INTEGRATIVE RESTORATION, YOGA NIDRA, MEDITATION
iRest is an integrative complementary alternative medicine that ultises aspects of somatic therapy, or body centered practices. There are now several published papers that have constantly reported findings of decreased negative affect (negative emotions) and improved well-being.
The iRest practice develops a body-sense of security, a personal inner resource of safety, comfort, or well-being. This can be drawn on during every day circumstances to feel more stable, secure, and safe. This in turn, can reduce reliving of past experiences in the present moment.
Further connection with ones body is developed using breath awareness, body awareness / body scans, and awareness of physical sensations. Overall, one of the major focuses of the iRest practice is emotional regulation in the present moment, specifically using these body-based skills.
As part of the iRest session participants are also guided to set intentions and to practice developing a sense of desire for life. These skills can be used daily for self direction and can can help bring a sense of meaning to ones life.
iRest has been shown to reduce PTSD symptoms in male and female veterans, decrease stress, anxiety depression, fatigue, worry, and chronic pain. It has also been shown to increase feelings of relaxation, joy, peace, self awareness, self-efficacy, and improve quality of sleep.
iRest is partly based on the traditional yogic practice of yoga nidra, which translates to yogic sleep. It is an extremely beneficial meditation technique that been hailed as one of the easiest yoga practices to develop and maintain. An individual practices either lying down or seated, so there is much less movement. This makes it a very physically accessible body-based therapy. The practice is also fully guided so a participant is fully supported throughout the practice.
What to expect in our sessions
Our iRest sessions begin with a 15 minute yoga practice facilitated by Dr Kathie Overeem. This is a gentle and accessible trauma-sensitive yoga practice where chair based options are available. We begin with gentle movement to help bring us into our body in the present moment. This helps to set us up for the meditative practice to follow.
The iRest practice is a guided meditation practice. It is 40-45 min long and is practiced either in a chair, seated on the floor with blankets, or lying down. This part of the session is facilitated by Patricia Martyn, a registered psychologist (AU and NZ) from the Trauma Therapy Centre (Brisbane).
Wahbeh, H., & Nelson, M. (2019) iRest Meditation for Older Adults with Depression Symptoms: A Pilot Study. International Journal of Yoga Therapy. No.29
Livingstone, E., & Collette-Merrill, K. (2018) Effectiveness of Integrative Restoration (iRest) Yoga Nidra on Mindfulness, Sleep, and Pain in Health Care Workers. Holistic Nursing Practice, vol. 32, 3, pp 160-166
Gutman, S.A., Gregory, K.A., Megan, M., Sadlier-Brown, M.M., Schlissel, M.A., Schubert, A.M., Westover, L.A., & Miller, R.C. (2016) Comparative Effectiveness of Three Occupational Therapy Sleep Interventions: A Randomized Control Study. OTJR: Occupational, Participation and Health. 1-9.
Pence, P.G., Katz, L.S., Huffman, C. & Cojucar, M.A. (2014) Delivering Integrative Restoration- Yoga Nidra (iRest) to Women with Sexual Trauma at a Veteran's Medical Centre: A Pilot Study. International Journal of Yoga Therapy. No.24 pp 53-62
Eastman-Mueller, H., Wilson, T., Jung, A.K., Kimura, A., Tarrant, J. (2013) iRest Yoga-Nidra on the College Campus: Changes in Stress, Depression, Worry, and Mindfulness. International Journal of Yoga Therapy. No. 23(2), pp. 15-24
Stankovic, L. (2011) Transforming Trauma: A Qualitative Feasibility Study of Integrative Restoration (iRest) Yoga Nidra on Combat-Related Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. International Journal of Yoga Therapy, No. 21, pp 23-37.
Elison-Bowers, P., & Birdsall, B. (2010) Impact of Integrative Restoration (iRest) meditation on perceived stress levels in multiple sclerosis and cancer outpatients. Stress and Health, Vol. 26(3), pp 233-237.
Further research can be found on the iRest website: