Valerie Sonnenthal
I Found More Joy and Calm in My Life With Divine Sleep Yoga Nidra

I grew up with a great deal of family dysfunction around food. It was not until my mother passed away fourteen years ago that food became an issue that I have truly struggled with. In the last couple of years, I have participated in dietary cleanses to reboot, and this has helped, but I was still slipping back to unhealthy ways more than I wanted to. I was searching, and one of the things I found was yoga nidra with Jennifer Reis on Martha’s Vineyard a couple of years ago.

For the past few years I have focused my life on becoming a Sound Practitioner, which is someone who utilizes sound, from vibrational instruments, to calm the body and mind through the nervous system. I wanted to add ways of guiding people into relaxation to mix with sound and found Jennifer’s training. Divine Sleep Yoga Nidra is the most extensive yoga nidra training I found offered.

I have been having the best year of my life as I head towards my 60th birthday in September, but I continue to struggle with eating: whether it is consuming too much sugar, or overeating. What I was not prepared for was the deep transformative power of Divine Sleep Yoga Nidra and the amazing way it would affect me during the teacher training at Kripalu in spring 2017. Also the amazing prepared food offered at Kripalu was a vital support for me during the training.

When I returned home, I have been able to continue on a path of calmness around food, and have felt confident enough to trust myself with one piece of dark chocolate daily! My Divine Sleep Yoga Nidra allowed me to come to a place of understanding and letting go, and I believe this practice will continue to support me moving forward.

The training covered so many things that I am so grateful for. Jennifer also taught us about mudras, shared chanting, and Five Element Yoga. It was an extremely peaceful week for me. I noticed that after each yoga nidra journey, I was able to more easily accept the things in my life that I hold sadness around. I began to feel a profound sense of release from deep within my body and past experiences.

Since graduating from the training, I have continued Divine Sleep Yoga Nidra as a daily practice using Jennifer’s fantastic CDs, my own inner voice, as well as lead it for others followed by a Sound Bath/Meditation (healing sound using instruments like singing bowls, crystal bowls, monochord and chimes). I hope to do her Five Element Yoga Teacher Training next year.

I continue to feel a greater sense of joy and calm daily. I remain grateful to have Jennifer as a teacher who has generously shares such a variety of deep yoga practices. She is a teacher who endeavors to make sure each one of her students succeeds. I got great feedback from my first offering of Divine Sleep Yoga Nidra and that makes me feel empowered to doing more! The Divine Sleep graduates have group discussions that have provided a welcome and supportive forum for me to grow as a teacher and become a part of the community fostered by Jennifer’s light and heart.