The iRest Institute (IRI), as an educational non-profit, provides programs, teacher trainings, and retreats based on the ancient teachings of Yoga. Our programs:
- Support psychological health, well-being, and spiritual freedom,
- Help participants rediscover how to live a contented life, free of conflict and fear,
- Open the mind and body to its inherent ground of interconnected wholeness with all of life.
Our MISSION is to help people resolve their pain and suffering, and experience deep healing and peace.
Our VISION is to nurture an engaged community dedicated to health, well-being and authentic participation with the world.
iRest Yoga Nidra is based on ancient yogic teachings, but made accessible for modern day life. It is designed to bring the healing benefits of yogic and meditative practices to a wide variety of people. iRest can be practiced by anyone, regardless of whether you are a lifelong meditator or if you have never tried meditation before.
By practicing iRest regularly - a little and often - you can tap into the parts of your brain that allow for greater insight and quiet the parts of the brain that are responsible for negative thoughts, feelings, and sensations. Using iRest, people learn to welcome life as it is happening and to respond - not react - to challenging situations.
iRest can work to alleviate stress, help us sleep better, and heal unresolved issues and traumas. It can also allow us recognize an underlying peace of mind that is always present within us - no matter what circumstances we are facing in life. People practicing iRest experience:
- Decreased stress, anxiety, fear and depression
- Improved sleep and decreased insomnia
- An ability to better manage chronic and acute pain
- Healthier interpersonal relations
- Heightened energy levels
- Improved sense of control
- More confidence and joy in their lives
- A greater sense of peace and well-being
iRest is practiced and taught by thousands of people worldwide in a number of different organizations that support well-being. We offer programs in yoga studios, community centers, clinics, schools, hospices, correctional facilities, and U.S. military hospitals. In June of 2010, iRest was endorsed by the US Army Surgeon General and Defense Centers of Excellence as a complementary and alternative medicine (CAM).
iRest was developed by Richard Miller, PhD. Richard is a world-renowned spiritual teacher, author, yogic scholar, researcher and clinical psychologist, who has combined traditional yogic practice with Western psychology and neuroscience. He is committed to bringing the healing benefits of iRest to all segments of our population. Richard also founded the iRest Institute, an educational non-profit with the mission of helping people resolve their pain and suffering, and experience deep healing and peace.
The iRest Institute provides trainings, retreats and workshops, for health care professionals, yoga and meditation teachers, and individuals. The Institute also offers certification programs for those interested in becoming a certified iRest teacher. The iRest Institute also collaborates with research partners to further the study of meditation and well-being.
A Message about iRest from creator, Dr. Richard Miller:
I first became involved with Yoga Nidra in 1970, when I moved to San Francisco. I decided to meet people by taking a 12 week yoga course. When I showed up for my first class, I found out that the instructor had decided to teach the class in total silence. So, during the 12 weeks of my course, I didn’t meet a single person - but I ended up meeting myself - and this became a major turning point in my life.
At the end of the first class, the instructor taught us a basic Yoga Nidra meditation. That night, I walked home feeling totally at ease and radiantly joyful within myself. Instead of having my usual feelings of separation and loneliness, I felt connected, both to myself and everything around me.
This experience left a deep longing in me to understand the practice of Yoga Nidra and to realize this feeling of peace and connectedness.
In the following decades, my yearning would lead me to study with some of the most renowned meditation teachers in the world and to become a skilled practitioner - both by continuing my own practice and by sharing this practice with others.
I later adapted these ancient practices in an effort to make them more accessible - so more people could experience deep healing and well-being. I wanted to make the practice of meditation easier to do and more applicable to our modern, western world so I developed iRest. iRest is based on ancient Yoga Nidra teachings, but designed for modern day living. I’m happy to report, iRest meditation is now taught and practiced world wide.
I call the various practices that make up the iRest program “tools for life”. They comprise a tool belt of essential practices that can help you experience true health, resiliency, and well-being throughout your life. These tools empower you to skillfully meet each moment with unshakable peace and wellbeing - no matter how challenging or difficult your situation.
Regular practice - a little and often - enables you to experience the power of iRest and helps you feel connected to yourself, others, and the world around you.
We can’t know what an apple tastes like, unless we taste it. You can’t know the power of iRest unless you practice it. Whether you are looking for a way to better deal with the everyday stresses of life, or whether you are dealing with serious trauma or pain, I invite you to explore the practice of iRest and experience what it can bring to you.
With joy and gratitude,