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Kimberly Giardino
I Shifted My Attention to the Positive Route

I woke up one day in 2012 to find myself mysteriously unable to walk in severe whole body pain that did not go away. At the time, I could have accepted the diagnosis of ‘fibromyalgia’, resigning myself to living a life with the limitations of what has been called ‘an incurable condition.’ (fibromyalgia is a chronic pain condition accompanied by fatigue, insomnia, gastrointestinal, memory and mood symptoms). In fact, at the time, I could not even walk.

Without answers from top medical experts, I dedicated my life to healing myself. I made a different choice – I shifted all of my attention in a more positive way.

I learned how to walk again – one-step at a time. My home yoga and meditation practice helped me to reduce the flares of pain. I learned to listen to my body, to breathe and be with my inner self. For the first time, I allowed myself to receive support from loved ones – and that part of it was not easy! Nor was my whole healing journey, which was a roller coaster of emotions and uncertainties.

The pain was intolerable at times. However, my husband, friends and family and I celebrated each miraculous achievement I made together: my first solo walk down the hall and back; then my first solo walk down the block – and back! For some time I had needed a ride back after just a short walk. Also, my first ride in a car sitting up, without needing to lay down in the back seat. All these small yet amazing successes, led to big and extraordinary ones! Looking back now, I realize that I was slowly re-wiring my nervous system to be able to increase my physical and emotional strength.

I felt stronger each day, and in 2017, I began my 200-hour yoga teacher training at Kripalu center for yoga & health. I was fortunate to meet Jennifer Reis there, who guided Divine Sleep Yoga Nidra several times during the training. Living with fibromyalgia, the intensity of the training certainly pushed me to my edge, but also provided me with the self-care tools I needed. Divine Sleep Yoga Nidra is one of those extraordinary tools.

The first time I practiced divine sleep, I knew instantly that it worked for me! I didn’t know all of its intricacies or exactly what it was, but I knew I had found the powerful practice that I wanted to lead. I realized I could help others with it. I was eager to find out more about this form of guided meditation traditionally practiced laying down. Shortly after graduating as a yoga teacher I was able to complete my Divine Sleep Yoga Nidra Teacher Training with Jennifer!

Now I practice Divine Sleep Yoga Nidra daily and I find it truly helps me manage the symptoms of fibromyalgia. This practice taught me and my nervous system how to turn off the “fight or flight” switch, which in fibromyalgia is always on. That’s what creates the pain sensations and the multitude of other symptoms. This is truly amazing for me!

Now I also know how to turn on the “relaxation response” to help significantly reduce my daily pain levels, increase my energy, and calm my mind. Today I find I sleep better and my overall health has improved! Yoga has been a constant gift that has spread into every area of my life and has helped me to face huge adversities with grace, courage and resiliency.

Svi’nafellsjokull Glacier, Iceland

Divine sleep, yoga asana, breathing techniques, and a healthy lifestyle, helps me to manage the symptoms of fibromyalgia. Now I live a more joyful and peaceful life. I am able to participate in all of the things I love to do even the activities that when first diagnosed I never imagined I would be able to do! Like being physically active and traveling the world!

Guadeloupe

I feel incredibly grateful for Divine Sleep Yoga Nidra and how its changed my life and how I see it changing my students lives.