Article by Carrie Anderson
This is my third article in a series regarding self-care. Daily self-Reiki is extremely important to your well-being. During this pandemic, when you might find yourself with more solitary time than you might be used to, the same routine might become stagnant. I have been coming up with ways to add some different methods of breathwork and meditation to our self-Reiki practice.
For this article, I will lay out a method of incorporating alternate nostril breathing, color meditation and Reiki for a bedtime re(treat).
Alternate nostril breathing is a common breathwork practiced in yoga. In Sanskrit, this breathing technique is called nadi shodhana pranayama and translated refers to a purification flow. Alternate nostril breathing works on the subtle energy body and pairs wonderfully with a self-Reiki practice. This is a relaxing breathwork for calming the mind, relieving tension and stress. Also, it helps balance the left and right sides of your brain. It’s perfect at bedtime.
To practice alternate breathing, sit in a comfortable position.
- First, bring the thumb of your left hand to your left nostril and close that nostril. Exhale through your right nostril.
- Before your inhalation there is a slight pause, and then you inhale through the right nostril.
- Release your left nostril and using the ring finger of your left hand, now close your right nostril. Exhale through your left nostril, pause, then inhale through your left nostril.
- Switch sides by bringing your thumb back to close your left nostril and releasing your ring finger from the right nostril.
- Essentially, it is an exhale/inhale on one side, you will not be inhaling and exhaling that same breath from one nostril.
- Repeat for about 5 to 10 cycles.
Contraindications for alternate nostril breathing are; if you have a cold, sinus infection, asthma or other breathing difficulties.
Some nights, I follow the alternate breathing with a color meditation. You can stay in the same position or lay down for this meditation. Your breath returns to normal, close your eyes.
- Using your mind’s eye, let a color come to you. In this example, I will use purple.
- Envision a large purple swirl or orb in front of you. Focus on this color. Watch it move, deepen and then get lighter.
- Your color might even begin to change. Perhaps it’s now blue. The color is always a healing color.
- Your mind’s eye is solely focused on the color.
- Continue breathing through your nose with deep breaths that extend your abdomen.
- Next, visualize the air as the color and breath in it. Allow this healing color, purple in this case, to flow through your body.
- On your exhale, breathe out this color.
- Continue visualizing the color and breathing it in and out.
I often use this color meditation as an intuitive way to let my mind’s eye or subconscious tell me what chakra might need focused on during my self-Reiki.
When you are ready, the last step in this bedtime ritual is your self-reiki practice. At this point, I’m usually already comfortably in bed. Allow yourself-Reiki practice to proceed by bringing in the healing Reiki energy and using your hands to heal yourself.
I hope you this aids you in a restful sleep.
Previous articles in the series:
- Self-Reiki Using the Three Part Breath Exercise
- Full Body Scan Meditation for Use with Self-Reiki Treatments
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Carrie Anderson has her Bachelor’s in Anthropology with a Minor in Women’s Studies. She is a Reiki Master with additional training in Grief Reiki, NOW Reiki, Crystal Reiki, Reiki Space Clearing, and Animal Reiki. Her focus is on Distance Reiki. She also has certifications in Teen Guided Meditation, Chakra Cleansing, Meditation Guide, Manifestation Practitioner, Energy Healing with Color and Art, Reflexology and Acupressure. Additionally, she is a Yoga Instructor with a focus on Gentle Yoga, Restorative Yoga, Children’s Yoga, and Yoga Nidra. Carrie is a co-author with Mellisa Dormoy for the book, “Easy Mindfulness for Today’s Teens”. She is an active member of the Natural Healer Society and may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org