Before I put yoga in my life in 2010, I had fallen into the abyss of sadness depression with no love for myself. My marriage was not healthy, nor happy. The domino effect of the negativity in that relationship led me into a very powerful case of ‘sloth-couch-potato’ syndrome! Gratefully I had a friend who, in one single moment with only a few words, opened my eyes to see that I needed to recover from that dismal existence, to find my self-worth and self-love again. I often was in a state of ‘monkey mind’ chatter that felt so frustrating.
That’s when yoga became a serious part of my life, and because of it, my whole life began to rise from the ashes of depression and despair. It took months to find the teacher I needed at the time. And when I found her, I registered for yoga teacher training! The practices we did helped to crack open the dense shell I had created to protect myself, and now I was opening to the light – within myself, and the world, and other beings.
Our other weekend focused on yoga nidra. The teacher settled us into what was my very first yoga nidra, and I was completely changed from that one experience! This yoga nidra felt like a treasure that had just been uncovered for me alone in those moments. A whole new way of finding a peaceful meditative state unfolded for me. Being guided into those stages of deep physical letting go that my ego and mind were not in charge of the outcome and also let go. Pure bliss!
I wanted more! I searched all over the internet and everywhere to find the teacher that would resonate with me, and that’s how I discovered Jennifer Reis, and began to follow her sometime in 2012-13. I also began to lead yoga nidra in my classes. I called Jennifer several times in those early years trying to figure out when I could become one of her students, sorting out the ‘time-money’ thing. But I never gave up – and then it all came together!
As luck would have it, my first yoga teacher invited Jennifer to teach in New Hampshire, less than 3 miles from my home! She was coming to me! It was Divine intervention, and I wasted no time signing up. Finally, after these long years, I became a Divine Sleep® Yoga Nidra Teacher – a long road to the final prize. Jennifer was exactly the teacher I thought she would be, and I realized my absolute connection to this lovely woman.
At the end of class we all have that soft silly smile of bliss on our faces and no one wants to leave that sacred space in which tranquility was shared and created! As I witness my students resting in that space, I feel blessed to be the one they feel safe enough with to allow all their defenses to fall to the side, melt into the earth, and know that they are secure with me. I have witnessed deep sighs, shutters, tears, and even sobs of release.
I am a Reverend, and during my years in seminary, I learned an important lesson: the physical body needs to be recognized in order for the spirit body to be heard! When Jennifer taught our training, she also led us in Five Element Yoga®. I was so happy to receive a new and unique asana practice. I loved the use of the flow of the elements of nature, and especially enjoyed the mudras. Her aligning it with an asana practice brings a beauty and grace that is so satisfying for me. Eventually I will take her Five Element Yoga® Teacher Training as well to add to my teachers toolbox!
Being able to offer Divine Sleep® allows me to reach people who otherwise would not be able to practice yoga, or reach a state of bliss and inner connection. Offering this gift of self exploration to people is an important and peaceful way of guiding them forward into their lives. Allowing them to truly go deep into their heart and soul and become a witness to their life and find that path to the sanctuary within.
I had a strong sense that Jennifer was warm, compassionate, and a true spirit of her teaching. And upon meeting her, I found just that. Soft spoken, gentle of spirit with eyes that carried ancient wisdom. It was her spirit that spoke to me, not to mention an uncanny resemblance to my cousin who is a beautiful spirit and a model. Honestly I couldn’t stop staring at Jennifer, she must have wondered what was wrong with me? During that training I had a short small private conversation with her and I learned something about her that just sealed my belief in her sweet and loving nature. What Jennifer has to offer the world is something I want to continue to learn more about. I read my manual all the time and always seem to find something that I missed before that is important.
In closing I would like to thank Jennifer Reis for being true to her guiding light and the lessons she brings to everyone in her path. I am grateful to have found her so many years ago and look forward to meeting often in the future.
Peace Love Joy,
Reverend Peggy Petahtegoose
Concord NH Facebook: YOGA with PEGGY