Mary Vaughan
In Yoga and Yoga Nidra I Found 'Home'!

My life before yoga nidra looked like the following: stressed, impatient, overachieving in all areas of life, grasping, controlling, the start of physical ailments such as high blood pressure and ulcers, always thinking of the future rather than the present, self-doubt, and way too busy!

When I had finally had enough of that – I walked into my first yoga class as a graduate student – while at the same time holding down three jobs. In yoga practice, I immediately found ‘home’! I asked the teacher if I could stay for the second class that evening… and finding that my ‘home’ was inside of me, I feel as though I’ve never left my home again.

A year later I enrolled for the yoga teacher training program and began teaching alongside my instructor. As the years passed, my list of ‘problems’ disappeared, I began to realize that I was both practicing and teaching yoga postures in a way that could aggravate my intense type ‘A’ tendencies. I had been drawn to Ashtanga and vinyasa, but gradually I felt pulled towards meditation, and slower more mindful ways of practicing postures with Viniyoga and Kripalu yoga styles.

In 2006 I left my stressful corporate life and actually moved to Kripalu Center for Yoga and Health in the Berkshires as a volunteer! I wanted to steep myself in the practice of seva yoga, which is selfless service. That’s when I experienced my first full yoga nidra with Jennifer Reis on one of my free afternoons and delighted in the magic of Divine Sleep® Yoga Nidra.

Never in my life I had I ever felt so grounded, balanced, and relaxed! I felt expanded and empty for the first time. I continued to practice regularly and it had tremendous effects on me. I began to ‘walk’ differently in the world. My life took on a clearer magnificence, deepened intimate connections with friends and family, with a greater openness to change and flow. I now have the ability to let go of unnecessary disturbances such as worries and anxiety. I am free!

After volunteering at Kripalu, I moved to Austin, Texas to lead teacher training programs at Yoga Yoga. A lovely teacher led yoga nidra each week at our studios, and I attended three times a week. That was back in 2007 and still to this day, yoga nidra and meditation are the core of my daily practice. I have been teaching yoga nidra and leading workshops in Texas and Louisiana since 2008.

I have Jennifer to thank from the deepest depths of my heart for introducing me to the practice that has changed my life! I have claimed it as my road to more love and connection in my daily experience. I feel that the practice of yoga nidra itself, IS my Guru-teacher! It has forever shaped me.