Eric Bennewitz
From Anxiety to Peace

Many years ago, I was living with an overload of tensions that had contributed to years of anxiety. It had gotten to the point that after a job burnout one day, I couldn’t leave my home for fear of having another anxiety attack. I realized that no one else was going to get me out of this situation, but me, so I invited big changes into my life to at least see where this anxiety was coming from and how I could live in a state of balance again.

For me, balance was something that I could come into for a while, and then also fall out of for awhile. I was interested in how to realize a state of balance, while being able to deal with falling out of balance more gracefully when it happens.

Enter yoga nidra. My first experience with yoga nidra was in a yoga teacher training. Upon waking up from this practice, I knew this was something that I would continue because of its simplicity and powerful effects on me physically, emotionally and mentally. I wanted to know more about this practice, so I dove into learning and practicing yoga nidra through different teachers and self-teachings.

As I became a yoga teacher, I introduced yoga nidra into classes with success. After about five years of practicing and teaching yoga nidra, I was feeling stagnant. I wanted to find somebody that would inspire me towards a deeper understanding of and ignite new ideas for presenting it to different audiences.

I came across Jennifer’s website and listened to her Divine Sleep Yoga Nidra meditations online on Youtube. Jennifer has a wealth of experience including yoga therapy, ayurveda and massage therapy which all contribute to the creative possibilities of creating a variety of Divine Sleep Yoga Nidra.

This was what I was looking for! I contacted Jennifer to study one-on-one with her online. (I would have loved to study in-person at the Kripalu Center, but since I live in Europe, online mentoring is a great option). After a few months of studying with Jennifer, I discovered more freedom of ideas, and creativity as well as a deeper knowledge of the practice itself.

I became passionate again about practicing and leading yoga nidra. Then I made the jump over the pond (Atlantic ocean) to meet Jennifer in-person and take her Divine Sleep Yoga Nidra teacher training! I realized Jennifer not only has a wealth of knowledge to share, but also a big heart.

Within minutes of the training, I could see that Jennifer was super passionate in sharing her experiences with this practice and giving us a special experience. You can see that in the details she gives in the teacher training manual she wrote. It’s loaded with ideas and inspiration.

The training was five days and I had never practiced yoga nidra twice a day before. Each journey with Jennifer was unique and effected me in different ways, but all of them deepened my awareness of myself. In the end I felt an overwhelming feeling of lightness and gratitude that surfaced.

Since the training, I find myself practicing Divine Sleep more regularly again and many times with Jennifer’s CD and her soothing voice. The teacher training with Jennifer had opened up new doors both in my teachings and in my personal practice. I share my experiences with anyone interested in the practice, but specifically with those who have been feeling stuck in a life with anxieties – because I don’t think there is any substitute for having been there yourself.

With gratitude, I look forward to continuing my mentoring sessions with Jennifer and witnessing the ‘peeling of the onion’ in both myself and those I share this potent practice with.