By Turi Turi Hetherington, RYT500, iRest® Level II Teacher

Resilience: the process of adapting well in the face of adversity, trauma, tragedy, threats, or significant sources of stress. 

Whether you bumped your head or not, 2020 is a whopper of a challenge. At this time, practices and tools that amp-up our resilience are needed more than ever.

iRest® Yoga Nidra is one of those tools and practices. And what makes this really good news is that it requires no experience. You can’t do it wrong. It focuses on what’s right with you, not what’s wrong. And it is often done lying down (with pillows, blankets – even pets). Read on to learn more or experience a 20 min practice now.

What is iRest Yoga Nidra and how does it build resilience?

The sanskrit term Yoga Nidra essentially means union of sleep and consciousness. iRest, short for Integrative Restoration, is a modern-day adaptation of the ancient practice. It weaves together eastern philosophy with modern-day psychology and neuroscience to bring a sense of steadiness and ease to body and mind.

This secular, evidence-based, trauma-sensitive, guided meditation practice cultivates resilience in the following three ways:

Connection to Self.

This is self with a big S as in your true Self. In today’s fast-paced, technology-infused world, it is easy to lose this connection as we look outside of ourselves for meaning, purpose, and value in our lives. The deep meditative state of Yoga Nidra allows you the time and space to connect with your essential nature of wholeness, peace, and ease. From this place, you can more easily cultivate the ability to respond to situations and circumstances in your life rather than treading down the path of habitual knee-jerk reactions.

The more you practice, the more you gain/regain an intrinsic sense of value, meaning and purpose in life, and can set intentions that align with your truth.

Calms and soothes the nervous system.

Body sensing (body scans) and breath sensing are introduced at the beginning of each iRest Yoga Nidra practice to focus attention, soothe and balance the nervous system, calm your thinking mind, and tap into your inner resource of peace and ease.

Research shows these practices can reduce fear, anxiety, and chronic pain and positively impact your immune system. They also help deactivate the brain’s default mode network, allowing you to release negative thoughts, expand your awareness and increase creativity.

By calming and soothing your nervous system you feel more in harmony with your Self and the world around you.

Enhances cognitive and emotional regulation.

A core principle of the iRest Yoga Nidra practice is to welcome all perceptions (sensation, feelings, emotions, thoughts, images) as messengers of information to help you engage in empowering actions that enable you to successfully navigate your life and relationships. During iRest Yoga Nidra you learn to welcome and respond to opposites of emotions, thoughts and beliefs. Welcoming opposites enables you to access perspective and insight and break free from conditioned patterns of reactive behaviors. When you’re willing to welcome opposites, anxiety, fear and self-judgment loosen their grip. Self-love compassion and unchanging wellbeing naturally arise.

As such, iRest Yoga Nidra helps you meet life’s challenges by cultivating relaxation, healing, inner peace and well-being.

Starting mid-October CRC will sponsor weekly iRest Yoga Nidra classes via Zoom. Learn more here and contact me, Turi Hetherington, with any questions.

CRC is committed to cultivating a compassionate community that supports one another in managing the symptoms of a concussion, developing resilience and finding the bright spots in a year like no other.

This being human is a guest-house, every morning a

new arrival. A joy, a depression, a meanness,

some momentary awareness comes, as an unexpected

visitor. Welcome and entertain them all!

Even if they’re a crowd of sorrows, who violently sweep

your house empty of its furniture. Still, treat each guest

honorably. He may be clearing you out for some new

delight. The dark thought, the shame, the malice, meet

them at the door laughing, and invite them in. Be

grateful for whoever comes, because each has been sent

as a guide from beyond.

– Rumi