Originally published in the Winter + Spring 2020 issue.
Jeremy Wolf has received formal yoga nidra training in four different methods: Bihar/ Swami Satyananda, Himalayan/Swami Rama, Integrative Amrit/Amrit Desai and iRest/Richard Miller, and has completed his 300-hour teacher training through Rod Stryker’s ParaYoga. In addition to completing a variety of teacher trainings, Jeremy co-leads and teaches 200-hour and 300-hour trainings throughout the Denver area. Aside from his love from yoga, he also is passionate about sharing his musical talent as a DJ, and he finds most of his inspiration from the beauty of the Rocky Mountains.
WHERE DID YOU FIND THE PRACTICE OF YOGA NIDRA?
In my travels, I decided to go to India and get a yoga teacher certification. But at that time, I had no intention to be a yoga teacher, I just wanted to learn more about the spiritual dimension of the yoga practice. It just so happened that in my initial 200-hour certification, yoga nidra was a part of the training and practice that we did on a daily basis. So, I finally realized what was happening, why it was so beneficial, how it was changing my life, almost overnight after I discovered it. From then on, I just pursued more and more training and different methodologies and approaches that arise out of the different lineages of yoga nidra.
HOW WOULD YOU EXPLAIN THE PRACTICE OF YOGA NIDRA?
It is a guided form of horizontal meditation. It usually happens lying down, where the practitioner is completely comfortable and supported. We use the different doorway into meditation, which is really relaxation, something that’s completely natural. When we use a variety of techniques to develop complete physical, mental and emotional relaxation, then we can enter a deep state of subtle awareness where we do hover in the space between wake and sleep.
WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS?
One of the reasons most people enjoy it is because it reduces the symptoms of stress producing behaviors or stress producing perceptions of how we relate to our circumstances. It literally slows the mind down. What I found, before I knew anything about the practice, was that I was much more relaxed, I was much more patient, I was much more self-aware and aware of the world. The benefits extend to many different realms from working with hypertension, to working with trauma, PTSD, addiction, insomnia, a variety of things.
WHAT IS THE IMPORTANCE OF LOVING OUR PLANET?
I’ve had the opportunity to teach some yoga classes in parks outside of the city. I always try to remind people to step off their mat, to put their bare feet on the earth, realize that we’re part of a much greater system. When we practice yoga, it’s not only about self-awareness, but it’s about self-responsibility, to realize the impact of our moment to moment choices, not just in how we move through the world and how we’re impacting the planet, but how we move as a community. It’s those collective choices that have an even greater impact. The more we come together, we start to see life as not this self-absorbed, agenda-driven journey towards more, but rather we start to recognize that as we come together, we can start to make more intelligent, collective decisions based on how we interact and how we use and treat the planet.
HOW DO YOU LOVE YOUR PLANET?
I think one of the most important things I can do for the planet is to teach my son to really appreciate the earth, to really appreciate nature, to recognize its value, and that if we destroy it, we don’t have an option B, at least yet. If I can instill that in my son, to where he not only loves spending time in nature, but recognizes the absolute importance of it, and is raised with a sensibility to protect it, I think that could have a greater influence on those that are going to be running the world.
If I can instill that in my son, to where he not only loves spending time in nature, but recognizes the absolute importance of it, and is raised with a sensibility to protect it, I think that could have a greater influence on those that are going to be running the world.
I have a family now, and we really started looking into every level of our consumption, of our transportation, to the things that we believe we need or don’t need. One thing we do in our household is to “repurpose” items. We try to buy used as often as we can, whether clothing or furniture, and whatever products or materials come through this house we try to find as many uses as possible.
WHAT IS SOMETHING THAT RESONATES WITH YOU ABOUT LOVING OUR PLANET?
I am inspired by a line within a film, and the person makes the claim that, “the whole world is in fact singing, but we’ve stopped listening.” I think that statement says so much about how we’ve turned our attention away from nature, and even to the point where we almost treat it like it’s an inconvenience.
Photo by Ethan Watts.