Reiki (pronounced ray-key) is a Japanese word meaning ‘universal life energy’ and is a beautiful system of natural healing that can be particularly beneficial for yoga teachers. Founded by a Japanese Buddhist, Dr Mikao Usui (1865 – 1926), in the late 19th century, Reiki has evolved as a result of his research, experience and dedication.
What is Reiki?
Reiki practitioners work as a conduit for this energy; it intuitively flows where it is most needed to help clear blocks and restore balance on all levels of your being — whether physical, mental, emotional or spiritual.
As a yoga teacher or trainee, you will of course be familiar with prana, the life force energy that pervades all living things. Much in the same way as yoga harnesses prana to bring us to a state of calm and stillness, Reiki also works with the body on a deep level to bring us back into balance and natural flow.
Many people seek Reiki to support them in challenging times or to support in the treatment of illness, for greater spiritual growth and personal development or to deeply relax and switch off from our busy world.
The benefits of Reiki:
- Reinforcing the body’s natural ability to heal itself on all levels: physically, mentally, emotionally or spiritually.
- Support with spiritual growth and personal development.
- Promotion of deep calm and relaxation.
- Achieve clarity on situations in our life.
- Dissolve any blocked energies in the body preventing which can manifest in numerous ways (e.g. anxiety, depression, digestive issues and many other illnesses).
- Increase in self compassion and self esteem.
- Reconnects us to our true selves.
- Reducing negative emotions such as fear.
- Helps us to become more in touch with our heart’s desires and supports us with embodying our highest purpose.
So how exactly can Reiki support yoga teachers in reaching our highest potential?
Planning, promoting and delivering a beautiful yoga class requires a huge exertion of energy and could leave us feeling depleted if we aren’t mindful of our energy levels. Simply being in contact with so many people on a daily basis can result in us picking up other people’s energies or fears subconsciously, so it’s very important to properly ground ourselves through our chosen methods of self-care. Reiki is one way that can really help in assisting to restore the body and mind back into balance, prevent burnout and ensure that we are thriving on all levels.
Reiki can also be very powerfully grounding, reducing stress, and releasing old energetic patterns or beliefs that no longer serve us. Along the yoga teacher journey, it is natural to be doubtful of our abilities or lack in confidence as we embody our new roles — Reiki can be incredibly soothing for allaying fears. Joseph Whyles is a Reiki healer and Master teacher living in Glastonbury who says,
Reiki can be particularly beneficial for yoga teachers in restoring their energy levels. Reiki is always working for the recipient’s highest good and is a beautiful, gentle way to bring your body and mind back into balance, and help you really step into your true potential as a yoga teacher. Reiki can also be offered via a distance, as the energy is channeled by intention, and there’s no need for the recipient and practitioner to be physically together.
What happens in a Reiki session?
Firstly, it’s important to chose the right practitioner for you. Do your research thoroughly, or ask for recommendations. If you feel strongly drawn to get in touch with a particular practitioner, then go with it! If you have any concerns or questions before the treatment, any legitimate practitioner will be happy to have a chat on the phone with you to answer any questions you may have.
As with any profession, there are some amazing Reiki practitioners and some not so great practitioners, so it is important to honour your intuition. If something, or someone, feels off – chances are that it is. Find one with whom you resonate and check out their testimonials too. Ask what you can expect in the session, and check what their level of training is. The UK Reiki foundation has some great resources for assisting in your decision.
Before the session, it’s standard to talk to the practitioner to share the reasons why you are seeking Reiki healing and any spiritual, emotional or physical concerns you have. In the session itself you will lie down fully clothed, as the practitioner places their hands on or near the body. There is no massage or manipulation of the body and the whole person is treated, rather than specific symptoms.
Things to Consider
The effects of Reiki vary greatly between practitioners and how you feel on the day. Many people report feeling their physical body glowing or their energy levels expanding. For some, a feeling of deep peace and calm is experienced and the feeling of being bathed in loving energies. Some people even feel heat coming through their body or tingling sensations, and others feel nothing at all. All of these experiences are totally normal! Reiki can clear energetic debris and create space for new situations, people and opportunities to enter our existence, that are truly in line with our highest good.
In terms of how many sessions to have, it really depends on each individual. You may need more sessions depending on what you require – your practitioner should be happy to answer any questions that you may have.
It’s important to take time after a Reiki session to integrate the deep healing – much like Savasana after a yoga practice. You’ll be in a profound state of relaxation so it’s not advisable to go straight back into the outside world, which could be particularly jarring for your system. Try and make space for yourself to integrate the healing afterwards. Another tip is to drink plenty of water after each session to assist the body in detoxification. It’s also common to release emotions, as Reiki can bring issues to the surface for healing – observe how your feel and what your body is telling you over the days after a treatment. If you have any concerns, talk to your practitioner.
If you are curious about trying Reiki to assist you on your journey, approach it with an open mind and an open heart and don’t be afraid to try a few different practitioners to see who best resonates with you.
See Also: The User’s Guide to the Chakras