I suffered a stroke and found the effects of a brain injury really hard to deal with. My mind was dizzy. I could think of words, but communicating them was difficult. I had very bad head pain, and I was learning how to balance again since one side of my body was impacted. Not to mention on top of that, I had so many intense emotions to deal with. That’s when I found yoga nidra!
Previously, I had been meditating for most of my life with many other styles. It helped me with my life and during difficult times growing up in an abusive alcoholic home. Most of my meditation practice had been about directing myself back to the present moment with mindfulness. However, I found the practice of being ‘mindful’ was not always restful. When I had the stroke and then came across yoga nidra, it came at just the right time in my life.
The being ‘right here and now’ of mindfulness was difficult for me when I was healing. Having someone guide and direct me through yoga nidra practice truly helped me find a restful and peaceful place.
By resting my mind, it allowed me to heal and also allow new neuron pathways to connect and charge in my body and brain. My yoga nidra practice also allowed me to take the past distresses and really rest my mind faster than other styles of meditation I had practiced in the past.
When I first heard about yoga nidra I was with a group and they were raving about how much they loved this deep meditation practice. Then I started attending yoga nidra workshops and noticed that styles varied from teacher to teacher. Some called what they did ‘yoga nidra’, but really it seemed more like a silent savasana lying down resting pose.
During my 500hr yoga teacher training at Kripalu Center I attended Jennifer’s Divine Sleep® Yoga Nidra workshop. It really helped to have such a deeply soothing practice after many long and hard days in the training! It made me feel completely rested and restored and ready for more! I immediately saw a difference in what Jennifer offered within the yoga nidra world, and I started hearing more about her as a teacher, as well as her training technique.
I admit – I was guilty of thinking I could lead yoga nidra by reading a script from a book – but there is so much more to this process! I feel like I learned so much in the training. Unfortunately many people leading yoga nidra in the studios in my area are not trained in yoga nidra! Training is necessary because it is a very in-depth and detailed form of meditation.
Fortunately for me Jennifer taught Divine Sleep® Yoga Nidra Teacher Training near my home in Washington, DC, so I did not need to travel. Many fellow students came from around the globe for her training. Many students were not yoga teachers – I appreciated the inclusiveness because many professions find this training useful. We spent days studying and more importantly, experiencing yoga nidra as Jennifer skillfully led us.
Although I was there to learn, it was an amazing time to just let myself be held and supported. For me, I love studying the science behind what we are doing when we lead yoga nidra. I work with many students with PTSD or trauma, and I felt Jennifer’s was the right training for me, and for anyone working with others who care for others. Jennifer’s explanation about the intricate details including the levels of being and the sequencing was very helpful.
Jennifer has a wonderful way of teaching the content, and also learning from each other in community. Her manual is chock full of information. She encouraged us to develop our own scripts and has many scripts of hers to use as well. I lead Divine Sleep® Yoga Nidra often in the opening or closing of my yoga asana classes and lead workshops. Additionally I love our online group network: many yoga nidra teachers share our experiences, have questions and offer suggestions for each other.
I refer my students to Jennifer’s website for her recordings and information because I trust her method. I have sent her CD’s to distant family members that was dealing with problems sleeping. I also love her CD for teaching yoga nidra to kids. For me Divine Sleep Yoga Nidra Teacher Training improved my classes and up-leveled my teaching skills. It’s also what helped me to heal from a significant illness. I’ve found peace!