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Yoga for PTSD

A talk by Richard Miller

13 August 2020, 11:00 PM

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10-Minutes Practice: Embodying Unbreakable Wholeness and Well-Being https://www.irest.org/access/wholenessofbeingpractice

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About this talk

Integrative Restoration – iRest®: A Complimentary Adjunctive Treatment for PTSD Integrative Restoration - iRest is a contemporary adaptation of the ancient meditative practice of yoga nidra (yoga = embodying timeless equanimity + nidra = across all states of consciousness). The iRest® Program is (1) integrative, as it heals unresolved traumas that are present in the body, mind and senses; and (2) restorative, as it reveals our inherent ground of unchanging pure Being that is always whole and healthy even in the midst of the changing events or traumas of daily life. iREST is a secular practice consisting of 5-35 minute sequences, which emphasize: (1) awareness of the physical body and breath; (2) systematic desensitization to neutralize and resolve negative sensation, stress, emotion, belief, cognition, image and memory; (3) an experience of joy and well-being; and (4) the embodiment of equanimity amidst the changing circumstances of life. iREST enables participants to (1) embody skills that they can use throughout their lifetime; (2) heal through trauma; (3) experience a sense of mastery when encountering difficult situations, and (4) embody an unchanging state of wholeness that pervades every moment of daily life. iRest and Traditional PTSD Treatments iRest incorporates elements of empirically validated treatments for PTSD including Progressive Relaxation (PR) and Systematic Desensitization (SD), Rational Emotional (RET), Cognitive Behavior (CBT), Exposure Therapy (ET) and EMDR. The iRest protocol also features elements found in treatments such as Autogenic Training (AT), Sensory Awareness (SA) and Somatic Experiencing (SE). In addition, two key elements differentiate iRest from traditional treatments for PTSD. Witnessing Awareness First, iRest helps its practitioner recognize and embody their inherent ground of equanimity as unchanging ‘Witnessing Presence’ of pure Being,’ amidst the changing circumstances of their life. The embodiment of pure Being, which is inherent in everyone from birth, but all too often forgotten, reveals an experiential component of health, sanity and wholeness that is always present in everyone, even in the midst of extreme adversity and trauma. Trauma induces the belief of being a ‘victim.’ iRest breaks the belief of victimization by enabling its practitioner to recognize that even in the midst of trauma, their inherent ground of pure Being, or ‘witnessing Presence’ always remains intact, whole and healthy. Embodiment of witnessing presence reveals an inner quietude and equanimity, which provide a solid ground upon which to rest and squarely face, deconstruct, and break free of the cycles of traumatic reactivity that underlie PTSD. Welcoming Opposites Second, iRest engages the transformative power of ‘Welcoming Opposites’ of sensation, emotion, belief and imagery. Trauma induces overpowering negative experiences, which arrive paired with positive opposites, for every sensation, emotion, cognition and image always arrives paired with its complementary opposite (i.e. fearful-courageous; angry-peaceful; sad-joyful; abandoned-secure). In trauma, positive opposites remain hidden in the unconscious, overshadowed by their complementary negative components. When opposites remain hidden, suffering is sustained by our inability to experience and transcend these opposites. The iRest protocol teaches its practitioner how to transcend both negative and positive opposites, which dislodges and heals the overpowering negative aspects of trauma. When a person experiences only one-half of a pair of opposites, for instance grief versus joy, rage versus equanimity or shame versus potency, they remain stuck in their experience. During iRest, the practitioner is invited to experience both opposites of their experience, which (1) allows them to integrate and transcend both, (2) spontaneously deconstruct mistaken beliefs, and (3) restores their experience of the inherent ground of health and wholeness. Psychological integration takes place when they cease trying to change their experience, but instead open to the full experience of each opposite of experience. Only when we welcome every opposite of life—grief and joy, rage and equanimity, and shame and potency—are we able to go beyond pairs of opposites and realize our true freedom from trauma and suffering by recognizing the equanimity of pure Being, which is always whole, sane and healthy. Tools for Life Easily learned during group or individual sessions, iRest teaches individuals to independently apply the iRest protocol in the midst of their daily life, thus empowering them with tools that they can use for a lifetime, across every situation and circumstance in which they find themselves. Thus iRest is not just an intervention for healing through trauma, but a practice of resiliency that reveals our inherent and solid ground of equanimity from which we can face all that life brings to the table of our lives.

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10-Minutes Practice: Embodying Unbreakable Wholeness and Well-Being

Unbreakable Wholeness, and its essential qualities—including ease, peace, self-compassion and well-being—exists innately within us all. When we don’t recognize our basic Wholeness, we will always feel that something’s amiss in our lives. The feeling that ‘something’s amiss’ arises to help us reorient to and re-embody our Wholeness that we may have forgotten. The teachings of iRest Meditation are designed to reveal, to you, and enable you to recognize and embody your basic Wholeness that is ever-present and indestructible, that is your birthright of basic health, no matter the state of your body and mind. Wholeness is something that you are innately. It is ‘this’ about yourself that is always whole, complete, perfect and never in need of healing, fixing or changing, but simple recognizing. From this perspective we are not living or engaging in meditation or healing practices to become whole. We are living, meditating and practicing from our innate, already present Wholeness. We just need to know how to recognize, remember and embody our Wholeness, as it is already so. With this understanding firmly in place we can then learn to interweave our felt-sense of Wholeness into every circumstance of daily life, as well as when we address what may need healing in the body and mind. You can recover your underlying Wholeness through experiencing the simple feeling of being, which is the universal felt-sense and non-verbal inner knowing that we all have within us. Being is the quiet, ever-present background presence that’s always within you, but that can go unnoticed until it’s directly pointed out. Fortunately, there are five simple exquisite pointers or messengers—natural visceral feelings within you—that can help you recognize and embody your essential Wholeness. When you embody your Wholeness you realize an ever-present, unchanging and indestructible inner resource that enables you to weather every challenging circumstance that life brings to your table. So, please join me to experientially explore five essential inquires that have been handed down to us through the ancient teachings of contemplative meditation. These inquiries help you recognize and directly experience your essential unchanging and ever-present Wholeness and unbreakable Well-Being that underlies true health, healing, and awakening. These simple inquiries enable you to reclaim your inner and outer connectedness and realize the fullness of your human potential where you feel empowered and in harmony with yourself and the entire cosmos during every step of your journey through life.

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