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Mary Waugh
I Returned To My Inner Calm!

On paper, it seemed like I had enough support to help me process losing our family home due to financial trials, marital challenges, moving three times uprooting our four school aged children, plus two job changes each for both me and my husband!

Although I wasn’t diagnosed with anxiety and depression, I fluctuated between the two in varying degrees depending on the day. I felt inadequate to provide a stable home for my family in the midst of the stressors. I felt very fragmented, insecure, alone and afraid. This is who I was when I began my Divine Sleep Yoga Nidra Teacher Training with Jennifer.

It’s February 2018, and the teacher training for Divine Sleep Yoga Nidra finally arrived! My five years prior to this day were filled with four of the top 10 life-stressors. I was hoping that starting my year with Divine Sleep training was the sign of better things to come.

My family is part of a strong church community and we are surrounded by close friends and family. I am a yoga teacher and I have a strong personal yoga practice and also a beautiful network of like-minded yoga teacher friends. Even with all of this support, I was suffering.

Amazingly, by the last day of Divine Sleep training, I felt I had the inner resources I needed to cope with not only the present challenges, but also to work through a lifetime of old experiences too.

My time with Jennifer was a transformational journey. During the training, I first knew something new was shifting in me during the teaching of the ‘five levels of being’ from yoga philosophy, and what Divine Sleep Yoga Nidra is based on. Learning about the wisdom level of being called ‘Witness-Awareness’ helped me to be able to find a new perspective.

I pulled back, like the eagle with eagle eyes, to ‘observe’ the stressors in my life, without going into the place of fear or anxiety. I became the calm ‘witness’ of all that was going on. That included being able to witness and ‘be with’ all the roller-coaster ride of sensations and emotions I often felt, without feeling threatened by them.

This new place of stability gave me the bandwidth to be able to find and create a ‘safe space’ within me, called the ‘Inner Sanctuary’ in the practice of Divine Sleep. Resting within my Inner Sanctuary helped me get to the next step which was to genuinely feel and hear my ‘Heart’s Longing’ which I greatly needed to get in touch with, and state that it was already the truth.

Having my safe space within me gave me a place to go to, not only during yoga nidra practice, but in my life off the mat, when I was feeling things that had overwhelmed me in the past! Now I could return to inner calm. With these tools, my new superpowers!, I feel grounded and secure in a way that my regular yoga practice had not offered  me.

I was surprised how moving through both the body scan and journey visualization stages, allowed me to go back to and revisit powerful and pivotal life experiences (not always the good ones!) in a way that healed me. The freedom I felt while being guided through Divine Sleep liberated me! Now I feel my depleted spirit has been strengthened.

This summer was our third move (the renter’s life), our kids changed schools, my husband started a new job, and we graduated our second child, and sent her off to college. It was crucial during this stressful time for me to create space in my schedule for me: my yoga practice, but often, Divine Sleep Yoga Nidra took priority! If I woke up in the morning (most often with short, shallow breaths, and at times the desire to roll over and delay the day and it’s long list of to-do’s), I guided myself through the first few stages of Divine Sleep.

Then, after the long days of packing and unpacking the house, then packing up my daughter’s things for college, I would lay in my bed before sleeping and let Jennifer’s Deep Relaxation Divine Sleep CD guide me through all the stages (my favorite is the Eagle Journey: Seven Directions to the Source). I found am and pm Divine Sleep kept my body, mind and spirit stable during a time of incredible change and upheaval.

I can’t share my story without including Jennifer Reis and her impact on me as a yoga teacher and human being. I was given the opportunity to assist two of Jennifer’s Divine Sleep teacher trainings! This experience has given me confidence as both a teacher of yoga and yoga nidra – and an individual. Her honesty, supported with compassion and patience, gave me life. In my interactions with her, she was aware of and acknowledged MY whole being, and my spiritual Self.

She has demonstrated life-giving connections with others that has inspired my own teaching, serving and relating with my students. I also feel this has translated to how I relate to myself – my very own person. I felt myself begin to trust my own Light as a human and teacher. It has changed me, my teaching style, and also the way I interact with my husband, children, family and my friends.

The effects of Divine Sleep Yoga Nidra truly has been far reaching in all areas of my life! I have the confidence now to continue reaching out to the world and others in a profound way. Now I know I can stand firm, no matter how strong the winds of change blow, because inside of me resides newfound inner strength and tools to support me.