Winter & Early Spring 2019
There will be several separate, dedicated offerings of Yoga Nidra this Winter. You can sign up for either or both of the following:
• Friday evening, February 22nd from 8 to 9 pm (Om West/Pte-Claire);
• Saturday, April 6th Yoga Nidra Workshop from 10 am to 12:30 pm (Om West/Pte-Claire)
Based on the ancient teachings of meditation, iRest® Yoga Nidra is a transformative practice that leads to healing and well-being at all levels – physically, psychologically, and spiritually.
iRest Yoga Nidra is practiced for many reasons: to relax deeply and to release stress; to support both physical and psychological healing; and to discover an innate peace of mind and unshakeable sense of well-being that is present in all of life's circumstances.
This method of guided meditation is usually practiced in a comfortable lying down position, in which participants are guided into the deepest levels of relaxation and meditation. Sitting on the floor or in a chair is also always an option.
The practice of Yoga Nidra reveals our innate intelligence and inherent wisdom which burns away negative patterns of conditioning thus creating the space for the spontaneous physical, psychological and interpersonal transformations that can occur as a result of this practice.
iRest Yoga Nidra is offered at yoga studios and meditation centers around the world, but is increasingly becoming a part of healthcare in clinics, hospitals, and private practices - as well as places such as homeless shelters, veteran settings and schools.
People who practice iRest report:
• Reduced depression, fear and anxiety
• Reduced insomnia and levels of stress
• Reduced chronic and acute pain
• Greater ability to relax and enjoy life
• Improved interpersonal relations
• Increased inner peace and well-being
iRest is an evidence-based, mind-body approach that is the result of thirty years of observation, research and hands-on development by Dr. Richard Miller. You will find more information at the Integrative Restoration Institute (IRI) website.
Clearlight Gerald (MA, C-IAYT, E-RYT 500, RPYT) has been a yoga practitioner for 25 years and has been teaching since 1999. Clearlight has been a dedicated student of Yoga Nidra and the nondual wisdom teachings with Richard Miller and Joan Ruvinsky since 2004. As a senior Certified iRest Teacher and Certified Yoga Therapist, she also works as a Mentor and Certification Supervisor for the iRest Institute in California, a role she has filled since the inception of the iRest Yoga Nidra Teacher Training Program. Clearlight specializes in the application of the principles and practices of iRest Yoga Nidra to pregnancy and childbirth preparation.
2019 Weekend Classes and Workshops: iRest® Yoga Nidra
at Yogaspace (QEHC, 2100 Marlowe in NDG/Westmount):
Registration directly with Clearlight/Yogaspace. Registration now open, see registration page
'iRest Yoga Nidra Practice': Saturday afternoon February 16th from 1:30 to 2:40 pm;
• iRest Yoga Nidra will be included in the extended practice 'Relax, Renew, Refresh… Bringing Meditation into Movement, Breath and Daily Life' onSaturday, February 16th from 9:45 am to 12:45 pm.
at Om West studio (46 Ste-Anne in Pte-Claire Village):
Registration directly through Om West. Registration now open on Om West site.
'Deep Rest, iRest Yoga Nidra': Friday evening, January 26th from 8 pm to 9 pm
• 'Deep Rest, iRest Yoga Nidra': Friday evening, February 22nd from 8 pm to 9 pm
• Yoga Nidra Workshop 'Cultivating Deep Rest and Transformative Tools for Daily Life': Saturday, April 6th from 10 am - 12:30 pm
When the body-mind experiences relaxation and meditation, our natural healing capacity is supported and a sense of deep wellbeing is restored.
This class is an opportunity to pause in an oasis of self-reflection, and to cultivate the qualities of ease, wisdom and inner strength as we meet the many challenges life presents.
This practice is particularly helpful in connecting to an unshakable place of calm, balance and stability as you navigate family and/or work stress, live times of transition or crisis, or wish to complement a journey of healing.
You can participate either sitting or lying down — the class is open to everyone, beginners and experienced alike.
This class incorporates iRest, a modern formulation of the ancient practice of yoga nidra (a guided relaxation/meditation).
“We use Yoga Nidra to investigate and go beyond our limiting beliefs and conditioning, so that we may live a contented life, free of conflict, anxiety, fear, dissatisfaction, and suffering. And in its ultimate form, we use Yoga Nidra to unravel the sacred mystery of life and reveal the secret of enlightenment.” Richard Miller, Ph.D.
"Yoga Nidra is a guided meditation that takes one on an inner journey concentrated on sensory experience. Clearlight guides with her voice and enables one to progress through the body, noting sensation and what is present in the moment. She is also able to engage the senses in ways that escape notice when awake and moving about. The amazing power of this practice is that it accesses a level of consciousness that is deeper and fuller than otherwise felt during the course of the day. It rests somewhere between sleep and being awake and provides an unrestricted access to intuition, to true mindfulness and physical presence. It is restorative and contemplative all at once." Gabrielel, student of Yoga Nidra at Yogaspace - Read more class reflections just below...
Step out the busyness and stress of your daily life, and give yourself time to reconnect to your inner world and recognize the unshakeable presence of a deeper Stillness.
Essential materials (one blanket and a yoga mat) will be provided to you. It is suggested to bring an extra pillow or cushion, blanket, eye pillow and yoga mat for extra comfort and cushioning.
Class Fee for Yoga Nidra Classes
Fees for each Yoga Nidra class or workshop listed on registration page
Please visit the registration page to register online and reserve your place. Or, contact Clearlight for more information or to register, by e-mail or by phone (514) 867-8671.
"The course was much more than I thought. I was expecting an hour long intensive practice of savasana. So it all started as I was expecting: breathing, focus on muscles, visual images... all bringing a wonderful feeling of relaxation. But relaxation was just the beginning. What interested and surprised me most was the idea that relaxation can be a starting point. As usual, I have to say that I really appreciate how professional, precise, researched and generous you are in your teaching, and this is really appreciated!"
- David Asseo
"Yoga Nidra has most definitely been a way for me to remain stable within, amidst the whirlwind of life! I wanted to discover a new way to find balance in my life through this specific kind of meditation and that's exactly what Yoga Nidra brought me."
- Alexandra Roussel
"La pratique du Yoga Nidra m'a permis de reconnecter avec mon essence intérieure. Suite à une période difficile de ma vie, je me suis inscrite au Yoga Nidra sans attente, dans l'objectif de tenter de retrouver mon énergie, de me reconnecter avec l'essentiel. A ma grande surprise, cette pratique est devenu un pilier central de ma guérison intérieure, un moyen par lequel je me suis recentrée. Chaque séance de Yoga Nidra a été suivie par des expériences intérieures fortes. Un désir d'écrire très puissant a suivi plusieurs séances : les lignes que j'écrivais alors, comme sous l'effet d'une transe, étant remplies de lucidité, de conseils magnifiques sur ma vie et son sens. Mes sens se sont altérés, j'ai découvert que Clearlight est parfois auréolée de lumière! Dans ma vie de tous les jours, j'ai pu recommencé à méditer plus sereinement, alors que mon esprit était si préoccupé dans le passé que je ne pouvais faire silence. J'encourage toute personne à la recherche de son Soi intérieur, à la recherche d'un sens spirituel à l'existence, toute personne qui vit des difficultés intérieures importantes et qui cherche à s'apaiser, à la pratique du Yoga Nidra. Merci Clearlight de m'avoir fait découvrir cette pratique."
- Nathalie M.
I have been going through a really difficult time with my health in the past few months. Yoga Nidra has afforded me a shelter from the inner turmoil that accompany ill health. I find that my experience of yoga Nidra has opened me up and allowed for hope, something that I truly needed to get better. One particular experience stands out. During one of our practices, I stumbled upon an image of profound significance: I felt within my body, right in the center of my rib cage, a physical manifestation of resilience. I felt with absolute certainty a circular ball, a sphere made of lead, that held all my power of recovery, of strength. It was a visualization that I have been able to call upon during difficult moments and that has bolstered my ability to recover during challenging times. Clearlight's guidance and her wisdom in leading the yoga Nidra, her ability to create a truly safe space, allowed for such a personal and powerful image to surface. I am grateful for the moments of respite and of replenishing that yoga Nidra have brought into my life.
In addition to the power of such visualizations, I have also noticed how aligned the practice of Yoga Nidra is with Somatic Experiencing, a therapeutic approach used to treat Trauma and PTSD, I have seen the benefits of going to the body to feel emotional response (eg What does anger feel like in the body) and to oscillate between divergent and sometimes opposing emotions primarily through physical sensations. This has helped me immensely in taming anxiety and moving away from over-stimulating emotional narratives. I feel that Yoga Nidra not only restores the body by turning off the mind's incessant chatter, it also provides techniques and precedent for how to return to this state of being that is free from any agenda during the course of the week. It is a powerful practice that soothes the mind and the body all at once."
"Ce cours m'a ressourcé, m'a permis de m'arreter. C'est le plus beau cadeau que j'ai pu m'offrir suite a la naissance de mon fils. J'ai pris de la confiance en moi, savouré la paix intérieure et j'ai en main de beaux outils grace a toi Clearlight et au Yoga Nidra."
- Édith Seguin
"Clearlight, I just wanted to thank you for letting me discover this practice that has helped me in my journey... I'm able to say I'm at peace with myself and I'm able to just appreciate life better."
- Sylvie Makoukji
"I’m definitely less anxious, calmer. A number of things that used to make me upset don’t seem to bother me anymore. I feel more secure. I used to regularly get anxious on the weekends because I felt that they were too busy. Yoga nidra seems to have opened up a space that lets me slow down and ignore various pressures.
"What I find interesting about yoga nidra is that it is effortless. I feel the tangible benefit even if I sleep through a whole session. Without sounding too lazy, it’s very liberating to just go somewhere, relax completely and go on a guided journey. That doesn’t happen even in the movies for me, or during sleep. Yoga Nidra does a better job of turning off my chattering brain."
- Kirsten Weisenburger
"I have to tell you that I definitely SLEEP better after our Yoga Nidra practices, which was the original reason I signed up!"
- Louise Pothier
"When I go to a Yoga Nidra class, I never know where I am going- but once the practice has finished I know that I have been to where I needed to go."
- Marisa Rondina
"I just wanted to THANK YOU for the great Yoga Nidra class last Friday. When I went into class, I literally felt like I was hit by a truck (stressful week). When I left the class on Friday, I left feeling like a new person. Like I had just had the best massage of my life! So, thanks for a great class. I look forward to the next one!!"
"Somebody told me one day that I should not forget the essential in order to focus on the 'important.' I did not understand them. Aren't our daily occupations and responsibilities important? It was a confusing time because I liked what I was doing but began to question its value, and furthermore, to question my own value as a person. It was like going back to be the 4 year old that question herself "What am I? What am I doing here?" The difference was that as a 4 year old I was at peace, 30 years later I was in anguish. During the yoga nidra practices I have questioned my identity, my authenticity, my place in society, in the world, in the universe. I might not have concrete answers, but I feel closer to the essential that I was before. It was like meeting and old friend, like being acquainted back with... myself. :)"
"I had an experience last week that was just amazing. You know how in families there are longstanding "issues and controversies" - well, once again I got into a discussion about one of these with my dad. But I was able to think about how it wasn't going to help the situation to get upset. I lasted a whole hour and managed to finish the conversation with both my dad and I feeling OK - even happy for the first time in my life, instead of freaking out in anger and becoming really upset and crying, I was able to remain calm and articulate when I would feel the intense emotions rising with each other. He even called to thank me the next day for this - I cannot tell you how incredible this is. My husband was completely amazed. So I was left feeling like something really positive came out of what is usually very, very negative, and I felt that Yoga Nidra, yoga practice itself was really having a positive effect on my life."
"I most appreciated the way I would feel right after a Yoga Nidra session a deep sense of inner peace and being somehow re-centered or that my feet had been firmly replanted on the earth!
"I have found that in times of stress or anger I have had an easier time stepping back and watching the emotion rise in me and knowing it is simply another movement... When I started the classes I was at quite a difficult spot in my life. I truly feel that Yoga Nidra has helped me through this time I have felt strengthened, bolstered and encouraged by it. I can't say thank you enough!!"
"I was experiencing anxiety when I first came. I met the sensations of anxiety during the practice of yoga nidra and the anxiety went away on its own. I also use the 'opposite feelings' technique and it helps me to be more confident and relaxed."
"Due to health problems, I have been getting more and more groggy, sleepy, unable to get organized, to think clearly. As I practice Yoga Nidra, I am more alert, getting reorganized and happier as a result.
After session 4, on the way home with my friend, a thought bubbled up to the surface of my mind 'sometimes a needy person can just suck the life out of you and leave holes that cannot be filled.' As I spoke it, I realized that I have been trying to 'fill' one of those 'holes' with food for years! I am beginning to get a grip on my food cravings by just understanding why."
"I find stress has been taking me away from enjoying my life. Through Yoga Nidra I am changing my response to stressors and this helps me live more in the present and enjoy my life."
Clearlight Gerald, MA, C-IAYT, E-RYT500, founder and director of Yogaspace Studio, is a professional level certified Kripalu and Prenatal Yoga Teacher and IAYT-certified Yoga Therapist. Clearlight currently teaches classes and workshops at Yogaspace in Yoga Nidra Meditation, Mindful Yoga, Fertility Yoga, Pregnancy Yoga, Childbirth Preparation and Mom & Baby Yoga.
Clearlight started practicing yoga in 1991, and began teaching in 1999 after she completed her certification as a Kripalu Yoga Teacher and Pregnancy Yoga Teacher. Today, Clearlight is a student of nondual wisdom teachings as taught by her teachers and mentors Richard Miller and Joan Ruvinsky. Clearlight actively pursues her love of yoga in her studies, personal practice, teaching and family life.
During her first years of teaching, Clearlight studied and practiced with many wonderful teachers from around the world, including Donna Farhi, Gary Kraftsow, Anodea Judith, and Krishna Das. It was at this time she gained extensive experience and insight into the practice and application of yogic breathing and asana, physical and energetic anatomy, and the ancient teachings of yoga.
During these formative years she taught at different locations throughout Montreal, including Concordia University, Marianopolis College and the Montreal Athletic Association, and worked part-time as a program assistant at the Kripalu Center for Yoga and Health in Massachusetts. In 2002, Clearlight created Yogaspace Studio in Montreal, where she now teaches exclusively.
In 2004 Clearlight met Richard Miller and Joan Ruvinsky, senior teachers of the pathless path of nondual teachings, both students themselves of Jean Klein. During her first interactions with Richard and Joan she felt that she was "coming home to truth" - and in that moment knew she had found the teachings that she was deeply compelled to follow. Since then, Clearlight has been deeply immersed with Richard and Joan in studies that are dedicated to these teachings.
Clearlight completed the Yoga Nidra (iRest) Teacher Training with Richard Miller in 2009, and is now a mentor for others pursuing their certification as Yoga Nidra teachers at the Integrative Restoration Institute (IRI). (IRI is a non profit organization dedicated to the path of self-inquiry and awakening through the teachings of nondual wisdom.) The teaching of yoga nidra is a beautiful method of self-inquiry and meditation and informs every level of Clearlight's teaching.
Concurrently, Clearlight continues to deepen her focus and skill as a specialist in teaching prenatal yoga and postnatal yoga, a path she chose after feeling profoundly inspired, well before her teacher training, to bring yoga to pregnant and new mothers. As a result of following her heart, she has had the privilege of teaching several thousand expectant and new mothers in her pregnancy yoga, and in her mom and baby yoga classes.
She has been witness to the dramatic beneficial effects of yoga experienced by women during this time of transition, and she continues to offer an inspiring context in which women and couples can connect more deeply to the wisdom, balance, and joyfulness that they bring with them into childbirth and parenthood. (Make sure to read the wonderful birth stories by moms who were in Clearlight's classes.)
Clearlight's dynamic teaching style reflects the passion she has for her personal practice and her love of inquiry. Her teaching of the physical practice of postures balances both an emphasis on core stability techniques and safe alignment with the importance of not only liberating deeply held tensions, but of discovering how the practice of yoga can bring a greater sense of wholeness and balance to every aspect of one's life.
Other aspects of her teaching include yogic breathing, chanting, the sharing of inspiring music and poetry, discussion based on ancient texts and meditation practice (including yoga nidra) - all led with the understanding that yoga is a practice not of acquiring, but of recognizing the wholeness of our True Nature.
Finally, since the question does come up so frequently, it must be shared that Clearlight was named Clearlight at birth by her mom and dad, and that she feels a deep gratitude for this beautiful gift from her parents!
For more information about Mindful Yoga, Pregnancy Yoga and Mom & Baby Yoga, visit the Classes Page.
• Couples Workshop: Preparing for Childbirth with Movement & Breath
• Special Sadhana Intensives