Friday, January 20, 2012

Reflections & Musings: What it's like as a Reiki practitioner.

"Realize how good you already are."
-O.G. Mandino

Having been immersed in the yoga world for a little bit o' time now, I've heard plenty of stories of people seeing visions, experiencing miraculous events, and communing with the Divine. In fact, when the "Sh*#$!t New Age Girls" video recently came out, I was amused at how accurately it truly portrays a lot of the conversations I have with my friends nowadays — I even pick those angel cards regularly at the Soul of Yoga

"Were you surprised at how New Age-y you actually are?" my beau asked this morning. "Well, yeah!" I responded, in all seriousness.

Over the past year and a half, I've become a Reiki Master practitioner. What exactly does that mean? Reiki is a Japanese technique developed by a gentleman by the name of Mikao Usui to promote stress reduction, relaxation, and healing. Once a Reiki practitioner is attuned to the various levels of the practice, we can help cultivate life force energy within our clients by channeling the Universal energy around us through the palms of our hands. This is also often known as the "laying on hands" technique. 

A lot of Eastern philosophies believe in energy healing. In the practice of qigong for example, it's believed that we're born with an abundance of energy, which we're able to readily replenish when we're young. But, as we grow older, it becomes harder and harder to do so. Therefore, the series of movements in a qigong practice help to mitigate this loss of energy and replenish one's life force, or qi. In yoga, the breathing practice of pranayama also aims to enhance the life force flowing within us.When our life force is not at this fullest, we're more prone to illness, emotional dis-ease, or simply become unable to live to our greatest potential. 

While all this might seem a little woo-woo, think about when you have a stomach ache or when you stub your toe. What happens? You tend to place your hands on the parts that hurt to alleviate the pain, to foster healing, or just because it feels good — it's the same premise in energy healing. What's more, as you deepen your study of yoga, you might learn that there are different koshas, or levels, of human existence on the journey towards self-discovery. 

There are the annamayakosha (physical body), pranamayakosha (energy body), manomayakosha (psycho-emotional body), vijnyanamayakosha (wisdom body), and anandamayakosha (bliss body). We all have these layers within us, so focusing on solely the physical body is only one element of comprehensive wellness. Reiki is a wonderful way to work with the pranamayakosha and even inspire greater opening of the other koshas as well.

In the time that I've deepened my personal practice and delved into greater inner awareness, I've become a lot more intuitive, yet I'm still not seeing spirits or hearing voices. Sometimes, I wish that the signs were more apparent, but other times, I know that in the grand master plan for me, this is probably for my greatest good. At the moment, if I did start seeing and hearing those things, I might shut off to the spiritual path entirely due to the overpowering nature of my thinking mind. Instead, I find faith that I'm doing what I feel I've been meant to do since I was a little kid, when I hear the feedback from my clients after a Reiki session:

"I began to see a vision of myself in the future, of where I feel I'm meant to move my career towards."
"I started to remember things in the back of my brain that I haven't thought of in years and years."
"I felt flushed with loving energy."
"I began to see such incredibly vivid colors in my third eye the moment you placed your hands on me."
"I've never felt so revitalized and relaxed all at once."
"How are your hands so hot? They feel like they're on fire!"
"You truly have a gift, your energy is incredible."
"It felt like I got a massage, even though you barely placed your hands on me!"

I do get a sense of what's happening to my client on the table while I'm working on them, and after they share their experience with me, it's confirmed. Most importantly, I remember that I'm simply a vessel for Divine energy to flow through in exactly the way that my client needs. It's not about me — it's about their own unique individual journey that I just happen to help facilitate in that moment. When I hear about the visions and inner awareness that they come to, it reminds me of how it's truly an honor to be able to support them in any way. 

If you'd like to learn more about Reiki for yourself, here's a great book to look into: The Reiki Bible by Eleanor McKenzie. Or, if you'd like to schedule a demo with me to experience what Reiki is like for yourself, please feel free to contact me.

While we were driving to Yin yoga last night, my beau said, "Sometimes, I wake up and it still trips me out that what I do for a living is stick sharp pointy objects in people all day." (He's an acupuncturist.)

As we got out of the car and began to walk towards the studio, I told him, "Y'know what? Sometimes it still trips me out that part of my job these days is to show people how to lie down comfortably on a rubber mat!"

I love that as part of my daily life, I get to teach yoga classes, lead meditations, offer Reiki healing energy, build a Karma Yoga program that's bringing free yoga to under-served populations, go on fabulous trips as a travel writer, and simply learn how to be someone on this earth who hopefully brings a bit more good juju to every moment of every day.

That's what it's like for me as a Reiki Master practitioner. Yay for life!

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