Before discovering Divine Sleep® Yoga Nidra, I was teaching yoga, stress management, and Reiki to individuals with autism, special needs, disabilities, addiction and mental health issues.
I discovered yoga after struggling with many of the same issues, such as an addiction to drugs and alcohol, suicidal ideation and other self-destructive behaviors. I also have high-functioning autism (formerly known as Asperger’s Syndrome), which I was diagnosed with when I was 17 years old. At first, I did not want to accept my diagnosis and this caused me to never feel comfortable in my own skin.
I was bullied intensely during my school years and I internalized all of the negative judgments I heard said about me. I turned to alcohol and drug use and self-harm to cope with my pain and isolation. Pursuing a yoga practice has helped me find peace within myself and a community of people that accept me for who I am.
After practicing yoga and yoga nidra, my anxiety and depression lessened and I found my spirituality through asana practice and meditation. I no longer wanted to partake in alcohol or other substances. Eventually, I also stopped hurting myself.
Because I can experience anxiety in large crowds, I sometimes struggle at music concerts. At one concert in particular, I was feeling very anxious. In this case, I remembered to use my yoga practice and breathing and that helped to calm me down. I felt empowered that the practices helped me to self-regulate my emotions enough so that I could actually enjoy the concert experience!
Another benefit that my yoga and yoga nidra practice provides me is being able to feel grounded and also be in the present moment in my life. It allows me to not obsess over the past or the future – which most of the time causes me to feel depressed and anxious.
I previously struggled with body image issues and compensated by skipping meals to lose weight and over-exercising. I used to drink myself to sleep and drink to blackout, but now I am able to use yoga nidra, breathing exercises and the other yogic tools I’ve learned to help me ease my mind.
After using yoga to conquer my own challenges, I am now devoting my life to helping others who face similar challenges as I did. I feel very blessed to have gone through all the experiences because it made me the person I am today!
I recently started teaching at a facility to individuals with autism and it is the most rewarding feeling for me to try to help them have a better day. I love that I can teach them healthier skills so they can deal with the stresses in their lives. In 2017, I will also be volunteering at Bellevue Hospital in New York City for an organization called Kula for Karma. I am very grateful to be working in the adolescent and children’s psychiatric unit, since I was once a patient at a similar location.
Brian Aubin with his yoga students at Vista Life Innovations, CT, an organization that supports individuals with disabilities.
I came across Jennifer online after talking with other people in the yoga community. Everyone said they loved her classes and her teaching style. I personally love Jennifer’s CD’s because they help me relax and to be present and they help my day go by in a better, more calming way. I’m now able to sleep better and also they help me fall asleep. Insomnia is something I have also struggled with in the past.
I took Divine Sleep® Yoga Nidra Teacher Training with Jennifer who is a very informed and knowledgeable teacher. I’m looking forward to bringing the powers of yoga nidra to my students now! Jennifer is a beautiful individual and is compassionate and passionate. I’m looking forward to attending her future workshops and trainings.