Relax by practising the iRest method
“Sleep is important” is something we’ve all been told thousands of times. Something equally important is rest. Most people find it difficult to stop with what they are doing and genuinely take the time to rest. What they might not realize, is that resting has the same benefits as sleeping. A great way to sit still and relax is practising the iRest method. James Reeves is a world-leading Yoga Nidra end iRest teacher, who calls the iRest method “a tool you can use for the rest of your life.” In this blog, he tells you more about the beauty behind the iRest method.
What is iRest?
iRest is a meditation based on the traditional Yoga Nidra practice. It has been adapted to be more fitting to the modern life. During this meditative self-inquiry, you observe and welcome different aspects of yourself. “As you might expect, the focus of this meditation is rest”, explains James. “Over the years, I’ve observed that there is a tremendous restlessness in the world. People don’t know how to stop and find it difficult to balance activity with moments of rest. Without those moments of true relaxation, you can get filled up with thoughts and tensions.” The body of his work is about teaching people how to rest and get back to the natural sense of being that is in every human being, but people forget about when life gets too busy.
Natural sense of being
“This natural sense of being describes who you are beyond your identity, thoughts and beliefs. The process helps you to discover and connect yourself with the part of you that is always calm and in peace. With iRest you’ll realize that there is something in you that is free from your standard identity. For example, I am no longer James, who is a yoga teacher and is very tired and stressed. I can get free from that story.” Understanding this can create a lot of freedom from everything you carry around day to day. It gives you the chance to observe yourself and the things that are holding you back in life.
How does the iRest method work?
“iRest is a guided meditation that can be practised by anyone, no matter your level of experience or physical ability. You don’t need to do anything complicated. “Just find a comfy chair, sofa or bed. You can also lay on your yoga mat and use some pillows to support yourself, whatever feels good to you. It’s very simple to practice, but you certainly need the support of a teacher. This can be in a class, or by following a recording.” Follow the audio, eyes open or gently closed, and open yourself up to whatever feelings might come along. “Once you get the hang of it, you can do it by yourself. When you’ve discovered how to get to the stillness, all you need to do is sit down and stop, and it’ll reveal itself to you all over again. It’s a tool you can use the rest of your life.”
Difference between iRest and Yoga Nidra
“iRest is very similar to Yoga Nidra, but the iRest method has a practice built around it called the inner resource. This is a collection of memories, places and people that makes you feel safe and joyful. You can come back to this safe haven when you feel overwhelmed during your practice. This adds a sixth layer to the traditional practice of Yoga Nidra. Yoga Nidra looks at body, breath, emotions, mind, and bliss, but iRest takes a deeper look into the sense of self. It pays more attention to what is going on within in you and helps ask questions like “why am I stressed?” or “why do I have trouble falling asleep?” iRest allows us to get in touch with the causes behind your restlessness.”
The 10 Step iRest Protocol
“iRest is something you can do at home once in a while, but doing it regularly, will help you get the best effects out of it”, James says. That’s why he teaches iRest in courses of six or eight weeks. In this course, you will be introduced to the ten steps of the iRest method. “In the first steps, we start with connecting to your intentions and desires and help you with formulating your inner resource. This sets the scene for the rest of the steps. With these steps you will pay attention to the different sensations in your body, become aware of your breath and learn to welcome your thoughts and emotions. The last steps contain experiencing joy and finding lasting peace. When we put it all together, you will get a glimpse of what it’s like to be beyond your thoughts and tensions. All your thoughts and emotions will slowly calm down, which will make you feel very peaceful.” Read more about the ten steps of iRest here.
Benefits of the iRest method
“When you reveal this consciousness and natural sense of being, you can see the part of you that is always in peace. This can get you into a place of stillness and can make you feel calmer and more relaxed. You will become less disturbed by yourself and by life and can carry this peace with you during the day, even when you are not practising. As the name says, it brings a lot more rest into your life.”
In addition to this deep stillness, the iRest meditation has many other benefits based on current studies. It is proven to help with decreasing anxiety and depression, coping with stress, releasing chronic pain and resolving sleep issues and traumas such as PTSD. That’s why it is being utilized in health care and military institutions. “iRest increases the wellbeing of people while elevating their mood and giving them more ability to concentrate. It helps you find a lasting feeling of peace that is always present and makes you feel relaxed, even when life gets difficult and overwhelming.”
James is very proud of his work and has seen great amounts of change within his students. “I’m proud to facilitate these courses and offer this knowledge to the world. Being able to help people to stop, and teach them to genuinely rest, is really rewarding.” If you are interested in practising the iRest method you can visit James Reeves’ website, https://www.restfulbeing.com/ or find guided meditations at https://www.irest.org/