Meet The Teach: Adrienne Jamiel

After years of searching for happiness, Adrienne Jamiel, 65, doesn’t follow gurus or important teachers. Instead, Jamiel explores her deepest knowing through iRest, a modern adaptation of yoga nidra. Developed by Richard Miller, iRest delivers relaxation to many different populations, including veterans, and has been tested in a clinical research study on adults with chemical dependency issues.

Since May, Jamiel has been one of several iRest instructors teaching at St. Bartholomew’s Church. YogaCity NYC’s Ann Votaw chatted with Jamiel, under St. Bart’s glorious dome. Warm and animated, Jamiel explained her healing journey from a troubled childhood to feelings of untapped joy.

Ann Votaw: When did you start doing iRest Yoga Nidra?

Adrienne Jamiel: I met Richard Miller at a conference at Kripalu, in 1999. During it, he led one Yoga Nidra session. In that session, after years of doing meditation and yoga, I tasted non-doing. I ordered the six-tape audio series Richard had at the time and never looked back. I practiced every day for five years.

AV: At some places you use scripts, but not at St. Bart's. Why?

AJ: In 2008 I was the iRest Yoga Nidra instructor for a study researching the effects of meditation on relapse in chemically dependent adults. For scientific evaluation and consistency, it was important to use scripts. The study involved residents of a locked-down rehabilitation facility that prefers not to be identified. I wrote and used 10 different scripts for the 10-week study.

AV: You mentioned having some childhood trauma of your own.

AJ: Yes. In iRest, we talk about developing an “inner resource,” a place where you feel safe and at ease. As a child, I never had a safe haven and coped by becoming hypervigilant. Today, the practice of welcoming whatever arises is my safe haven.

AV: How has iRest helped you?