I grew up in an atmosphere where tension and stress was considered the norm. I have scoliosis, a lateral curvature of the spine, which has led to difficulties throughout my life. As a teen, I wore a body cast and dealt with pain every single day. Following high school, I obtained my BS degree in Aviation and was employed as an airline pilot and flight instructor. I also was employed in the law enforcement field as a probation officer. Go-go-go! had been my motto and it was a fast paced world. Until fifteen years ago this was great…
My life and work were extremely stressful and eventually my physical health began to really suffer. I was in constant pain because of my back, always being in the ‘pain mode’. I awakened repeatedly during the night with fragmented restless sleep. I was on pain medications and knew I had to find something better… I really needed to get my mind in a better place. I felt preoccupied and had very with little space…
It was because of the pain that I was led to Yoga. Postures and meditation really worked and I stuck with it because it helped strengthen my back as well as reducing my pain levels immensely. I noticed that my mind settled down which actually made it possible to take better care of myself ‘off’ the mat in my life. I began to cope better with stress and sleep better too.
For me the big thing was yoga nidra. It’s helped me to sleep so much better and I know that this is a big part of why I feel NO back pain now! This has made all the difference in my life.
After becoming a yoga teacher over ten years ago, I began visiting the Kripalu Center for Yoga and Health and attended Jennifer’s classes there. During Divine Sleep Yoga Nidra with her I thought ‘That’s the one – this really speaks to me!’ I’ve done every kind of meditation and anytime I practice Divine Sleep my battery gets recharged – even my wife notices how different I am afterwards.
If you saw pictures of me from before you would not recognize me! I’ve made big changes. I am a different person now. In my ‘past life’ instead of resting properly I would think that ‘I should be doing SOMETHING – not sleeping’. Now I realize ‘I should be SLEEPING – and not doing so much’. Now I have found the balance of rest and activity and that’s what is important. It’s so amazing to ‘be in the moment’ instead of being mentally and physically preoccupied.
Now I am a full time Yoga teacher and live on a farm with my wife and our animals. I feel great about my life and what I am doing. In my relationship with my wife there has been a reversal – she’s now a High School principal with a busy workload and schedule. My life is more relaxed and my sense of peace and ease helps her do what she needs to do. She comes home from work all intense and she can just ‘ahhhhhhhhh…’ let go and relax. I see how my lifestyle choices have positively influenced her. I’m her big sigh of relief!
I recently graduated from Jennifer’s Divine Sleep Yoga Nidra teacher training and loved it. Now I really understand and see how yoga nidra works and the steps involved. It was a very professional training and was laid out in a step-by-step manner, which I loved. Each concept built on the next. She really has it down! The manual was just right. It was so comforting to be in that Kripalu energy she creates of letting go – I was in good hands. It felt so familiar. It was great that it was near my home, in my state here in Pennsylvania. It was a wonderful training and I left feeling recharged. I slept like a baby those nights, and continue to sleep well every night!
I co-own a 200 hour Yoga teacher training called Anjali Yoga, LLC, and I teach my students that it’s my job to take care of myself in order to be able to take care of them! I can’t neglect myself and my needs because otherwise how can I take care of others? I applaud how Jennifer took care of us. My students ask for Divine Sleep and they LOVE it! ‘Wow that was great!’ they tell me after every session.
Divine Sleep has changed my relationship to pain and sleep. I was in pain when I was not sleeping. The pain woke me up and my body reacted to it. Now, when it’s time to sleep, I fall asleep, and that has helped me get out of the pain cycle. In a deeper way, I feel I’m getting closer to the point of vast expanse of inner peace throughout my whole being. And this has changed me more than I can say. Ask any of my friends — I rarely actually speak the word “pain” out loud any more because it is such a strong word. Now I have a more positive attitude.
Join Basil for Yoga and Divine Sleep Yoga Nidra in Indiana, Pennsylvania, and elsewhere.