Why I Give to the iRest Institute by Robert Rosborough with Gautam Mulchandani
I first encountered iRest® when I stumbled onto a class Richard Miller was teaching in San Francisco. I was immediately smitten with iRest’s power and thrilled that it was easy for me to keep up a personal practice. I signed up for a Level 1 training and ended up a certified teacher. From that very first class, I shared my journey with Kamala Itzel Berrio, who was living at the Integral Yoga Institute (IYI) in San Francisco at the time. She started a weekly iRest/yoga nidra class at IYI and kept it going for five years, even after she married and moved to Oakland. After the birth of her beautiful baby boy, she asked her friend Gautam Mulchandani and me if either of us were interested in keeping the class going.
Gautam and I thought that together we might have the time and energy Kamala had all by herself and we treasure what we think of as a great gift from Kamala: the opportunity to bring iRest to people every week. We donate our time to IYI, but when we heard about the iRest Institute’s Donate a Class campaign, we thought it was still a great opportunity to both pay Kamala’s gift to us forward and give something back to the iRest Institute. We decided to match what IYI receives from one of our classes and donate it to the iRest Institute.
One particular reason we wanted to do that was that Kamala is one of the folks working on the iRest Institute’s project to serve the victims of human trafficking. I serve on the board of the Marin County Bar Association and last spring, the Bar Association held a panel discussion on human trafficking right here in Marin County. The problem is pervasive and vast, reaching from the Himalayas right to iRest’s own doorstep, and iRest has so much to offer in this arena. It feels right that what was once Kamala’s class can continue to support one of the projects that she and the iRest Institute are working on now.
Gautam and I also want to give back to the iRest Institute for the difference it has made in our lives, and because we are both passionate proselytizers for iRest. We were entranced by our first experience of iRest — the feelings of deep relaxation and greater connection to ourselves. Gautam notes how much he now enjoys seeing that look of contentment on students’ faces at the end of one of our classes, and I have to agree. We think that iRest has so much potential for good that we want to enable the iRest Institute to bring it to as many people as possible. I talk about how effective iRest is and how accessible it is when I am trying to encourage lawyers to try it. And those qualities give iRest a potentially huge audience, if the iRest Institute has the resources to bring it to them. Gautam points out that, at the same time iRest is so accessible, it is also a powerful healer of deep trauma.
One way we help iRest reach a wider audience is by holding our weekly drop-in class. We offer an ongoing class in the San Francisco Bay Area where the public can come and try iRest. We hope that by participating in the iRest Institute’s Donate a Class campaign, we can play a tiny part in helping them meet their mission of spreading the healing power of iRest.