Susan Lewis
Refreshed By Five Element Yoga®

My family has a history of mental health issues, and I was first introduced to yoga by a sibling, who uses yoga as a way to alleviate anxiety. I myself struggle with clinical depression, generalized anxiety, excessive worry, a heightened sense of responsibility, and perfectionism. I’ve spent a lifetime worrying about a future I can’t control and torturing myself over a past I can’t change. I get very tired and feel like often I’m often running on empty!

I found Five Element Yoga® and Jennifer Reis through Kripalu which offered information about her. I began taking classes with her and love the combination of movement and rest. The self-care in terms of activating meridians and gentle massage is nice, too, as I’m sometimes anxious, and as I enjoy caring for others, I often forget to care for myself.

Yoga nidra has been a wonderful way to calm myself in the midst of stress, tension, and anxiety. It’s a vital tool in terms of rooting myself in the present moment, aware of where my body is in space. A few years ago, I added a yoga nidra training to my growing list of certifications. Because I’m often tired, yoga nidra adds some time of deep rest and relaxation. Following Jennifer’s warm voice keeps my mind busy enough so that I can truly sink into Mother Earth and rest into her loving presence.

Yoga postures have become a moving meditation for me, providing peace and relaxation. And, when I rise from my Five Element Yoga® practice, I feel refreshed, present in the moment and accepting of myself. My husband Ken (featured in one of the photos) is ever so supportive! And my cocker spaniel Domino loves yoga too, usually joining me on my mat.

Jennifer radiates warmth, caring, patience, and welcome. As a retired massage therapist whose hands still hurt sometimes, two knee replacements, as well as struggles with my weight, I’m pleased to feel at home with her yoga that is easily accessible and easy for me to modify.

I recently completed my teacher training in adaptive yoga and been teaching yoga for about two years. I’m delighted to have completed Jennifer’s Five Element Yoga® teacher training live online at the end of 2020. I love to teach gentle, beginner’s, chair, and yoga nidra. Given my interest in providing adaptive yoga, I’m thrilled to have Five Elements Yoga® in my toolbox! This model of yoga will certainly help me welcome students of all abilities.