FOCUS is #Yogaat50 Lesson 7. For 20 years, yoga has offered me an opportunity to focus my breath, gaze, spirit, and energy so that they move as one when I practice poses, meditation, and Reiki. When I leave my yoga mat and move into the world, it has given me breathing and stretching tools to navigate emotions, experiences and interactions with others. What has yoga helped you focused on?
OPPORTUNITY is #Yogaat50 Lesson 6. When I was studying to become a yoga teacher at Flow Yoga Center in 2005, I had a homework assignment that required a definition of yoga. Here’s the definition I created and continue to use in my yoga practice, classes, and workshops: YOGA is Your Opportunity to Graciously Accept yourself and life in the present moment. What is your definition of yoga? What opportunity has yoga offered you?
Reiki is a Japanese word that means “universal life energy.” It is a healing technique that is administered by “laying on hands” for energy cleansing, pain management, stress reduction, and relaxation. A Reiki practitioner uses her or his hands to help channel an individual’s life force energy (known as prana or chi) and is guided by Creator (Higher Spirit, Divine Power, or God). Creator’s wisdom knows exactly where to go and how to respond to restrictions in the flow of an individual’s life force energy. It can work directly in the unconscious parts of the body and mind. There are several Reiki hand positions. Click here to watch a video for Reiki self-treatment.
ENERGY is #Yogaat50 Lesson 3. For the past 10 years, I have used Reiki hand positions during my home yoga practice and when I teach students one-on-one. Reiki helps me experience and manage the flow of my prana when I am on and off the mat. Check out the photo collage above featuring some of my favorite Reiki hand positions. I always end my Reiki session by bowing, chanting OM, and saying Namaste. Have you received Reiki before? How was your experience? Have you used it in your yoga practice?
Today, I’m bringing #YogaMonday back to the blog with a five-week series entitled #Yogaat50 Lessons. Each week, I will share a lesson I learned through my yoga practice and service as a yoga teacher.
Here’s LESSON 1: Namaste helps me honor and celebrate my true identity and connection to others from the inside out. Guess where I took my first yoga class? Aboard a cruise down the Nile River during an African American studies trip with Kemetian scholar Tony Browder in 1995. I was 30 and interested in the deep breathing and stretching benefits of yoga for support with my running practice. When I returned home from my trip, I found a yoga teacher who provided one-on-one instruction in my home. Her name was Gloria. She taught me how to breathe deeply and do poses that eased the tension and tightness in my hamstrings, hips, legs, and lower back. She explained the meaning of Namaste and showed me how to chant it at the end of each session. Over the past 20 years, my home practice and service to others as a yoga teacher has deepened my understanding of Namaste. It has become a sacred self-care ritual that reminds me to to look within, accept, and celebrate my true identity as a spiritual being living a human experience with strengths and weaknesses. Saying Namaste also taught me to appreciate and value the true identity of everyone and everything in the universe, and our bond of oneness. What does saying Namaste mean to you?