a class.</strong> Learn a new skill—whether cooking or language or technology. While some classes are held as one-way webcasts, others are interactive and allow for the expansion of your social network. Interested in academic pursuits? Check out this list of <a href="https://www.freecodecamp.org/news/ivy-league-free-online-courses-a0d7ae675869/">450 free online Ivy League classes</a>. Want to learn more practical skills? Browse <a href="https://www.latimes.com/entertainment-arts/story/2020-03-26/50-skills-learn-online-free-self-quarantine-coronavirus">this lively list</a> of how-to crash-courses.</li> </ul><p> </p> <ul><li><strong>Dance! </strong> Any type of movement is bound to ward off depression in these times. Join a class from <a href="https://www.dancingalonetogether.org/?fbclid=IwAR1KM-Re3rF2DZLrO3EZWaeQaPrCnIsuk13rRC9VV6MMt_NEOFVTXwu_PJU">this aggregated list</a> of live-streamed dance classes. Don’t be shy!</li> </ul><p> </p> <ul><li><strong>Wine &amp; Dine. </strong>Set up your own virtual dinner party via Zoom. Swap recipes, share wines, and raise a glass to the day that we can all share a feast in person again!</li> </ul><p> </p> <ul><li><strong>Try Something Completely Different. </strong><a href="https://quarantinechat.com/">Quarantine Chat</a> is an app made just for these strange times. It will pair you by phone with other quarantined strangers around the world in a range of scenarios. <a href="https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2020/mar/27/quarantine-chat-app-coronavirus-phone-calls-isolated-people?fbclid=IwAR10iS4qhUkCMNCJfR_E5naUPgrKyEjJKI3wGYtN1JPJRoQKmkSWgW2sKN4">Read more about it.</a></li> </ul><p> </p> <ul><li><strong>Get Your Culture On.</strong> Art has the power to reveal what is universal, ephemeral, making us feel profoundly connected. <a href="https://www.cnn.com/style/article/what-to-do-at-home-streaming-art-museums-concerts-coronavirus-trnd/index.html">This</a> vast compendium of free online arts opportunities includes performances of <a href="https://www.playbill.com/article/15-broadway-plays-and-musicals-you-can-watch-on-stage-from-home">Broadway plays</a>; a nightly opera stream from <a href="https://www.metopera.org/">The Met</a>; online tours of international art museums; and <a href="https://www.socialdistancingfestival.com/">The Social Distancing Festival</a>, a directory of arts and community in the pandemic era.</li> </ul><p> </p> <p>Finally….</p> <ul><li><strong>Join Us at iRest.</strong> We now offer free, twice-weekly sangha sessions hosted by Richard Miller and Stephanie Lopez. As well, we're producing a series of six webinars to guide you and your meditation practice during these times. Sign up for the sangha <a href="https://www.irest.org/live-stream-sangha-sessions-richard-and-stephanie">here</a> and the webinars <a href="https://www.irest.org/2020-webinar-series?fbclid=IwAR07Wljb6FeJRwkOzy9oyqsx2SJjhTPdKdQQB7Hj2Ba3kph45LTwWNNeZC0">here</a> .</li> </ul><p> </p> <p>Together, connected, we will navigate through this challenging time in our world.</p> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-article-type field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field__items"> <div class="field__item"> <a href="/blog/category/community"> <span class="field__item">Community</span> </a> </div> <div class="field__item"> <a href="/blog/category/resources"> <span class="field__item">Resources</span> </a> </div> <div class="field__item"> <a href="/blog/category/other"> <span class="field__item">Other</span> </a> </div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-tags field--type-entity-reference field--label-above"> <div class="field__label">Tags</div> <div class="field__items"> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-9" hreflang="en">Yoga Teachers</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-10" hreflang="en">Yoga Therapists</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-5" hreflang="en">iRest Teachers</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-6" hreflang="en">iRest Students</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-7" hreflang="en">Other</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-23" hreflang="en">Anxiety</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-20" hreflang="en">Depression</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-19" hreflang="en">Joy</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-22" hreflang="en">Peace and Well-Being</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-15" hreflang="en">Sleep</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-14" hreflang="en">Stress</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-12" hreflang="en">Other</a></div> </div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-published-date field--type-datetime field--label-above"> <div class="field__label">Published date</div> <div class="field__item"><time datetime="2020-03-31T12:00:00Z" class="datetime">Tuesday, March 31, 2020 - 12:00</time> </div> </div> <section data-ajax_comment_pager="comment_node_article-3604" class="field field--name-comment-node-article field--type-comment field--label-hidden comment-wrapper"> <div class="comments_ajax_pager_wrap"></div> </section> <div class="node__links"> <ul class="links inline"><li class="comment-forbidden"><a href="/user/login?destination=/blog/community-resources-other/cultivating-community-our-new-reality-staying-connected-inside-and%23comment-form">Log in</a> or <a href="/user/register?destination=/blog/community-resources-other/cultivating-community-our-new-reality-staying-connected-inside-and%23comment-form">register</a> to post comments</li></ul> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-hero-image field--type-entity-reference field--label-above"> <div class="field__label">Hero Image</div> <div class="field__item"> <img loading="lazy" src="https://irest-website-live.s3.us-west-2.amazonaws.com/images/shutterstock_1518160778.jpg" width="5208" height="3347" alt="Connected" typeof="foaf:Image" /> </div> </div> Tue, 31 Mar 2020 07:00:00 +0000 jeremy 3604 at https://www.irest.org How to Spread Good Feelings in Hard Times https://www.irest.org/blog/community-research-other/how-spread-good-feelings-hard-times <span class="field field--name-title field--type-string field--label-hidden">How to Spread Good Feelings in Hard Times</span> <div class="field field--name-field-teacher field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field__items"> <div class="field__item">13053</div> </div> <span class="field field--name-uid field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden"><a title="View user profile." href="/user/jeremy-caldwell" lang="" about="/user/jeremy-caldwell" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="" class="username">jeremy</a></span> <span class="field field--name-created field--type-created field--label-hidden">Thu, 03/26/2020 - 00:00</span> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field__item"><p><em>When the crowded refugee boats met with storms or pirates, if everyone panicked, all would be lost. But if even one person stayed calm, it was enough. It showed the way for everyone to survive.</em> ⁠—Thich Nhat Hanh</p> <p>As the world’s very best scientists work hard to track and prevent a fast-spreading virus, we at iRest are monitoring another quickly moving contagion: human emotion. Have you ever noticed the way another person’s feelings can be so strong that you experience them as your own? Psychologists call this phenomenon “emotional contagion”, and it occurs due to the mirror neurons in our brain, which are wired to reflect the behavior of others. </p> <p>With society rapidly changing, emotions run high: from fear and distress, to confusion and desire. How can we bring our best emotional selves to the world in a way that inspires others toward health and happiness?<br /><br /> This was the opening topic in <a href="https://vimeo.com/400042111">our latest livestream meditation</a> and discussion session, led by Stephanie Lopez. These days, we are all inadvertently opening up to our own great tenderness and vulnerability. Normalizing these feelings, says Stephanie, allows us to foster greater compassion for ourselves and others. </p> <p>The first step in monitoring your emotional impact on the world is to simply check in with yourself. How are you doing? Take the following steps:</p> <ol><li>Notice the feeling. </li> <li>Drop the label. Without naming the feeling any longer, where do you feel it in your body?</li> <li>Linger in that place in your body and observe. See what happens.</li> <li>Try inviting in the opposite feeling for a while. </li> </ol><p>By practicing these steps, we might learn to accept our emotions and develop a sense of calm, so that we minimize our anxiety when interacting with friends, family, and neighbors. With our very presence, we can build trust and confidence in a healthier world.  As Stephanie concludes, “There is no social distancing in the heart."</p> <p><a href="https://vimeo.com/400042111">Listen to the 3/21 Sangha session here&gt;</a></p> <ul><li> </li> </ul></div> <div class="field field--name-field-article-type field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field__items"> <div class="field__item"> <a href="/blog/category/community"> <span class="field__item">Community</span> </a> </div> <div class="field__item"> <a href="/blog/category/research"> <span class="field__item">Research</span> </a> </div> <div class="field__item"> <a href="/blog/category/other"> <span class="field__item">Other</span> </a> </div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-tags field--type-entity-reference field--label-above"> <div class="field__label">Tags</div> <div class="field__items"> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-9" hreflang="en">Yoga Teachers</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-10" hreflang="en">Yoga Therapists</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-5" hreflang="en">iRest Teachers</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-6" hreflang="en">iRest Students</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-7" hreflang="en">Other</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-23" hreflang="en">Anxiety</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-19" hreflang="en">Joy</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-22" hreflang="en">Peace and Well-Being</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-15" hreflang="en">Sleep</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-14" hreflang="en">Stress</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-25" hreflang="en">Nondualism</a></div> </div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-published-date field--type-datetime field--label-above"> <div class="field__label">Published date</div> <div class="field__item"><time datetime="2020-03-26T12:00:00Z" class="datetime">Thursday, March 26, 2020 - 12:00</time> </div> </div> <section data-ajax_comment_pager="comment_node_article-3605" class="field field--name-comment-node-article field--type-comment field--label-hidden comment-wrapper"> <div class="comments_ajax_pager_wrap"></div> </section> <div class="node__links"> <ul class="links inline"><li class="comment-forbidden"><a href="/user/login?destination=/blog/community-research-other/how-spread-good-feelings-hard-times%23comment-form">Log in</a> or <a href="/user/register?destination=/blog/community-research-other/how-spread-good-feelings-hard-times%23comment-form">register</a> to post comments</li></ul> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-hero-image field--type-entity-reference field--label-above"> <div class="field__label">Hero Image</div> <div class="field__item"> <img loading="lazy" src="https://irest-website-live.s3.us-west-2.amazonaws.com/images/kyle-glenn-RuRqbzAvhsM-unsplash.jpg" width="5704" height="3803" alt="Good Vibes" typeof="foaf:Image" /> </div> </div> Thu, 26 Mar 2020 07:00:00 +0000 jeremy 3605 at https://www.irest.org iRest Live: Facing Our Changing World Together https://www.irest.org/blog/community-resources-other/irest-live-facing-our-changing-world-together <span class="field field--name-title field--type-string field--label-hidden">iRest Live: Facing Our Changing World Together</span> <div class="field field--name-field-teacher field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field__items"> <div class="field__item">13053</div> </div> <span class="field field--name-uid field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden"><a title="View user profile." href="/user/jeremy-caldwell" lang="" about="/user/jeremy-caldwell" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="" class="username">jeremy</a></span> <span class="field field--name-created field--type-created field--label-hidden">Sun, 03/22/2020 - 00:00</span> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field__item"><p><em>The body is always going to have a survival instinct about it, so worry and anxiety are going to be a part of our daily life. But there are deeper movements and practices that allow us to self-regulate even when we realize things are out of control.</em>  —Richard Miller<br />  </p> <p>As the world spins at a dizzying new speed and brings unprecedented change, we at iRest remain dedicated to offering resources for your health, well-being, and peace. In light of current events, we have canceled all in-person events through May 1st. Yet last week, we hosted the first of an ongoing series of free online meditation and discussion forums. Facilitated by Richard Miller and Stephanie Lopez, these <a href="https://www.irest.org/live-stream-sangha-sessions-richard-and-stephanie">live-streamed events</a> are being held twice weekly each Tuesday and Thursday and include the opportunity for you to ask questions about how to cope with the new realities we all face. </p> <p>In the <a href="https://vimeo.com/399220665">first session</a>, a range of concerns arose from curious practitioners from around the world, and together with insight from Richard and Stephanie, we held these questions.  Below are some of the highlights: </p> <p> </p> <p><strong>Q: The news is overwhelming. How do we stay informed yet positive?</strong></p> <p>Many of us are indeed preoccupied with the constant tick of our news feeds. As the mind registers yet more urgent information, it becomes highly activated and distant from the body. Not only is social media addiction very real, says Stephanie, but we humans have a hard-wired predilection to gravitate toward fear. “We tend to run toward anxiety.” </p> <p>With what Richard calls “little and often” interventions, we can integrate small acts to cultivate calm and nourish our Inner Resource throughout each day. </p> <ul><li>Tune into the breath. </li> <li>Take breaks from your phone or computer. Wash the dishes, take a walk, dance around the living room.</li> <li>Open your senses: Inhale the aromas of spring, sip a flavorful tea, or listen to some favorite music.</li> </ul><p>As well, offers Stephanie, developing a practice of BodySensing allows us to more readily reconnect with the body and create ease.</p> <p> </p> <p><strong>Q: How can we support loved ones and community in this difficult time? </strong></p> <p>One of the very best ways to help ease the anxiety and pain of others is by simply allowing them to feel seen and heard. We do this not by changing and fixing our loved ones, but with the art of listening and presence. </p> <p> </p> <p><strong>Q: How do I cope with the strangeness of quarantine?</strong></p> <p>The circumstances of quarantine are certainly unusual and seem far from ideal. Yet we can nourish joy and peace and equanimity even when things are rough around us. This challenging time brings the opportunity for us to nourish skills at the core of our being. While we struggle with adapting to the reality of quarantine, we might consider setting up a home retreat that brings calm and ease. We’ll be talking more in the future about creating a home retreat in future posts, so stay tuned.  </p> <p> </p> <p>We remain dedicated to supporting you in this challenging time. If you'd like to join us for a future live-session with Richard or Stephanie, or sign up to recieve recordings of each sessions as they become available, kindly <a href="https://www.irest.org/live-stream-sangha-sessions-richard-and-stephanie">click here</a>. Meanwhile, you can <a href="https://vimeo.com/399220665">rewatch this specific session here</a>! </p> <ul><li> </li> </ul></div> <div class="field field--name-field-article-type field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field__items"> <div class="field__item"> <a href="/blog/category/community"> <span class="field__item">Community</span> </a> </div> <div class="field__item"> <a href="/blog/category/resources"> <span class="field__item">Resources</span> </a> </div> <div class="field__item"> <a href="/blog/category/other"> <span class="field__item">Other</span> </a> </div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-tags field--type-entity-reference field--label-above"> <div class="field__label">Tags</div> <div class="field__items"> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-9" hreflang="en">Yoga Teachers</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-10" hreflang="en">Yoga Therapists</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-5" hreflang="en">iRest Teachers</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-6" hreflang="en">iRest Students</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-7" hreflang="en">Other</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-23" hreflang="en">Anxiety</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-20" hreflang="en">Depression</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-15" hreflang="en">Sleep</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-14" hreflang="en">Stress</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-13" hreflang="en">Trauma</a></div> </div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-published-date field--type-datetime field--label-above"> <div class="field__label">Published date</div> <div class="field__item"><time datetime="2020-03-22T12:00:00Z" class="datetime">Sunday, March 22, 2020 - 12:00</time> </div> </div> <section data-ajax_comment_pager="comment_node_article-3606" class="field field--name-comment-node-article field--type-comment field--label-hidden comment-wrapper"> <div class="comments_ajax_pager_wrap"></div> </section> <div class="node__links"> <ul class="links inline"><li class="comment-forbidden"><a href="/user/login?destination=/blog/community-resources-other/irest-live-facing-our-changing-world-together%23comment-form">Log in</a> or <a href="/user/register?destination=/blog/community-resources-other/irest-live-facing-our-changing-world-together%23comment-form">register</a> to post comments</li></ul> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-hero-image field--type-entity-reference field--label-above"> <div class="field__label">Hero Image</div> <div class="field__item"> <img loading="lazy" src="https://irest-website-live.s3.us-west-2.amazonaws.com/images/marc-olivier-jodoin-TStNU7H4UEE-unsplash.jpg" width="6016" height="4016" alt="iRest Live: Facing the Changing World Together" typeof="foaf:Image" /> </div> </div> Sun, 22 Mar 2020 07:00:00 +0000 jeremy 3606 at https://www.irest.org Report from Wuhan: Seeking Calm in the Face of a Global Pandemic https://www.irest.org/blog/community-resources-other/report-wuhan-seeking-calm-face-global-pandemic <span class="field field--name-title field--type-string field--label-hidden">Report from Wuhan: Seeking Calm in the Face of a Global Pandemic</span> <div class="field field--name-field-teacher field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field__items"> <div class="field__item">13053</div> </div> <span class="field field--name-uid field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden"><a title="View user profile." href="/user/jeremy-caldwell" lang="" about="/user/jeremy-caldwell" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="" class="username">jeremy</a></span> <span class="field field--name-created field--type-created field--label-hidden">Mon, 03/16/2020 - 00:00</span> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field__item"><p>When we drafted the iRest mission statement, we vowed “to help people resolve their pain and suffering" so that they might "experience deep healing and peace”. We never imagined doing so amid a life-threatening pandemic. Yet here we are.</p> <p>In early December 2019, a mysterious pneumonia-like illness began to affect the people of Wuhan, China. By mid-January, 571 residents had been infected with COVID-19 in cities across the country, and its hospitals had become overwhelmed with patients experiencing symptoms. To date, more than <a href="https://gisanddata.maps.arcgis.com/apps/opsdashboard/index.html#/bda7594740fd40299423467b48e9ecf6">189,000 people have been diagnosed worldwide</a>, with nearly half those cases occurring in China and an expanding epicenter in Europe. On March 11th, the World Health Organization formally declared a global pandemic. </p> <p>During this crisis, iRest Institute founder Richard Miller was contacted by Amy Liu of JaiXing ZhiTong Healthcare Management Co., Ltd. in conjunction with Fight PTSD Charity Program in Shanghai. Liu was deeply concerned for the healthcare workers of Wuhan, who had been working demanding five-day shifts with no breaks, then stopping to self-quarantine for two weeks before working another grueling five-day shift. The physical and emotional toll of the pandemic on doctors, nurses, technicians, aides, and others has included sleeplessness, anxiety, and post-traumatic stress disorder.</p> <p>To support these dedicated professionals, Miller needed a skilled translator who also understood the principles of iRest. He reached out to iRest Certified Teacher Jing Qian, with whom he had previously traveled, translated, and co-taught throughout China in 2017. Working with Qian and another former travel companion, Dr. Xihua Lu, Miller selected a series of iRest meditations and had them translated into Chinese. </p> <p>Today, the meditations are being distributed online (free of charge) to individual workers and healthcare agencies throughout China, as well as to residents facing COVID-19 outbreaks and the resulting trauma. </p> <p>Says Miller, “I am deeply moved and blessed to be partnering together with Amy Liu, Jing Qian and Dr. Lu to bring the iRest Program into China. It is wonderful that these teachings are independent of culture and can serve people wherever they are around the world.”</p> <p>One healthcare worker who had experienced the meditations wrote:</p> <blockquote> <p><em>These days of the virus, I haven't left my house much at all. I find I am sitting too much at my desk. [I'm] not watching that much TV or internet, but reading, chatting, and tutoring, with too much micro focusing. I've felt a lot of bodily tension, which I think others are as well. This meditation practice helped to brush the tension away. ...It's better than massage, which I love. I just finished the practice, "Body Sensing” with Richard Miller.  I can't believe how relaxed I felt while I was listening to it. It was really an amazing treat for my body and my mind.</em></p> </blockquote> <p>Reflecting on this outreach and its effects, Miller writes, “It is wonderful to hear the reports from people who are listening to the recordings in their native language, and how it is helping them navigate their stress and helping them experience resilience during this time of need. The iRest teachings are designed to help us recognize and embody our innate unbreakable well-being, whatever our circumstance.”</p> <p><a href="https://www.irest.org/try-irest-now">Curious to try iRest? Click here.</a></p> <p><img alt="Miller and Qian" data-entity-type="file" data-entity-uuid="442c1ad3-4ea6-4d55-867a-76e4303d93a7" src="/sites/default/files/inline-images/2017-11-13%2003.49.51.jpg" width="348" height="232" loading="lazy" /></p> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-article-type field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field__items"> <div class="field__item"> <a href="/blog/category/community"> <span class="field__item">Community</span> </a> </div> <div class="field__item"> <a href="/blog/category/resources"> <span class="field__item">Resources</span> </a> </div> <div class="field__item"> <a href="/blog/category/other"> <span class="field__item">Other</span> </a> </div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-tags field--type-entity-reference field--label-above"> <div class="field__label">Tags</div> <div class="field__items"> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags" hreflang="en">Emergency Service Personnel</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-8" hreflang="en">Healthcare Workers</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-7" hreflang="en">Other</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-12" hreflang="en">Other</a></div> </div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-published-date field--type-datetime field--label-above"> <div class="field__label">Published date</div> <div class="field__item"><time datetime="2020-03-16T12:00:00Z" class="datetime">Monday, March 16, 2020 - 12:00</time> </div> </div> <section data-ajax_comment_pager="comment_node_article-3607" class="field field--name-comment-node-article field--type-comment field--label-hidden comment-wrapper"> <div class="comments_ajax_pager_wrap"></div> </section> <div class="node__links"> <ul class="links inline"><li class="comment-forbidden"><a href="/user/login?destination=/blog/community-resources-other/report-wuhan-seeking-calm-face-global-pandemic%23comment-form">Log in</a> or <a href="/user/register?destination=/blog/community-resources-other/report-wuhan-seeking-calm-face-global-pandemic%23comment-form">register</a> to post comments</li></ul> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-hero-image field--type-entity-reference field--label-above"> <div class="field__label">Hero Image</div> <div class="field__item"> <img loading="lazy" src="/sites/default/files/images/shutterstock_1554736556.jpg" width="6500" height="4333" alt="Meditating Doctor" typeof="foaf:Image" /> </div> </div> Mon, 16 Mar 2020 07:00:00 +0000 jeremy 3607 at https://www.irest.org Honoring International Women’s Day: A Meditation on Feminine Power & Strength https://www.irest.org/blog/news-and-announcements-community-resources/honoring-international-women-s-day-meditation <span class="field field--name-title field--type-string field--label-hidden">Honoring International Women’s Day: A Meditation on Feminine Power &amp; Strength </span> <div class="field field--name-field-teacher field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field__items"> <div class="field__item">60</div> </div> <span class="field field--name-uid field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden"><a title="View user profile." href="/user/amy-bess-cook" lang="" about="/user/amy-bess-cook" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="" class="username">amybess</a></span> <span class="field field--name-created field--type-created field--label-hidden">Wed, 03/04/2020 - 16:54</span> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field__item"><p>What does it mean to tap into and revel in our feminine energy? On International Women’s Day, we pose this question and others, inviting you to explore answers in a guided meditation practice with iRest Senior Director of Teachings Stephanie Lopez. This practice for all genders considers:</p> <ul><li>Strength that comes from setting boundaries, offering clarity in words and actions.</li> <li>Power that arises from tenderness and connection.</li> <li>Power that comes from compassion, love, and self-care.</li> </ul><p>For more than a century, International Women's Day has been celebrated annually on March 8. This global event not only highlights the social, cultural and political achievements of women; it also marks a call to action for accelerating gender equity.</p> <p>The very first celebration of International Women’s Day included one million people from Austria, Denmark, Germany and Switzerland. Gaining momentum over the decades, its significance was officially declared in 1975 by the United Nations. Later, in 2011 Women's History Month was founded by U.S. President Barack Obama. Without question, March is a time to honor women around the globe—from Afghanistan to Armenia, from Vietnam to Zambia.</p> <p>No matter where you are in the world—or in your life—we at iRest Institute invite you to participate in International Women’s Day. In keeping with the wisdom to “think globally, act locally” consider beginning your celebration by looking within. Explore your feminine energy, guided by Stephanie, reflecting on the question: <em><strong>Are there any actions you wish to take in the world as you live your fullest expression of potency and strength?</strong></em> </p> <p><a href="/node/3609">Click here to listen</a> to the free International Women's Day meditation with Stephanie Lopez.</p> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-article-type field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field__items"> <div class="field__item"> <a href="/blog/category/news-and-announcements"> <span class="field__item">News and Announcements</span> </a> </div> <div class="field__item"> <a href="/blog/category/community"> <span class="field__item">Community</span> </a> </div> <div class="field__item"> <a href="/blog/category/resources"> <span class="field__item">Resources</span> </a> </div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-tags field--type-entity-reference field--label-above"> <div class="field__label">Tags</div> <div class="field__items"> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-6" hreflang="en">iRest Students</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-7" hreflang="en">Other</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-25" hreflang="en">Nondualism</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-12" hreflang="en">Other</a></div> </div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-published-date field--type-datetime field--label-above"> <div class="field__label">Published date</div> <div class="field__item"><time datetime="2020-03-08T12:00:00Z" class="datetime">Sunday, March 8, 2020 - 12:00</time> </div> </div> <section data-ajax_comment_pager="comment_node_article-3248" class="field field--name-comment-node-article field--type-comment field--label-hidden comment-wrapper"> <div class="comments_ajax_pager_wrap"></div> </section> <div class="node__links"> <ul class="links inline"><li class="comment-forbidden"><a href="/user/login?destination=/blog/news-and-announcements-community-resources/honoring-international-women-s-day-meditation%23comment-form">Log in</a> or <a href="/user/register?destination=/blog/news-and-announcements-community-resources/honoring-international-women-s-day-meditation%23comment-form">register</a> to post comments</li></ul> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-hero-image field--type-entity-reference field--label-above"> <div class="field__label">Hero Image</div> <div class="field__item"> <img loading="lazy" src="https://irest-website-live.s3.us-west-2.amazonaws.com/images/jessica-felicio-kgv0t4pI1T4-unsplash.jpg" width="8226" height="5484" alt="International Women&#039;s Day" typeof="foaf:Image" /> </div> </div> Thu, 05 Mar 2020 00:54:17 +0000 amybess 3248 at https://www.irest.org Diary of an iRest Meditation Student https://www.irest.org/blog/interviews-community/diary-irest-meditation-student <span class="field field--name-title field--type-string field--label-hidden">Diary of an iRest Meditation Student </span> <div class="field field--name-field-teacher field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field__items"> <div class="field__item">13053</div> </div> <span class="field field--name-uid field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden"><a title="View user profile." href="/user/amy-bess-cook" lang="" about="/user/amy-bess-cook" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="" class="username">amybess</a></span> <span class="field field--name-created field--type-created field--label-hidden">Wed, 02/19/2020 - 19:20</span> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field__item"><p><em>What is it like to undergo iRest training while trying to juggle the demands of everyday life</em>—<em>from parenting to paying bills to managing chronic illness? To many, the idea of studying meditation appeals, but the logistics</em>—<em>whether real or imagined</em>—<em>keep it from happening. To help you hurdle potential obstacles, we offer this tender personal account from iRest student Madeline (whose name has been changed out of respect for her privacy).  No matter where you are on your iRest journey, you are not alone—and, as Madeline’s testimony reveals, every step is worthwhile.</em></p> <p>       <em> Madeline writes:</em></p> <p>        The year after having my son, I became consumed in motherhood. As I had split up with my child’s father and was finishing school, I inevitably began neglecting my own self-care. Gratitude journals I once kept went blank for months. Blessings I used to recite each night left my memory as quickly as they came. Weekly visits to the physical therapist for a chronic health issue became less frequent. I began having panic attacks. With the help of a therapist, I realized that, on top of postpartum depression, I had developed post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Maintaining my identity outside of school and motherhood felt impossible.</p> <p>        Then I signed up for a meditation course at school. It seemed like serendipity that the syllabus included a text that examined PTSD and how it manifests, offering ways to reduce its symptoms lovingly and kindly.  <em>The iRest Program for Healing PTSD </em>by Richard Miller profoundly moved me and gave me two new practices: BodySensing and Breathing for Life. </p> <p>        “Your body is your friend” Miller reminds readers. Even in pain or dissociation, he writes, the body offers important information. When the pain of trauma is felt, we are invited to pay attention in our “field of sensation”. BodySensing invites us to feel more and think less. Any painful rumination eases, as thoughts slow down and our natural relaxation response activates. </p> <p>       Throughout the semester, I utilized BodySensing not only in class, but at home. I found it useful when I was exhausted but unable to carve out time for a full nap. Mothering full-time, attending class in the evenings, and supporting my family, I found my body exceptionally fatigued. If I could only stay in bed all day, I imagined, maybe my body will recover. Yet with my tight schedule, extra sleep was and is unrealistic. So, instead of trying to desperately catch zzz’s in the midst of chaos, I established a practice of BodySensing that would allowed me to listen to the information my body offered. This allows me to feel as though I have gotten a solid two-hour nap, in just 20 minutes' time.</p> <p>         Another technique that Miller recommends in <em>The iRest Program for Healing PTSD</em> is called Breathing for Life. In my lifelong quest to manage my health, I have always been advised by doctors (and my mother!) of the power of the breath. Due to a type of nerve dysfunction called dysautonomia, my autonomic nervous system is damaged. My body sometimes processes ordinary stimuli in an extreme manner, causing a “fight or flight” system to fire even when no immediate danger exists. As a result, my breath risks a daily state of hyperventilation. Breath control, I am told, is key to my health and well-being. Despite this advice, I have seldom found solace in breathing techniques—until now.   </p> <p>        With the practice of Breathing for Life, even after just a session, I am able to meditate for longer and be more present in my day. At certain points, of course, I still experience heightened moments of anxiety:  I question what I have accomplished at the end of a day. I ruminate on past romantic relationships. I have flashes of unprocessed grief involving past family members. In these moments, the Breathing for Life hummingbee breath can silence it all. With each breath, I feel an increased sense of control, greater calm and relaxation, and more emotional stability.  </p> <p>         Thanks to both the BodySensing practice and Breathing for Life, I am blessed with a new perspective and tools for health.</p> <p><a data-entity-type="" data-entity-uuid="" href="/publications/The-iRest-Program-for-Healing-PTSD-by-Richard-Miller"><img alt="The iRest Program for PTSD" data-entity-type="" data-entity-uuid="" src="/sites/default/files/inline-images/Screen%20Shot%202020-02-19%20at%207.06.51%20PM.png" /></a></p> <p><a href="https://www.irest.org/publications/The-iRest-Program-for-Healing-PTSD-by-Richard-Miller">Find the book &gt;</a></p> <p> </p> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-article-type field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field__items"> <div class="field__item"> <a href="/blog/category/interviews"> <span class="field__item">Interviews</span> </a> </div> <div class="field__item"> <a href="/blog/category/community"> <span class="field__item">Community</span> </a> </div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-tags field--type-entity-reference field--label-above"> <div class="field__label">Tags</div> <div class="field__items"> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-5" hreflang="en">iRest Teachers</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-6" hreflang="en">iRest Students</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-7" hreflang="en">Other</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-16" hreflang="en">PTSD</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-13" hreflang="en">Trauma</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-12" hreflang="en">Other</a></div> </div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-published-date field--type-datetime field--label-above"> <div class="field__label">Published date</div> <div class="field__item"><time datetime="2020-02-19T12:00:00Z" class="datetime">Wednesday, February 19, 2020 - 12:00</time> </div> </div> <section data-ajax_comment_pager="comment_node_article-3244" class="field field--name-comment-node-article field--type-comment field--label-hidden comment-wrapper"> <div class="comments_ajax_pager_wrap"></div> </section> <div class="node__links"> <ul class="links inline"><li class="comment-forbidden"><a href="/user/login?destination=/blog/interviews-community/diary-irest-meditation-student%23comment-form">Log in</a> or <a href="/user/register?destination=/blog/interviews-community/diary-irest-meditation-student%23comment-form">register</a> to post comments</li></ul> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-hero-image field--type-entity-reference field--label-above"> <div class="field__label">Hero Image</div> <div class="field__item"> <img loading="lazy" src="https://irest-website-live.s3.us-west-2.amazonaws.com/images/shutterstock_1377024824_0.jpg" width="6293" height="3973" alt="Breathing for Life" typeof="foaf:Image" /> </div> </div> Thu, 20 Feb 2020 03:20:00 +0000 amybess 3244 at https://www.irest.org Exploring the Deep Heart: A Conversation with John Prendergast and Richard Miller https://www.irest.org/blog/interviews-nondualism/exploring-deep-heart-conversation-john-prendergast-and-richard-miller <span class="field field--name-title field--type-string field--label-hidden">Exploring the Deep Heart: A Conversation with John Prendergast and Richard Miller</span> <div class="field field--name-field-teacher field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field__items"> <div class="field__item">13053</div> </div> <span class="field field--name-uid field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden"><a title="View user profile." href="/user/amy-bess-cook" lang="" about="/user/amy-bess-cook" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="" class="username">amybess</a></span> <span class="field field--name-created field--type-created field--label-hidden">Fri, 02/07/2020 - 08:58</span> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field__item"><blockquote> <p>"The heart is a portal—that is to say, it's an opening with remarkable and infinite depth... When we bring attention to this area and actually begin to feel into it, it will open."  —John Prendergast, Ph.D., Author of The Deep Heart: Our Portal to Presence<br />  </p> </blockquote> <p>As both the site of our deepest wounds and a window to our greatest potential, the heart calls out for careful tending. Yet fearing we might find there as much pain as liberation, we often ignore the heart altogether.  In his book <a href="https://www.soundstrue.com/store/the-deep-heart.html"><em>The Deep Heart: Our Portal to Presence</em></a>,  psychologist and spiritual teacher John Predergrast, Ph.D., invites readers on a pilgrimage to explore the heart in a gentle, supported way. The phrase “deep heart” is one Prendergast uses to describe a nexus of emotional sensitivity, relational intimacy, profound inner knowing, and unconditional love. The book offers meditative inquiries, testimonies, and reflections drawn from Prendergast’s work with students and clients.  </p> <p>We've gone a step beyond the written word to offer you a rich conversation between Prendergast and iRest founder Richard Miller. In this free webinar, learn more about Predergast's approach: How might it be helpful to map the geography of the heart? What is "vibration"? How does heart exploration take us deep into our essential nature?  Please join John and Richard as they consider these questions and you too can open up, see through limiting beliefs, and discover your own true nature. </p> <p><a href="https://www.irest.org/deep-heart">Listen to the free webinar here&gt;</a></p> <p><a href="https://www.soundstrue.com/store/the-deep-heart.html">Find the book here&gt;</a></p> <p><img alt="The Deep Heart" data-entity-type="file" data-entity-uuid="cdb84377-4868-4d99-adae-1228539f8064" src="/sites/default/files/inline-images/Screen%20Shot%202020-02-07%20at%208.41.44%20AM.png" width="348" height="515" loading="lazy" /></p> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-article-type field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field__items"> <div class="field__item"> <a href="/blog/category/interviews"> <span class="field__item">Interviews</span> </a> </div> <div class="field__item"> <a href="/blog/category/nondualism"> <span class="field__item">Nondualism</span> </a> </div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-tags field--type-entity-reference field--label-above"> <div class="field__label">Tags</div> <div class="field__items"> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-9" hreflang="en">Yoga Teachers</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-10" hreflang="en">Yoga Therapists</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-5" hreflang="en">iRest Teachers</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-6" hreflang="en">iRest Students</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-7" hreflang="en">Other</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-23" hreflang="en">Anxiety</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-20" hreflang="en">Depression</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-19" hreflang="en">Joy</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-22" hreflang="en">Peace and Well-Being</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-17" hreflang="en">Pain Relief</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-14" hreflang="en">Stress</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-13" hreflang="en">Trauma</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-25" hreflang="en">Nondualism</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-12" hreflang="en">Other</a></div> </div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-published-date field--type-datetime field--label-above"> <div class="field__label">Published date</div> <div class="field__item"><time datetime="2020-02-18T12:00:00Z" class="datetime">Tuesday, February 18, 2020 - 12:00</time> </div> </div> <section data-ajax_comment_pager="comment_node_article-3240" class="field field--name-comment-node-article field--type-comment field--label-hidden comment-wrapper"> <div class="comments_ajax_pager_wrap"></div> </section> <div class="node__links"> <ul class="links inline"><li class="comment-forbidden"><a href="/user/login?destination=/blog/interviews-nondualism/exploring-deep-heart-conversation-john-prendergast-and-richard-miller%23comment-form">Log in</a> or <a href="/user/register?destination=/blog/interviews-nondualism/exploring-deep-heart-conversation-john-prendergast-and-richard-miller%23comment-form">register</a> to post comments</li></ul> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-hero-image field--type-entity-reference field--label-above"> <div class="field__label">Hero Image</div> <div class="field__item"> <img loading="lazy" src="/sites/default/files/images/shutterstock_1582048414%20%282%29.jpg" width="3200" height="1000" alt="Golden Heart" typeof="foaf:Image" /> </div> </div> Fri, 07 Feb 2020 16:58:52 +0000 amybess 3240 at https://www.irest.org “A Way Out”: Paul Collins and the Quest to Bring iRest to Inmates https://www.irest.org/blog/interviews-community-other/way-out-paul-collins-and-quest-bring-irest-inmates <span class="field field--name-title field--type-string field--label-hidden">“A Way Out”: Paul Collins and the Quest to Bring iRest to Inmates</span> <div class="field field--name-field-teacher field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field__items"> <div class="field__item">13053</div> </div> <span class="field field--name-uid field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden"><a title="View user profile." href="/user/amy-bess-cook" lang="" about="/user/amy-bess-cook" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="" class="username">amybess</a></span> <span class="field field--name-created field--type-created field--label-hidden">Fri, 01/31/2020 - 11:10</span> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field__item"><p>With a total inmate population of 80,002 (at last count) the United Kingdom operates prisons at a capacity of 112%, ranking its detention system as one of the most overcrowded in the world. The result is a place that is “starved of love”, according to Certified iRest Meditation Teacher Paul Collins. As the founder of <a href="https://www.thriveinside.org/">Thrive Inside</a>, a nonprofit organization that offers iRest to residents and staff in HMPPS (Her Majesty’s Prison and Probation Service) sites, Collins aims to bring that missing love. In the prisons, writes Collins, “I met men crying out for help to deal with the pain of their pasts. I knew iRest could give them some tools to deal with the hurt that was unresolved.” Here, we talk with Collins about his dedication to the prison residents, and to sharing the Thrive Inside program.</p> <p> </p> <p><strong>What is your background, and how did you first encounter iRest?</strong></p> <p>I was in corporate business for nearly 20 years and served in the Royal Marines before that. I burnt out from a life chasing material wealth and happiness in drink and drugs. I lost my business and family because of my addictions and needed to find a new lifestyle. </p> <p>I traveled the globe  looking for a new vocation, searching for something that really worked for me. I came across various healing modalities, including yoga and meditation. I started teaching yoga in 2003, mainly in rehab centers, but wasn’t fully comfortable with what I was teaching--I didn’t think I was a proper yoga teacher, as I was not a traditional asana teacher. I was mainly interested in breathwork. </p> <p>A friend and fellow yoga teacher, Kathryn Varley, introduced me to Richard’s book, <em>Yoga Nidra: A Meditative Practice for Deep Relaxation and Healing</em>. Richard then came over to the UK to do a weekend in 2009, which I attended and was gripped. I loved the simplicity of the 10 steps, which brought together everything I had learned over the previous decade of study and gave me a template, going forward.<br />  </p> <p> </p> <p><strong>How did Thrive Inside come to exist? What compelled you to launch a meditation program for inmates?</strong></p> <p>I was teaching a weekly yoga class in HMP Lewes, a UK prison unit, for a few years which included an iRest practice. The prison went into special measures, meaning there were no activities within the prison and its residents were locked up for 23 hours a day. </p> <p>So I used to visit the wings and do short practices with the prisoners in their cells, either with them lying on a concrete floor or sitting on their beds. I could not meet the demand from men wanting to see me within the short space of time I had while they were unlocked. Using the iRest practice to see what was needed, I set up Thrive Inside. </p> <p>I had the idea of developing a course that they could use in their cells so they could practice whenever they wanted and needed. I first recorded a CD, as they have no Internet access. I also wrote a simplified workbook to give them some background information about the iRest practice. </p> <p>Working with the residents on a one-on-one basis, it became apparent that most of the men I was working with had been traumatized in the past--many very severely. Their backgrounds of abuse and violence was driving their offending and addictive behavior, and there was not much to help them deal with it. I met men screaming out for help to deal with the pain of their pasts. I knew iRest could give them some tools to deal with the hurt that was unresolved. </p> <p>Thrive Inside is a complete personal development program to help these residents find meaning and purpose in their lives, and to become worthwhile members of society. The program supports an excluded part of society that have been punished, locked away, and forgotten. </p> <p> </p> <p><strong>What are the primary goals of the Thrive Inside program?</strong></p> <p>The intention and deep wish for Thrive Inside is to support rehabilitation and recovery. It’s to reduce suffering and give people hope for their lives, to find meaning and purpose from what they have experienced, when many inside have none. With the tools of iRest, they can deal with past conditioning and emotions that drive their addictions and offending behaviour. </p> <p>Prisons are a place starved of love, full of very naughty children in adult bodies. People screaming out for help, repeating patterns that many of them are sick of yet, seemingly have no hope or way out of escaping the cycles of offending and addiction. </p> <p>My vision is to give them a way out. </p> <p><br />  </p> <p><strong>You run a men’s group, and your work supports primarily male inmates. What do you see as some of the key needs that arise among the men you serve, and how might iRest address those needs?</strong></p> <p>From my experience with dyad work, anything that arises generally just wants to be acknowledged--to be seen and heard. In the format of the group, we allow that to happen. </p> <p>Each week, we have a topic of one of the 10 steps of the iRest protocol. We first have a check in to see what is going on with everyone and how they are feeling. We then have a group discussion on the featured step discuss what it means to them in their lives. I share my experience and understanding of the step, but allow them to discuss openly how and where it arises for them in their daily lives. The emphasis is on listening to others and allowing the men to express themselves freely. </p> <p>Using the principle of non- fixing from iRest, we allow them to find their own answers within the group, as per the practice. This helps them understand themselves and what it means to be a man. We let them know it’s safe to be able to open up and talk freely about their thoughts and feelings, and to learn to listen to others without giving advice. We try to create a safe environment where they can take off the mask of survival and truly be seen and heard. After the discussion, we engage in a full iRest practice to process everything, then share a cup of tea at closing.</p> <p>I am now setting up men’s groups outside of the prison to help men deal with specific issues around masculinity, using iRest and systemic family constellation work, which will operate on a donation basis. These groups will allow men released from prison to join in with the community and will help fund Thrive Inside. It will also be a space to train men to deliver this work. </p> <p> </p> <p><strong>Do you have ways of knowing whether participants might continue to use iRest skills once they are out of the prison system? </strong></p> <p>Some men have reported how life-changing the experience has been, and have continued with the iRest practice just using the Thrive Inside CD and workbook. Our clients often do not have the availability, funds, or living conditions to access classes and continue to practice in a group. I am setting up a weekly online group so they can access the material anywhere in the country, as long as they can access a phone or laptop. This is why I want to produce the in-cell course which will give them greater access to iRest regardless of their position, even if they are homeless, in special approved premises or bale hostels.</p> <p><br />  </p> <p><strong>What is the greatest challenge of the work? What is its greatest reward?</strong></p> <p>The greatest challenge has been working with the prison system and raising funds to continue with the work. The system is primarily punitive with a lot of red tape to get through. There are changes being brought in with forward-thinking programs, but it moves at a very slow pace, and staffing and limited regimes can be challenging. </p> <p>Working with iRest and welcoming it has helped me to create a format that hopefully works within the system. While funds have been very limited, it has pushed me into seeing how I can fund it long-term and continue to support this client base. </p> <p>The greatest reward is the gratitude. I cannot express the feeling when, at the end of a session, every member of the group comes and shakes my hand and says thank you. I read notes and feedback describing how much this work has changed their lives, reporting that it’s the best course available to them. It’s incredibly rewarding seeing the whole project unfold and the vision become reality. Joy!</p> <p><br />  </p> <p><strong>What are your hopes for the future of Thrive Inside?</strong></p> <p>My hope is to have iRest and Thrive Inside available in every prison in the country, available globally to any English-speaking prison around the world. I’d like to have the in-cell course available free of charge to any resident wishing to do the course. </p> <p>I intend to fund this by selling the course online, marketing it to people who are dealing with addiction. When someone buys the course, it will fund a prisoner to have a version on a playback-only device that they can listen to at any time. The person who buys the course  will be put in touch with someone inside that they have funded by buying a course so they can go through the course together and share experiences by email. The inmate will then have a mentor who supports them along the way with information about iRest that they cannot access inside. </p> <p> </p> <p><strong>Please feel free to add any additional thoughts.</strong></p> <p>I am so grateful to Richard Miller  and to all those committed to sharing the wonderful work of iRest. It has helped me to find peace and deal with life in a body that I did not want to be in. It has helped me understand myself and to make sense of my life. </p> <p>Working with the prison population gives me so much gratitude. It has given me a real sense of meaning and purpose and makes it worthwhile being alive. The joy that iRest has helped me find is such a gift, and to rebuild my life and connect with my daughter and family is priceless.</p> <p> </p> <p><a href="https://www.thriveinside.org/">Learn more about the work of Paul Collins and the Thrive inside program here &gt;</a></p> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-article-type field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field__items"> <div class="field__item"> <a href="/blog/category/interviews"> <span class="field__item">Interviews</span> </a> </div> <div class="field__item"> <a href="/blog/category/community"> <span class="field__item">Community</span> </a> </div> <div class="field__item"> <a href="/blog/category/other"> <span class="field__item">Other</span> </a> </div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-tags field--type-entity-reference field--label-above"> <div class="field__label">Tags</div> <div class="field__items"> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags" hreflang="en">Emergency Service Personnel</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-2" hreflang="en">Social Workers</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-11" hreflang="en">Military</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-7" hreflang="en">Other</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-20" hreflang="en">Depression</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-19" hreflang="en">Joy</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-14" hreflang="en">Stress</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-13" hreflang="en">Trauma</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-12" hreflang="en">Other</a></div> </div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-published-date field--type-datetime field--label-above"> <div class="field__label">Published date</div> <div class="field__item"><time datetime="2020-01-31T12:00:00Z" class="datetime">Friday, January 31, 2020 - 12:00</time> </div> </div> <section data-ajax_comment_pager="comment_node_article-3237" class="field field--name-comment-node-article field--type-comment field--label-hidden comment-wrapper"> <div class="comments_ajax_pager_wrap"></div> </section> <div class="node__links"> <ul class="links inline"><li class="comment-forbidden"><a href="/user/login?destination=/blog/interviews-community-other/way-out-paul-collins-and-quest-bring-irest-inmates%23comment-form">Log in</a> or <a href="/user/register?destination=/blog/interviews-community-other/way-out-paul-collins-and-quest-bring-irest-inmates%23comment-form">register</a> to post comments</li></ul> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-hero-image field--type-entity-reference field--label-above"> <div class="field__label">Hero Image</div> <div class="field__item"> <img loading="lazy" src="/sites/default/files/images/shutterstock_186447470.jpg" width="3200" height="1000" alt="Thrive Inside" typeof="foaf:Image" /> </div> </div> Fri, 31 Jan 2020 19:10:35 +0000 amybess 3237 at https://www.irest.org Find Your Bliss With Oxytocin https://www.irest.org/blog/research-resources-other/find-your-bliss-oxytocin <span class="field field--name-title field--type-string field--label-hidden">Find Your Bliss With Oxytocin</span> <div class="field field--name-field-teacher field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field__items"> <div class="field__item">13053</div> </div> <span class="field field--name-uid field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden"><a title="View user profile." href="/user/amy-bess-cook" lang="" about="/user/amy-bess-cook" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="" class="username">amybess</a></span> <span class="field field--name-created field--type-created field--label-hidden">Sun, 01/26/2020 - 00:00</span> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field__item"><p>Why does meditation feel so darned good? That flood of joy, love, and well-being washing over you during a nice long meditation sitting can be partly traced to the neurotransmitter oxytocin, a word derived from the Greek for "quick birth”.  </p> <p>Oxytocin was first discovered as a natural hormone released by the pituitary gland that causes increased contraction of the uterus during labor and stimulates the production of milk in the ducts of the breasts during lactation. Subsequently, oxytocin was also discovered as released by centers within the brain in men and women during hugging, touching (of one’s self and/or another), as well as during lovemaking. Studies have shown how oxytocin is involved in social bonding and the formation of generosity, and the reduction of fear within one’s self and between others.</p> <p>If I were to introduce a fine, imperceptible mist of oxytocin around you right now, you would immediately begin to feel seen, heard, connected, and loved. You’d experience an increased felt-sense of belonging, well-being, and joy. Amazing, isn’t it? The effects of oxytocin go on: It also increases your felt-sense of trust. It reduces your feelings of anxiety, and increases your ability to feel generous, kind, and compassionate towards yourself and others.</p> <p>This neurotransmitter is easy to produce. Simply place your hand on your heart and take several gentle long exhalations. You can also produce oxytocin by thinking loving thoughts about yourself or another, or by relaxing deeply, as we do during practices like meditation, yoga nidra, and body- and breathsensing.</p> <p>Nature has developed oxytocin as a way to help foster our formation of social bonds, develop trust, and extend generosity within our social relationships. From this perspective, oxytocin is a chemical that’s vital to forming deep and lasting relationships within ourselves and with others.</p> <p>I’ve incorporated these understandings into my own practice and teachings of meditation. You might try your own research right now with yourself. Place your hand on your heart and take several slow exhalations. As you exhale, allow your thoughts to drop away and your attention to rest in the sensations that arise in your heart and throughout your body. You may notice a warm tingling arising within your body as oxytocin is released through this simple exercise. You might close your eyes and continue deepening your experience of feeling seen, heard, connected, and loved.</p> <p>Other ways of releasing oxytocin include rubbing your head, hands, or feet; rubbing the back of your neck; or getting or giving a hug. Enjoy this easy method of connecting and feeling connected whenever you’re by yourself, with another, or teaching your next class of students. Pass on the joy!</p> <p> </p> <p>Related reading:</p> <p>1. Kosfeld, M et al. 2005. Oxytocin increases trust in humans. Nature. 435:673-676.</p> <p>2. Zak, P.J., Stanton, A.A., Ahmadi, A. 2007. Oxytocin increases generosity in humans. PLoS ONE. 2(11): e1128.</p> <p>3. Angela Stanton. 2007. Neural Substrates of Decision-Making in Economic Games. Scientific Journals International. 1(1):1-64.</p> <p>4. Kirsch, P. et al. (2005) Oxytocin modulates neural circuitry f or social cognition and f ear in humans. Journal of Neuroscience. 25:11489-93.</p> <p>5. Graham, Linda. 2014. Bouncing Back: Rewiring Your Brain for Maximum Resilience and Well-being. New World Library. Novato, CA.</p> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-article-type field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field__items"> <div class="field__item"> <a href="/blog/category/research"> <span class="field__item">Research</span> </a> </div> <div class="field__item"> <a href="/blog/category/resources"> <span class="field__item">Resources</span> </a> </div> <div class="field__item"> <a href="/blog/category/other"> <span class="field__item">Other</span> </a> </div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-tags field--type-entity-reference field--label-above"> <div class="field__label">Tags</div> <div class="field__items"> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags" hreflang="en">Emergency Service Personnel</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-8" hreflang="en">Healthcare Workers</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-9" hreflang="en">Yoga Teachers</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-0" hreflang="en">Physical Therapists</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-1" hreflang="en">Clinical Psychologists</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-11" hreflang="en">Military</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-5" hreflang="en">iRest Teachers</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-6" hreflang="en">iRest Students</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-7" hreflang="en">Other</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-23" hreflang="en">Anxiety</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-20" hreflang="en">Depression</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-19" hreflang="en">Joy</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-22" hreflang="en">Peace and Well-Being</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-14" hreflang="en">Stress</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-12" hreflang="en">Other</a></div> </div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-published-date field--type-datetime field--label-above"> <div class="field__label">Published date</div> <div class="field__item"><time datetime="2020-01-26T12:00:00Z" class="datetime">Sunday, January 26, 2020 - 12:00</time> </div> </div> <section data-ajax_comment_pager="comment_node_article-3232" class="field field--name-comment-node-article field--type-comment field--label-hidden comment-wrapper"> <div class="comments_ajax_pager_wrap"> <article role="article" data-comment-user-id="1317" id="comment-8" class="comment js-comment"> <div class="comment__author-photo"> <span class="user-picture__placeholder"></span> </div> <div class="comment__content"> <header class="comment__header"> <h3 class="comment__author"> Katherine Dickson <span class="hidden new" data-comment-timestamp="1598892594"></span></h3> <div class="comment__header-meta"> <span class="comment__permalink"><a href="/comment/8#comment-8" hreflang="en">Permalink</a></span> March 3, 2020 at 6:57am </div> </header> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-comment-body field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field__item"><p>Thank you so much Richard, for writing this piece today. Hands on Heart, seeing loved ones faces, how about smelling favorite smell...lovely and powerful Reminds me of the Sound of Music..."These are a few of my Favorite things."<br /> Love you all...and am so grateful.<br /> Katherine Dickson</p> </div> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderLinks" arguments="0=8&amp;1=default&amp;2=en&amp;3=" token="roEwVhPI8x3guUlKO4gZlMfjatgWmh9ZcaE9ZvBUEwo"></drupal-render-placeholder> </div> </article> <article role="article" data-comment-user-id="529" id="comment-20" class="comment js-comment"> <div class="comment__author-photo"> <img src="/sites/default/files/styles/comment_author/public/Jacqui%2016%20cropped%20jpg.jpg?h=dccaedcd&amp;itok=CRo7iHhh" width="130" height="130" alt="" loading="lazy" typeof="foaf:Image" class="image-style-comment-author" /> </div> <div class="comment__content"> <header class="comment__header"> <h3 class="comment__author"> Jacqui Neurauter <span class="hidden new" data-comment-timestamp="1613671167"></span></h3> <div class="comment__header-meta"> <span class="comment__permalink"><a href="/comment/20#comment-20" hreflang="en">Permalink</a></span> March 3, 2020 at 9:59am </div> </header> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-comment-body field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field__item"><p>PERFECT! I am always looking for a unique teaching theme or topic for the iRest veteran groups I work with regularly to keep it all fresh. I like to incorporate neuroscience whenever I can. Searching my files this morning I detoured into my emails, and voila! The perfect topic was here, and it is presented in an easy teaching style. Thank you Richard!</p> <ul></ul></div> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderLinks" arguments="0=20&amp;1=default&amp;2=en&amp;3=" token="mjQjIFksqJ6ZjM-qsZdXnbdMOPuJzQMyYgUZM2WJMiA"></drupal-render-placeholder> </div> </article> </div> </section> <div class="node__links"> <ul class="links inline"><li class="comment-forbidden"><a href="/user/login?destination=/blog/research-resources-other/find-your-bliss-oxytocin%23comment-form">Log in</a> or <a href="/user/register?destination=/blog/research-resources-other/find-your-bliss-oxytocin%23comment-form">register</a> to post comments</li></ul> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-hero-image field--type-entity-reference field--label-above"> <div class="field__label">Hero Image</div> <div class="field__item"> <img loading="lazy" src="/sites/default/files/images/sam-manns-V5Owjg-ZNto-unsplash.jpg" width="4834" height="3264" alt="Women covering eyes" typeof="foaf:Image" /> </div> </div> Sun, 26 Jan 2020 08:00:00 +0000 amybess 3232 at https://www.irest.org How Effective is iRest? The Proof is Within—but Research Helps, Too https://www.irest.org/blog/research-other/how-effective-irest-proof-within-research-helps-too <span class="field field--name-title field--type-string field--label-hidden">How Effective is iRest? The Proof is Within—but Research Helps, Too</span> <div class="field field--name-field-teacher field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field__items"> <div class="field__item">13053</div> </div> <span class="field field--name-uid field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden"><a title="View user profile." href="/user/amy-bess-cook" lang="" about="/user/amy-bess-cook" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="" class="username">amybess</a></span> <span class="field field--name-created field--type-created field--label-hidden">Sun, 01/26/2020 - 12:47</span> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field__item"><p>Most folks can agree that a nice, deep meditative practice feels good. Yet not everyone realizes that those good feelings are backed by actual science and research. Over the years, the iRest Institute has either participated in or drawn from a range of in-depth studies to better understand how meditation—and specifically, iRest—affects our bodies. Below are a few of our favorite gleanings, which highlight the transformative potential of iRest. </p> <p>Isn’t it fascinating to see how data can confirm what our bodies already know to be true? For more evidence of the power of iRest, check out the <a href="https://www.irest.org/irest-research">research section of our website. </a></p> <p> </p> <p><strong>Workplace Stress</strong></p> <p>Workplace stress is, by all indications, on the rise. <a href="https://www.irest.org/research/2017/effects-integrative-restoration-irest-perceived-stress-workers">This study</a> tracked the effects of the iRest 10-Step Protocol on 60 workers for four weeks. Results revealed a significant decrease in stress levels reported by participants who took part in the iRest meditation group. </p> <p> </p> <p><strong>College Life</strong></p> <p>College life can present unique challenges, including social pressures, financial worry, and achievement anxiety. <a href="https://www.irest.org/research/2014/irest-yoga-nidra-college-campus-changes-stress-depression-worry-and-mindfulness">This study</a> observed 66 students as they engaged in an eight-week iRest program. Statistically significant improvements in perceived stress, worry, and depression were discovered.  </p> <p> </p> <p><strong>Older Adults</strong></p> <p>As our bodies age, our physiological reserves drain, making us more likely to be affected by stress and more susceptible to depression. <a href="https://www.irest.org/research/2019/irest-meditation-older-adults-depression-symptoms-pilot-study">This study</a> surveyed 30 adults aged 55–90 who exhibited depression symptoms.  Preliminary results demonstrated improvements in sleep impairment, lessening of pain severity, and promising improvement in depression symptoms.  </p> <p> </p> <p><strong>Intimate Partner Violence </strong></p> <p>One-quarter of women experience intimate partner violence, making it more prevalent than breast cancer and diabetes combined. <a href="https://www.irest.org/research/2014/irest-integrative-restoration-meditative-approach-healing-bringing-calm-and-ease">This study</a> tested the feasibility of iRest as an intervention for trauma recovery for survivors of intimate partner violence. Quantitative analysis revealed a decrease in PTSD, anxiety, stress, and depression. Qualitative analysis revealed a primary construct of “finding and connecting with inner self”. </p> <p> </p> <p><strong>Homelessness</strong></p> <p>The homeless often endure increased levels of stress and emotional distress in the quest to securely meet their basic needs. In <a href="https://www.irest.org/research/2008/integrative-restoration-irest-yoga-nidra-reduce-stress-homeless-shelter-residents">this study</a>, self-report measures were collected from 117 meditation group participants and 79 participants who received shelter services. The results suggest that brief iRest training may effectively reduce negative psychological states and enhance quality of life for homeless adults. This study also underscores the need for further research that includes homeless, high-risk, and low-income populations.</p> <p> </p> <p><strong>Chemical Dependency</strong></p> <p>According to the World Health Organization, some 31 million persons have drug use disorders, while another 3.3 million people die of alcohol-related deaths worldwide. <a href="https://www.irest.org/research/2012/meditation-integrative-restoration-irest-and-relapse-prevention-chemical-dependency">This research</a> investigated the effect of meditation on warning signs of relapse among adults in residential treatment for chemical dependency. Results showed that meditation increased participants' mindfulness, decreased negative mood, and reduced warning signs of relapse.  </p> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-article-type field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field__items"> <div class="field__item"> <a href="/blog/category/research"> <span class="field__item">Research</span> </a> </div> <div class="field__item"> <a href="/blog/category/other"> <span class="field__item">Other</span> </a> </div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-tags field--type-entity-reference field--label-above"> <div class="field__label">Tags</div> <div class="field__items"> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags" hreflang="en">Emergency Service Personnel</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-8" hreflang="en">Healthcare Workers</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-9" hreflang="en">Yoga Teachers</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-10" hreflang="en">Yoga Therapists</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-0" hreflang="en">Physical Therapists</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-1" hreflang="en">Clinical Psychologists</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-2" hreflang="en">Social Workers</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-11" hreflang="en">Military</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-3" hreflang="en">Corporate Wellness</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-4" hreflang="en">Educators</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-5" hreflang="en">iRest Teachers</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-6" hreflang="en">iRest Students</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-7" hreflang="en">Other</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-23" hreflang="en">Anxiety</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-21" hreflang="en">Chronic Pain</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-20" hreflang="en">Depression</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-19" hreflang="en">Joy</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-22" hreflang="en">Peace and Well-Being</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-17" hreflang="en">Pain Relief</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-16" hreflang="en">PTSD</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-15" hreflang="en">Sleep</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-14" hreflang="en">Stress</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-13" hreflang="en">Trauma</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-25" hreflang="en">Nondualism</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-12" hreflang="en">Other</a></div> </div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-published-date field--type-datetime field--label-above"> <div class="field__label">Published date</div> <div class="field__item"><time datetime="2020-01-26T12:00:00Z" class="datetime">Sunday, January 26, 2020 - 12:00</time> </div> </div> <section data-ajax_comment_pager="comment_node_article-3233" class="field field--name-comment-node-article field--type-comment field--label-hidden comment-wrapper"> <div class="comments_ajax_pager_wrap"></div> </section> <div class="node__links"> <ul class="links inline"><li class="comment-forbidden"><a href="/user/login?destination=/blog/research-other/how-effective-irest-proof-within-research-helps-too%23comment-form">Log in</a> or <a href="/user/register?destination=/blog/research-other/how-effective-irest-proof-within-research-helps-too%23comment-form">register</a> to post comments</li></ul> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-hero-image field--type-entity-reference field--label-above"> <div class="field__label">Hero Image</div> <div class="field__item"> <img loading="lazy" src="/sites/default/files/images/shutterstock_1062285074.jpg" width="3200" height="1000" alt="Research" typeof="foaf:Image" /> </div> </div> Sun, 26 Jan 2020 20:47:18 +0000 amybess 3233 at https://www.irest.org Give Yourself to Love https://www.irest.org/blog/resources-nondualism-other/give-yourself-love <span class="field field--name-title field--type-string field--label-hidden">Give Yourself to Love</span> <div class="field field--name-field-teacher field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field__items"> <div class="field__item">13053</div> </div> <span class="field field--name-uid field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden"><a title="View user profile." href="/user/amy-bess-cook" lang="" about="/user/amy-bess-cook" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="" class="username">amybess</a></span> <span class="field field--name-created field--type-created field--label-hidden">Sat, 01/25/2020 - 17:29</span> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field__item"><p><strong>“Love has no opposite.” —The Upanishads</strong></p> <p>At a time of year when love is celebrated widely, often with champagne and balloons and a flurry of pink and red, many of us are left wondering: What is love, anyway? …and how can we bring more of it into our lives? </p> <p>In <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZC60Hi_MayA">this free guided meditation</a> iRest founder Richard Miller reminds us that love is everywhere. Love is not a faraway, unattainable ideal—it’s our very essence. The concept that “love knows no opposite”, which is found in the Upanishads and in spiritual traditions worldwide, reminds us that nothing separates us from this essence. </p> <p>When we fall in love, we don’t so much fall in love with another as with love itself. And that’s just as it should be. Our work is to open ourselves to that love, to feel it deeply, and to let love guide us in the world. With meditation, we can learn to dwell in the heart and act from a place of love. </p> <p><a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZC60Hi_MayA">Experience the meditation &gt;</a></p> <p> </p> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-article-type field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field__items"> <div class="field__item"> <a href="/blog/category/resources"> <span class="field__item">Resources</span> </a> </div> <div class="field__item"> <a href="/blog/category/nondualism"> <span class="field__item">Nondualism</span> </a> </div> <div class="field__item"> <a href="/blog/category/other"> <span class="field__item">Other</span> </a> </div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-tags field--type-entity-reference field--label-above"> <div class="field__label">Tags</div> <div class="field__items"> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-9" hreflang="en">Yoga Teachers</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-10" hreflang="en">Yoga Therapists</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-5" hreflang="en">iRest Teachers</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-6" hreflang="en">iRest Students</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-7" hreflang="en">Other</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-19" hreflang="en">Joy</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-22" hreflang="en">Peace and Well-Being</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-25" hreflang="en">Nondualism</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-12" hreflang="en">Other</a></div> </div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-published-date field--type-datetime field--label-above"> <div class="field__label">Published date</div> <div class="field__item"><time datetime="2020-01-25T12:00:00Z" class="datetime">Saturday, January 25, 2020 - 12:00</time> </div> </div> <section data-ajax_comment_pager="comment_node_article-3231" class="field field--name-comment-node-article field--type-comment field--label-hidden comment-wrapper"> <div class="comments_ajax_pager_wrap"> <article role="article" data-comment-user-id="8920" id="comment-7" class="comment js-comment"> <div class="comment__author-photo"> <span class="user-picture__placeholder"></span> </div> <div class="comment__content"> <header class="comment__header"> <h3 class="comment__author"> Tim Langlamet <span class="hidden new" data-comment-timestamp="1598892382"></span></h3> <div class="comment__header-meta"> <span class="comment__permalink"><a href="/comment/7#comment-7" hreflang="en">Permalink</a></span> February 12, 2020 at 10:20am </div> </header> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-comment-body field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field__item"><p>There are many kinds of love. Most of them are conditional (based on who you are, what you do, etc.). It's nice to be reminded of the unconditional kind of love. The feeling of being connected to everyone and everything regardless of who they are or what they do for us. Thanks for this practice. </p> <ul></ul></div> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderLinks" arguments="0=7&amp;1=default&amp;2=en&amp;3=" token="gSITky6KmlYh8k3gzKegeQw5Ab0eMLcMkqN0j1ewtsc"></drupal-render-placeholder> </div> </article> </div> </section> <div class="node__links"> <ul class="links inline"><li class="comment-forbidden"><a href="/user/login?destination=/blog/resources-nondualism-other/give-yourself-love%23comment-form">Log in</a> or <a href="/user/register?destination=/blog/resources-nondualism-other/give-yourself-love%23comment-form">register</a> to post comments</li></ul> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-hero-image field--type-entity-reference field--label-above"> <div class="field__label">Hero Image</div> <div class="field__item"> <img loading="lazy" src="/sites/default/files/images/anthony-delanoix-hzgs56Ze49s-unsplash_0.jpg" width="3200" height="1000" alt="Give Yourself to Love" typeof="foaf:Image" /> </div> </div> Sun, 26 Jan 2020 01:29:56 +0000 amybess 3231 at https://www.irest.org Heart Full of Grace: Honoring the Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr. https://www.irest.org/blog/news-and-announcements-other/heart-full-grace-honoring-reverend-martin-luther-king-jr <span class="field field--name-title field--type-string field--label-hidden">Heart Full of Grace: Honoring the Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr.</span> <div class="field field--name-field-teacher field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field__items"> <div class="field__item">13053</div> </div> <span class="field field--name-uid field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden"><a title="View user profile." href="/user/amy-bess-cook" lang="" about="/user/amy-bess-cook" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="" class="username">amybess</a></span> <span class="field field--name-created field--type-created field--label-hidden">Wed, 01/15/2020 - 16:03</span> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field__item"><p>Today the nation and the world remembers legendary civil rights leader Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr.  King's message of freedom shone with a universality that galvanized audiences from many spiritual traditions and walks of life. On February 4, 1968, he stood before a congregation at Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta and delivered what would be one of his last sermons, <a href="https://www.theatlantic.com/entertainment/archive/2018/04/revisiting-martin-luther-king-jrs-most-haunting-sermon/556277/">"The Drum Major Instinct"</a>. His words not only illuminated his emphasis on equality, but prioritized the driving force of his work: “a heart full of grace, a soul generated by love.”  </p> <p>iRest, too, places grace and love at the very center of our mission, harnessing meditative tools to reveal to practitioners an essential nature.  On this day and beyond, we invite you to tap into that nature and observe what arises.  </p> <blockquote> <p>“Everybody can be great. Because anybody can serve. <br /> You don't have to have a college degree to serve.<br /> You don't have to make your subject and your verb agree to serve.<br /> You don't have to know about Plato and Aristotle to serve.<br /> You don't have to know Einstein's theory of relativity to serve.<br /> You don't have to know the second theory of thermodynamics in physics to serve.<br /> You only need a heart full of grace, a soul generated by love."</p> <p>--Martin Luther King, Jr.<br /><br />  </p> </blockquote> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-article-type field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field__items"> <div class="field__item"> <a href="/blog/category/news-and-announcements"> <span class="field__item">News and Announcements</span> </a> </div> <div class="field__item"> <a href="/blog/category/other"> <span class="field__item">Other</span> </a> </div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-tags field--type-entity-reference field--label-above"> <div class="field__label">Tags</div> <div class="field__items"> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-5" hreflang="en">iRest Teachers</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-6" hreflang="en">iRest Students</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-7" hreflang="en">Other</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-12" hreflang="en">Other</a></div> </div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-published-date field--type-datetime field--label-above"> <div class="field__label">Published date</div> <div class="field__item"><time datetime="2020-01-15T12:00:00Z" class="datetime">Wednesday, January 15, 2020 - 12:00</time> </div> </div> <section data-ajax_comment_pager="comment_node_article-3227" class="field field--name-comment-node-article field--type-comment field--label-hidden comment-wrapper"> <div class="comments_ajax_pager_wrap"></div> </section> <div class="node__links"> <ul class="links inline"><li class="comment-forbidden"><a href="/user/login?destination=/blog/news-and-announcements-other/heart-full-grace-honoring-reverend-martin-luther-king-jr%23comment-form">Log in</a> or <a href="/user/register?destination=/blog/news-and-announcements-other/heart-full-grace-honoring-reverend-martin-luther-king-jr%23comment-form">register</a> to post comments</li></ul> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-hero-image field--type-entity-reference field--label-above"> <div class="field__label">Hero Image</div> <div class="field__item"> <img loading="lazy" src="/sites/default/files/images/shutterstock_773952982.jpg" width="3200" height="1000" alt="Heart Full of Grace" typeof="foaf:Image" /> </div> </div> Thu, 16 Jan 2020 00:03:59 +0000 amybess 3227 at https://www.irest.org Safe in the Forest: Fuyuko Sawamura-Toyota on Managing Depression with iRest and Leading Global Healing https://www.irest.org/blog/interviews-community-resources-other/safe-forest-fuyuko-sawamura-toyota-managing-depression <span class="field field--name-title field--type-string field--label-hidden">Safe in the Forest: Fuyuko Sawamura-Toyota on Managing Depression with iRest and Leading Global Healing</span> <div class="field field--name-field-teacher field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field__items"> <div class="field__item">13053</div> </div> <span class="field field--name-uid field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden"><a title="View user profile." href="/user/amy-bess-cook" lang="" about="/user/amy-bess-cook" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="" class="username">amybess</a></span> <span class="field field--name-created field--type-created field--label-hidden">Thu, 01/09/2020 - 17:01</span> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field__item"><p>For two decades, Senior iRest Trainer and Director of Australasia Programs Fuyuko Sawamura-Toyota has been on the path of yoga and non-dual wisdom. Yet it hasn’t always been smooth journey. Fuyuko, a native of Japan who now lives in Australia, struggled mightily with depression as she found her way.</p> <p>In 2007, a mutual friend introduced her to iRest founder Richard Miller, now her spiritual mentor, who brought to Fuyuko a deeper awakening. “iRest has since helped me realize my wholeness so deeply that I cannot deny it, “ writes Fuyuko. “Slowly but surely, like ice thawing, my alive-ness has returned.”</p> <p>In this interview, Fuyuko shares how she used iRest to help conquer depression. She then went on to teach and host iRest trainings and retreats in Australia, New Zealand, Japan and Asian countries.  </p> <p><strong>How did you first discover the practice of iRest?</strong></p> <p>I discovered iRest back in 2005 or 2006, before it was actually called iRest. My yoga mentor Donna Farhi, who is also a friend of Richard, recommended that I read his first book, <em>Yoga Nidra: A Meditative Practice for Deep Relaxation and Healing.</em></p> <p>Donna knew I was going through a very difficult time. I was suffering from long, chronic depression and post-traumatic stress disorder. I was already a yoga teacher and practicing yoga, which certainly helped to keep me from going over the edge. Yet I could not shake the deep wounds that I felt in me. I felt unhappy and dissatisfied with my life. I felt like I was half alive.</p> <p> </p> <p><strong>How has iRest shaped your life?</strong></p> <p>iRest brought a deep and profound healing to my life through the recognition and rediscovery who I truly am. Today, I am no longer defined by my past trauma. It no longer has power over me. I am utterly free from the past and can embrace all the joy or sorrow that life brings.</p> <p> </p> <p><strong>You've mentioned in previous interviews that your iRest practice has helped you manage depression. Can you talk more about that? What might iRest offer a person who is navigating depression?</strong></p> <p>I now see that depression affected how I saw and interacted with the world around me. I believed that who I am equals what I feel and what I think. I believed that I was a badly damaged, broken, and unworthy human being. I was forever searching for how to fix and mend myself.</p> <p>Yoga and meditation had already helped me to survive and manage depression as I continued to function in my daily work and life. Yet the notion that something was wrong with me persisted.  </p> <p>Then I tried Richard’s CD and book, <em>Yoga Nidra</em>. In the first week, noticed a shift in me and my mood. As I continued to practice regularly, I realized: <em>I have to meet Richard Miller. I have to learn more.</em></p> <p>iRest has since helped me realize my wholeness so deeply that I cannot deny it. Slowly but surely, like ice thawing, my alive-ness has returned. Nowadays, I feel I am not only surviving but thriving.</p> <p>For me, iRest’s tool of Inner Resource has been key as it gave me a sense of being okay to feel, knowing that I have a refuge and sanctuary within. I often use an analogy from my childhood. My family used to go camping, and if I had to heed nature’s call during the night, I woke up my big brother and asked him to come outside with me and stand nearby. I felt okay and safe, even while I was afraid in a dark forest!</p> <p>I respect that every person deals with depression differently. In any case, iRest can help to fulfill the need of deep rest and rejuvenation with a simple guided practice.</p> <p> </p> <p><strong>Any advice to others who struggle with depression for navigating its challenges?</strong></p> <p>It is important to ask for help from others, whether friends or professional therapists. It is difficult, but you are not alone. There are so many people who want to help and support you. It took me a long time to realize that. In the past, asking for help made me feel embarrassed, like a failure, vulnerable. I soon came to understand that feeling vulnerable is not a bad thing. Courage comes with feeling vulnerable. It’s normal to feel vulnerable as one gathers courage to reach out.  </p> <p>In iRest, we have a co-meditation called Dyad or Sacred Mirror meditation. I find it very powerful and transformative. In this co-meditation, unconditional listening and welcoming happens naturally. It’s an amazing deep meditation and healing all rolled in one, and can be a powerful remedy for depression and more.</p> <p>Rachel Naomi Remen writes, “Listening is the oldest and perhaps the most powerful tool of healing. It is often through the quality of our listening and not the wisdom of our words that we are able to effect the most profound changes in the people around us." So, if you feel a need for healing, try to find a good listener. Contact the iRest Institute if you wish to find a person to practice the Dyad co-meditation with you, or look up the <a href="https://www.irest.org/teachers">list of iRest teachers</a> near you.</p> <p>Finally, those who are already familiar with iRest might also revisit the tool of Inner Resource, which invites us to feel okay no matter what challenging thoughts or emotions arise. A little and often, feel it, feel it, and feel it.</p> <p> </p> <p> <strong>Who have been your most influential teachers? How so?</strong></p> <p>Hands down, I appreciate Richard Miller for his generous sharing of his understanding and wisdom with all. He is very accessible, warm, and genuine.  It is his humanitarian heart that I resonate with and am drawn to. I believe and live the “love all and serve all” principle.</p> <p> </p> <p><strong>You recently have crowdfunded an exciting new project that will translate iRest teachings into Japanese. Tell us more. Why is this important, and what are your goals for this endeavor?</strong></p> <p>When I was going through the certification to become a certified iRest teacher, I developed a strong wish to bring this teaching to Australia, where I call home now; and to my fellow Japanese people. That became a part of my heartfelt desire, or <em>sankalpa</em>. </p> <p>Japan is a stressed and overworked nation. There is actually a word in Japanese, <em>karoshi </em>that means “death by overwork”! As well, since 2011 when the terrible tsunami hit northeast Japan and so many people lost lives and houses, suffering has continued. The constant threat of having earthquakes has created mental and emotional havoc, including depression and PTSD.</p> <p>The crowdfund was set up by a publisher in Japan whom I have supported and helped. It has achieved great results and enabled the translation of Richard’s book,<em> Yoga Nidra</em>. I have been delighted to be able to donate my time and skills to complete the translation, to record  iRest practices in Japanese to go with the book, and to introduce the book that truly saved my life. I know this book will help my dear fellow Japanese people who might be suffering like I used to. I’d like to thank  Richard, Kyoko, Ai and my friends who are all helping this project.</p> <p> </p> <p><strong>You have taught iRest around the world. Do you find audiences receive teachings differently in different regions? What seems to stay the same?</strong></p> <p>I’ve found that cultural background might influence the initial apprehension to iRest. This apprehension lifts when one welcomes emotions and beliefs. </p> <p>In the Japanese culture I grew up with, people honor and respect those who do not show emotions and feelings. I think it comes from the Samurai or Bushido spirit. Yet once we learn to welcome what arises in us and accept our feelings as a strength, we recognize how to move beyond the spell of emotions and beliefs and rediscover the powerful Beings we are.</p> <p>I noticed that regardless of where I teach--New Zealand, Indonesia, Hong Kong, Thailand, Japan,  Australia--all human beings long to be seen, heard, and connected. When I teach and share iRest, this very thing occurs for all people at one level or another. This is gold!  </p> <p> </p> <p>Want to learn more about Fuyuko’s work worldwide? See her <a href="https://www.irest.org/events">upcoming iRest events here</a> and check out her other offerings <a href="http://www.premayoga.com.au">here</a>. </p> <p><br />  </p> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-article-type field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field__items"> <div class="field__item"> <a href="/blog/category/interviews"> <span class="field__item">Interviews</span> </a> </div> <div class="field__item"> <a href="/blog/category/community"> <span class="field__item">Community</span> </a> </div> <div class="field__item"> <a href="/blog/category/resources"> <span class="field__item">Resources</span> </a> </div> <div class="field__item"> <a href="/blog/category/other"> <span class="field__item">Other</span> </a> </div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-tags field--type-entity-reference field--label-above"> <div class="field__label">Tags</div> <div class="field__items"> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-9" hreflang="en">Yoga Teachers</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-10" hreflang="en">Yoga Therapists</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-5" hreflang="en">iRest Teachers</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-6" hreflang="en">iRest Students</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-7" hreflang="en">Other</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-23" hreflang="en">Anxiety</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-20" hreflang="en">Depression</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-19" hreflang="en">Joy</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-17" hreflang="en">Pain Relief</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-14" hreflang="en">Stress</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-12" hreflang="en">Other</a></div> </div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-published-date field--type-datetime field--label-above"> <div class="field__label">Published date</div> <div class="field__item"><time datetime="2020-01-09T12:00:00Z" class="datetime">Thursday, January 9, 2020 - 12:00</time> </div> </div> <section data-ajax_comment_pager="comment_node_article-3224" class="field field--name-comment-node-article field--type-comment field--label-hidden comment-wrapper"> <div class="comments_ajax_pager_wrap"></div> </section> <div class="node__links"> <ul class="links inline"><li class="comment-forbidden"><a href="/user/login?destination=/blog/interviews-community-resources-other/safe-forest-fuyuko-sawamura-toyota-managing-depression%23comment-form">Log in</a> or <a href="/user/register?destination=/blog/interviews-community-resources-other/safe-forest-fuyuko-sawamura-toyota-managing-depression%23comment-form">register</a> to post comments</li></ul> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-hero-image field--type-entity-reference field--label-above"> <div class="field__label">Hero Image</div> <div class="field__item"> <img loading="lazy" src="/sites/default/files/images/20180731-084-VO1.jpg" width="3200" height="1000" alt="Fuyuko " typeof="foaf:Image" /> </div> </div> Fri, 10 Jan 2020 01:01:40 +0000 amybess 3224 at https://www.irest.org Back to Basics: (Re)Visiting the iRest 10-Step Protocol https://www.irest.org/blog/resources-nondualism-other/back-basics-revisiting-irest-10-step-protocol <span class="field field--name-title field--type-string field--label-hidden">Back to Basics: (Re)Visiting the iRest 10-Step Protocol </span> <div class="field field--name-field-teacher field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field__items"> <div class="field__item">13053</div> </div> <span class="field field--name-uid field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden"><a title="View user profile." href="/user/amy-bess-cook" lang="" about="/user/amy-bess-cook" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="" class="username">amybess</a></span> <span class="field field--name-created field--type-created field--label-hidden">Fri, 01/03/2020 - 16:21</span> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field__item"><p>No matter where we are in our personal and spiritual growth—whether newbies or seasoned practitioners—it pays to return to the basic principles that have shaped us. In the realm of iRest, that means reviewing the 10-Step Protocol, which was developed by founder Richard Miller to help foster equanimity and balance, come what may. </p> <p>Those new to iRest may find its clearly outlined tenets useful in exploring a new practice (and oneself) in an orderly and well-centered way. After a few introductory meditations, beginning practitioners, guided by the 10-Step-Protocol, may be poised for deeper self-development and personal transformation. Richard recommends that those new to iRest start with the first five steps, then later integrate the remaining steps as it feels right. </p> <p>Longtime practitioners, meanwhile, may naturally assume they've already mastered the fundamentals. Yet ancient wisdom tells us that as “experts" we face the danger of believing we know everything there is to know. We might overlook core beliefs or conditioned habits that prevent deeper transformation. This is why, in the Zen lineage, Shunryū Suzuki encourages that we practice <em>shoshin</em>—beginner's mind—to avoid such pitfalls. By returning to the basics, we not only edify our foundations, but open to new insights and perspectives. </p> <p><a class="btn" href="https://www.irest.org/irest-10-step-protocol" media_library="Media Library">Click here to (re)familiarize yourself with the iRest 10-Step Protocol</a></p> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-article-type field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field__items"> <div class="field__item"> <a href="/blog/category/resources"> <span class="field__item">Resources</span> </a> </div> <div class="field__item"> <a href="/blog/category/nondualism"> <span class="field__item">Nondualism</span> </a> </div> <div class="field__item"> <a href="/blog/category/other"> <span class="field__item">Other</span> </a> </div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-tags field--type-entity-reference field--label-above"> <div class="field__label">Tags</div> <div class="field__items"> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-9" hreflang="en">Yoga Teachers</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-10" hreflang="en">Yoga Therapists</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-5" hreflang="en">iRest Teachers</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-6" hreflang="en">iRest Students</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-7" hreflang="en">Other</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-19" hreflang="en">Joy</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-22" hreflang="en">Peace and Well-Being</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-25" hreflang="en">Nondualism</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-12" hreflang="en">Other</a></div> </div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-published-date field--type-datetime field--label-above"> <div class="field__label">Published date</div> <div class="field__item"><time datetime="2020-01-03T12:00:00Z" class="datetime">Friday, January 3, 2020 - 12:00</time> </div> </div> <section data-ajax_comment_pager="comment_node_article-3222" class="field field--name-comment-node-article field--type-comment field--label-hidden comment-wrapper"> <div class="comments_ajax_pager_wrap"></div> </section> <div class="node__links"> <ul class="links inline"><li class="comment-forbidden"><a href="/user/login?destination=/blog/resources-nondualism-other/back-basics-revisiting-irest-10-step-protocol%23comment-form">Log in</a> or <a href="/user/register?destination=/blog/resources-nondualism-other/back-basics-revisiting-irest-10-step-protocol%23comment-form">register</a> to post comments</li></ul> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-hero-image field--type-entity-reference field--label-above"> <div class="field__label">Hero Image</div> <div class="field__item"> <img loading="lazy" src="/sites/default/files/images/simon-migaj-Yui5vfKHuzs-unsplash.jpg" width="1600" height="500" alt="Meditating in the Mountains" typeof="foaf:Image" /> </div> </div> Sat, 04 Jan 2020 00:21:13 +0000 amybess 3222 at https://www.irest.org Yoga, Science, & Pain Management: “We’ve Seen Miracles” https://www.irest.org/blog/research-resources-other/yoga-science-pain-management-we-ve-seen-miracles <span class="field field--name-title field--type-string field--label-hidden">Yoga, Science, &amp; Pain Management: “We’ve Seen Miracles”</span> <div class="field field--name-field-teacher field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field__items"> <div class="field__item">13053</div> </div> <span class="field field--name-uid field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden"><a title="View user profile." href="/user/amy-bess-cook" lang="" about="/user/amy-bess-cook" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="" class="username">amybess</a></span> <span class="field field--name-created field--type-created field--label-hidden">Mon, 12/16/2019 - 17:24</span> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field__item"><p>All of us are touched by pain. The poet Mary Oliver writes, “nobody gets out of it, having to / swim through the fires to stay in / this world.” More plainly, an iconic 90s pop song croons, <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5rOiW_xY-kc">“evv-erybod-y hurts”</a>. We can take heart knowing we are not alone in our suffering.</p> <p>What is far less commonly understood is that pain actually changes. We each have the innate ability to work with pain so that it dramatically shifts. Science tells us so.</p> <p>iRest recently co-hosted a conversation with the authors of a new textbook, <em>Yoga and Science in Pain Care</em>, to delve into this complex topic. iRest Founder Dr. Richard Miller and Senior Director Stephanie Lopez joined authors Shelly Prosko, Neil Pearson, and Marlysa Sullivan for a panel discussion on how the complexity of pain can be understood through the lens of iRest Yoga Nidra Meditation. Both the webinar and the book address three specific topics:</p> <p>·  Science and physiology of pain</p> <p>·  Changes within a person when pain persists</p> <p>·  Tools to help alleviate pain</p> <p>Sullivan, who works as an assistant professor in integrative health sciences at Maryland University of Integrative Health, has anecdotally observed that clients in chronic pain have an uncanny ability to go deep into their bodies to tune into sensation. This, along with other factors, indicates that tools such as iRest Yoga Nidra Meditation hold great potential for transformation.  </p> <p>Pearson, an award-winning physiotherapist and lecturer, adds: “Science is clearly showing us that there are multiple mechanisms through which we can change pain,” He lists the immune, endocrine, and nervous systems as places where such change might occur. </p> <p>Many different courses may lead to freedom from pain, the panel agrees. Tuning into the body, often under the guidance of a teacher or therapist, allows us to more readily find the path that’s right for each individual. “We’ve seen miracles,” says Miller.</p> <p>Interested in learning more? View our recent webinar and get a copy of the book below.</p> <p>Webinar: <a href="https://www.irest.org/catalog/product/dialogue-intersection-between-pain-science-and-irest">"Dialogue on the Intersection between Pain Science and iRest"</a></p> <p>Textbook: <em><a href="https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07PJLFCSS/ref=dp-kindle-redirect?_encoding=UTF8&amp;btkr=1"> Yoga and Science in Pain Care: Treating the Person in Pain</a></em></p> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-article-type field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field__items"> <div class="field__item"> <a href="/blog/category/research"> <span class="field__item">Research</span> </a> </div> <div class="field__item"> <a href="/blog/category/resources"> <span class="field__item">Resources</span> </a> </div> <div class="field__item"> <a href="/blog/category/other"> <span class="field__item">Other</span> </a> </div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-tags field--type-entity-reference field--label-above"> <div class="field__label">Tags</div> <div class="field__items"> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags" hreflang="en">Emergency Service Personnel</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-8" hreflang="en">Healthcare Workers</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-9" hreflang="en">Yoga Teachers</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-10" hreflang="en">Yoga Therapists</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-0" hreflang="en">Physical Therapists</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-11" hreflang="en">Military</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-5" hreflang="en">iRest Teachers</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-6" hreflang="en">iRest Students</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-7" hreflang="en">Other</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-21" hreflang="en">Chronic Pain</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-17" hreflang="en">Pain Relief</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-13" hreflang="en">Trauma</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-12" hreflang="en">Other</a></div> </div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-published-date field--type-datetime field--label-above"> <div class="field__label">Published date</div> <div class="field__item"><time datetime="2019-12-16T12:00:00Z" class="datetime">Monday, December 16, 2019 - 12:00</time> </div> </div> <section data-ajax_comment_pager="comment_node_article-3219" class="field field--name-comment-node-article field--type-comment field--label-hidden comment-wrapper"> <div class="comments_ajax_pager_wrap"></div> </section> <div class="node__links"> <ul class="links inline"><li class="comment-forbidden"><a href="/user/login?destination=/blog/research-resources-other/yoga-science-pain-management-we-ve-seen-miracles%23comment-form">Log in</a> or <a href="/user/register?destination=/blog/research-resources-other/yoga-science-pain-management-we-ve-seen-miracles%23comment-form">register</a> to post comments</li></ul> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-hero-image field--type-entity-reference field--label-above"> <div class="field__label">Hero Image</div> <div class="field__item"> <img loading="lazy" src="/sites/default/files/images/shutterstock_266072507.jpg" width="3200" height="1000" alt="Woman in Pain" typeof="foaf:Image" /> </div> </div> Tue, 17 Dec 2019 01:24:11 +0000 amybess 3219 at https://www.irest.org Resolutions That Matter: A Journaling Session with Richard Miller https://www.irest.org/blog/community-resources-nondualism/resolutions-matter-journaling-session-richard-miller <span class="field field--name-title field--type-string field--label-hidden">Resolutions That Matter: A Journaling Session with Richard Miller</span> <div class="field field--name-field-teacher field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field__items"> <div class="field__item">13053</div> </div> <span class="field field--name-uid field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden"><a title="View user profile." href="/user/amy-bess-cook" lang="" about="/user/amy-bess-cook" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="" class="username">amybess</a></span> <span class="field field--name-created field--type-created field--label-hidden">Thu, 12/12/2019 - 16:40</span> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field__item"><p>“Like the banks of a river, your intentions keep you flowing in the right direction… When you affirm your intentions, say what you mean, and mean what you say. That way, they’re your living reality in this and every moment of your life.” –Richard Miller</p> <p>On the brink of a bright new year, we traditionally pause to not only reflect on all we’ve accomplished but to envision what comes next. It’s a prime time to set a course toward greater fulfillment. As we do so, it’s worth considering: How can we ensure that the intentions and goals we set for ourselves are in alignment with who we truly are and what we want in life? </p> <p>In the following journaling exercise, our own Richard Miller invites you to explore this question so that you set and affirm meaningful intentions for 2020 that reflect your deepest heartfelt desire. So grab a notebook, settle in, and prepare to start your year off right.</p> <p class="text-align-center"><strong><em>Click the play button below to listen</em></strong></p> <article class="media media--type-audio media--view-mode-default" data-align="center"><div class="field field--name-field-media-audio-file field--type-file field--label-hidden field__item"> <div class="audio-player"> <audio controls="controls"><source src="/system/files/2021-02/Blog-Intention-Talk-Richard-Miller_1.mp3" type="audio/mpeg"></source></audio><a href="/system/files/2021-02/Blog-Intention-Talk-Richard-Miller_1.mp3" class="audio-player__download" download=""><svg version="1.1" xmlns="http://www.w3.org/2000/svg" width="17" height="18" viewbox="0 0 17 18"><title>download</title><path fill="#21984e" d="M12.857 13.5c0-0.352-0.291-0.643-0.643-0.643s-0.643 0.291-0.643 0.643 0.291 0.643 0.643 0.643 0.643-0.291 0.643-0.643zM15.429 13.5c0-0.352-0.291-0.643-0.643-0.643s-0.643 0.291-0.643 0.643 0.291 0.643 0.643 0.643 0.643-0.291 0.643-0.643zM16.714 11.25v3.214c0 0.532-0.432 0.964-0.964 0.964h-14.786c-0.532 0-0.964-0.432-0.964-0.964v-3.214c0-0.532 0.432-0.964 0.964-0.964h4.671l1.356 1.366c0.372 0.362 0.854 0.563 1.366 0.563s0.994-0.201 1.366-0.563l1.366-1.366h4.661c0.532 0 0.964 0.432 0.964 0.964zM13.45 5.535c0.1 0.241 0.050 0.522-0.141 0.703l-4.5 4.5c-0.121 0.131-0.291 0.191-0.452 0.191s-0.331-0.060-0.452-0.191l-4.5-4.5c-0.191-0.181-0.241-0.462-0.141-0.703 0.1-0.231 0.331-0.392 0.593-0.392h2.571v-4.5c0-0.352 0.291-0.643 0.643-0.643h2.571c0.352 0 0.643 0.291 0.643 0.643v4.5h2.571c0.261 0 0.492 0.161 0.593 0.392z"></path></svg> Download MP3</a> </div> </div> </article><div class="text-align-center"> </div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-article-type field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field__items"> <div class="field__item"> <a href="/blog/category/community"> <span class="field__item">Community</span> </a> </div> <div class="field__item"> <a href="/blog/category/resources"> <span class="field__item">Resources</span> </a> </div> <div class="field__item"> <a href="/blog/category/nondualism"> <span class="field__item">Nondualism</span> </a> </div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-tags field--type-entity-reference field--label-above"> <div class="field__label">Tags</div> <div class="field__items"> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-5" hreflang="en">iRest Teachers</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-6" hreflang="en">iRest Students</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-7" hreflang="en">Other</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-19" hreflang="en">Joy</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-22" hreflang="en">Peace and Well-Being</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-25" hreflang="en">Nondualism</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-12" hreflang="en">Other</a></div> </div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-published-date field--type-datetime field--label-above"> <div class="field__label">Published date</div> <div class="field__item"><time datetime="2019-12-12T12:00:00Z" class="datetime">Thursday, December 12, 2019 - 12:00</time> </div> </div> <section data-ajax_comment_pager="comment_node_article-3214" class="field field--name-comment-node-article field--type-comment field--label-hidden comment-wrapper"> <div class="comments_ajax_pager_wrap"> <article role="article" data-comment-user-id="10264" id="comment-9" class="comment js-comment"> <div class="comment__author-photo"> <img src="/sites/default/files/styles/comment_author/public/images/Yoga%20Nidra.jpg?h=e844b460&amp;itok=WAqIsJVU" width="130" height="130" alt="" loading="lazy" typeof="foaf:Image" class="image-style-comment-author" /> </div> <div class="comment__content"> <header class="comment__header"> <h3 class="comment__author"> Will Medd <span class="hidden new" data-comment-timestamp="1613670573"></span></h3> <div class="comment__header-meta"> <span class="comment__permalink"><a href="/comment/9#comment-9" hreflang="en">Permalink</a></span> December 31, 2019 at 11:08am </div> </header> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-comment-body field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field__item"><p>Thank for provoking me to relook at my intentions. I'm reflecting on how different they feel during periods of 'forgetting' - when they feel more distant, less alive - compared to those moments when they simply are a lived truth that don't need stating, not least becaue "I" is less forgrounded. So, I'm going to watch closely how my phrasing may affect that distance; I mean, of course, I am watching closely !</p> </div> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderLinks" arguments="0=9&amp;1=default&amp;2=en&amp;3=" token="vyc1qmhuDymXFj5qDjqj_ZYSn1Uhj93eGQ3_XlPo-tI"></drupal-render-placeholder> </div> </article> <article role="article" data-comment-user-id="11003" id="comment-10" class="comment js-comment"> <div class="comment__author-photo"> <span class="user-picture__placeholder"></span> </div> <div class="comment__content"> <header class="comment__header"> <h3 class="comment__author"> Susanne Rieger <span class="hidden new" data-comment-timestamp="1613670624"></span></h3> <div class="comment__header-meta"> <span class="comment__permalink"><a href="/comment/10#comment-10" hreflang="en">Permalink</a></span> January 2, 2020 at 2:46am </div> </header> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-comment-body field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field__item"><p>Your image "like the banks of a river" in connection with intentions is very helpful for me. This image really symbolizes how intentions work. Thanks to yoga nidra, and to your book on iRest, I've understood how important it is to find heartfelt intentions which I really want to become true, which I really mean. Love, Susann</p> <ul></ul></div> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderLinks" arguments="0=10&amp;1=default&amp;2=en&amp;3=" token="aMFSqcJuqpvz4JlBaHcijatXY1Y63RcKJnI8tqchiNE"></drupal-render-placeholder> </div> </article> </div> </section> <div class="node__links"> <ul class="links inline"><li class="comment-forbidden"><a href="/user/login?destination=/blog/community-resources-nondualism/resolutions-matter-journaling-session-richard-miller%23comment-form">Log in</a> or <a href="/user/register?destination=/blog/community-resources-nondualism/resolutions-matter-journaling-session-richard-miller%23comment-form">register</a> to post comments</li></ul> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-hero-image field--type-entity-reference field--label-above"> <div class="field__label">Hero Image</div> <div class="field__item"> <img loading="lazy" src="/sites/default/files/images/shutterstock_1487862485.jpg" width="7952" height="5304" alt="Man writing in journal" typeof="foaf:Image" /> </div> </div> Fri, 13 Dec 2019 00:40:53 +0000 amybess 3214 at https://www.irest.org More Than Okay: An Inside Look at The Book of Rest https://www.irest.org/blog/community-other/more-okay-inside-look-book-rest <span class="field field--name-title field--type-string field--label-hidden">More Than Okay: An Inside Look at The Book of Rest</span> <div class="field field--name-field-teacher field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field__items"> <div class="field__item">13053</div> </div> <span class="field field--name-uid field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden"><a title="View user profile." href="/user/amy-bess-cook" lang="" about="/user/amy-bess-cook" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="" class="username">amybess</a></span> <span class="field field--name-created field--type-created field--label-hidden">Mon, 12/02/2019 - 09:20</span> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field__item"><p>“You are fundamentally OK.” These reassuring words must appear a dozen or so places in the first two chapters of <em>The Book of Rest: Stop Striving, Start Being </em>by James Reeves and Gabrielle Brown. Truly, can we be reminded too many times?  </p> <p>“You are fundamentally OK.” </p> <p>If any dogma prevails in <em>The Book of Rest</em>, 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.</p> <img loading="lazy" src="/sites/default/files/images/Screen%20Shot%202019-12-01%20at%203.04.28%20PM.png" width="348" height="225" alt="James Reeves and Gabrielle Brown" typeof="foaf:Image" /><p>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 <em>The Telegraph</em> and <em>The London Evening Standard.</em>  "James' heartfelt gentleness and masterful wisdom shine through in his teachings,” says Richard Miller of his protegé.</p> <p>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.</p> <p>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.”  </p> <p>Still, <em>The Book of Rest </em>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.</p> <p><em>The Book of Rest</em> 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.<br /><br /> Hailing the authors' work as "accessible, powerful, heartfelt", Richard Miller recommends <em>The Book of Rest</em>   "as a wonderful starting place for anyone interested in discovering their innate wholeness."</p> <p>Adds Reeves, "I hope it supports your remembering who you really are.”</p> <img loading="lazy" src="/sites/default/files/images/Screen%20Shot%202019-12-02%20at%2011.30.59%20AM.png" width="304" height="450" alt="The Book of Rest" typeof="foaf:Image" /><p><a href="https://www.amazon.com/Book-Rest-James-Reeves/dp/0008321639/ref=sr_1_1?keywords=the+book+of+rest&amp;qid=1576541014&amp;sr=8-1"><em>The Book of Rest: Stop Striving, Start Being</em> </a>(hardcover, 232 pages)</p> <p><a href="https://www.restfulbeing.com/">James Reeves and Gabrielle Brown</a></p> <p>Publisher: Harper Collins UK</p> <p>Release Date: August 2019</p> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-article-type field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field__items"> <div class="field__item"> <a href="/blog/category/community"> <span class="field__item">Community</span> </a> </div> <div class="field__item"> <a href="/blog/category/other"> <span class="field__item">Other</span> </a> </div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-tags field--type-entity-reference field--label-above"> <div class="field__label">Tags</div> <div class="field__items"> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-9" hreflang="en">Yoga Teachers</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-10" hreflang="en">Yoga Therapists</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-5" hreflang="en">iRest Teachers</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-6" hreflang="en">iRest Students</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-7" hreflang="en">Other</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-19" hreflang="en">Joy</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-22" hreflang="en">Peace and Well-Being</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-15" hreflang="en">Sleep</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-12" hreflang="en">Other</a></div> </div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-published-date field--type-datetime field--label-above"> <div class="field__label">Published date</div> <div class="field__item"><time datetime="2019-12-09T12:00:00Z" class="datetime">Monday, December 9, 2019 - 12:00</time> </div> </div> <section data-ajax_comment_pager="comment_node_article-3205" class="field field--name-comment-node-article field--type-comment field--label-hidden comment-wrapper"> <div class="comments_ajax_pager_wrap"></div> </section> <div class="node__links"> <ul class="links inline"><li class="comment-forbidden"><a href="/user/login?destination=/blog/community-other/more-okay-inside-look-book-rest%23comment-form">Log in</a> or <a href="/user/register?destination=/blog/community-other/more-okay-inside-look-book-rest%23comment-form">register</a> to post comments</li></ul> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-hero-image field--type-entity-reference field--label-above"> <div class="field__label">Hero Image</div> <div class="field__item"> <img loading="lazy" src="/sites/default/files/images/stephanie-montelongo-3-A7fy-P_ic-unsplash.jpg" width="3200" height="1000" alt="Woman in Hammock" typeof="foaf:Image" /> </div> </div> Mon, 02 Dec 2019 17:20:23 +0000 amybess 3205 at https://www.irest.org The Spirit of Giving: Fetzer Memorial Trust & iRest https://www.irest.org/blog/news-and-announcements-nondualism/spirit-giving-fetzer-memorial-trust-irest <span class="field field--name-title field--type-string field--label-hidden">The Spirit of Giving: Fetzer Memorial Trust &amp; iRest</span> <div class="field field--name-field-teacher field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field__items"> <div class="field__item">13053</div> </div> <span class="field field--name-uid field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden"><a title="View user profile." href="/user/amy-bess-cook" lang="" about="/user/amy-bess-cook" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="" class="username">amybess</a></span> <span class="field field--name-created field--type-created field--label-hidden">Sun, 11/17/2019 - 14:34</span> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field__item"><p>What motivates us to give? Who is deserving of our gifts? And how can we find new ways to share? At this time of year, we tend to reflect on the spirit of giving—whether in holiday rituals or in philanthropic acts.</p> <p>The iRest Institute recently acquired a generous grant from <a href="https://www.fetzertrust.org/">Fetzer Memorial Trust</a>, a Michigan–based fund dedicated to the legacy of the late entrepreneur, media mogul, and spiritual seeker John Fetzer (widely known as the former owner of the Detroit Tigers). Thanks to this endowment, iRest is now able to undertake three key projects that will unfold over the coming months: </p> <p>    •    Redevelop the iRest Teacher Community Network (TCN ) our membership-based bank of resources, information, and recordings. 
<br />     •    Devise a long-term iRest fundraising strategy to more sustainably support the organization.
<br />     •    Build iRest communications in a way that expands the reach of our transformational teachings and better serves the needs of our community.
</p> <p>iRest’s gratitude toward the Fetzer Memorial Trust is boundless. This gift did not fall from the sky, of course. Instead, it emerged from a relationship with the foundation that is based on shared values. Exploring such intersections reveal how a thoughtfully chosen gift can express deeply held beliefs.</p> <p>“Money is energy,“ John Fetzer often said, deeply wishing to harness his own wealth in the service of good. Fetzer lived frugally in a middle-class neighborhood in Kalamazoo. He trusted a higher intelligence in guiding his business and life decisions, meditating regularly to strengthen his intuition.</p> <p>Importantly, Fetzer was a believer in “oneness,” purporting that we are all one unified force with the source of creation. Relatedly, he studied the overlap of science and spirituality. His lifetime of study and practice in a range of metaphysical traditions gave him unshakeable faith in the power of spirit. </p> <p>Sound familiar? Indeed, some of these principles are mirrored in the iRest philosophy. We at iRest  are big believers in “oneness” and the interconnectedness of all things. And we are so grateful to have found a donor who “gets” us!</p> <p>In the spirit of giving, Fetzer Memorial Trust is now offering complimentary copies of a new biography,<em> John E. Fetzer and the Quest for the New Age</em> by Brian C. Wilson. Those interested in learning more about the work of this fascinating figure in business leadership may <a href="https://info.fetzertrust.org/get-your-book?referrer=irest">click here to receive the book--absolutely free.</a></p> <p>As we move through the holiday season, let’s pause to consider our true connections with those around us—and how our gifts honor those bonds.</p> <p> </p> <img loading="lazy" src="/sites/default/files/JEF%20Broadcasting%201953%20copy.jpg" width="2554" height="1985" typeof="foaf:Image" /></div> <div class="field field--name-field-article-type field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field__items"> <div class="field__item"> <a href="/blog/category/news-and-announcements"> <span class="field__item">News and Announcements</span> </a> </div> <div class="field__item"> <a href="/blog/category/nondualism"> <span class="field__item">Nondualism</span> </a> </div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-tags field--type-entity-reference field--label-above"> <div class="field__label">Tags</div> <div class="field__items"> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-5" hreflang="en">iRest Teachers</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-6" hreflang="en">iRest Students</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-7" hreflang="en">Other</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-25" hreflang="en">Nondualism</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-12" hreflang="en">Other</a></div> </div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-published-date field--type-datetime field--label-above"> <div class="field__label">Published date</div> <div class="field__item"><time datetime="2019-11-17T12:00:00Z" class="datetime">Sunday, November 17, 2019 - 12:00</time> </div> </div> <section data-ajax_comment_pager="comment_node_article-3193" class="field field--name-comment-node-article field--type-comment field--label-hidden comment-wrapper"> <div class="comments_ajax_pager_wrap"> <article role="article" data-comment-user-id="9139" id="comment-6" class="comment js-comment"> <div class="comment__author-photo"> <span class="user-picture__placeholder"></span> </div> <div class="comment__content"> <header class="comment__header"> <h3 class="comment__author"> Jacqui Pounder <span class="hidden new" data-comment-timestamp="1598892327"></span></h3> <div class="comment__header-meta"> <span class="comment__permalink"><a href="/comment/6#comment-6" hreflang="en">Permalink</a></span> November 30, 2019 at 1:46pm </div> </header> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-comment-body field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field__item"><p>Grace is is wonderful way to sense your way with out the outside of tension . Practse even a smal time regularly to feel this wisdom and grace<br /> jacqui</p> </div> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderLinks" arguments="0=6&amp;1=default&amp;2=en&amp;3=" token="YOvOPkYyezkDei4jbX-Y_dXXcbCdlvz95pDfUiTx6R8"></drupal-render-placeholder> </div> </article> </div> </section> <div class="node__links"> <ul class="links inline"><li class="comment-forbidden"><a href="/user/login?destination=/blog/news-and-announcements-nondualism/spirit-giving-fetzer-memorial-trust-irest%23comment-form">Log in</a> or <a href="/user/register?destination=/blog/news-and-announcements-nondualism/spirit-giving-fetzer-memorial-trust-irest%23comment-form">register</a> to post comments</li></ul> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-hero-image field--type-entity-reference field--label-above"> <div class="field__label">Hero Image</div> <div class="field__item"> <img loading="lazy" src="/sites/default/files/hero/shutterstock_683655916.jpg" width="5113" height="3409" typeof="foaf:Image" /> </div> </div> Sun, 17 Nov 2019 22:34:04 +0000 amybess 3193 at https://www.irest.org Reading Joan Ruvinsky: A Student’s Tribute https://www.irest.org/blog/community-nondualism-other/reading-joan-ruvinsky-student-s-tribute <span class="field field--name-title field--type-string field--label-hidden">Reading Joan Ruvinsky: A Student’s Tribute</span> <div class="field field--name-field-teacher field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field__items"> <div class="field__item">60</div> </div> <span class="field field--name-uid field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden"><a title="View user profile." href="/user/amy-bess-cook" lang="" about="/user/amy-bess-cook" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="" class="username">amybess</a></span> <span class="field field--name-created field--type-created field--label-hidden">Wed, 11/13/2019 - 17:02</span> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field__item"><p class="MsoNormal"><em>For more than two decades, Joan Ruvinsky worked at the heart of the iRest family as a scholar and teacher . Prior to her passing in the spring of 2016, her commitment to nondual teachings shaped the lives of scores of students around the world. One of those people was Molly Birkholm, who has offered her review of Ruvinsky’s posthumously released book, </em>The Recognition of Our Own Heart.    </p> <p class="MsoNormal"> </p> <img loading="lazy" src="/sites/default/files/Screen%20Shot%202019-11-14%20at%201.08.11%20PM.png" width="347" height="494" typeof="foaf:Image" /><p class="MsoNormal"> </p> <p>Once while sitting with my beloved teacher, Joan Ruvinsky, I asked her how I should structure my <em>sadhana</em>—my spiritual practice.  </p> <p>She laughed and waved her hand, “One cannot <em>do</em> practice.  One must <em>be</em> the practice.”  </p> <p>Certainly, it was her extraordinary presence that taught and liberated. I sat in awe of how during time with Joan there could be so little formal practice or verbal teaching, while the depth of her transmissions felt as if they were infused into my cells in such a way that they <em>became</em> me. While Joan’s measured words were wise and illuminating, she herself would say that they were irrelevant, really. Joan’s teachings were an experience of Being—direct perceptions into the nature of Reality.</p> <p>Now, imagine if you will, that after receiving a terminal cancer diagnosis, Joan decided to spend the last months of her life meticulously giving birth to a creative expression of an ancient, little-known Kashmir Shaivist text called <em>Pratyabhijnahrdayam</em>. This is the importance of this work. This is the importance of Joan’s recently published book, <em>The Recognition of Our Own Heart.</em> The pages of this book hold the quintessence of Being as experienced through the prism of Joan’s rare perception. The text is a poetic and immersive heroine’s journey through the dance of creation—becoming embodied, exploring the changing physical realm, discovering how to recognize the unchanging Self, and then merging again with the Source. Together with three of the souls closest to her, Joan created not just a translation, but a vehicle to transmit the essence of this sacred text.  </p> <p>Opening the book invites us into a direct experience of the meaning of the work. Her commentary begins with two pages sharing a straight translation of the text.<em> Just this</em>. Next, each verse is paired with a visual meditation, elegant black-and-white nature images as originally seen by photographer Peter Bowers. Following this are commentaries on the text by Joan. These insights simultaneously offer down-to-earth, real-world-applicable, and paradoxical philosophical musings that drive the reader into the nondual essence of this teaching. The book then concludes with practice invitations, which can be used to explore the offerings in meditation and daily life. Joan felt like this is a text “one can live” while “allowing the mystery to communicate itself.”  </p> <p>The physical book is a part of the experience. Joan pored over every detail of this creation—from the thick, glossy paper to the spacious margins. One’s gaze is drawn inward to the page, just as the words invite us to gaze inward. While one can, of course, call this physical object a “book,” opening it offers an invitation to explore transcendence. At the heart of true communication is communion—a gift that is infused on every page. It does not matter which page, really. Any page will do.</p> <p>What is inscribed on the pages of <em>The Recognition of Our Own Heart</em> is a requiem of the highest order, an act of remembrance of our true nature, and a remembrance of a woman whose presence continues to illuminate. I cannot help but feel that these words were the wave that Joan rode out on as she transcended the body she occupied in this precious human life. This book is her final act of generosity while in the body. It is an invitation to live the other world in this world and an invaluable roadmap for the “pathless path” through life.</p> <p class="MsoNormal"><br /><i style="mso-bidi-font-style:normal"><span style="font-family:Garamond;mso-fareast-font-family:&quot;Times New Roman&quot;;&#10;mso-bidi-font-family:&quot;Times New Roman&quot;;color:black"><p></p></span></i></p> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-article-type field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field__items"> <div class="field__item"> <a href="/blog/category/community"> <span class="field__item">Community</span> </a> </div> <div class="field__item"> <a href="/blog/category/nondualism"> <span class="field__item">Nondualism</span> </a> </div> <div class="field__item"> <a href="/blog/category/other"> <span class="field__item">Other</span> </a> </div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-tags field--type-entity-reference field--label-above"> <div class="field__label">Tags</div> <div class="field__items"> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-9" hreflang="en">Yoga Teachers</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-10" hreflang="en">Yoga Therapists</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-5" hreflang="en">iRest Teachers</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-6" hreflang="en">iRest Students</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-7" hreflang="en">Other</a></div> </div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-published-date field--type-datetime field--label-above"> <div class="field__label">Published date</div> <div class="field__item"><time datetime="2019-11-13T12:00:00Z" class="datetime">Wednesday, November 13, 2019 - 12:00</time> </div> </div> <section data-ajax_comment_pager="comment_node_article-3187" class="field field--name-comment-node-article field--type-comment field--label-hidden comment-wrapper"> <div class="comments_ajax_pager_wrap"></div> </section> <div class="node__links"> <ul class="links inline"><li class="comment-forbidden"><a href="/user/login?destination=/blog/community-nondualism-other/reading-joan-ruvinsky-student-s-tribute%23comment-form">Log in</a> or <a href="/user/register?destination=/blog/community-nondualism-other/reading-joan-ruvinsky-student-s-tribute%23comment-form">register</a> to post comments</li></ul> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-hero-image field--type-entity-reference field--label-above"> <div class="field__label">Hero Image</div> <div class="field__item"> <img loading="lazy" src="/sites/default/files/hero/davide-ragusa-DJdkx08_4oM-unsplash.jpg" width="4151" height="2757" typeof="foaf:Image" /> </div> </div> Thu, 14 Nov 2019 01:02:40 +0000 amybess 3187 at https://www.irest.org Finding Freedom: Veterans in the iRest Community https://www.irest.org/blog/community-other/finding-freedom-veterans-irest-community <span class="field field--name-title field--type-string field--label-hidden">Finding Freedom: Veterans in the iRest Community</span> <div class="field field--name-field-teacher field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field__items"> <div class="field__item">13053</div> </div> <span class="field field--name-uid field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden"><a title="View user profile." href="/user/amy-bess-cook" lang="" about="/user/amy-bess-cook" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="" class="username">amybess</a></span> <span class="field field--name-created field--type-created field--label-hidden">Tue, 11/05/2019 - 11:40</span> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field__item"><p><strong>free·dom</strong></p> <p><strong>/ˈfrēdəm/</strong></p> <p><strong>the power or right to act, speak, or think as one wants without hindrance or restraint.</strong></p> <p> </p> <p>Perhaps few people value the ideal of freedom more than soldiers who have pursued it on the front lines of duty. Yet freedom, as it turns out, takes many forms. </p> <p>As a tool for healing and an invitation to wholeness, iRest offers an opportunity for personal liberation. <a href="https://www.irest.org/meditation-military-veterans">This brief history</a> outlines how iRest evolved into its present-day form largely in response to the needs of military veterans. Below, interested vets will find other resources, including no-cost practice options, to explore today.</p> <p>For the average civilian moving through the world, any number of life events can leave us needing help and looking to tap into a place of peace and ease. For a soldier, the sources of potential trauma multiply, and the risk increases that stress might threaten the parasympathetic nervous system—not to mention overall quality of life. </p> <p>In response to that risk, in 2006 iRest founder Dr. Richard Miller began working with the US Department of Defense to introduce iRest Yoga Nidra at Walter Reed Memorial Hospital. In this way, iRest took root, and its effectiveness in the military community has grown. The Defense Centers of Excellence has approved Yoga Nidra as a complementary and alternative medicine, warranting continuing research for its use in the treatment of PTSD. Additionally, the US Army Surgeon General has listed Yoga Nidra as an approved approach for addressing pain management in military care. iRest programs have been set up in over dozens of Veterans Administration hospitals and military base hospitals. </p> <p>The effects have been clear.  “I have been doing Yoga Nidra now for about three years and I have gotten to a point now that I don’t have to take any medication for my blood pressure,” says Tom Rusneck, Vietnam veteran. “And I don’t take anything for sleeping, so it has made a big improvement.”</p> <p>Now all veterans can try this transformational practice at home for free, courtesy of the US Department of Veterans Affairs. The new program described <a href="https://www.warrelatedillness.va.gov/WARRELATEDILLNESS/clinical/integrative-health/ca/yoga-nidra-meditation-veteran.pdf" target="_blank">here</a> allows participants to dial in by phone, using a special code to access the teachings. As well, recorded meditations are accessible <a href="https://www.warrelatedillness.va.gov/WARRELATEDILLNESS/meditation/default.asp" target="_blank">here</a>.</p> <p>“Once a person regains connection to their inner sense of self,” says Richard Miller in an interview with <a href="https://www.elephantjournal.com/2012/11/healing-traumas-heart-an-interview-with-richard-miller-founder-of-irest/" target="_blank">Elephant Journal</a>, “we want to then discover the actions they need to take in the world that enables them to feel potent and powerful again.” </p> <p>And that is freedom indeed. </p> <p>Learn more about iRest’s work with the military <a href="https://www.irest.org/meditation-military-veterans" target="_blank">here.</a></p> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-article-type field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field__items"> <div class="field__item"> <a href="/blog/category/community"> <span class="field__item">Community</span> </a> </div> <div class="field__item"> <a href="/blog/category/other"> <span class="field__item">Other</span> </a> </div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-tags field--type-entity-reference field--label-above"> <div class="field__label">Tags</div> <div class="field__items"> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags" hreflang="en">Emergency Service Personnel</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-8" hreflang="en">Healthcare Workers</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-11" hreflang="en">Military</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-16" hreflang="en">PTSD</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-12" hreflang="en">Other</a></div> </div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-published-date field--type-datetime field--label-above"> <div class="field__label">Published date</div> <div class="field__item"><time datetime="2019-11-05T12:00:00Z" class="datetime">Tuesday, November 5, 2019 - 12:00</time> </div> </div> <section data-ajax_comment_pager="comment_node_article-3176" class="field field--name-comment-node-article field--type-comment field--label-hidden comment-wrapper"> <div class="comments_ajax_pager_wrap"></div> </section> <div class="node__links"> <ul class="links inline"><li class="comment-forbidden"><a href="/user/login?destination=/blog/community-other/finding-freedom-veterans-irest-community%23comment-form">Log in</a> or <a href="/user/register?destination=/blog/community-other/finding-freedom-veterans-irest-community%23comment-form">register</a> to post comments</li></ul> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-hero-image field--type-entity-reference field--label-above"> <div class="field__label">Hero Image</div> <div class="field__item"> <img loading="lazy" src="/sites/default/files/hero/shutterstock_1039383910.jpg" width="5311" height="3541" typeof="foaf:Image" /> </div> </div> Tue, 05 Nov 2019 19:40:02 +0000 amybess 3176 at https://www.irest.org Grace https://www.irest.org/blog/nondualism-other/grace <span class="field field--name-title field--type-string field--label-hidden">Grace</span> <div class="field field--name-field-teacher field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field__items"> <div class="field__item">45</div> </div> <span class="field field--name-uid field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden"><a title="View user profile." href="/user/amy-bess-cook" lang="" about="/user/amy-bess-cook" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="" class="username">amybess</a></span> <span class="field field--name-created field--type-created field--label-hidden">Mon, 11/04/2019 - 12:44</span> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field__item"><p>Moving into autumn we may be called to inquire and come into alignment with our heart’s deepest calling. As we’re drawn to what we truly love the source of this calling is Grace.</p> <p>Grace flows as everything. It abides in every movement and non-movement, both in confusion and clarity. In Kashmir Shaivism, even concealment of our essential nature is full of grace. As everything has potential to point back to the truth of our essential nature anything can be a messenger. The non-dual practices sensitize you to recognize it. Pranayama, Bodysensing, and iRest support you in evolving from the belief of separation to your inherent wholeness and interconnection with all of life.</p> <p>Approaching life from a sense of separation creates struggle and misunderstanding. You think you have to control life or make it happen a certain way. When life doesn’t conform to your agenda Grace may feel like the surge of a rushing waterfall, fierce and powerful. As you struggle wanting life to be other than it is Grace brings you to the edge of experience. At that precipice one step opens you into the unknown. By abiding here, a deeper truth may be revealed. </p> <p>At other times you may engage in an effortless flow. Without an agenda you meet life as it is, with a sense of openness and curiosity. In the vast simplicity of the moment Grace shines forth as spontaneous and creative expression. Have you ever had a moment where you’ve somehow gotten out of your own way and a clear response emerged? It is the embodiment or pure expression of life through you. Yet it is also impersonal and you may have no idea where it’s coming from. Here you engage life with a perfect response born right from the moment itself.</p> <p>The recognition of Grace is a matter of learning to listen to the call of life. Through inquiry you recognize the need to stop, question, and feel into a particular belief, emotion, or action.  Whether fierce or gentle, Grace aligns us with life; not my will but thy will be done. The heart’s calling is now both personal as our unique expression in the world, and impersonal as the harmonious flow of life itself.</p> <p>Awakening is a matter of life or the immensity of the Absolute becoming aware of itself through you. Lean into life. A moment may come when you are so undefended that all effort ceases. No practice or teaching is needed here. There is nothing to be done. Abiding as openness Grace may reveal your essential nature.  </p> <p> </p> <p> </p> <img loading="lazy" src="/sites/default/files/samuel-fichet-7Ig3d416i0c-unsplash.jpg" width="1941" height="1290" typeof="foaf:Image" /></div> <div class="field field--name-field-article-type field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field__items"> <div class="field__item"> <a href="/blog/category/nondualism"> <span class="field__item">Nondualism</span> </a> </div> <div class="field__item"> <a href="/blog/category/other"> <span class="field__item">Other</span> </a> </div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-tags field--type-entity-reference field--label-above"> <div class="field__label">Tags</div> <div class="field__items"> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-9" hreflang="en">Yoga Teachers</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-10" hreflang="en">Yoga Therapists</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-5" hreflang="en">iRest Teachers</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-6" hreflang="en">iRest Students</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-7" hreflang="en">Other</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-19" hreflang="en">Joy</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-22" hreflang="en">Peace and Well-Being</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-25" hreflang="en">Nondualism</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-12" hreflang="en">Other</a></div> </div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-published-date field--type-datetime field--label-above"> <div class="field__label">Published date</div> <div class="field__item"><time datetime="2019-11-04T12:00:00Z" class="datetime">Monday, November 4, 2019 - 12:00</time> </div> </div> <section data-ajax_comment_pager="comment_node_article-3170" class="field field--name-comment-node-article field--type-comment field--label-hidden comment-wrapper"> <div class="comments_ajax_pager_wrap"></div> </section> <div class="node__links"> <ul class="links inline"><li class="comment-forbidden"><a href="/user/login?destination=/blog/nondualism-other/grace%23comment-form">Log in</a> or <a href="/user/register?destination=/blog/nondualism-other/grace%23comment-form">register</a> to post comments</li></ul> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-hero-image field--type-entity-reference field--label-above"> <div class="field__label">Hero Image</div> <div class="field__item"> <img loading="lazy" src="/sites/default/files/hero/jared-erondu-j4PaE7E2_Ws-unsplash.jpg" width="5854" height="3903" typeof="foaf:Image" /> </div> </div> Mon, 04 Nov 2019 20:44:27 +0000 amybess 3170 at https://www.irest.org Come One, Come All: A Practice for Inclusion https://www.irest.org/blog/community-resources/come-one-come-all-practice-inclusion <span class="field field--name-title field--type-string field--label-hidden">Come One, Come All: A Practice for Inclusion</span> <div class="field field--name-field-teacher field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field__items"> <div class="field__item">13053</div> </div> <span class="field field--name-uid field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden"><a title="View user profile." href="/user/amy-bess-cook" lang="" about="/user/amy-bess-cook" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="" class="username">amybess</a></span> <span class="field field--name-created field--type-created field--label-hidden">Fri, 10/25/2019 - 17:53</span> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field__item"><p class="MsoNormal">We are all part of something greater. It’s a comforting thought, yes?</p> <p>iRest—along with many of the world’s most influential philosophies—teaches that human interconnectedness is fundamental to our existence. Let’s be honest, though. It’s difficult to feel connected all the time. </p> <p>At some point, we yearn to feel more included.  We wish for our stories to be heard, our presence acknowledged, and our gifts appreciated. Maybe we’ve been overlooked for a job offer. Or maybe loved ones have turned away. Maybe we just want to be seen—to catch the eye of a stranger on the street. In our fast-paced world, the need for inclusion can arise quickly and become quite painful. The good news? We can help satisfy this need. </p> <p>iRest strives to do just that, inviting people of all walks to engage in a transformative meditative practice that enables us to feel deeply seen, heard, and connected with ourselves and those around us. Our stated vision is “to nurture a community dedicated to health, well-being, and authentic participation with the world.” We aim to not only offer you tools to feel whole as an individual, but ways to feel connected to other individuals and the world and universe around you.</p> <p>Our iRest blog is a part of that effort. This virtual space offers stories and testimonies from within our iRest community, and importantly invites your feedback. Our intent through this blog is to grow and nourish dialogue within the iRest community, fostering inclusion and interconnectedness that we all seek.</p> <p>Toward that end, we offer the following welcoming words and guided meditation practice from iRest founder Dr. Richard Miller. So make yourself comfortable, click the media player below, rest back, and <em>connect.</em></p> <p> </p> <p>Intro</p> <article class="media media--type-audio media--view-mode-default" data-align="center"><div class="field field--name-field-media-audio-file field--type-file field--label-hidden field__item"> <div class="audio-player"> <audio controls="controls"><source src="/system/files/2021-02/Blog-Interconnected-Wholeness-WellBeing-2019-Intro.mp3" type="audio/mpeg"></source></audio><a href="/system/files/2021-02/Blog-Interconnected-Wholeness-WellBeing-2019-Intro.mp3" class="audio-player__download" download=""><svg version="1.1" xmlns="http://www.w3.org/2000/svg" width="17" height="18" viewbox="0 0 17 18"><title>download</title><path fill="#21984e" d="M12.857 13.5c0-0.352-0.291-0.643-0.643-0.643s-0.643 0.291-0.643 0.643 0.291 0.643 0.643 0.643 0.643-0.291 0.643-0.643zM15.429 13.5c0-0.352-0.291-0.643-0.643-0.643s-0.643 0.291-0.643 0.643 0.291 0.643 0.643 0.643 0.643-0.291 0.643-0.643zM16.714 11.25v3.214c0 0.532-0.432 0.964-0.964 0.964h-14.786c-0.532 0-0.964-0.432-0.964-0.964v-3.214c0-0.532 0.432-0.964 0.964-0.964h4.671l1.356 1.366c0.372 0.362 0.854 0.563 1.366 0.563s0.994-0.201 1.366-0.563l1.366-1.366h4.661c0.532 0 0.964 0.432 0.964 0.964zM13.45 5.535c0.1 0.241 0.050 0.522-0.141 0.703l-4.5 4.5c-0.121 0.131-0.291 0.191-0.452 0.191s-0.331-0.060-0.452-0.191l-4.5-4.5c-0.191-0.181-0.241-0.462-0.141-0.703 0.1-0.231 0.331-0.392 0.593-0.392h2.571v-4.5c0-0.352 0.291-0.643 0.643-0.643h2.571c0.352 0 0.643 0.291 0.643 0.643v4.5h2.571c0.261 0 0.492 0.161 0.593 0.392z"></path></svg> Download MP3</a> </div> </div> </article><p class="rtecenter">Practice</p> <article class="media media--type-audio media--view-mode-default" data-align="center"><div class="field field--name-field-media-audio-file field--type-file field--label-hidden field__item"> <div class="audio-player"> <audio controls="controls"><source src="/system/files/2021-02/Blog-Interconnected-Wholeness-WellBeing-2019-Practice.mp3" type="audio/mpeg"></source></audio><a href="/system/files/2021-02/Blog-Interconnected-Wholeness-WellBeing-2019-Practice.mp3" class="audio-player__download" download=""><svg version="1.1" xmlns="http://www.w3.org/2000/svg" width="17" height="18" viewbox="0 0 17 18"><title>download</title><path fill="#21984e" d="M12.857 13.5c0-0.352-0.291-0.643-0.643-0.643s-0.643 0.291-0.643 0.643 0.291 0.643 0.643 0.643 0.643-0.291 0.643-0.643zM15.429 13.5c0-0.352-0.291-0.643-0.643-0.643s-0.643 0.291-0.643 0.643 0.291 0.643 0.643 0.643 0.643-0.291 0.643-0.643zM16.714 11.25v3.214c0 0.532-0.432 0.964-0.964 0.964h-14.786c-0.532 0-0.964-0.432-0.964-0.964v-3.214c0-0.532 0.432-0.964 0.964-0.964h4.671l1.356 1.366c0.372 0.362 0.854 0.563 1.366 0.563s0.994-0.201 1.366-0.563l1.366-1.366h4.661c0.532 0 0.964 0.432 0.964 0.964zM13.45 5.535c0.1 0.241 0.050 0.522-0.141 0.703l-4.5 4.5c-0.121 0.131-0.291 0.191-0.452 0.191s-0.331-0.060-0.452-0.191l-4.5-4.5c-0.191-0.181-0.241-0.462-0.141-0.703 0.1-0.231 0.331-0.392 0.593-0.392h2.571v-4.5c0-0.352 0.291-0.643 0.643-0.643h2.571c0.352 0 0.643 0.291 0.643 0.643v4.5h2.571c0.261 0 0.492 0.161 0.593 0.392z"></path></svg> Download MP3</a> </div> </div> </article> <img loading="lazy" src="/sites/default/files/shutterstock_432817237.jpg" width="5559" height="3710" typeof="foaf:Image" /></div> <div class="field field--name-field-article-type field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field__items"> <div class="field__item"> <a href="/blog/category/community"> <span class="field__item">Community</span> </a> </div> <div class="field__item"> <a href="/blog/category/resources"> <span class="field__item">Resources</span> </a> </div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-tags field--type-entity-reference field--label-above"> <div class="field__label">Tags</div> <div class="field__items"> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-9" hreflang="en">Yoga Teachers</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-10" hreflang="en">Yoga Therapists</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-2" hreflang="en">Social Workers</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-5" hreflang="en">iRest Teachers</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-6" hreflang="en">iRest Students</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-7" hreflang="en">Other</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-19" hreflang="en">Joy</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-22" hreflang="en">Peace and Well-Being</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-25" hreflang="en">Nondualism</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-12" hreflang="en">Other</a></div> </div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-published-date field--type-datetime field--label-above"> <div class="field__label">Published date</div> <div class="field__item"><time datetime="2019-10-25T12:00:00Z" class="datetime">Friday, October 25, 2019 - 12:00</time> </div> </div> <section data-ajax_comment_pager="comment_node_article-3157" class="field field--name-comment-node-article field--type-comment field--label-hidden comment-wrapper"> <div class="comments_ajax_pager_wrap"></div> </section> <div class="node__links"> <ul class="links inline"><li class="comment-forbidden"><a href="/user/login?destination=/blog/community-resources/come-one-come-all-practice-inclusion%23comment-form">Log in</a> or <a href="/user/register?destination=/blog/community-resources/come-one-come-all-practice-inclusion%23comment-form">register</a> to post comments</li></ul> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-hero-image field--type-entity-reference field--label-above"> <div class="field__label">Hero Image</div> <div class="field__item"> <img loading="lazy" src="/sites/default/files/hero/mobile/shutterstock_781325674.jpg" width="6000" height="4000" typeof="foaf:Image" /> </div> </div> Sat, 26 Oct 2019 00:53:09 +0000 amybess 3157 at https://www.irest.org For the Love of Zzzzs https://www.irest.org/blog/resources-other/love-zzzzs <span class="field field--name-title field--type-string field--label-hidden">For the Love of Zzzzs</span> <div class="field field--name-field-teacher field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field__items"> <div class="field__item">13053</div> </div> <span class="field field--name-uid field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden"><a title="View user profile." href="/user/amy-bess-cook" lang="" about="/user/amy-bess-cook" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="" class="username">amybess</a></span> <span class="field field--name-created field--type-created field--label-hidden">Fri, 10/25/2019 - 21:24</span> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field__item"><p>Ever felt low, and not known quite why? It’s possible that what’s missing is a good night’s sleep. True to its name, iRest can help provide just that. </p> <p>The healing power of sleep cannot be underestimated. Medical studies worldwide prove that restful sleep is vital to human health, resilience, and overall well-being. Imagine an elixir you could easily take that would:</p> <ul><li>Increase alertness and creativity</li> <li>Reduce stress</li> <li>Improve perception, stamina, and motor skills </li> <li>Enhance decision-making</li> <li>Help with weight loss</li> <li>Reduce risk of heart attack</li> <li>Decrease depression and elevate mood</li> <li>Strengthen memory</li> <li>Help with chronic pain</li> <li>Increase overall resiliency and wellbeing</li> </ul><p>This miracle drug is sleep. iRest meditation offers access to a deep state of relaxation that prepares the body and mind for quality sleep. </p> <p>At night, use the iRest Program for Restful Sleep to learn how to fall asleep easily and quickly. If you wake in the middle of the night, you can then use iRest to help you fall asleep again.</p> <p>The following two practices condition your body to take a restful nap, or to fall asleep for a good night’s sleep. Over time, these practices encourage routines that support peace of mind, enabling your body and mind to easily fall into deep and restful sleep.</p> <p>8-minute iRest Practice for a Restful Nap</p> <article class="media media--type-audio media--view-mode-default" data-align="center"><div class="field field--name-field-media-audio-file field--type-file field--label-hidden field__item"> <div class="audio-player"> <audio controls="controls"><source src="/system/files/2021-06/8-minute-iRest-restful-nap%20%281%29.mp3" type="audio/mpeg"></source></audio><a href="/system/files/2021-06/8-minute-iRest-restful-nap%20%281%29.mp3" class="audio-player__download" download=""><svg version="1.1" xmlns="http://www.w3.org/2000/svg" width="17" height="18" viewbox="0 0 17 18"><title>download</title><path fill="#21984e" d="M12.857 13.5c0-0.352-0.291-0.643-0.643-0.643s-0.643 0.291-0.643 0.643 0.291 0.643 0.643 0.643 0.643-0.291 0.643-0.643zM15.429 13.5c0-0.352-0.291-0.643-0.643-0.643s-0.643 0.291-0.643 0.643 0.291 0.643 0.643 0.643 0.643-0.291 0.643-0.643zM16.714 11.25v3.214c0 0.532-0.432 0.964-0.964 0.964h-14.786c-0.532 0-0.964-0.432-0.964-0.964v-3.214c0-0.532 0.432-0.964 0.964-0.964h4.671l1.356 1.366c0.372 0.362 0.854 0.563 1.366 0.563s0.994-0.201 1.366-0.563l1.366-1.366h4.661c0.532 0 0.964 0.432 0.964 0.964zM13.45 5.535c0.1 0.241 0.050 0.522-0.141 0.703l-4.5 4.5c-0.121 0.131-0.291 0.191-0.452 0.191s-0.331-0.060-0.452-0.191l-4.5-4.5c-0.191-0.181-0.241-0.462-0.141-0.703 0.1-0.231 0.331-0.392 0.593-0.392h2.571v-4.5c0-0.352 0.291-0.643 0.643-0.643h2.571c0.352 0 0.643 0.291 0.643 0.643v4.5h2.571c0.261 0 0.492 0.161 0.593 0.392z"></path></svg> Download MP3</a> </div> </div> </article><p> </p> <p>20-minute iRest Practice for Deep Sleep<span style="color: black; font-family: verdana; font-size: 1rem;"> </span></p> <article class="media media--type-audio media--view-mode-default" data-align="center"><div class="field field--name-field-media-audio-file field--type-file field--label-hidden field__item"> <div class="audio-player"> <audio controls="controls"><source src="/system/files/2021-06/20-minute-iRest-deep-restful-sleep.mp3" type="audio/mpeg"></source></audio><a href="/system/files/2021-06/20-minute-iRest-deep-restful-sleep.mp3" class="audio-player__download" download=""><svg version="1.1" xmlns="http://www.w3.org/2000/svg" width="17" height="18" viewbox="0 0 17 18"><title>download</title><path fill="#21984e" d="M12.857 13.5c0-0.352-0.291-0.643-0.643-0.643s-0.643 0.291-0.643 0.643 0.291 0.643 0.643 0.643 0.643-0.291 0.643-0.643zM15.429 13.5c0-0.352-0.291-0.643-0.643-0.643s-0.643 0.291-0.643 0.643 0.291 0.643 0.643 0.643 0.643-0.291 0.643-0.643zM16.714 11.25v3.214c0 0.532-0.432 0.964-0.964 0.964h-14.786c-0.532 0-0.964-0.432-0.964-0.964v-3.214c0-0.532 0.432-0.964 0.964-0.964h4.671l1.356 1.366c0.372 0.362 0.854 0.563 1.366 0.563s0.994-0.201 1.366-0.563l1.366-1.366h4.661c0.532 0 0.964 0.432 0.964 0.964zM13.45 5.535c0.1 0.241 0.050 0.522-0.141 0.703l-4.5 4.5c-0.121 0.131-0.291 0.191-0.452 0.191s-0.331-0.060-0.452-0.191l-4.5-4.5c-0.191-0.181-0.241-0.462-0.141-0.703 0.1-0.231 0.331-0.392 0.593-0.392h2.571v-4.5c0-0.352 0.291-0.643 0.643-0.643h2.571c0.352 0 0.643 0.291 0.643 0.643v4.5h2.571c0.261 0 0.492 0.161 0.593 0.392z"></path></svg> Download MP3</a> </div> </div> </article><p> </p> <img loading="lazy" src="/sites/default/files/danny-g-_Utk8ZYT4tI-unsplash.jpg" width="2688" height="4032" typeof="foaf:Image" /></div> <div class="field field--name-field-article-type field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field__items"> <div class="field__item"> <a href="/blog/category/resources"> <span class="field__item">Resources</span> </a> </div> <div class="field__item"> <a href="/blog/category/other"> <span class="field__item">Other</span> </a> </div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-tags field--type-entity-reference field--label-above"> <div class="field__label">Tags</div> <div class="field__items"> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-9" hreflang="en">Yoga Teachers</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-10" hreflang="en">Yoga Therapists</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-4" hreflang="en">Educators</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-5" hreflang="en">iRest Teachers</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-6" hreflang="en">iRest Students</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-7" hreflang="en">Other</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-15" hreflang="en">Sleep</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-12" hreflang="en">Other</a></div> </div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-published-date field--type-datetime field--label-above"> <div class="field__label">Published date</div> <div class="field__item"><time datetime="2019-10-25T12:00:00Z" class="datetime">Friday, October 25, 2019 - 12:00</time> </div> </div> <section data-ajax_comment_pager="comment_node_article-3160" class="field field--name-comment-node-article field--type-comment field--label-hidden comment-wrapper"> <div class="comments_ajax_pager_wrap"></div> </section> <div class="node__links"> <ul class="links inline"><li class="comment-forbidden"><a href="/user/login?destination=/blog/resources-other/love-zzzzs%23comment-form">Log in</a> or <a href="/user/register?destination=/blog/resources-other/love-zzzzs%23comment-form">register</a> to post comments</li></ul> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-hero-image field--type-entity-reference field--label-above"> <div class="field__label">Hero Image</div> <div class="field__item"> <img loading="lazy" src="/sites/default/files/hero/rodrigo-pereira-SNPRTGDzc7U-unsplash.jpg" width="3872" height="2592" typeof="foaf:Image" /> </div> </div> Sat, 26 Oct 2019 04:24:29 +0000 amybess 3160 at https://www.irest.org Discover BodySensing https://www.irest.org/blog/resources-nondualism-other/discover-bodysensing <span class="field field--name-title field--type-string field--label-hidden">Discover BodySensing</span> <div class="field field--name-field-teacher field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field__items"> <div class="field__item">36</div> </div> <span class="field field--name-uid field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden"><a title="View user profile." href="/user/amy-bess-cook" lang="" about="/user/amy-bess-cook" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="" class="username">amybess</a></span> <span class="field field--name-created field--type-created field--label-hidden">Fri, 10/25/2019 - 19:04</span> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field__item"><p>iRest BodySensing Source Yoga is an approach to meditation that uses the body as an entry point for coming to know our essence. It has the potential to profoundly nourish our connection with ourselves, provide a deep sense of calm and wellbeing, and bring us to a clear realization of our true nature. iRest offers this practice, which is rooted in ancient tradition, as a central resource.</p> <p>BodySensing invites us to truly feel our bodies, not as a preconceived form with a distinct center and periphery, but as pure sensation. Doing so evokes subtle vibration and an unlimited expanse of radiance, without boundary.</p> <p>At first, we might try BodySensing with eyes closed to help us more easily go beyond our normal manner of perceiving. Ultimately, it can be an eyes-open practice that mimics everyday life. BodySensing can be practiced in stillness or in movement. It can happen during yoga, walking, biking, climbing, dancing—or just sitting. </p> <p>We begin by slowing down and emptying out any extraneous tension. The greater our economy of movement, the less our striving, the more we open to the experience of “being moved”. When this is achieved, we are free to know and express ourselves.</p> <p>In BodySensing, we listen inwardly to the subtle scintillations and vibrations of our own vitality. The life force animating us is connected to every other living thing and holds a universal intelligence. When we attune to that force, we discover our source intelligence. </p> <p>BodySensing can also be described as a form of Yoga Nidra meditation, in which we experience ourselves from gross levels of sensing to increasingly subtler levels, illuminating our pure awareness. To access this awareness, we move through layers that can be likened to musical notes with distinct frequencies or resonance.  As we listen to these notes and experience these ever-subtler layers, we orient to pure awareness.</p> <p>What differentiates BodySensing from most other forms of meditation? Rather than asking us to cultivate a higher state, it points to an awakeness already present in us.  We are already whole. We discover this truth through somatic inquiry.</p> <p>BodySensing can have meaningful implications in our daily lives. As we become more trusting of our body’s natural awakeness and intelligence, we come to be more spontaneous and responsive to our experiences. This trust might be expressed initially by speaking up for ourselves or another when we might not previously have done so; or making choices that are more authentic for ourselves rather than suppressing our needs for the sake of keeping peace. Some practitioners with deeply held tensions and symptomology have found profound healing as a result of this practice.</p> <p>As pure awareness moves through us, uninhibited by conditioned patterns, we find a greater sense of freedom.</p> <img loading="lazy" src="/sites/default/files/th-anh-7Q96WZwlBDc-unsplash.jpg" width="3648" height="4963" typeof="foaf:Image" /></div> <div class="field field--name-field-article-type field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field__items"> <div class="field__item"> <a href="/blog/category/resources"> <span class="field__item">Resources</span> </a> </div> <div class="field__item"> <a href="/blog/category/nondualism"> <span class="field__item">Nondualism</span> </a> </div> <div class="field__item"> <a href="/blog/category/other"> <span class="field__item">Other</span> </a> </div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-tags field--type-entity-reference field--label-above"> <div class="field__label">Tags</div> <div class="field__items"> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-9" hreflang="en">Yoga Teachers</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-10" hreflang="en">Yoga Therapists</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-5" hreflang="en">iRest Teachers</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-6" hreflang="en">iRest Students</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-7" hreflang="en">Other</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-23" hreflang="en">Anxiety</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-21" hreflang="en">Chronic Pain</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-19" hreflang="en">Joy</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-22" hreflang="en">Peace and Well-Being</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-14" hreflang="en">Stress</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-13" hreflang="en">Trauma</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-25" hreflang="en">Nondualism</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-12" hreflang="en">Other</a></div> </div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-published-date field--type-datetime field--label-above"> <div class="field__label">Published date</div> <div class="field__item"><time datetime="2019-10-25T12:00:00Z" class="datetime">Friday, October 25, 2019 - 12:00</time> </div> </div> <section data-ajax_comment_pager="comment_node_article-3158" class="field field--name-comment-node-article field--type-comment field--label-hidden comment-wrapper"> <div class="comments_ajax_pager_wrap"> <article role="article" data-comment-user-id="8920" id="comment-4" class="comment js-comment"> <div class="comment__author-photo"> <span class="user-picture__placeholder"></span> </div> <div class="comment__content"> <header class="comment__header"> <h3 class="comment__author"> Tim Langlamet <span class="hidden new" data-comment-timestamp="1598892091"></span></h3> <div class="comment__header-meta"> <span class="comment__permalink"><a href="/comment/4#comment-4" hreflang="en">Permalink</a></span> November 14, 2019 at 12:56pm </div> </header> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-comment-body field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field__item"><p>How does BodySensing interact with the other Koshas / Bodies?</p> <p>My experience has been that, if I lose sight of the edges of my physical body (Anna Kosha), I usually have slipped into one of the others (since each one feels a bit bigger than the last).</p> </div> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderLinks" arguments="0=4&amp;1=default&amp;2=en&amp;3=" token="XOtoOEajTmGO-ySbCbuuJ-3RWGWOq9TFLYj6XhVpmVk"></drupal-render-placeholder> </div> </article> </div> </section> <div class="node__links"> <ul class="links inline"><li class="comment-forbidden"><a href="/user/login?destination=/blog/resources-nondualism-other/discover-bodysensing%23comment-form">Log in</a> or <a href="/user/register?destination=/blog/resources-nondualism-other/discover-bodysensing%23comment-form">register</a> to post comments</li></ul> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-hero-image field--type-entity-reference field--label-above"> <div class="field__label">Hero Image</div> <div class="field__item"> <img loading="lazy" src="/sites/default/files/hero/ahmad-odeh-KHipnBn7sdY-unsplash.jpg" width="5760" height="3840" typeof="foaf:Image" /> </div> </div> Sat, 26 Oct 2019 02:04:07 +0000 amybess 3158 at https://www.irest.org On Being Lost https://www.irest.org/blog/community-nondualism/being-lost <span class="field field--name-title field--type-string field--label-hidden">On Being Lost </span> <div class="field field--name-field-teacher field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field__items"> <div class="field__item">44</div> </div> <span class="field field--name-uid field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden"><a title="View user profile." href="/user/amy-bess-cook" lang="" about="/user/amy-bess-cook" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="" class="username">amybess</a></span> <span class="field field--name-created field--type-created field--label-hidden">Fri, 10/25/2019 - 21:42</span> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field__item"><p>Recently I got lost in the woods behind my house.</p> <p>I have wandered these woods in every season for many years. (Well, truthfully, I avoid black fly season). There are trees and rocks that I greet as friends. I know where the porcupine den is at the base of the leaning tree, and I have taken over a long-abandoned deer stand—a simple board nailed between two branches—as my sitting spot 12 feet above the ground. But I got lost—completely turned around! I had set out without food or water, and the day was turning to dusk. Finally I heard a car in the distance and walked toward the sound, hoping that I might get my bearings. As I approached the road I was shocked to discover that I was only 500 yards from my house.</p> <p>How did it happen? I had positioned myself by a particular landmark, certain I knew where I was. All subsequent steps I took originated from that place. Rather than experiencing what was present moment-to-moment, I found my whole field of sensing had narrowed, and I missed important indicators. </p> <p>This reminds me of what happens when we believe we know where we are on the spiritual path. We situate ourselves by a particular stage we’ve achieved or by an insight we’ve acquired, and then we proceed based on that assumption. In doing so, we narrow our field of perception, reducing pure spaciousness to a single location.</p> <p>When we think we know where we are, we are no longer available to not-knowing. Rather than simply being, in open listening, where all information is available, our focus becomes unidirectional, aimed at getting “there”. We reduce mystery to a place and miss the obvious fact that we are already home.</p> <p>This is one of the reasons I love the practice of iRest Yoga Nidra, particularly in its dyad form. The simplicity of the question “What is present now?” orients us to here and to now, rather than some imagined place. We explore not-knowing by meeting each moment without a clue, welcoming confusion, and allowing what is here to reveal itself.</p> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-article-type field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field__items"> <div class="field__item"> <a href="/blog/category/community"> <span class="field__item">Community</span> </a> </div> <div class="field__item"> <a href="/blog/category/nondualism"> <span class="field__item">Nondualism</span> </a> </div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-tags field--type-entity-reference field--label-above"> <div class="field__label">Tags</div> <div class="field__items"> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-5" hreflang="en">iRest Teachers</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-6" hreflang="en">iRest Students</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-7" hreflang="en">Other</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-19" hreflang="en">Joy</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-22" hreflang="en">Peace and Well-Being</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-25" hreflang="en">Nondualism</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-12" hreflang="en">Other</a></div> </div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-published-date field--type-datetime field--label-above"> <div class="field__label">Published date</div> <div class="field__item"><time datetime="2019-10-25T12:00:00Z" class="datetime">Friday, October 25, 2019 - 12:00</time> </div> </div> <section data-ajax_comment_pager="comment_node_article-3161" class="field field--name-comment-node-article field--type-comment field--label-hidden comment-wrapper"> <div class="comments_ajax_pager_wrap"></div> </section> <div class="node__links"> <ul class="links inline"><li class="comment-forbidden"><a href="/user/login?destination=/blog/community-nondualism/being-lost%23comment-form">Log in</a> or <a href="/user/register?destination=/blog/community-nondualism/being-lost%23comment-form">register</a> to post comments</li></ul> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-hero-image field--type-entity-reference field--label-above"> <div class="field__label">Hero Image</div> <div class="field__item"> <img loading="lazy" src="/sites/default/files/hero/ethan-sykes-iISyBKOT2D0-unsplash_0.jpg" width="4598" height="3192" typeof="foaf:Image" /> </div> </div> Sat, 26 Oct 2019 04:42:03 +0000 amybess 3161 at https://www.irest.org Healing Self, Healing Community: An Interview with Julia Fetherston https://www.irest.org/blog/interviews-community/healing-self-healing-community-interview-julia-fetherston <span class="field field--name-title field--type-string field--label-hidden">Healing Self, Healing Community: An Interview with Julia Fetherston</span> <div class="field field--name-field-teacher field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field__items"> <div class="field__item">13053</div> </div> <span class="field field--name-uid field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden"><a title="View user profile." href="/user/amy-bess-cook" lang="" about="/user/amy-bess-cook" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="" class="username">amybess</a></span> <span class="field field--name-created field--type-created field--label-hidden">Fri, 10/25/2019 - 20:22</span> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field__item"><p>When scientist and former university researcher Julia Fetherston was diagnosed with cancer, she turned to iRest for comfort and healing. At the time, she couldn’t have known that her work with iRest was only beginning to unfold.  A year later, the Mendocino Complex Fire would hit her community, devastating loved ones and driving Fetherston to offer iRest classes for victims and first responders. Since, she has continued to build and broaden her practice. </p> <h4> </h4> <h4><strong>Tell us who you are and what you do.</strong></h4> <p>I am a yoga therapist and brain geek. I live and practice in a small town in northern California. I came to my yoga therapy work through a circuitous journey, and because of my background in psychology and science, my work integrates numerous disciplines. I most heavily draw from the kosha model of yoga therapy, interpersonal neurobiology, and attachment dynamics. I am fortunate to work with a range of clients, individuals, groups and organizations.</p> <h4> </h4> <img loading="lazy" src="/sites/default/files/shutterstock_793632151.jpg" width="5475" height="3650" typeof="foaf:Image" /><p> </p> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-article-type field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field__items"> <div class="field__item"> <a href="/blog/category/interviews"> <span class="field__item">Interviews</span> </a> </div> <div class="field__item"> <a href="/blog/category/community"> <span class="field__item">Community</span> </a> </div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-tags field--type-entity-reference field--label-above"> <div class="field__label">Tags</div> <div class="field__items"> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags" hreflang="en">Emergency Service Personnel</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-8" hreflang="en">Healthcare Workers</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-9" hreflang="en">Yoga Teachers</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-5" hreflang="en">iRest Teachers</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-6" hreflang="en">iRest Students</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-7" hreflang="en">Other</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-23" hreflang="en">Anxiety</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-21" hreflang="en">Chronic Pain</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-20" hreflang="en">Depression</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-19" hreflang="en">Joy</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-22" hreflang="en">Peace and Well-Being</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-17" hreflang="en">Pain Relief</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-12" hreflang="en">Other</a></div> </div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-published-date field--type-datetime field--label-above"> <div class="field__label">Published date</div> <div class="field__item"><time datetime="2019-10-25T12:00:00Z" class="datetime">Friday, October 25, 2019 - 12:00</time> </div> </div> <section data-ajax_comment_pager="comment_node_article-3159" class="field field--name-comment-node-article field--type-comment field--label-hidden comment-wrapper"> <div class="comments_ajax_pager_wrap"></div> </section> <div class="node__links"> <ul class="links inline"><li class="comment-forbidden"><a href="/user/login?destination=/blog/interviews-community/healing-self-healing-community-interview-julia-fetherston%23comment-form">Log in</a> or <a href="/user/register?destination=/blog/interviews-community/healing-self-healing-community-interview-julia-fetherston%23comment-form">register</a> to post comments</li></ul> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-hero-image field--type-entity-reference field--label-above"> <div class="field__label">Hero Image</div> <div class="field__item"> <img loading="lazy" src="/sites/default/files/hero/joanne-francis-S9NQnIV4zOI-unsplash.jpg" width="6016" height="4000" typeof="foaf:Image" /> </div> </div> Sat, 26 Oct 2019 03:22:23 +0000 amybess 3159 at https://www.irest.org "I See Lives Changed": An Interview With Kirsten Guest https://www.irest.org/blog/interviews-community-other/i-see-lives-changed-interview-kirsten-guest <span class="field field--name-title field--type-string field--label-hidden">&quot;I See Lives Changed&quot;: An Interview With Kirsten Guest</span> <div class="field field--name-field-teacher field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field__items"> <div class="field__item">13053</div> </div> <span class="field field--name-uid field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden"><a title="View user profile." href="/user/amy-bess-cook" lang="" about="/user/amy-bess-cook" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="" class="username">amybess</a></span> <span class="field field--name-created field--type-created field--label-hidden">Mon, 11/04/2019 - 16:09</span> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field__item"><p><img alt="Kirsten Guest" data-delta="1" data-entity-type="" data-entity-uuid="" data-fid="7120" data-media-element="1" src="https://www.irest.org/sites/default/files/styles/wysiwyg__33__width/public/Screen%20Shot%202019-10-24%20at%204.30.21%20PM.png?itok=OU4DO_yW" title="Kirsten Guest" /></p> <p><a href="https://www.irest.org/user/kirsten-guest">Kirsten Guest</a> first came to iRest to manage unexpected chaos in her own life. Twenty years later, she's not only teaching iRest, but serves as the organization's Director of Certification, helping potential trainers get the tools they need to share the iRest mission. Learn what drives Kirsten to spread the ease and bliss of this powerful practice.</p> <p> </p> <p><strong>What brought you to iRest?  </strong></p> <p>I was drawn to a retreat with Richard Miller entitled "Retreat into Stillness". I was absorbed in the chaos of life and this sounded like a wonderful break.  Although I had been a student of yoga for many years, I had never learned much about meditation. I was curious, but a complete newbie.</p> <p><br /> The practices, although unfamiliar, were intriguing. The instructions for BreathSensing, BodySensing, and Yoga Nidra were interesting, but I didn't feel like I was getting it.  </p> <p><br /> I left the retreat feeling a little bit more at ease with myself and a little less critical and judgmental. This was very appealing. If I could feel this different after one weekend, I wanted more.</p> <p><br /><strong>What then led you to begin teaching other teachers? </strong></p> <p>I can't help but share these practices with others. I was already teaching yoga and naturally began to incorporate the iRest teachings and practices into my classes. Now the classes I teach have iRest infused into every step of the practice: asana, breath, and meditation. There is nothing like sitting in the silence at the end of class in those several minutes when the room is filled with resting, peaceful bodies, knowing that I had some role in this.</p> <p><br /><strong>What do you feel are some of the benefits of becoming certified as an iRest teacher (as opposed to simply building a personal practice)? </strong></p> <p>As Director of Certification, I find that by far the most frequent comment I receive from students is how much their personal iRest practice is affected by the Certification process. Often people enter Certification to improve their knowledge and confidence in using iRest with groups and individuals. The Certification assignments require you to dive deeply into the practice as well as share iRest with others. Certification is really the third level of training, but unlike in the first two levels, you have one-on-one time with your supervisor, reading and reviewing assignments together, which offers access to a wealth of knowledge and many years of experience. Your personal experience with iRest will grow in ways you didn't imagine.</p> <p><br /><strong>Who is your own greatest teacher?  </strong></p> <p>Although I learned the content of iRest from Richard, my greatest teacher was my curiosity! I heard the instructions of the practices and brought my own curiosity to them, trying on concepts with my mind and body, finding my own insights, understandings and experiences. As I shared these teachings with my students, my experiments taught me more and more about what works and doesn't work for myself and for others. Now I can't help incorporating iRest into my classes.</p> <p><br /><strong>What’s the greatest single lesson you try to impart to your students?  </strong></p> <p>The iRest tool that I use most often is Inner Resource. This single, simple step of iRest can give people access to an experience of peace, comfort, and ease that they never knew they could feel. And this is something that is already inside them! This can be transformative in a very short period of time. Such an effective, useful tool!</p> <p><br /><strong>What’s the single greatest lesson your students have taught you? </strong></p> <p>Humility. As a new yoga teacher, we have so many tools that we think can help our students find a sense of ease, or relief from pain, or comfort. Time and time again, I have been humbled by the insights, understanding, and experiences that come from my students in ways that I never expected could happen.  </p> <p><br /><strong>What's your favorite part of your job? </strong></p> <p>I have the best job ever! Every day that I head off to teach a class, even when I don't feel like it, I sit at the end of a session with a room full of resting bodies, and a quiet stillness that always leaves me in a state of awe, wonder, and reverence at the power of these practices.  </p> <p><br /> Over the years, I have witnessed over and over again how the practice of iRest helps people find relief. After 30 minutes of iRest, the most common report I hear as someone slowly comes out of their meditation is that they are amazed how they feel. Reports such as "I never thought I could feel this good", questions like "What just happened?" Reports of amazement and awe as they stand up and seemingly float out of the room after a practice.</p> <p><br /> I see lives changed over and over again. Reports of how iRest helped someone get through a challenging time with an illness or injury, the loss of a loved one, a traumatic event, or just the day-to-day challenges of life.</p> <p><br /> iRest works. Lives are changed. The world needs more of this, and I am lucky to be one of the teachers who can share this with others.</p> <p> </p> <p><img alt="" data-entity-type="" data-entity-uuid="" height="100px" src="https://www.irest.org/sites/all/modules/media/images/icons/default/image-x-generic.png" width="100px" /></p> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-article-type field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field__items"> <div class="field__item"> <a href="/blog/category/interviews"> <span class="field__item">Interviews</span> </a> </div> <div class="field__item"> <a href="/blog/category/community"> <span class="field__item">Community</span> </a> </div> <div class="field__item"> <a href="/blog/category/other"> <span class="field__item">Other</span> </a> </div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-tags field--type-entity-reference field--label-above"> <div class="field__label">Tags</div> <div class="field__items"> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-9" hreflang="en">Yoga Teachers</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-10" hreflang="en">Yoga Therapists</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-5" hreflang="en">iRest Teachers</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-6" hreflang="en">iRest Students</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-7" hreflang="en">Other</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-19" hreflang="en">Joy</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-22" hreflang="en">Peace and Well-Being</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/category/tags-12" hreflang="en">Other</a></div> </div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-published-date field--type-datetime field--label-above"> <div class="field__label">Published date</div> <div class="field__item"><time datetime="2019-10-21T12:00:00Z" class="datetime">Monday, October 21, 2019 - 12:00</time> </div> </div> <section data-ajax_comment_pager="comment_node_article-3174" class="field field--name-comment-node-article field--type-comment field--label-hidden comment-wrapper"> <div class="comments_ajax_pager_wrap"> <article role="article" data-comment-user-id="6842" id="comment-5" class="comment js-comment"> <div class="comment__author-photo"> <img src="/sites/default/files/styles/comment_author/public/pictures/2022-10/Profielfoto%20Diana%20Abenvierkant%20.jpg?h=8a7fc05e&amp;itok=RdTWawqp" width="130" height="130" alt="" loading="lazy" typeof="foaf:Image" class="image-style-comment-author" /> </div> <div class="comment__content"> <header class="comment__header"> <h3 class="comment__author"> Diana Aben <span class="hidden new" data-comment-timestamp="1598892235"></span></h3> <div class="comment__header-meta"> <span class="comment__permalink"><a href="/comment/5#comment-5" hreflang="en">Permalink</a></span> November 15, 2019 at 12:12am </div> </header> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-comment-body field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field__item"><p>So nice to read about your iRest-path Kirsten.<br /> Thanks for all your inspiration, also as being my mentor during my certification.<br /> The world really does need iRest.<br /> Diana.</p> </div> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderLinks" arguments="0=5&amp;1=default&amp;2=en&amp;3=" token="snLK4uT1j2VtGw-KzkfvzjF68wCrC45QPo-Mz5zLNL4"></drupal-render-placeholder> </div> </article> </div> </section> <div class="node__links"> <ul class="links inline"><li class="comment-forbidden"><a href="/user/login?destination=/blog/interviews-community-other/i-see-lives-changed-interview-kirsten-guest%23comment-form">Log in</a> or <a href="/user/register?destination=/blog/interviews-community-other/i-see-lives-changed-interview-kirsten-guest%23comment-form">register</a> to post comments</li></ul> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-hero-image field--type-entity-reference field--label-above"> <div class="field__label">Hero Image</div> <div class="field__item"> <img loading="lazy" src="/sites/default/files/hero/shutterstock_1227103192.jpg" width="5295" height="3530" typeof="foaf:Image" /> </div> </div> Tue, 05 Nov 2019 00:09:54 +0000 amybess 3174 at https://www.irest.org