Robin Carnes - Yoga Nidra, iRest and PTSD

Episode 30

80 mins

Robin Carnes - Yoga Nidra, iRest and PTSD

August 5, 2018

Robin Carnes is a yoga teacher and certified iRest® Yoga Nidra instructor who hails from the United States. She is well recognized as a pioneer and innovator in the field of mind-body therapies for trauma and related conditions. Her work has been featured in media outlets such as The Washington Post, Woman’s Day Magazine and Yoga Journal just to name a few!

In her impressive career, she served as the lead instructor of the first Defense Department-funded feasibility study of Yoga Nidra meditation for PTSD symptoms, and also went on to co-found Warriors at Ease an organisation, which has trained over 800 certified yoga and meditation teachers to work safely and effectively in military communities affected by combat-related stress.

Robin was also the author of "Sacred Circles: A Guide To Creating Your Own Women's Spirituality Group" and we learn about how this book came to be.

We were lucky to catch up with her while she was in Melbourne for the Meditation Australia Conference, and we got to ask her our most burning questions on Yoga Nidra and iRest, how it works, and why it can help so many people with PTSD.

Please note that there is mention of some imagery used in traditional Yoga Nidra that may be triggering for some listeners.


Robin's website:
iRest Australasia FB page:
All iRest events :
Warriors at Ease website:

Picks of The Week:
Rane - Rachel and Nic on Youtube -
Jo's pick: Straw vocal techniques
Robin's Pick: A beginning resource to explain what White Privilege is and why White people should care The Invisible Backpack -


Click on a timecode to play from that time in the recording.

3:14 Where did Robin grow up?
3:28 How did Robin discover Yoga?
5:49 Any Key Teachers?
6:55 The Defense Department Study into Yoga Nidra
7:26 What happens in a Yoga Nidra session?
9:58 Commonalities and differences between traditional and iRest Yoga Nidra
14:27 A summary of the 10 steps of iRest Yoga Nidra
22:36 “It was so much more than a relaxation exercise”
22:54 Another translation of “Yoga Nidra”
23:17 The first Defense Department Yoga Nidra study
25:07 Is one of the reasons there are more formal studies done on iRest is that many of the practitioners are academics and/or psychologists?
26:19 Is Yoga Nidra well understood from the Western scientific model?
27:12 Not all yoga or meditation practices are trauma sensitive.
28:00 A layperson’s guide to how Yoga Nidra works
28:27 Yoga Nidra effects on the parasympathetic nervous system.
31:05 Is there an emotion that can be attended to - “feel it and be with it”
32:55 Experiencing pure awareness.
34:30 Why is (sometimes disturbing) imagery present in more traditional forms of Yoga Nidra?
38:15 Do you provide soft gaze options?
40:05 How Robin came to work with the Department of Defence
44:04 Did Robin encounter any resistance from within the military?
48:27 Why does Robin feel that iRest is so good for people who suffer from PTSD?
49:56 How did Robin’s book “Sacred Circles” come about? Starting women's groups.
53:41 Gendered vs non-gendered groups
57:30 How does Robin facilitate male dominated military groups as someone from a different background?
60:50 What is the one core lesson that Robin would like to share with the world?
61:20 Picks of the week.
66:50 Fuyuko Toyota shares some iRest resources

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