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jen yoga beach
Ana Shreck
To Truly Let Go Peacefully

I recently completed Divine Sleep Yoga Nidra
teacher training with Jennifer. Yoga nidra is an essential part of my life and the changes in my life are profound. I am more comfortable and allowing of myself. I surrender into a place of beautifully being, rather than needing to do so much.

Before discovering yoga nidra, I was a “go-getter” and perfectionist. I easily wound up before bedtime and had difficult sleeping, with resistance of even getting into bed. Going to bed somehow felt like giving up because I felt like I was not accomplishing anything. I fought sleep because it felt like weakness rather than a sweet surrender.

I did not understand that “letting go” could be a desirable, beneficial experience to balance and ground me. I previously practiced hot power yoga and fought sleep, even if I was tired rather than honouring myself. I constantly added fuel to my already fiery self by making lists and multitasking to keep going, going, going! I could not concentrate or sit still, finding ways to distract myself and get out of the moment of my own experience. I became addicted to distraction. I wanted to be anywhere but with myself.

While living in Boston, I worked in a high energy, fast paced hospital, but did not have the energy to care for other people. I felt unsettled. I went to the Kripalu Center for Yoga and Health and my experiences there helped me to fall in love with yoga in a renewed way. I discovered Jennifer’s Divine Sleep yoga nidra classes while volunteering in the Kripalu Center karma yoga program for a year. Now I practice all of Jennifer’s CDs to rejuvenate during the day and fall asleep at night.

Wherever I go on the yoga nidra journey, I always come back to my conscious waking self. It’s a fascinating experience to allow myself wander on the journey but always awake with a feeling of coming home.
I practiced yoga nidra at the airport at 5am during a layover after a red-eye flight. I had an awful headache and achy joints from being crunched up on the plane. I found a corner in the airport and practiced Jennifer’s ‘Ancient Tree Journey’. It worked wonders! I felt fully rejuvenated and ready for my day after only an hour of yoga nidra.
That was the moment I realized, “Wow, yoga nidra really works!”

I also play Jennifer’s CDs when staying at my partner’s house. I relax into a more peaceful nights’ sleep, instead of restless nights turning side to side. My best friend and mother also practice Divine Sleep Yoga Nidra. Divine Sleep Yoga Nidra is one of the only experiences where I truly let go and surrender peacefully. There’s nothing that I need to do and nowhere else I need to be. At first, this was a totally new concept to me. There’s a beautiful ease and relaxation because I naturally absorb the practice rather than needing put forth effort.
Overachieving effort will not get me more out of the practice than if I am simply being myself. This is the beauty of Divine Sleep.

I love drifting in and out of consciousness, knowing that deeper parts of myself absorb what I need from the practice. Previously, I felt that if I did not remember everything in yoga nidra practice, then I did not have control over it, and thus there was no benefit. But now, letting myself go in yoga nidra, I accept everything around me, whether or not I remember, and I see the positive results.
As a graduate student, yoga nidra taught me that I do not need to write everything down in class or catch every phrase to learn the information on a deeper level. I no longer need to aggressively approach learning because it filters in more naturally. I am able to concentrate and be present. By simply ‘being present’ I am already integrating information and the world around me.
Jennifer’s training perfectly flowed because she is an incredible facilitator. She created multiple ways to learn through visual presentations, group discussions, readings and powerful personal experiences. We practiced leading each other and held sacred space to share ourselves. Jennifer allowed abundant time to absorb the information mentally, emotionally, physically and spiritually.
The teacher-training manual is the most detailed and organized reference that I’ve ever encountered! I could completely surrender within the training practice knowing that all the information would be there for my reference later. Everything from scripts, chakras, mudras and history are laid out so I am set up for success.
It was helpful to leave the training feeling supported both with the manual, and our Divine Sleep Yoga Nidra teachers community. Having the yoga nidra scripts in the manual means less time planning details for all my classes. The scripts are guidelines but are flexible for my own creativity and insight. Jennifer has so much to offer as a beautiful soul.
I lead Divine Sleep Yoga Nidra and Kripalu yoga at The Breathing Room in Cambridge. I also volunteer teach yoga at the Cambridge Women’s Center for women of low socioeconomic status looking for ways to empower themselves and others. I strive to bring yoga into the social work field and social action into the yoga world. I hope to bring yoga to people who may not have access to it otherwise. I want people to know that yoga can bring deep inner healing and is not just a physical practice. Everyone of any ability is welcome in my classes!

www.breathingroomboston.com

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