Yoga Nidra—The Sleep Yoga

January 11, 2011

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Tami Simon speaks with Richard Miller, a master of yoga and meditation who holds a doctorate in clinical psychology. He is recognized as a leading authority on the practice of yoga nidra, and is currently teaching iRest, a healing technique he developed based on deep relaxation and meditative inquiry. Richard has worked with Sounds True to create an integrated book-and-audio learning program called Yoga Nidra. Richard discusses the stages of yoga nidra, how the practice is a path to realization and self-inquiry, the nature of paradoxical sleep, and his ongoing work with soldiers suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder through the practice of yoga nidra. (61 minutes)

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Richard Miller, PhD, is a master of yoga and meditation who holds a doctorate in clinical psychology. Recognized as a leading authority on the practice of Yoga Nidra, he has founded and cofounded several key organizations including the International Association of Yoga Therapy, the Institute for Spirituality and Psychology, and the Integrative Restoration Institute. Currently he is helping research the efficacy of iRest, a healing technique Miller developed based on Yoga Nidra with diverse populations. He lectures and teaches this method across the globe.

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Welcoming Whatever Arises

Richard Miller is one of the world’s leading authorities on the practice of Yoga Nidra—a deep form of yogic meditation and relaxation. With Sounds True, Richard has published iRest Meditation: Restorative Practices for Health, Resiliency, and Well-Being, a comprehensive audio toolkit for the contemporary use of Yoga Nidra practices. In this episode of Insights at the Edge, Tami Simon and Richard talk about the use of Yoga Nidra to treat trauma—especially among returning military personnel. They also speak on the core ideas behind iRest, as well as events that led to its development. Finally, Richard guides listeners through a full iRest meditation practice designed for the reconciliation of seemingly opposite thoughts and emotions. (68 minutes)

Yoga Nidra—The Sleep Yoga

Tami Simon speaks with Richard Miller, a master of yoga and meditation who holds a doctorate in clinical psychology. He is recognized as a leading authority on the practice of yoga nidra, and is currently teaching iRest, a healing technique he developed based on deep relaxation and meditative inquiry. Richard has worked with Sounds True to create an integrated book-and-audio learning program called Yoga Nidra. Richard discusses the stages of yoga nidra, how the practice is a path to realization and self-inquiry, the nature of paradoxical sleep, and his ongoing work with soldiers suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder through the practice of yoga nidra. (61 minutes)

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If one day I see a small bird and recognize it, a thin thread will form between me and that bird. If I just see it but don’t really recognize it, there is no thin thread. If I go out tomorrow and see and really recognize that same individual small bird again, the thread will thicken and strengthen just a little. Every time I see and recognize that bird, the thread strengthens. Eventually it will grow into a string, then a cord, and finally a rope. This is what it means to be a Bushman. We make ropes with all aspects of the creation in this way.” 

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Guided Sit Spot Practice

  1. Go to a place in nature that is close to where you live and that you can visit regularly.
  1. Take a few moments to center yourself, breathing in and out, and arriving fully in the present moment.
  1. As you are ready begin to walk mindfully with an intention to find a spot that calls out to you, a place you can sit and deepen your relationship with this place.  The spot should feel welcoming, safe and comfortable.  It could be under a tree, beside a boulder or in an open space.  Often, east facing spots can be nice for early morning sits.
  1. When you find a spot that feels good, in your own way, ask permission of that place and wait to see what comes to you.  If you feel invited, sit.  If not, keep looking.
  1. Once in your spot, sit comfortably and become as still as you can.  Imagine that you are melting into the earth, becoming a part of the land.  Sit for at least 15-30 minutes, noticing any movement, sounds, or other sensations and activities.
  1. Return often.

Find more practices for connecting to nature in Rewilding: Meditations, Practices, and Skills for Awakening in Nature by Micah Mortali.

Read Rewilding today!

Sounds True | Amazon | Barnes&Noble | Bookshop

Nature Meditation by a Window

With many people home-bound, we may need to get creative in seeking ways to connect with the natural world.  Sitting by an open window is one excellent practice for connecting with the outdoors, and it can be a powerful form of nature meditation as well.

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  1. Find a comfortable seat by an open window that looks outdoors.  
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  3. Set an intention to stay present, letting go of thoughts or stories in your mind as they arise, and instead focusing your attention on whatever is fascinating in your environment.
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Find more practices for connecting to nature in Rewilding: Meditations, Practices, and Skills for Awakening in Nature by Micah Mortali.

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