Monday, May 27, 2013

Musings on Kripalu

My recent iRest Yoga Nidra training took place at Kripalu Institute. I had never been there but had been wanting to go since the late 90s. My first yoga teacher was Kripalu trained and I always loved her classes. But until now, I could never muster up the guts or mindset to spend so much money to visit this longed-for school.

Thankfully, I made the mental leap to spend the money and go for a training. And I am so glad! I loved the training as I stated in my previous post but without such a wonderful and supportive back drop, it would not have been the same.

Kripalu provided lovely community, comfortable beds, contemplative trails, relaxing sauna and hot tub, fun yoga classes, noon dance, private sessions of yoga, massage, and more, and to top it all off, all the food was provided and it was delicious. I was able to go wheat-free and dairy-free for the whole week and I have not felt so good in I don't know how long.

In addition to teacher training in Yoga and Ayurveda, Kripalu hosts world-class teachers for specialized trainings and offers R&R breaks where you go to the Institute and participate in as many or as few of their regular classes (and other amenities) as you want. I think they also offer specialized R&R retreats with a theme for the week or weekend.

I am already kicking around the idea of going back for the iRest Level II teacher training.

The labyrinth.

Outdoor dining.

Training hall.

My bunk with a blooming cherry tree out the window.

Trail head.


The Lake.

Me and Richard Miller.

What a great week!

Monday, May 20, 2013

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. 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.

I am working on setting up a space to take private clients, but for now please visit me for my monthly group class at Yoga North. See my schedule for details.

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

Looking forward to working with you. Namaste ~ Sara