iRest Yoga Nidra

iRest® Yoga Nidra Meditation: A Living Practice of Connection & Belonging

 

s-lopez-web_7By Stephanie Lopez 
This blog was originally published in the Accessible Yoga Conference newsletter in 2016.

In the course of daily life how often do we feel unseen, disconnected, and disempowered? For many this is an all too frequent experience.

People practice yoga and meditation to discover a sense of ease, balance, and purpose. I believe there is a deeper motivation as well; a longing for connection with one’s self and rest of the world. I’ve found this yearning is satisfied through iRest Yoga Nidra. This transformative yet simple practice uncovers an undeniable ground of well-being and interconnectedness. It brings forth a direct sense of wholeness that is unchanging regardless of life’s circumstances. Read More…

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July Calendar of Events

ashtanga-vinyasa-with-kino-macgregorStudio Closures:
Friday, July 1: Close Early 3p (Red, White & Boom)
Saturday, July 2: Normal Schedule
Sunday, July 3: Close Early 3p
Monday, July 4: Studio Closed

Workshops:
July 11 – September 12 Reiki Level 1 Training with Bernie McKnight and Angela Lamonte
July 15 – 17 Kino Macgregor 2016 Workshops
July 16-17 From 55-105: Teaching Older Students with Marcia Miller, Angela Lamonte & Mary Sinclair
July 22-24 Reiki Level 1 & 2 Intensive Training & Attunement with Jodi Patton
July 23 The Four Agreements: How to Incorporate Them into your Practice with Lara Falberg Read More…

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April Calendar of Events

Marcia-3836Schedule Updates:
Mondays 5:45p Slow Flow Level 1 & 2 with Abby

Workshops

April 3 Ramananda: Work, Love, Lunch and Laundry
April 9 Yoga for the Immune System with Marcia Miller (Saturday only)
April 9-10 Yoga for the immune System and Breast Cancer with Marcia Miller
April 15-17 Tim Miller: The essence of Sadhana
April 14 Run out for Lunch -- Free noon run starts at Yohi
April 16
Sekoia Trance Dance Vibe Event
April 22 Sekoia Hike with Michele Vinbury
April 22 Ayurveda: Secrets of your Cycle – Honoring the Moon with Jasmine Grace
April 23 – 24 Yogi Matt Giordano ($38 Individual Sessions or whole weekend options)
April 23 Restorative Workshop with Gail Spirit Sky
April 30 Yoga and Acupuncture with Linda Chun and Hope Vitalis
April 30 Sound Journeys with Crown of Eternity
May 1-31 May Commitment Challenge – New team option! Read More…

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Meditation

linda-3829_0_0The following is a page taken from Kim Stafford’s The Muses among Us: Eloquent Listening and Other Pleasures of the Writer’s Craft.

There was a physicist who played the violin. One morning he took his fiddle to the lab, wrapped it green with felt, clamped it gently in a vise, and trained the electron microscope close on the spruce belly, just beside the sound hole, where a steel peg was humming at a high frequency. Through the microscope, once he got it focused right, he saw the molecular surface of the wood begin to pucker and ripple outward like rings on a pond, the ripples rising gradually into waves, and the steel peg a blur at the heart of play.

When he drew the peg away, the ripples did not stop. In twenty-four hours, the ripples had not stopped. He saw, still, a concentric tremor on the molecular quilt of the wood. The violin, in the firm embrace of the vise, had a song, a thing to say.

In another twelve hours, the ripples flattened and the wood lay inert. Read More…

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Grace

marcia_ReikiI experienced a few moments of grace this past week, and I’m considering how best to honor that experience. I was giving Reiki to a student who has had a troubled and challenging life so far. Though she is not that interested in yoga, she really enjoys Reiki. When I was with her I had such a strong desire for her to feel the love that was present in that moment—love that I imagined had not been a big part of her life. At a certain point it felt bigger than anything I have ever experienced. I was part of a flow of LOVE that felt absolutely holy. It felt like I was channeling a mother-love that was so, so big that it was way beyond anything personal. At one point my mind wondered what was going on or if I was “up to the vastness of this experience.”  That thought felt so much smaller than what I was experiencing that I had to let it go in order to get back to the beauty of what had been happening. Read More…

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Welcoming the Gift of iRest

teacherbiopicresized-1During the silent retreat for my 200-hour teacher certification, I experienced iRest each day led by Linda Oshins, E-RYT 500.  I was five weeks past breaking my fibula while hiking in a rocky creek bed. On the third day of iRest I re-experienced the fall that caused the fracture, and my left leg straightened and lifted from the blanket supports. That movement might have prevented the fibula injury during my fall but placed my upper body and head at greater risk. I could picture and feel exactly which parts of my body had felt impact in the fall and finally understood the pattern of bruising that had followed. And while I gained this insight into the accident, I felt no pain nor any rush of adrenaline. I was calm and peaceful, lying with my fellow trainees in the dimly lit assembly hall as my neocortex made sense of the event.

From my training and practice in psychiatry, I knew that this was a form of flashback, a healing form that allowed me to integrate the previously frightening and hurtful episode into my conscious understanding. And then I smiled and thought, “iRest works! ” I thought of the clients I had been unable to help with medication and the many people I knew who had survived loss and painful events. And I smiled more broadly because I knew that relief for them was possible in a way I had never expected. Read More…

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The Still Voice of the Heart

s-lopez-web_7Abandon all of these attitudes

Of wanting to prolong pleasure

And avoid suffering.

Let the heart be itself and feel

Whatever is there.

 -- The opening of verse 103, The Radiance Sutras, Vijnanabhairava

To truly open to love we must open to vulnerability. It takes courage to bare our soul. Whether giving voice to an unmet need or sharing pure joy, speaking our truth makes us vulnerable. The practice of iRest® yoga nidra meditation opens us to the still voice of the heart. What does it take to honestly open oneself to the world, our beloved, or a stranger? Courage and trust help us meet life directly and speak our truth.

Freed from clinging and avoiding,

The heart regains its poise

And revels in creation.

When I sit with someone taking the risk to be vulnerable I feel respect, intimacy, and connection. This is a moment of liberation. Tenderness erupts in my heart if I don’t cling to or avoid what the other is experiencing. Also, fear may arise naturally as I meet the unknown of how the other will meet my response. Yet in these precious moments a window opens in the heart. What was hidden comes to light. We allow intimacy to blossom in our self and others.

Plunging deep into its center,

Discover that the heart is moved

By a pulse that is everywhere.

When we live in a wholehearted way we meet life with authenticity. It is an act of love to share our authentic self from moment to moment. This intimacy may reveal the truth of our Being. Our essential qualities shine through as the heart opens and we live undefended. Listen deeply and let yourself be moved by a pulse that is everywhere. Love opens up into itself revealing the beauty and truth of who we are.

With an open heart, Stephanie Lopez

Stephanie Lopez was a long time yoga teacher and psychotherapist in Columbus, Ohio, but she recently moved to California to serve as the Director of Operations at the Integrative Restoration Institute and to lead iRest trainings internationally. For her full bio, please click here. For information on Stephanie’s upcoming iRest Level 1 training, please click here. You may contact Stephanie directly through the IRI website.

 

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Congratulations to Marianne O’Neil

yohigh_011Congratulations to Marianne O’Neil

Graduate of the Yoga on High 300-hour (Advanced) Teacher Training Program, completed June, 2015

My interests in yoga are as varied as yoga itself! I began as a young adult practicing breath work and poses in the Hatha style, but now I often find myself wanting a more vigorous Ashtanga-styled practice paired with pranayama and yoga nidra. In the last several years I have worked closely with Mary Sinclair, our local expert on Balance®, which teaches postural training. The Kundalini teachings of Yogi Bajan are also part of my regular practice. I find that all of the seemingly disparate practices mysteriously work together as a reflection of the universe itself. Richard Freeman calls it The Jeweled Net of Indra, where all practices are jewels connected by the net that leads to all other jewels, and to the heart of yoga that is the intimate relationship with the inner Self. My hope is that I can bring that understanding of the various practices to the students who I teach as well.

Read More…

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