I worked in a busy community health center as the HIV/AIDS program director a decade ago. It was a great job that was very satisfying and yet there was always lots of pressure and relentless stress. My workweek often pushed beyond 60 hours and there was little to no quality time left for myself or family.
I was in a constant state of stress — feeling as though I was keeping my head above water but working too hard to stay buoyant. The weekends were never a sufficient amount of time to really catch my breath. My sleep was often disturbed, and I frequently woke up in the middle of the night unable to fall back to sleep. I was on a treadmill, exhausted and did not know how to switch to off.
Around that same time I was on an R&R retreat at Kripalu and had the opportunity to experience Divine Sleep Yoga Nidra with Jennifer. It was wonderful. I found that with only one class I reconnected to my deeper self, and left me refreshed in a way that I had not remembered was possible.
I purchased and practiced Jennifer’s CD’s on a regular basis. The result was an improved ability to restore and recharge my sense of well-being that brought balance to my life. Because in spite of my clinical training, I often forgot to apply in my own life what I encouraged patients to do for balance and deep rest.
Over time and with regular Divine Sleep practice, I released stress in my body and mind, and didn’t feel the burden of internalized pressured anymore. I became more connected to my body, and mind and spirit. Eventually my sleep patterns improved, and now I’m able to sleep through the night and also return to sleep when I awaken too early.
Back in 1991, I trained at the Mind-Body Institute in Boston to learn skills that I integrated throughout my clinical practice. Although I was well versed in a holistic approach to wellness within the western medical model, something always felt incomplete. Years later I became a yoga teacher.
When I realized that I wanted to connect yoga with my clinical background, I was drawn to Jennifer’s Divine Sleep Yoga Nidra teacher training. Through her training I began to fully comprehend the benefits and application of yoga nidra as a healing modality. As I listened to fellow participants sharing their experiences of the practice and the many ways it’s helped them (and me) through challenging times in their lives, it was one of those “light bulb” moments as I realized that what I was looking for was right in front of me!
Jennifer’s teacher training prepared me to then offer this great and potent practice to others. Now I have a private counseling practice where I am able to fully integrate my western clinical training with all my yoga skills because I lead Divine Sleep Yoga Nidra in my sessions. I recommend Jennifer’s CD’s and practice to my clients, who range in age from youth to elders, as a take-home to continue practicing.
Jennifer is an excellent teacher with a great depth of sensitivity and knowledge of yoga. Most recently I attended an Integrative Yoga Therapy training, which Jennifer is a member of that faculty. It was delightful to be lead in yoga nidra regularly by Jennifer during the training and enjoyable for me to hear the positive feedback from teachers who were not aware of Jennifer’s work.
Kristen Shantz, RN, RYT-500 lives and practices on Cape Cod