meditation

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.

iRest is a modern adaptation of the ancient practice of yoga nidra and was developed by Richard Miller, a clinical psychologist and researcher, as well as yogic scholar and author. iRest comprises a full path of meditation with 3 core principles: the practice of welcoming, seeing everything as a messenger, and an essential wholeness or ground of being. These principles are woven through the 10 steps of the protocol forming a potent and healing meditation practice.

As we learn iRest we begin by welcoming everything just as it is. To practice welcoming is to abide in nonjudgmental presence and simply allow whatever arises in our mind. We learn that welcoming is not an extra something we do. Rather, it is an essential aspect of being human.

In contrast, struggle is accompanied by tension, contraction, anger, and fear. At its heart is the desire to have things other than what they are. You push away what you don’t want and cling to what you desire. There is no denying this pain and struggle but iRest meditation teaches us to meet these experiences without trying to fix or change them. Imagine the fierce grace of meeting pain as pure physical sensation and gently accepting the emotions and beliefs it engenders. Yet, simply feeling into and allowing pain to emerge can bring a shift in its intensity.

What happens when we let go of the struggle with life? What happens when we simply allow its challenges, heartbreak, and beauty? In my experience there is a release of tension, an opening to freedom, and joy in full presence of all movements of life. At the heart of this welcoming is an ease of being untouched by life’s movements. This is an underlying wholeness that cannot be broken.

In the practice of iRest we meet life fully through this combination of welcoming and ease of being. We navigate difficult emotions, beliefs, and memories with an Inner Resource to rely upon when they become overwhelming. We also come into new insight when our sensations, emotions, and beliefs are seen as messengers. Experiencing them fully develops and deepens a connection with the self. We come into loving and compassionate relationship with ourselves. You’re able to hear your voice and what is being asked for on the deepest levels. It is in this state of iRest meditation that habitual patterns are broken and you develop clear and novel responses to life’s challenges.

Through this compassionate welcoming you develop connection with all parts of yourself and begin to live authentically. There is trust in who you are and what you do -- and this belonging with yourself flows into a connection with others. As you live life fully and with an undefended heart you develop a sense of belonging in the world. This intimacy with yourself and others empowers you to live life to its fullest potential.

At the heart of every person is an ease of being and wholeness that has never been broken. I cherish this practice and its simple ability to shine the healing light of truth of who we are.

Stephanie Lopez is leading iRest Yoga Nidra Level 1 Training at Yoga on High April 19 -- 23.  Learn more about this training here.

Stephanie Lopez, LISW-S, is Director of Operations for the Integrative Restoration Institute (IRI), Senior iRest® Trainer and IRI Retreat Leader. Stephanie’s teachings are informed by over two decades of immersion in the non-dual teachings of yoga as well as her integration of western psychology and the wisdom traditions of eastern spirituality. As a clinical social worker Stephanie weaves self-inquiry and iRest meditation into her clinical practice. Teaching for nearly 15 years, Stephanie’s compassionate presence, depth of knowledge, and ease of being create a welcoming space for insightful learning. She leads workshops, retreats, and trainings in the U.S. and internationally. Stephanie finds joy in her marriage with her husband, Francisco, and their two cats, Juniper & Luna. She is also an avid traveler and hiker.

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmailFacebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

January Calendar of Events

marcia-8518eSchedule Updates:
Tuesday 5:30 Ashtanga Mysore with Tom Griffith -- Location Change to TTI
Tuesday 5:45p Hatha Level 1 with Angela LaMonte -- Location Change to TTI
Tuesday 7:30p Big Asana with Michelle Winship -- Location Change to TTI
Tuesday 7:15p Sekoia Level 1 & 2 with Michele Vinbury -- Time Change
Thursday 7:45p Sekoia Level 1 & 2 with Amy Lybrook -- Day and Time Change
Saturday 10:30a Hatha Beginner Drop in with Colleen Leonardi -- Teacher Update

Workshops:
January 1 Ashtanga Mysore New Year’s Day Class with Linda Chun and Correna
January 1 Hatha New Year’s Day Class with Marcia Miller
January 1 Sekoia New Year’s Day Class with Jasmine Grace
January 1 Vinyasa New Year’s Day Class with Sally Walsh Roberts @ Grow Yoga
January 7 Sekoia Spirit Journey: Rabbit with Michele Vinbury @ Grow Yoga
January 15 Yoga 4 Kids with Jennifer Gebhart
January 29 Ayurvedic Goddess: Balms and Salves with Jasmine Grace & Meredith Bury

Series Classes:
January 7 -- March 11 Saturday 12p -- 1:30p MS Yoga with Jenn Gebhart
January 8 -- January 29 Sunday 9a -- 10a 4-Week Mediation & Pranayama with Michele Vinbury
January 8 -- February 12 Sunday 3p -- 4:30p 6-Week Ashtanga Foundations with Correna Startbuck
January 9 -- March 13 Monday 4p -- 5:15p MS Yoga with Jenn Gebhart
January 9 -- March 13 Monday 6p -- 7p Prenatal with Julie Carpenter @Step by Step -- Westerville
January 10 -- February 14 Tuesday 11:15a -- 12:00p Mommy & Baby with Janet Braden @Step by Step -- Westerville
January 10 -- March 14 Tuesday 4p -- 5:30p 10-Week Hatha Level 1 & 2 @All Life Center -- Powell
January 12 -- March 16 Thursday 4:30p -- 5:45p 6-Week Slow Burn Vinyasa Level 1 & 2 @All Life Center -- Powell
January 12 -- March 16 Thursday 5:45p -- 7:15p Prenatal with Mary Sinclair
January 17 -- March 21 Tuesday 9:30a -- 11a Prenatal with Jenn Gebhart @TTI
January 17 -- February 21 Tuesday 6p -- 6:45p Introduction to Meditation with Marcy Freed @Step by Step -- Westerville
January 17 -- February 21 Tuesday 7p -- 8p Yoga for Runners @Step by Step -- Westerville
January 17 -- February 21 Tuesday 7:30p -- 9p 6-Week Ashtanga Foundations with Tom Griffith
January 18 -- March 15 Wednesday 5:45p -- 7:15p Hatha Basic New Beginners with Angela Lamonte @TTI
January 21 -- March 4 Saturday 11a -- 11:45a Parent & Kid Yoga (Ages 5-10) with Mary Lynn and Julie @ Step by Step -- Westerville
January 23 -- February 27 Monday 5:45p -- 7:15p Ahimsa:Dissolving Enemy Images through Nonviolent Communication with Marcia Miller and Janine Harris Degitz
January 23 -- March 27 Monday 7:30p -- 9p Prenatal with Jenn Gebhart @ TTI

Upcoming Teacher Training:
Prenatal Yoga Teacher Training Kickoff Weekend -- February 10 -- 12
with Jennifer Gebhart and Mary Sinclair

Pranayama Teacher Training Kickoff Call -- February 15
with Linda Oshins

200 Hour Teacher Training -- March 2017
Upcoming Free 200 Hour Info Sessions:
Tuesday, January 17th from 6:00p to 6:45p with Michele Vinbury at Yoga on High
Sunday, January 29th from 12:00p to 12:45p with Michele Vinbury at Yoga on High
*Enjoy $500 OFF the 200 Hour Teacher Training when paid in full by December 31, 2016.
*Off full price. Cannot be combined with other promotions or discounts.

Ayurvedic Health Educator -- May 2017
(equivalent to NAMA’s Ayurvedic Health Counselor)
Upcoming Free Ayurvedic Health Educator Info Sessions:
Sunday, January 15th from 6:30p to 7:30p with Jasmine Grace at the Yoga on High Teacher Training Institute
Sunday, February 12th from 6:30p to 7:30p with Jasmine Grace at the Yoga on High Teacher Training Institute

 

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmailFacebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

August Calender of Events

Partners-1499eWorkshops:
August 12 Ayurveda: Calming Anxiety with Jasmine Grace
August 13 – 14 Reiki Level 2 Training & Attunement with Marcia Miller and Linda Oshins
August 18 Sekoia Hike with Michele Vinbury
August 20 Meditation Teacher Training with Jasmine Grace
August 26 Potluck and Talent Show
August 27 Sekoia Chakra Journey with Michele Vinbury

August Reiki Shares: 1, 8, 15 & 29

Series Classes:
7:30p Tuesdays August 2 6-Week Ashtanga Foundations with Tom Griffith
10:30a Sundays August 7 6-Week Kids Yoga (ages 6-11) with Julie Standish
6:00p Wednesdays August 10 iRest Yoga Nidra with Michele Vinbury
5:45p Mondays August 15 Inversions from the Ground Up with Marcia Miller
4:00p Mondays August 10-Week Hatha Level 1 with Melanie Miller @ALC Powell

Upcoming Teacher Trainings:
200 Hour Yoga Teacher Training -- Begins September 9, 2016
Free Info Sessions:
Thursday, August 11 from 6:00p to 6:45p at the Teacher Training Institute
Sunday, August 28 from 12:00p to 12:45p at the Teacher Training Institute

UZIT (Urban Zen Integrative Therapy) -- Begins October 27, 2016
Free Info Sessions:
Thursday, August 18 from 7:30p to 8:30p ET- Conference Call
Saturday, August 27 from 4:00p to 5:00p at Yoga on High

Ayurvedic Heath Counselor (A.H.C.) -- Begins November 5, 2016
Free Info Session:
Friday, August 12 from 5:15p to 6:00p at the Teacher Training Institute

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmailFacebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

June Schedule

Yoga on High

Workshops:
June 3 Ayurveda: Igniting Shakti and Reconnecting with Your Feminine Self with Jasmine Grace
June 5 Introduction to Yoga for Beginners with Marcy Freed at All Life Center (Powell)
June 10 Sekoia Hike with Michele Vinbury
June 10 – 12 Doug Keller: Shoulders and Asana
June 11 Doug Keller Master Asana Class
June 17 Ayurveda, Asana and Pranayama: Cooling and Calming with Joanna Arnason & Marisa Barsotti
June 18 The Four Agreements: How to Incorporate Them Into Your Practice with Lara Falberg
June 22 – 26 iRest Yoga Nidra Training Level 1 with Stephanie Lopez
June 25 The Natural Breath and Beginning Pranayama with Linda Oshins

Jasmine-1511eSchedule Updates:
5p Sundays Vinyasa Beginner Drop-in with Cara
6p Fridays Deep Release with Jacquie
8a Saturdays Sekoia Pre-Meditation – cancelled
8:30a Saturdays Sekoia with Sarah

Grow Yoga
Grow Yoga Series and Workshops:
June 7 – 28 Tuesdays, iRest Yoga Nidra Series with Katie Whitsett / $40
June 11 Melt Introduction with Crystal Fauber
June 25 Roll into Summer: Full Body with Crystal Fauber

Grow Yoga Schedule Updates:
6:15p Mondays Sekoia with Joanna

Summer Schedule All Life Center – Powell

Michele-1872eDrop – In:
Wednesdays 9:30a Slow Burn Vinyasa Level 1 with Kelli Joyce

Workshops:
Introduction to Yoga for Beginners with Marcy Freed
Sunday, June 5 from 4:00p to 5:45p / Upstairs studio / Cost: $20

Series:
6 -- Week Foundations of Hatha Yoga with Melanie Miller
Tuesdays from 4:00p to 5:30p / May 31 -- July 5 / Upstairs Studio / Cost: $75

6 -- Week Hatha Level 1-2 Series with Melanie Miller
Thursdays from 9:00a to 10:30a / June 2 -- July 7 / Atrium / Cost: $75

Sunrise Series: Sun Salutations for Beginners with Marcy Freed
Tuesdays from 6:00a to 7:00a / June 7 – June 28 / East Patio / Cost: $50

Sunset Series: Slow Burn Vinyasa Level 1-2 with Marcy Freed
Thursdays from 7:45 p to 8:45p / June 2 – June 30 / West Lawn / Cost: $60

Marcia_Ohio-3783eUpcoming Teacher Trainings:
200-HR Yoga Teacher Training in Costa Rica July 1 – 23, 2016
Meditation Teacher training -- Begins August 20, 2016
200-HR Yoga Teacher Training  -- Begins September 9, 2016
Urban Zen Integrative Therapy – Begins October 27, 2016
300-HR Yoga Teacher Training -- Rolling enrollment

For questions regarding Teacher Trainings, contact Breanna@yogaonhigh.com

Free Information Sessions:
UZIT: Tuesday, June 7 from 5:30p to 6:30p ET -- Conference call
UZIT: Wednesday, June 8 from 4:15p to 5:15p at Yoga on High
Ayurveda: Friday, June 17 from 4:00p to 5:00p at TTI

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmailFacebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

Meditation in Motion

flower-floral-blossom-natureWe sit down to meditate, or we go to yoga class. We reach a state of bliss and ecstasy…OK, maybe not. Maybe there is an experience of bliss, maybe deep peace or at least a sense of relaxation. Maybe we feel renewed, and we hope that nothing can touch the way we feel, because it is too good. And when that happens we may think that this time we have things figured out. Instead we stand up, go into the next room and get in a fight with our partner. Or we yell at the kids. Or we’re driving home from the yoga studio, and we get angry at the driver next to us. Why does this happen? Isn’t the whole point of mind-body practices so that we can be done with unsavory feelings? Well, maybe you didn’t read the fine print when you signed up…

It is a misunderstanding to think that meditation is about disconnecting from ourselves or our uncomfortable feelings. It certainly is possible to disconnect. The many people who do may have been on a path of disconnection for years in an effort to avoid one type of experienced pain or another, such as physical pain or emotional trauma, and for very good reasons at the time. What we as teachers are asking you to do, in meditation sessions or yoga classes, is to approach these patterns of disconnection in a new way: we ask you to be with whatever sensations you’re experiencing in your body, with whatever emotions may be arising, with whatever multitude of thoughts may be striving for your attention, and to practice observing those sensations, emotions, and thoughts from a more neutral perspective. Read More…

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmailFacebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

Look again

nature-sunny-red-flowersYesterday was one of those days for me … not awful, not dramatic, just slightly off-kilter. I felt like a skipping record. I’d play, but only with a great deal of picking up and finding another groove. You know?

One of the day’s ‘symptoms’ was losing things, and then, not; that is, frantically searching for and then finding keys/papers/Altoids exactly where they should be, and where I had looked just minutes before. GAH.

So the day’s very practical practice was “Pause. Look again.” It was helpful for finding the ‘missing’ iPhone, but so much more meaningful in other ways.   Read More…

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmailFacebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

May Upcoming Events

IMG_4752Schedule Updates:
Tuesdays 6:30a Gentle Level 1 with Michael
Thursdays 7:30p Half Primary with Stella
Fridays 6:00a Full Primary with Linda

Series Classes:
Prenatal Yoga at Step by Step -- Westerville with Julie Carpenter Mondays 6:00p May 9 – July 25 / 10 week $149
6 Week Advanced Vinyasa with Lara Falbert Mondays 7:30p May 9 – June 13 / 6 week $75
Advanced Ashtanga at TTI with Tom Griffith Wednesdays 5:45p May 25 – June 29 / 6 week $75

Workshops:
May 1 – 31 May Commitment Challenge -- 21 or 30 Class and Team options!
May 6 Prema Hara Kirtan with Kamaniya and Keshavacharya Das
May 7 Mother & Daughter Yoga Event with Jennifer Gebhart and Julie Standish
May 8 Sekoia Mother’s Day Mini Retreat with Karine Wascher
May 14 Reiki: Natural Unfolding of a Deeper Healership with Jodi Patton
May 21 Art of Teaching: Arm Balances with Marcia Miller and Tom Griffith
May 22 Art of Teachign: Advanced Sequencing with Marcia Miller and Tom Griffith
May 20 Glowing Goddess Ayurveda: Beauty Rituals to Feel Healthy, Confident and Sexy with Jasmine Grace
May 22 Yoga for Pelotonia Fundraiser with Susan Cunningham
May 27 Glowing Goddess Ayurveda: The Beauty of Digestion with Jasmine Grace Read More…

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmailFacebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

Spreading Suffering

Reiki8

I’m going to tell you a little story. It’s a story of spreading suffering versus spreading well-being. For many years I have been practicing meditation. At some point it went from being a personal practice to part of my professional work. And, along the way I added many other pieces to what I consider my self-care puzzle—all parts of a whole that I felt were necessary for the expression of the full picture. I thought I had pretty much figured things out.

Then my professional and personal life began to grow. I changed my habit of waking up at the same time, very early, to meditate. I began to squeeze it in, usually on waking, but sometimes later in the day. As a practice, I’ve found some meditation somewhere in my day is OK, and certainly better than no meditation. Though many teachers might say otherwise, my personal experience is that, as long as meditation is a priority in my daily life, varying the time of day of my practice can work for me. The problem was that at a very stressful time in my life, I allowed it to be less of a priority. And there was the slippery slope… Read More…

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmailFacebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

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…

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmailFacebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail
1 2  Scroll to top