Jeanette Litvak
Yoga Nidra is My Practice and My Offering

When I was in my thirties over twenty years ago, I went through intense stress and suffering due to a serious illness of a cherished member of my family. I was a mother of two with a very supportive husband. I lived in a state of fear and terror for several years. I knew that my sympathetic nervous system was in a state of fight or flight for far too long, and I knew it was not okay, but at the time I did not have the tools to repair the damage that my body, mind and nervous system had suffered.

Thank goodness my family member survived and is healthy today! Somehow I bounced back too. I have been in the world of healing for most of my life, as I have had a desire to help people. I have a degree in psychology, and later in life I discover the world of alternative medicine, becoming a Reiki Master, delving into Chinese medicine, and also becoming an Ayurvedic practitioner.

Through Ayurveda I was introduced to meditation, yoga and yoga therapy. Now I have been practicing yoga for many years. These tools and practices have proven to be incredibly helpful for myself as well.

Even though I have worked and studied in the world of healing for most of my life and I have all these wonderful methods in my tool box, I still felt I hadn’t found that one thing that would really resonate deeply with me, that truly reflected “me”. Until I found Jennifer and yoga nidra…

My journey with Jennifer began about 10 years ago when my sister and I needed a well deserved break. We got into the car and drove from our home in Canada to Kripalu Center. It is there that I discovered Jennifer Reis, and Divine Sleep® Yoga Nidra.

My first day there and all I wanted to do was to lie down and rest! I had no idea what yoga nidra was but it sounded good that all I needed to do was lie down. Jennifer explained that this is a guided meditation on the five levels of being, then led us through a beautiful yoga nidra. I had never felt that level of relaxation and healing! I wanted to practice everyday and continue the practice at home to get into that state again. I bought her recordings and continued to practice daily.

Serious illness struck my family again. About six years ago my parents began to decline in health, and I became their caregiver. My Dad passed away not long after. I have been trying my best to be a caregiver for my Mom, who is not doing well. This kind of stress feels familiar and has brought me back to where I was in my thirties once again.

The difference is that now I have yoga and yoga nidra to help me cope! And it has made all the difference, giving me hope that I can ride this current wave to stay strong and empowered through it.

Yoga nidra brings me back to a baseline of calm and repair each time I practice. I feel like I am refueling my tank more with each meditation. I practice yoga nidra daily and it sets the trajectory for my whole day to stay centered and grounded.

Life happens to all of us. We cannot get away from hardship and suffering. But the one thing I know for sure is that tools are necessary, and have helped me along my way. And one of the great things is that yoga comes with a community of people who love and support you.

Then the pandemic began, and I knew I needed to do something to keep myself and my family calm and strong. Stuck at home, I searched for online classes. Like a miracle, Jennifer began to offer Divine Sleep® Yoga Nidra live online! I immediately signed up for her classes and workshops.

Jennifer is not only amazing at leading yoga nidra, but she is also an incredible educator. I took her workshops on Mudras, and Five Element Yoga® and I found the information in all her offerings to be so useful during these stressful times.

Then I signed up for Divine Sleep® Yoga Nidra Teacher Training online, excited to be able to lead others in this incredible practice. The training was wonderful, and I felt I had all the tools I needed to take it out into the world. I became a volunteer for a senior center in my community guiding yoga nidra in their virtual classes. I felt that seniors were very vulnerable during covid isolation and was happy to offer this to them.

My classes were a huge success! My participants were so full of gratitude for this offering, and the registration for my classes kept increasing. Eventually I was offered a permanent teaching position leading yoga Nidra classes twice weekly. My students have told me their physical pain, and anxiety has greatly diminished with yoga nidra. This brings me so much joy.

And now I have just completed Jennifer’s Level II Teacher Training as well as the Vagus Nerve Yoga series. As a result of this second training, I now feel inspired to bring new aspects and a higher level of yoga nidra into my classes. I have over 60 students. They are so appreciative and kind and it is an honour to lead them weekly in this beautiful style of meditation.

For me, personally Yoga Nidra has helped me cope with so many difficult life situation. From taking care of aging and ill parents to coping with day to day pressures. I feel that I have become a stronger person, and I am emerging from this pandemic with a new purpose and feel so proud to be helping the most vulnerable in my community.