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Student Stories
Pouring From a Full Cup
While working in the therapeutic world of a mental health practice, I got lost in my student’s well-being, and neglected my own self-care. For several years I have been working at holistic mental health practice. My job is split between being a therapeutic-focused yoga and meditation instructor, and a stress management specialist. I also teach yoga at several studios, as well as at my home studio, and run a summer time beach yoga program. I also lecture for a large insurance company and Harvard University. Needless to say, my plate is overflowing with robust work, and I am making a
I've Found Peace!
I suffered a stroke and found the effects of a brain injury really hard to deal with. My mind was dizzy. I could think of words, but communicating them was difficult. I had very bad head pain, and I was learning how to balance again since one side of my body was impacted. Not to mention on top of that, I had so many intense emotions to deal with. That's when I found yoga nidra! Previously, I had been meditating for most of my life with many other styles. It helped me with my life and during difficult times growing
Every Breath is a New Beginning
I come from a long line of teachers, with a grandfather who was a principal and grandmothers who both taught in one room school houses. So, of course, I too somehow ended up in the classroom in the public school system for 15 years. Then the diagnosis of cancer arrived, and I found that illness became my opportunity to reflect deeply on my life: the stress levels and what I could change to support my health. It just so happened that the opportunity to do my yoga teacher training showed up at the same moment! Becoming a yoga teacher and
I Have Found My Place In the World
Four years ago, even after completing 200-hr yoga teacher training with Jennifer, I was still very unsure of myself. Over time, by applying techniques learned during the training and committing to a nightly Divine Sleep® Yoga Nidra practice, I've finally begun to make space for myself. The single most unique experience of the month-long teacher training was Jennifer's Divine Sleep® Yoga Nidra. Thankfully she led us in yoga nidra on the evenings prior to our practical exams. (Aside: a few months ago, I attended a yoga nidra session at a yoga studio. The presenter was wonderful and the words and
Finally Relaxed for Real!
I have always been a pretty calm person. Well, at least on the surface. Much like ducks who appear to be gracefully gliding across the water while their feet paddle furiously under the surface, I have moved through most of my life full of self-doubt. As well as suffering from ‘Imposter Syndrome’, meaning I felt like I was play-acting most of my life. And a good dose of body/weight shame thrown in for good measure. I was introduced to yoga nidra several years ago and immediately fell in love with the restorative and rejuvenating nature of the practice. The practice allowed
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
Yoga Nidra Saved My Life
Near the end of Divine Sleep®️ Yoga Nidra Teacher Training, Jennifer Reis, the instructor asked the class of 40+ students, “What is your truth?” I shuttered at the thought of answering that question. What is my truth??! I will pass, I will say my name and pass the microphone to the next person but… my soul felt open and prepared me to also share my truth.     My pulse raced a beat faster as the mic moved closer, until it arrived at my sweaty hand like an instrument of truth, I looked down at my hands gripping the hot
From Feeling Out of Control To Living A Full Life
Undiagnosed as a child, I struggled with anxiety my whole life, and things got worse in high school and college. During that time, I was hospitalized twice for anxiety attacks that exhibited hyperventilation, spastic muscle rigidity, with severe neck and chest pain. I was scared, not knowing what was happening to my body, I felt out of control and disconnected. The medical community worked me up, telling me I might have meningitis, blood clot, and/or heart conditions. The diagnosis and treatments felt invasive and only intensified my fear. Pushing through with steady perseverance, family support, and devoted friends, I managed
Sleep - Please?
“Where’s the thermometer?” I asked my husband while stuffing my pajamas in a suitcase and mentally packing our kid’s lunches. There wasn’t much time before my ferry left and there was so much left to do! After holding still for fifteen seconds, a green light flashed, announcing my 98.6 degree temperature. I was thinking, “Huh? I am healthy? No fever?” Except for my head ache, sore throat, mouth ulcers, lethargy and crankiness belied something was going on. However, it did mean I could indeed still attend Five Element Yoga and Divine Sleep Yoga Nidra retreat at Kripalu Center in the
How To Catch Up On Rest!
I found myself overwhelmed, stressed, overextended as well as plain old tired of being tired! I said ‘yes’ to too many things. I did not always recognize my body’s signals telling me to rest. I was pushing through, yet in my head seemed to be saying something like ‘just one more thing to complete’ and ‘I’ll rest when I’m dead’. Then I realized, there was a big difference between the two! I needed to restore myself. I needed rest. Originally, I had begun practicing yoga about sixteen years ago when I moved to the Berkshires. Without knowing anyone there, I
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