In 2015 I was part of the double earthquake in Nepal that destroyed lives, houses and infrastructure. After a period of involvement with disaster relief I came to Australia and started to notice that something was wrong with me. I could not sleep or had nightmares, I was always expecting the worse to happen to me or others in the form of accidents and disaster.
Buildings and streets were moving and did not feel safe anymore, and the sight of people made me break into a panic and my body shake. I lost my self confidence and energy and ended up in a heap on the couch starring into space.
PTSD and Yoga Nidra
It helped a little when I found out that I was suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). At least I now had something to work with and my journey to feeling better started.
I am a yoga teacher and therefore it was logical for me to look for healing tools in the yogic wisdom. I also longed for a practical science based approach to work with my PTSD, and I was lucky to find a perfect combination of both in IRest© Yoga Nidra.
Yogic wisdom and neuroscience, a great match
IRest Yoga Nidra is based on ancient yogic explorations and modern neuroscience. It was the American yoga teacher and clinical psychologist Richard Miller who started practicing Yoga Nidra as a yoga student in the early seventies and over time developed it to fit the needs of modern times.
He did a lot of research on the effect of Yoga Nidra on the brain by using scans and adapted the traditional Yoga Nidra with what he learned from neuroscience and modern psychology. The result was a 10 step meditation technique and he started teaching this to students as they comfortably laid down. Read more about how IRest meditation works.
IRest for stress, anxiety and PTSD
As Miller studied the effects of his Yoga Nidra approach on his students he found that the practice made them relax and helped them with stress, anxiety, trauma, depression, insomnia and substance abuse. The US army was interested in the results of Miller’s study on the effect of Yoga Nidra on PTSD. They invited Miller for a trial, but under the condition that he changed the name Yoga Nidra into IRest, as the mention of yoga was too airy fairy for the military. The trail was a success and IRest is still used in US army hospitals.
The IRest Institute, set up by Richard Miller, now trains teachers worldwide to share IRest with many different groups in community centers, yoga studios, hospitals, rehab clinics, jails and homeless shelters (for more information irest.us)
For me, practicing IRest was a journey back to who I was before my PTSD and beyond, and the journey continues. I am now a certified IRest Yoga Nidra teacher and love to share this beautiful meditation technique with the communities of the Rainbow Region and online with the rest of the world.
Would you like to experience IRest meditation? Please contact me and I can share with you opportunities in the Rainbow region or email you a recording.