iRest Yoga Nidra coming to New Zealand

Back in 2005 when I had already been teaching Yoga for a couple of years but was scouting around for further studies and looking for potent teachers, I came across Donna Farhi’s books and was immediately hooked in to her approach … mindful, detailed, precise and heartful. A great combination of being grounded in the tradition yet also evolutionary – like a true Yogini!

Donna of course remains a primary teacher for me. In her her books she mentions a close colleague, Dr Richard Miller, so I began to check out his offerings also, online interviews, audio recordings and more. 

I’ve been following Richard ever since and I consider him really to be my meditation teacher. Richard has founded the Integrative Restoration Institute and formulated a brilliant contemporary approach to the ancient practice of Yoga Nidra – iRest®.

From Richard’s website …

What is iRest Yoga Nidra and How Does It Work?

iRest Yoga Nidra meditation supports psychological, physical and spiritual health, healing and awakening.

iRest is an accessible meditation protocol that is integrative, as it heals unresolved issues and traumas, and restorative, as it aids practitioners in recognizing the underlying peace of mind that is always present amidst all changing circumstances in life.

Due to its effectiveness and ease of use, iRest has proven to effectively support the healing process across a broad range of populations, including those with PTSD, chronic pain, sleep issues, high stress, depression, and anxiety.

 My iRest Journey

While I first came across Yoga Nidra back in 2003, it is iRest with it’s intelligent 10 stage protocol and meaningful modern approach that has become my regular meditation practice. While experiencing profound states of relaxation, iRest has helped me navigate the challenges in my life emotionally and mentally as well as helping me understand and experience subtler states of meditation.

In 2013 and 2014 I attended Level 1 and 2 iRest Yoga Nidra training and I’m currently on the certification program.

The exciting news is that my colleague and friend Una Hubbard (Una’s website) and myself are hosting New Zealand’s first iRest Level 1 training here in Auckland in February 2017.

This training is highly recommended. The training manual itself is an amazing resource that will serve participants for many years to come. The trainers, Fuyuko Toyota and Jennifer Cabanero, as well as being close friends, are absolutely exceptional teachers.

Bookings & Full Info Here >>

 

PRESS RELEASE: Introducing Our New Yoga Teacher Training

Yoga Teacher Trainig websiteFour highly experienced yoga teachers have joined together to create the Centre for Contemporary Yoga Studies, based in Remuera. With over 80 years of yoga practice and teaching experience between them, Dyana, Karla, Neal and Vincent co-founded the centre with one key aim – to deliver excellence in all their classes, workshops and courses.

First Training Course Starts 26th September!

Together they designed, developed and presented 12 yoga teacher training courses over the past three years, a combination of 200-Hour and 300-Hour programs with Yoga Alliance accreditation. The 130 trainees from those courses have provided glowing testimonials, and the teachers are now known throughout the yoga community for these highly regarded programs.

Dyana Wells
Vincent Bolletta
Karla Brodie
Neal Ghoshal

Dyana Wells explains, “We have the same teachers with the same unique style of training, plus a new dedicated studio space. The centre enables us to provide a ‘whole school’ approach, which we were unable to do when the trainings were run in other locations. We now take responsibility for the quality, direction and vision of all aspects of the trainings.”

New initiatives run alongside the training courses, including year-long mentoring, professional development workshops, private tuition and up to 15 yoga classes each week.

Young professionals in the 25-45 year-old demographic are strongly represented in the yoga teacher training courses, while everyone from 16 to 60 is welcome alongside them.

Karla and Neal regularly teach with Donna Farhi, including training spells across the Tasman. Dyana has a long association with Wellpark College, and is well known for disappearing on month-long retreats in places like Canada. Vincent is a frequent traveller too, a regular at conferences and yoga therapy workshops overseas, which includes tutoring 200-hour training in China.

Neal Ghoshal says, “I feel incredibly privileged to be part of the Yoga teacher training courses. These indepth and inspiring courses are designed to grow not only students’ skills in teaching Yoga but also to develope a deep and life-long love of the practice. I feel honoured to be part of such an experienced and professional teaching team. These are the courses I wish I had taken when I first embarked on my Yoga Teacher journey.”

Vincent Bolletta adds that the Centre’s collective philosophy is “to establish a professionally run educational facility that offers both excellence in learning as well as providing a supportive environment that assists the journey of all students.”

The ‘whole school’ approach also extends to ‘whole person yoga’, a step on from the recent mind-body emphasis.

Karla Brodie explains: “Studying with my current mentor and teacher Donna Farhi has attuned me into practice that is nourishing, embodied and steeped in kindness. That kindness extends to my self, to all of my body systems, and to all of my cells. It’s a joy to share yoga practice that is kind, nourishing and eternally interesting.”

If you’re interested in getting right down to the DNA of yoga, perhaps the Centre is the place for you.

Emma, from Adelaide, had this to say:

Recently, I had the honour of being taught and guided by Neal Ghoshal on a teacher training program. His gentle manner was only eclipsed by his breadth of experience and knowledge in the art of being a Yogi.

Full Info & Bookings >>

Donna Farhi on Yoga Nidra

From our Yoga teacher, Donna Farhi …

Donna-Farhi“Recently I taught a weekend workshop on the practice of Yoga Nidra in Hobart, Tasmania. After reading the evaluations from the fifty people who attended, I was struck by how many of the participants commented on their desire to be more emotionally open yet not knowing how to do this or where to begin.

Register for The Heart Aroused workshop and receive a free 40 minute Yoga Nidra recording!*

Very few of us arrive into adulthood having had any training in being with many of our experiences or communicating our feelings to others. Yet, in just a few days of using the simple practice of Yoga Nidra many of the participants felt this had given them essential skills for learning to meet, greet and manage their experiences in a way that built their confidence in opening to life’s inevitable changes.

Central to building this new skill is understanding that there is no part of us that needs to go into exile to do this practice called Yoga. When we learn to meet our experience in the same way that we would meet a good friend we gradually build our capacity to be with ourselves when we’re up and when we’re down.

If there is no ideal way to be, and nothing that needs to get squashed or stowed away, we can welcome our experience in the same way that we might attend to a friend who has arrived at our door in distress . . . with compassion and with a listening heart.

Learning to befriend ourselves in this way is one of the most palpable ways that we can instill a sense of kindness towards ourselves and towards others.

I certainly understand how frightening it can be to open to emotions without having the skill to manage the experience. During my early adulthood I struggled with debilitating depression, anxiety and at times overwhelming despair brought about by trauma from my childhood. Looking back I see that I often put these experiences aside so that I could do Yoga, or more accurately, I did Yoga to control and suppress these experiences. My recent study of the more contemporary protocol of iRest Yoga Nidra, has given me new tools to understand and facilitate the process of meeting experience in a way that allows the individual to gauge their own threshold for being with all parts of themselves in a safe and loving way.

It fills my heart with joy to see how quickly people implement these teachings in a way that is radically transforming both their lives and the lives of their loved ones.

The Heart Aroused Yoga Intensive and Yoga Nidra

In a few weeks I’ll be offering a longer 5-day intensive called The Heart Aroused in Western Australia (full info here >>), and again later in the year in Auckland, New Zealand (full info here >>), where we have the opportunity to explore these teachings in greater depth, and as a complement to embodied practices such as somatic inquiry and organic asana exploration. Both intensives will be accompanied with live music by sound artist Prabhu and Kirtan singer Joan Miller. I hope you can join me for what promises to be a magical journey into the heart.”

with warmth, Donna Farhi

*Yoga Nidra with Donna Farhi: The Beloved Friend (40 minutes)

This potent recording made live during one of Donna’s retreats, focuses on learning to see oneself as the beloved friend so that Yoga Nidra becomes a conscious act of self-blessing.

Donna guides you slowly and gently through “the body house” moving the body into a profound state of relaxation. This is followed by attention to the breath; awareness of and work with balancing emotions; and finally, an innovative visualization to awaken the listener to the unbounded sense of being that is experienced in deep dreamless sleep. As we consciously embody the felt sense of ourselves as calm spaciousness we open the possibility of bringing this awareness into our waking life.

Register for The Heart Aroused workshop and receive this 40 minute Yoga Nidra recording free !

Thank you for coming to Yoga in Prisons fundraiser

The Yoga In Prisons fundraising event was a lovely success today – thank you to all who turned up. I truly enjoyed teaching the class , hearing the speakers, and sharing the movie The Dhamma Brothers – it was more moving the second time around! The Waiheke cinema is now interested in showing it now which is great.

We raised $1260 which will really help the trust produce yoga education materials for the prisoners they reach.

This is just a start! We’ll be doing more in the future and we’ll also let you know what is happening as things develop.

Thank you!

Peace, Neal x

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