iRest Yoga Nidra ®

Integrative Restoration Institute (IRI) ~ iRest Yoga Nidra

In April 2013 I attended the first level of iRest Yoga Nidra training with Richard Miller and the Integrative Restoration Institute. The training was held at Kripalu Institute as a one week intensive. We learned the principles and practice of IRI's style of Yoga Nidra.

According to IRI,

iRest Yoga Nidra, one of the principal programs offered by IRI, is a research-based transformative practice of deep relaxation and meditative inquiry that:
  • releases negative emotions and thought patterns
  • calms the nervous system
  • develops a deep capacity to meet any and all circumstances you may encounter in life

Research has shown that iRest Yoga Nidra effectively reduces:

  • PTSD
  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Insomnia
  • Chronic pain
  • Chemical dependency

As I participated in the training I could feel the effects of the practice on both a subtle level (calm energy, clear headed, compassionate) and on a physical level (less pain, more at ease in my body, relaxed attitude). It was amazing to me how through this practice of guided, meditative self-inquiry, we (the training participants) were able to make connections between our emotions, beliefs, and thought patterns and the felt-sense in the body. By this I mean that with guidance we were able to continually check back in to our bodies and let our bodies, minds, emotions, beliefs and thoughts integrate into one whole being.

I think it is this feeling of integration that leads to such a peaceful feeling and a reduction in pain, stress, depression, etc.

iRest Yoga Nidra can be practiced in groups or dyads (one-on-one practice). My feeling is that the group practice is better for relaxation and general well being, while the one-on-one practice is better for really getting to the root of an issue.

For a more detailed description on how iRest works and for a free iRest practice with Richard Miller please visit the IRI website:

In addition, throughout the Covid-19 pandemic the iRest Institute has been releasing free iRest guided meditations via Vimeo every Monday. You can find these meditations here: iRest Monday Meditations.

Yoga North has offered a few free guided relaxation practices throughout the pandemic too including this 30 minute video I taught of the Point to Point Sweep technique along with gentle movement: Point to Point Sweep for Relaxation. Enjoy!