Before I practiced Divine Sleep Yoga Nidra I didn’t have a way to completely relax or let everything go. I often did not have an awareness of myself or know what I was feeling. I was simply rushing around in my extremely busy life. I was tense, anxious, and I carried a lot of tightness in my body. I did not always feel confident about myself.
Divine Sleep Yoga Nidra allows me to completely relax and let go of everything! I practice when I’m super busy and I need to take time to stop and relax. I put on Jennifer’s CD and float! When I have trouble sleeping, it’s a powerful tool that’s very useful for me.
Now I know what it’s like to have ‘self-care’ in my life and what it’s like to really be able to take time for me. I know when my cup is filling up too much, and at the same time, I know when my cup is empty and needs refilling. Practicing yoga and yoga nidra regularly now, I am so much more aware of my body, and I’m less tense. When I get tense now, I’m aware of it, and I can make the choice to let it go, which feels empowering. Now I can process my feelings, and respond in a way that’s appropriate. I know where to put my trust. I feel I can handle life challenges better because I am able to let things go, as well as not absorb other people’s energy around me when it’s negative.
The practice of the awareness of all the levels of my being – body, breath, mind, feelings, and the ability to witness – has really shifted my life. I take a moment to pause and feel all those parts of me, and this gives me the ability to feel grounded and happy.
One of the major things that my yoga practice has done for me was to assist me in making a huge career transition. I have a degree in music education and was a choir teacher for a year after graduating. I was set up for failure with a class of 60-70 eighth graders: I was the only adult in the room, there was very little disciplinary support, and I was 24 years old at the time, but looked younger. Not only were the kids difficult, but parents were upset with me when I would enforce any rules and set standards for grading.
Yoga and yoga nidra were what got me through the stress of that year! I began to work in gift shop at Kripalu. I took my first class at Kripalu with Jennifer. Divine Sleep gave me my ‘inner sanctuary’ so that I could go inward and feel safe and nourished during the most difficult time of my life. Coming to Kripalu both to work and take classes was and still is my ‘sanctuary.’
After that school year ended, I could have gone down a dark path because I felt traumatized from teaching middle school. I certainly didn’t want to go back into the public school system. Instead, immediately after the teaching year ended I did Kripalu’s 200hr teacher training with Sudha and Priti! Everything truly started to blossom and flourish after stepping onto this path.
When I teach yoga and yoga nidra, I feel like it is my calling. Now I know that the stressful year teaching middle school was what brought me fully onto the yoga and healing path. Remembering my year in the school system has helped me to feel sincerely empowered within myself. Because I am such a determined person, I imagine that I would have gone back to the school system to prove I could do it and also because I spent so much time and money on my degree. If it hadn’t been for Kripalu and for my yoga practices, I would have never been able to make this amazing transition.
I love my new career and my life! I have been able to study with so many amazing teachers like Jennifer and others. It’s been so great to be able to genuinely dive in, learn so much, and then have the confidence to turn around and share it with others.
I have always been a hard worker and very determined, but I was not always confident within myself. Divine Sleep Yoga Nidra and yoga practice has taught me that I am confident and can stand my ground. Now I am not scared to look for opportunities and seek them out. There is still so much I don’t know and so much I want to learn. But then I remember that ‘I am okay right where I am’ and ‘I am enough!’
It’s given me the courage to truly go after what I want in life with the knowledge that I am good enough and that I do a good job. When I teach, I feel like I am making a difference in people’s lives and receive feedback from my students to that effect. I love that I am able to make that impact in people’s lives.
Now I lead Divine Sleep Yoga Nidra at Kripalu. One of my first classes had about one hundred people! I said to myself ‘Sherrie – you got this! You taught 60-70 eighth graders who tried to sabotage your class every day in a place where there was no support – and now you’re teaching in this place that is so supportive, and so amazing!’ I love it so much and it’s so completely different.
I love what I’m leading because I fully feel it within me, and when I teach, it just flows so naturally. I still have music in my life and often sing to my students in savasana. I am so humbled and grateful to have stepped on this path of love and healing.