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jen yoga beach
Aggeliki Salamaliki
I Feel Complete the Way I Am Now

In the summer of 2012 I made my first trip from my native Greece to Kripalu Center for Integrative Yoga Therapy training. Joseph LePage announced that we would have a special guest teacher to learn about yoga nidra. He spoke very highly of her – her knowledge, experience – and her uniqueness for creating a program with her own signature. She was one of Kripalu’s long time respected teachers. I got very excited, but at the same time I was very exhausted as we were nearing the end of our intensive training program.

Jennifer walked in with a big smile. Those few seconds it took to walk from the entrance door to the stage, where she was going to lead the class, I noticed a woman that was happy, confident and someone that has been taking good care of herself physically, mentally and emotionally. She was glowing.

I remember her as a bright presence among the other teachers, and her talking about yoga nidra, and the practice she’d be leading us in. My eyes were focused on her, and I floated though the yoga nidra with her. She stayed vividly in my mind, and I wanted to learn more about her when I would return back home.

I returned back to the island of Crete where I had my yoga studio, excited and well refreshed with new knowledge ready to share with my students. Back in Greece, I didn’t think I would see Jennifer again! However, they say ‘make a plan, and God laughs’. Due to many factors a few years later, my yoga studio folded and was a memory of the past. I was facing uncertainty in my life and in my work, as well as exhaustion and disappointment.

In my quest for balance and answers, I came back to Kripalu for more training. This time was not for my students but for myself. And yes, I saw Jennifer again. She was teaching in many modules of Integrative Yoga Therapy. I took many of her yoga nidra classes. And also since 2018 I started assisting her programs at Kripalu!

The bright presence of Jennifer Reis, who stayed so vividly in my mind since the Summer of 2012, has became one of my dearest teachers. Jennifer has a depth of knowledge and she is a brilliant educator. Her yoga nidra classes and trainings are unique as she beautifully brings together the ancient wisdom of yoga through the five levels of being (koshas), the five elements, and much more. Every class is unique and fresh. I am so amazed by her intelligence and knowledge.

I have had very deep and profound experiences in Jennifer’s Divine Sleep® Yoga Nidras. I have felt instantly relaxed and rejuvenated in mind and body. I have also had unexpected experiences which seemed to take me to new realms.

Sometimes I have stayed awake and present during the whole yoga nidra, and other times that from moment I hear Jennifer’s voice I drop into a different zone. I love when Jennifer explains the five levels of being, which Divine Sleep® Yoga Nidra is based on. It starts from the physical body, going inward to the bliss body.

One of my favorites is when she explains that anandamaya kosha – the Bliss Body, located at the center of one’s being – how beautifully she explains that “Yoga doesn’t come to fix us, but to remind us Who we Are”. This is something that I personally experience within myself in Jennifer’s classes. I remember who I am as a spiritual being – no thoughts, no ‘should’s’, no expectations – I just feel complete the way I am now.

During her classes I feel my body is light, fluctuations of my mind calm, and my attention shifts to the center of my heart. I feel so rejuvenated and calmed. Over the many years, yoga nidra has helped me manage stress levels, boost my immunity, and better understand my energy levels. Now I take rest when I need to.

There have also been times I had experiences that took me beyond simple relaxation and felt really profound. During the deep stages of a Yoga Nidra there are deep brain waves activated. I have felt like I have progressed into the future, and other times I have regressed to the past, and one time I was visited by my spirit animal. These experiences helped me to feel more grounded, centered and connected within myself.

I remember one spring laying down to practice yoga nidra, and deep into the Stages when I saw a beautiful face of a white wolf coming slowly from a distance to closely stare at me. It was very calming, I was very present and I felt a connection that it is hard to find words to explain.

I have so much appreciation and gratitude for both Jennifer and the divine gift of the ancient science of yoga and the practice of yoga nidra that helps us unite and remind me who I am.