I discovered yoga a couple of years by accident, when I was working for a high school residential summer program. As a part of my job, I accompanied students to daily activities – one of which was yoga – with a Kripalu certified instructor! Lucky for me, I was able to participate in the yoga classes with the students.
After my summer of practicing yoga, I began to notice a difference in the autumn within my body when I was no longer practicing yoga as my body became more sore, tight and achy. In contrast, the yoga had made me feel flexible, intuitive, and at peace. I searched for yoga classes and eventually found what I was looking for nearby.
Yoga has been a subtle but progressive journey of transformation for me. At first, it helped me to find calm at the end of my busy and stressful days during graduate school. It helped me to navigate the questions that for me came with being a young adult. Questions like: Where should I live? What is my true purpose? What is my next step? Yoga became the practice of stepping into stillness and finding the quiet to navigate decisions.
Yoga became my normal practice which has become my anchor for creating a sense of presence and grounding stability in my life. As I explored deeper into yoga, I found Kripalu Center for Yoga and Health in Stockbridge, MA. On the daily schedule Jennifer’s Divine Sleep Yoga Nidra was listed and I was curious to try it out. I found myself in a deep, relaxed and meditative state under her guidance.
Over time, I became more and more devoted to getting deeper into my own yoga practice. This last year, after a busy year of teaching Kindergarten in a high-need district, I wanted to devote a whole month to becoming a yoga teacher! I did this at Kripalu, where I found myself learning not only how to teach yoga, but also learning how to be present and open in each moment of life — for myself! I was able to attend Jennifer’s Divine Sleep classes again – at times fast asleep, and at other times in deep meditation, and sometimes somewhere in between, which was all enriching.
Divine Sleep Yoga Nidra practice helped me to find the deep sense of calm, rest, and healing I was longing for. When I graduated from Kripalu, I continued to long for and search for further opportunities to intensify my personal practice. One of the ways I did this was to join Jennifer for her annual Five Element Yoga Retreat on Martha’s Vineyard!
I was amazed by Jennifer’s knowledge of yoga and healing. She’s has trained in a variety of healing modalities such as massage, Ayurveda, Traditional Chinese Medicine, and yoga therapy, and has woven them beautifully together in her creation of Five Element Yoga. Her Divine Sleep meditations come from her deep understanding of the rich tradition of yoga and healing.
Jennifer’s light presence and sense of humor lit up the retreat for me! I found her to be an incredible guide on my journey inward towards healing and wholeness.
The practices she has developed and shares with others, are sincerely profound. She carefully crafted our retreat to incorporate postures, mudras, self-massage, community connection and the philosophies behind her teachings.
I left the retreat feeling rejuvenated, relaxed and deeply rested. Because of my yoga nidra practice, which has become my tool to simply be present and relaxed with all that is, I am now able to be fully present with life. I feel I have the inner tools necessary to navigate through all of life’s stresses, ups and downs, and all the questions that arise within me, often big life questions; and I’m also able to be more present with my kindergarten children in the hectic environment of school life.