I am a licensed clinical social worker, chemical dependency counselor II, and retired Navy SEAL. Contempt prior to investigation is the best way I can describe my thoughts about yoga until I tried yoga to see if it would help my lower back. The back takes a lot of jarring in the Teams, and mine was beginning to let me know it was wearing out. I found the postures of Hot 26 to be very rehabilitating for the back I live with. The yoga practice also was very beneficial in calming my heart/mind. Moments of peace began to arise.
I decided to take a Teacher Training in 2014 and heard about Yoga Nidra, a 4500 year old meditation practice. After the Teacher Training was over, I found a book on iRest Yoga Nidra guided meditation. iRest is a meditation of self-inquiry that is used at Walter Reed Medical Center and many VA facilities to treat veterans with PTSD. I completed iRest Level I Teacher Training in April 2016 and iRest Level II Teacher Training in October 2017. I intend on completing the certification process by April 2018. iRest is a meditation of self-inquiry in that we explore the body sensations, breathe and energy, feelings and emotions, thoughts and beliefs, sense of joy and well-being, and awareness of all of these. We learn to experience all our sensations, emotions, thoughts as messengers and work with them to promote harmony in our interaction with our environment. We learn to respond vice react to life.
I teach a 90 minute class consisting of a modified series of the Hot 26 postures in a warm room for the first 70 minutes of class and finish with a final savasana that lasts 20 minutes, during which I lead an iRest meditation. I believe the combination of the postures and meditation in the same class is beneficial for the heart, mind, and body. I like to say "we work on our full range of motion" with the postures and "we work on our full range of emotions" with the practice of iRest.