Heidi MacEwen
Journey Into My Heart 

I love my work, but never more than when I see the effects of theses potent practices seeing a student inspired! Heidi’s inner glow beamed wider and more brightly each session during our vibrant Five Element Yoga weekend at Kripalu…

Before being introduced to Divine Sleep Yoga Nidra, while I knew meditation was very beneficial and something that I ‘should’ be doing for my health & wellness, I just couldn’t sit or focus for any length of time to find the peace, tranquility and relaxation I knew my body and mind needed.

I always knew I wanted to help others and the combination of my love for fitness and movement was the first step that inspired me to travel down the path that I am now on. As many young adults do after graduating college, I went in search of a career, determined to make my way in this ‘big wide’ world. With a degree in Economics and Business, I landed in insurance, specifically in the claims end of insurance. For any of you who have ever had an accident of any kind and had to file a claim, you know the stress involved in the process which can be truly overwhelming.

Even though my job was at times stressful, it was a very ‘good’ job, and became my career for 26 years. I would like to think that I was able to help others by listening, caring and making the process as simple and easy as I could in their times of distress and need.

In order to release my own stress, I became a certified group fitness instructor, and it really lit me up! I taught a couple of classes during the week after work, and found it was the time of my day that I looked forward to most. One of my students pointed out that I could not stop smiling throughout the whole class.  Not only did this help me, but in the process, I could see I was helping others in a new way. Although I knew in my heart teaching fitness was not exactly what I was supposed to be doing with my life.

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In addition to teaching fitness classes, I attended yoga classes at my mentor Gayle Steffanelli’s little yoga studio. Then somehow the universe lined up for me to buy-out her studio which was only two short miles from my home, and I couldn’t say no!

I completed my 200-hour Yoga Teacher Training and jumped at the opportunity to take a “lay-off” from my insurance career, and try my hand at owning my own studio! My new life and career began as I turned 49 in 2013 when I said goodbye to the insurance claims world for good, and I have never looked back. As one chapter closed, another opened.

I was first introduced to Jennifer Reis’ Divine Sleep Yoga Nidra by my fellow yoga teacher trainee who was trained by her, led us in a special Divine Sleep Yoga Nidra event at my studio. I was hooked! I loved how relaxed, refreshed and re-energized it made me feel. I began to read up more about all the incredible health benefits that this practice holds for not only the receiver, but also the giver. When the next opportunity presented itself to attend Jennifer’s Reis’ Divine Sleep Yoga Nidra teacher training program at Kripalu in April 2015, once again I did not hesitate. I signed up knowing in my heart that this was what I was supposed to do next!

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Divine Sleep Yoga Nidra training marked my first visit to the amazing Kripalu Center. Our graduation lined up with my 50th birthday. What an incredible gift to myself, and I was so thrilled to be able to bring this gift to so many others. I am so thankful to Jennifer Reis for her teachings and trainings. It is a blessing to be able to guide others and share the gift of relaxation and release of stress and tension that so many of us allow our bodies to hold tightly onto, creating disease and illness, is a blessing.

Recently, after I led Divine Sleep Yoga Nidra, as I started to guide my class back from our journey, a new student said to me later that she thought to herself, “Oh no!!! Put me back! I’m not ready to come back out yet!” A good reflection of the power and potency she felt. Another of my students explained the practice to someone who had not yet tried yoga nidra that, “It was so nice to have someone tell you a story – like when you were a young child – when life was so much simpler.”

I turn to Jennifer’s CD’s anytime I feel my life gets too busy, crazy and stressful and after practicing Divine Sleep Yoga Nidra, I am calmer, able to breathe a little easier, and can refocus on the task at hand with peace! I feel both my mind and body need this time and yoga nidra to truly rest and heal. Then my mind feels quiet, and I can actually feel my body rejuvenating.

Now I enjoy the benefits of this form of meditation being guided and giving my mind permission to simply rest and listen as my body relaxes and recharges. I am also grateful for the fact that I can derive the benefits of this wonderful practice when I am guiding my students in class too.

I am so grateful to you Jennifer for creating Divine Sleep Yoga Nidra! I have shared this with so many of my family, friends and students so that they too may take the time they need to allow the body & mind time to rest, recharge and heal. I look forward to many more trainings with her.thumbnail_IMG_1240.jpg.png

A few weeks ago I returned to Kripalu for Jennifer’s Five Element Yoga weekend. I am beyond fired-up about sharing the Five Element Yoga within my weekly Divine Sleep Yoga Nidra classes as the whole complete package! I will be back next year for Five Element Yoga Teacher Training at Kripalu – because I know that is what is in my heart!

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