Eighteen months after being diagnosed with osteoarthritis, I had to undergo a total hip replacement. I tried everything possible to avoid surgery, but my quality of life kept deteriorating to the point that I could no longer take walks. I had to use a cane, when I walked anywhere, and eventually, even around the house.
A lover of nature, instead of taking walks along Lake Ontario where I lived, I could only drink in the healing beauty by sitting on a large lake-side rock. And my yoga practice, which I had been practicing to some degree for decades, was limited to floor work, breathing and meditation. My new bionic hip gave me back my life! Gradually, over many months, I slowly reached my prior range of motion and cautiously worked my way back into most of my postures.
Something was missing though. I felt the need to reset. I needed to recharge and to somehow invigorate myself and my yoga practice. I hadn’t been to Kripalu Center for a while and thought it was time, so I searched for an appealing class. The description of Jennifer’s weekend FIVE ELEMENT YOGA® retreat sounded like exactly what I needed!
Five Element Yoga® resonated with me immediately! Jennifer’s retreat far surpassed my expectations. I was accustomed to steeping myself in nature: that’s where I go for grounding, balance and solace. Weaving nature’s five elements into yoga practice was a natural for me! This was a way to deepen my practice and knowledge. I left the retreat inspired and rejuvenated, ready for my new practice!
Five Element Yoga® feels holistic and complete, and I embraced every aspect of it: nature’s elements, chakra wheels, postures, breath work, mudras, self-massage, creativity, and introspection. Also how it draws from ancient roots of Traditional Chinese Medicine and Ayurveda gives it such wisdom and depth. I went home with Jennifer’s guided CD and knew I’d be back for Five Element Yoga® Teacher Training that same year! I wanted to take a deeper dive into it to immerse and to experience all its benefits. I also was interested to bring something new back to my yoga students.
I practiced regularly with Jennifer’s guided CD’s including her Divine Sleep® Yoga Nidra too! And then Five Element Yoga® Teacher Training was amazing and gave me the depth of experience and learning I was looking for.
The effects of Five Element Yoga® on my life have been far-reaching. Now my yoga practice takes me to a deeper place. I have a clear keen awareness of its healing power, and how its healed me in many ways. Now when issues needing my attention bubble up during or after practice, I feel more empowered to face and resolve them.
I truly enjoy all aspects of this approach to yoga, and eagerly look forward to each session! It’s got me excited about yoga again. I weave aspects of Five Element Yoga® into my work with private clients, and I’m delighted to see the heart-warming and positive effects this practice has on them.
My relationship with the natural world has also intensified and deepened. Over the past several years I traveled around our beautiful country, visiting over 20 state and national parks and monuments. Now I see everything differently in nature: I feel and know I am a part of it all. And I see myself in nature.
One morning I practiced Five Element Yoga® next to the Colorado River at sunrise, with the sun casting deep red and orange hues on the water and rocky cliffs around me. It was thrilling! I was integrated right into the landscape. I had a similar experience near Zion National Park, practicing my elements with the majestic red-tinged cliffs supporting me.
Jennifer is a gifted and creative yoga teacher who demonstrates a breadth and depth of knowledge. Her very presence and soothing voice instill peace and calm in me, and her expressive style of guiding yoga takes me to a profound level of experience.
Fast forward to 2020, with the limitations and uncertainties imposed by Covid-19 and other critical situations around our country, it has been challenging for me. When I learned that Jennifer was offering a Five Element Yoga® Workshop on TRANSITION + TRANSFORMATION, I signed up immediately. I knew she would bring her extensive healing and yoga background with her creativity to give me guidance and tools to help me through this unprecedented time.
I came away with a fresh new perspective and realization that because the world is in transitions, I too am in the midst of transitions. She reminded us that many of the emotional and physical effects we may be experiencing, such as depression, anxiety, insomnia and emotional swings, are ‘normal’ for transitional periods. Jennifer gave me wonderful tools to navigate this rough terrain all tailored for coping with transitional times. We finished with a delicious Divine Sleep® Yoga Nidra. The experience left me feeling calm, reassured, empowered and hopeful.
Thank you Jennifer, for sharing your gifts with me!