In 2001 I was a municipal manager for a town of 55,000 residents. I oversaw a wide range of services including police, fire, rescue, public works, parks and recreation. My husband was an early career psychologist and we had two young daughters. While I enjoyed this time of my life tremendously, the pace, stress and magnitude of it all began to take a toll on my health.
One night while sitting in the lobby of my daughterâ€™s dance school, I noticed a flyer announcing a yoga class being offered by the dance teacher, Ms. Tina. I knew absolutely nothing about yoga, however, the description outlined in the flyer was compelling, and feeling curiously drawn to it, I decided to give it a try. I was immediately hooked on yoga classes!
Then after many years of practicing yoga, and as a life-long student of far too many topics, I began exploring mindfulness, meditation, ceremony and the practice of gratitude. Several life-altering events transformed me, and I began feeling a strong pull to truly understand myself, and my place in the world. I began to weave my affinity for nature, as well as my own cultural traditions, into my daily practices.
Previously I had viewed both nature, and my cultural practices, simply as â€˜the way things were doneâ€™, rather than as the grounding forces they actually are. I realized the potency and began to consciously weave them into my contemplative practices.
My Pennsylvania German family and I come from many generations of farmers. Go back a hundred years or so and most people lived on farms, or in farming communities, where life depended on living in connection with the land and the seasons. While my generation was the first to not to grow up on the farm, our childhood years were filled with gardening, quilting, canning, and preserving.
My â€˜seekingâ€™ instincts, along with the occasion of my 30th wedding anniversary, ultimately led my husband and I to attend a program at Kripalu Center. I had heard of Kripalu, and had friends who visited the center on a regular basis, but I had never actually been there myself. The program was awesome, exceeding all of my expectations – which is saying a lot – given I had waited 30-years to get there! And Iâ€™ve been back many times since.
It was there that attended Jenniferâ€™s Divine SleepÂ® Yoga Nidra workshop. The class was wondrous! A truly unique experience. Jennifer was so knowledgeable, skilled and caring. Just as my first yoga teacher Ms. Tina had been! I left with a huge smile on my face feeling relaxed, restored, and empowered. I began my regular yoga nidra practice the day I arrived home. And it has become indispensable ever since that first time in Jenniferâ€™s class. I wanted to know more and loved studying to become a Divine SleepÂ® Yoga Nidra teacher with Jennifer and love sharing this practice with others!
Yoga nidra has become my keystone. It is what integrates all of my practices, and allows me to incorporate my love of nature and my cultural practices. This meditation creates a condition where my whole is stronger than my individual parts. I feel this has been immensely valuable to me, as my life has at times been so very hard.
The transforming practice of Divine SleepÂ® Yoga Nidra has helped me to balance my autonomic nervous system, relax my body, and thus has allowed me to open myself to a greater understanding of the gift and beauty that is my interconnected life. I am so very grateful to have discovered Jennifer and this beautiful practice!
In kindness and gratitude,