Article by Isabella Dove, Reiki Master
The practice of yoga is often perceived as either a spiritual path possibly taking various forms upheld by yogis and yoginis or as a sort of elegant fitness practice with a spiritual label attached to it. Any forms in between those two present a large variety of schools and grounding roots. Strictly in terms of lifestyle, the rainbow of schools often comprises of vegans, vegetarians, raw food activists, bohemian-dressed yogis and yoginis, white-turbaned men and women often carrying adopted new spiritually given names originating from an Indian cast, yoga kulas or tribes living in yogi-based communities and finding bliss as tool or goal, not to mention urban and modern yogis and yoginis dressed with the latest micro-fiber or spandex tops and leggings and carrying their body with much lightness practicing in traffic jams or coordinating yoga flash mobs in the most unusual urban settings. Roaming across the groups from one to another much alike butterflies from flowers to flowers is the rather large group of individuals not wanting to stick to a group or label, not really sticking to one form of yoga and happily browsing and testing a bit of Ashtanga, Hatha, Anusara or Iyengar or Bikram, Kundalini, having fun with a bit of Acro-Yoga, Partner Yoga or even Tulayoga. The choice is super ample.
One thing is certain: a beginner, a person who has never practiced yoga and whose only wish is to engage in the practice will find a whole lot of schools, forms, practices spanning indeed from fitness-like to highly spiritual schools and would have to mentally clear the belief that no form is better than another. All forms and all schools of yoga originate from a core of millennia old source explored by scholars. The Vedics were the scholars of Ancient India and their studies formed the core of Hinduism. From their explorations and spiritual grounding, the Vedics described the deep energetic connection between the body, the mind and the energy vortex. The Romans had simplified it with the motto “Mens Sana in Corpore Sano” [Healthy Mind with Healthy Body] though maybe had not yet figured out which one of the healthy part comes first. On the other hand the Vedics had explicitly explored the healthy expression within the body of the connection with the energy field and the active role of the mind for either sustaining, facilitating or resisting the healthy path. In other words the Vedics presented in well elaborated studies the intertwined connection between the body, the mind, the soul and the energy field and the energetic inter-dependence and balance in the body and mind connection kept through the regular practice of yoga as a form of active and spiritually connected energy work since it is connected to the atman, the source, the universal energy. If this is the case, then any form of yoga or so-called body and mind practice would easily play its full role and connect dreams, reality, beliefs, self-esteem, vision, higher-self and bring healing, connection and instant manifestation. Opinions of each school may differ at least in terms of the grounding although the common denominator is that yoga is but a fitness practice. Yoga is an energy work involving the mind and grounded in the union of all the elements of life including the higher-self and the atman. In this sense by connecting and playing around with the universal energy, the strength from within and the essential inner bio-energy of the body, yoga is a healing tool, just as Reiki is a healing energy practice. Let’s explore a bit.
Yoga means union, connection or even fusion of body, mind and atman, the source, the universal energy field. The union of energies, male and female, of our bio-energy system or Chandra and Surya, Sun and Moon, which is known in yoga as Hatha Yoga or Yin and Yang. From the Vedics we learn that energy is a flow that connects our essence -mind – with our intentions – consciousness – and our body – physical form and that a good flow of bio-energy enhances the fluidity of our interactions with the reality and the higher realms. Practice yoga and walk the talk. In other words adapted to healing and Reiki, the message we get from the Vedics is that yoga is healing in action, an energy flow with a purpose, an asana or posture is a tool rather than a goal and essentially that bio-energy is a process of breathing in and out. There are quite a few common points between yoga and Reiki and certainly using Reiki in conjunction with yoga. How fun!
Everything starts with breathing, awareness and mindfulness of our own flow of energy. Listening and paying attention to breathing as well as sending breathing to the bio-energy system of ours is a necessary healing step. Healing starts when the mind stops controlling the flow of energy and progresses when we allow the flow of energy to restore lost balance and center. Furthermore in yoga as well as in Reiki, healing takes many unexpected forms as soon as we allow the flow to be directed by its own vibration. It often occurs that a yoga pose takes a further stretch of limits once we focus on the breath rather than allowing the ego to direct the direction of the asana. Try it out next out you practice yoga. Try to do the same pose with muscular tension and not focusing on breathing then again focusing on breathing and releasing the role of muscle. Now observe your experience.
Healing takes place when the mind is absent. The mind only needs to be present as a kick starter, in the form of an intention, a good thought, a set up, then there is no need for it. Only the breath is needed everything will work out by itself. What to do when a Reiki patient is constantly trying to direct its thought and energy to a pattern of flow rather than allowing the energy to flow freely? Healing occurs when expansion rather than contraction governs the mind-body connection. Likewise in yoga, asana become easier to engage in when breathing is guiding the movement rather than when the mind is directing the flow. Experience it and observe it!
Another common point is the opening of the heart-center. Whether Reiki practitioner, teacher or not, practicing and/or receiving Reiki is grounded in loving-kindness and heart-centeredness. Connecting to the flow is already a loving gesture to our self and others, to giving and receiving, to simply being present.
Far too much modern lifestyles has generated a racing pace towards achieving, reaching, competing, getting, jumping, succeeding. Extremely limited space is available for just being in a world where doing became the standard. In yoga and in healing this paradigm of shifting towards being becomes an even more invaluable journey of reconnecting to the core roots of life: breathing and let the bio-energy act. The brain distills all information and gets its orders from the consciousness, it does not act alone!! So simple as this make a spinal twist of your choice until the moment you ‘think’ is your limit, the turn your head the other direction and breath in again, then go back to the twist and noticed how your command breath in to your brain, gave your posture a much greater flexibility. What you just did is brushing away the ego. In healing this is invaluable if not even conditional to absolute healing. Try it out!
There are many more ways to approach yoga from a Reiki perspective and we would like to add one more only. Once you start approaching a reality as a co-creation with the energy field around and the vibration of the electromagnetic field surrounding us all, then any experience of yoga and healing becomes a connection in lightness. Even the worse body ailment becomes a journey into the realm of oneness with the energy field around and yoga becomes a gesture, an offering and a modeling craft with the energy of the atman, a dance in union with the quantum gel around us that ends up holding the space for you! Next time you receive a Reiki treatment leave the mind and the ego at the doorstep; next time you give a Reiki treatment sense the flow of energy around the body of the person and imagine your hands as vibratory sensors in that field feel the energy flow both inside and around your hands and o serve the way the treatment is a energy communication. Next time you practice yoga experience your breathing flow as a healing flow reaching out to your aura and celebrating the connection with the energy field around, the transparent gel of the quantum field holding the space for your asana. Now experience your life as oneness as energetic co-creation where fitness translates as wellness, performance as balance and resonance.
Isabella Dove founded Healing Mudras a small studio acting as a hub for holistic artists and healing arts in Vientiane, Lao PDR. She practices Reiki since 1999, lived in 15 countries over 4 continents and brought Reiki as an ally to experiences several realities. After becoming a Usui Reiki Master Teacher in 2008 she travelled to Hawai’i and studied directly with William Rand, Founder & Director of the International Center for Reiki Training (US) and trained as Karuna® Reiki Master Teacher in 2010. This was a breakthrough and a further leap in the practice as Karuna® Reiki brings a firmer alignment and synchronicity with grounding bodhisattva energies. Isabella is a Certified Personal Integral Coach and teaches Reiki, Yin Yoga and DancEnergetics. Visit Healing Mudras at http://thehealingmudras.blogspot.com or http://www.linkedin.com/in/healingmudras