When I was only 43, I had to be admitted into emergency at the hospital. It seemed that I had chronic urine retention, and the doctors were not sure if it was caused by a C-section, the epidural, something in my back, or was it multiple sclerosis? A string of neurological and urological tests turned up no origin. Surprisingly, I had no pain, but I was debilitated because I could not do something so simple as to urinate completely.
Doctors left me with a prescription for catheters and a ton of anxiety! Initially I felt I wasn’t able to go to work, travel, or do anything that took me away from my home — and my bathroom! I felt trapped in my house.
On top of that, I was in an unhappy marriage and I could see no way out. Somehow, something inside me found the courage to go through the divorce process, and at the same time, embark on several life-changing trainings. I was learning to live with my health issue.
One of the trainings was my 200-hour Yoga teacher training at Kripalu Center for Yoga and Health. I began teaching yoga part time at a local hospital. I felt extremely empowered to be able to help others. I still had the urinary issue, but teaching yoga gave me the flexibility to get work around getting to the bathroom. My attitude towards it had shifted into a much better place.
I was hungry for knowledge about how the body functioned (still hoping to fix myself). I enrolled at a local massage therapy school, then I was able to supplement my income as a massage therapist. Then, in 2012, my personal life suffered a great loss. My dear 91-year old Mother passed away after a bad fall (my Father had already passed in 2004). Unthinkably, six months after my Mom passed, my only sibling passed away.
The anxiety I had experienced in earlier years had returned, and this time it was much worse. I began to doubt myself, and also was unsure of my ability to support myself, as I started to experience back pain, as well as a shoulder injury. Current events in the world and in my community had begun to bother me. I felt helpless in the sense that there was no place I could go to escape to where life would be peaceful. I could not relax, and I was always tense and keyed up.
It was obvious to me that I needed something else to relax both myself and others without compromising my body. I had been thinking about yoga nidra for a few years. We had dabbled with yoga nidra during my Kripalu training, and I realized now it would be perfect to help calm my anxious mind.
I felt that taking a yoga nidra training would help me get to a place where I could relax. Researching yoga nidra trainings, I found that some were downright unaffordable! Thankfully I found Jennifer’s Divine Sleep Yoga Nidra Teacher training at Kripalu from a friend’s recommendation, and found it to be reasonably priced.
Divine Sleep Yoga Nidra teacher training surpassed my expectations! Jennifer wrote a huge training manual, and all the details and organization that goes with her in-depth training were exceptional. Every morning she led us in yoga practice to feel experientially the concepts for the day, and that was followed, of course, by her leading us in yoga nidra.
It was so powerful during her yoga nidra journeys and I can’t tell you exactly where I went, but it was deep inside. Some days I must have fallen asleep, others I was awake but was in a higher place. For me the most moving was the time Jennifer took us on a journey with the Eagle. She had one of the Kripalu drummers playing live Native American flute and drum during our practice.
For once, I felt like I was whole again! As a child, I had always loved Native American culture, and the Eagle journey brought me back home, to my childhood self. I was able to remember parts of myself that I had forgotten and lost over the years and I felt reunited within myself. I was able to access my stored up grief — and release it, realizing tears were streaming down my face. It was a potent transformation that left me feeling lighter and that there was more possibility in my life.
With Divine Sleep, I learned to go inward to find the peace I was looking for, rather than looking for it externally in others and in the world. I learned that I could craft a Divine Sleep Yoga Nidra script to take myself on a journey to all the places I have wanted to visit – without ever leaving my home!
When I left Kripalu Center, I bought two of Jennifer’s CDs to use at home. It was a great decision as I use them practically every day to energize, recharge, and calm my mind. This deep practice takes me on a journey inward and I am amazed at how much better I feel after doing even twenty minutes. Divine Sleep Yoga Nidra has become a routine for me – almost like brushing my teeth or washing my face. Now, I feel the softness inside that has been the result of my Divine Sleep Yoga Nidra practice.
I think that Divine Sleep Yoga Nidra is very much needed in our times, and it would benefit everyone! I like to think of what the world would be like if everyone did Divine Sleep Yoga Nidra. Thank you Jennifer. Your Divine Sleep Yoga Nidra is amazing!