yoga

Yoga & Reiki 101

My OM artwork
My OM artwork

In Sanskrit, yoga means the union of spirit, mind, body, and breath. This union occurs when you open your heart and surrender to the present moment. I believe when you live in the present moment, yoga blesses you with the benefits of:

  • Awareness of your concentration, effort, and mindfulness.
  • Articulation of truth in your intention and understanding.
  • Authenticity in your speech, actions, and livelihood.

I teach clients how these benefits help yoga to become Your Opportunity to Graciously Accept yourself and life.™

Reiki (pronounced ray-key) is a Japanese word that means universal life energy in the human body. It is a form of healing touch that involves the transfer of energy from practitioner to client to enhance the body’s natural ability to calm, de-stress, and heal itself through the balancing of energy.

20 Year Yoga & Reiki Love Affair

Photo Credit: Leigh Mosley, www.leighmosley.com
Photo Credit: Leigh Mosley, http://www.leighmosley.com

1995 is the year it all happened. I fell in love with yoga first. It happened while I attended my first yoga class during an African-American studies trip to Egypt. The class ended with a round of OMs and a deep bow to my heart as I chanted the Sanskrit mantra Namaste. It means, “The light within me salutes the light within you.”

When I returned from my trip, I hired a private yoga teacher to guide me through the asanas (poses). Her name was Gloria. She was a kind, firm, loving, and knowledgeable woman I met in a monthly meditation group. She showed me how to embrace yoga as my own healing balm for anxiety, stress relief, and tight hips, hamstrings, and legs that needed stretching after my long runs.

My Reiki love affair began during one of the monthly meditation group meetings. A group member who was also trained as a Reiki practitioner gave me a mini Reiki session. The academic inside of me decided to search for a book on the topic. My search led me to Diane Stein’s book, Essential Reiki: A Complete Guide to An Ancient Healing Art. Essential Reiki became one of my self-care go-to resources.

Yoga Teacher Calling

Practicing yoga in Malcolm X-Meridian Hall Park
Practicing yoga in Malcolm X-Meridian Hall Park

2004 was a big year for me. I celebrated my 40th birthday and reflected on what I was passionate about. Yoga was one of my top five passions. It took me several months to get clear on what my yoga passion was all about. Journaling and meditation helped me realize I wanted to teach yoga. Thanks to the Internet, I was able to do a search on yoga teacher training courses located near my home. I found one at a brand new yoga studio called Flow Yoga Center. It was located next to my favorite Whole Foods and several blocks from my employer and home.

Before writing my check for the six-month training, I took a class taught by Faith Hunter, one of my yoga teachers and mentors, at Flow. Hunter’s class was OM Amazing OM! After class, she encouraged me to pursue my passion. That class sealed the deal and allowed me to become a member of Flow’s first class of teacher trainees. My yoga sisters and I were led by Debra Mishalove, the co-founder of Flow, and a team of phenomenal instructors during the fall of 2005 and winter of 2006.

When I completed my teacher training, I launched kg yoga life practices to teach kind and gentle yoga that honors the heart of each individual’s needs. Publishing a yoga blog on a weekly basis became a part of my service offerings. My blog gave me a chance to talk about my personal yoga journey and build community and share resources with my clients.

Also, I began offering a free monthly yoga class in Malcolm X/Meridian Hill Park (which later turned into a MeetUp.com group that existed from 2007 to 2014). Through my classes and blog, I encouraged my clients to use their life experiences as opportunities to surrender their egos, open their hearts, and practice mindfulness (sati), loving kindness (metta), compassion (karuna), honesty (satya), empathetic joy (mudita), and equanimity (upekka) on and off their yoga mats.

Practicing yoga in Montego Bay, Jamaica in 2011
Practicing yoga in Montego Bay, Jamaica in 2011

In addition to my yoga teaching, I practice some form of yoga every day. Most times, it is yin yoga, gentle yoga in my bed, office yoga at my desk or forward fold and twisting poses while I am waiting for a subway train or bus. My home practice is enhanced through regular participation in a yin yoga class offered by my teacher Danielle Polen at Tranquil Space. Bringing my yoga mat with me when I travel has created many wonderful memories including some of my favorites in Montego Bay, Jamaica in 2011 and London, England in 2014.

Me and London-based yoga teacher Rosemarie St. Louis after her vinyasa class in East London in 2014
Me and London-based yoga teacher Rosemarie St. Louis after her vinyasa class in East London in 2014

Adding Reiki To Yoga Teacher Mix

Some of my Reiki hand positions
Some of my Reiki hand positions

Two years after I became an artist-in-residence for Smith Center for Healing and the Arts, I began working with cancer patients at Howard University Hospital in 2003. During one of the Smith Center retreats, a fellow artist gave me Reiki. A few months later, I started receiving it on a regular basis. It helped me manage stress and take care of myself after my sessions with cancer patients and before, during, and after my fibroid surgery.

During my yoga teacher training course, I took a class with a yoga instructor who incorporated Reiki healing touch in her classes. Experiencing yoga and Reiki in her class was TRANSFORMATIVE. The combination helped me center myself, focus, breathe deeply, and treat myself more kindly when I was on and off of my yoga mat. As a result, I started studying Reiki in 2006 and was certified as a Reiki Master Practitioner by Reiki Lotus Healing in 2007.

Who I Work With

  • Caregivers
  • Companies and organizations that have professional development and wellness programs and events
  • Conference and event planners
  • Health care organizations and healing arts centers
  • Individuals experiencing transition in their careers and relationships
  • Parents with small children, tweens, and teenagers
  • People living with arthritis, brain injuries, cancer, depression, grief, HIV/AIDS, strokes, mental health challenges, and panic attacks
  • Professionals who work in finance, healthcare, law, public relations, public service, social media, and technology
  • Retirees
  • Stressed out artists, authors, entrepreneurs, executives, government employees, managers, and nonprofit staff
  • Type A personalities
  • Women who have overlooked their own self-care
  • Yoga studios

I have taught yoga at social media and technology events sponsored by BlissDom, Blogalicious, Blogging While Brown, BlogHer, DC Digital Capital Week, Howard University AT&T Hackathon, Latinos in Social Media, and She’s Geeky.  In addition, I have facilitated office yoga at Smith Center seminars and yoga and writing workshops at the Washington National Cathedral and Breast Cancer Support Groups at Holy Cross Hospital.

How I Work With Clients

Yoga Approach

Photo Credit: Lucia Effros
Photo Credit: Lucia Effros

My approach is based on Hatha yoga principles that concentrate on the practice of postures and breath control. Hatha is a Sanskrit word that is derived from two roots: 1) ha is the sun which represents action and 2) tha is the moon which represents reflection. Together, they create a union between the ability to act and reflect.

In my classes, I offer clients an opportunity to experience intention setting, breathing exercises, meditation, mantra chanting with mala beads, chakra tuning, Reiki healing touch, aromatherapy, and kind and gentle yoga postures (aspects of eye, laughter, office, and yin yoga are included) that address their individual bodies and health concerns. Clients also learn about the Yoga Sutras including the yamas and niyamas as guidelines for conscious living.

wpid-fb_img_1428944123935.jpgWisdom teachings from world religions, sacred traditions, healers, artists, poets, leaders, and philosophers are included. See my fees below. Rates are available for companies and organizations.

  • Session for 1 person – $80 per hour
  • Session for 2 persons – $150 per hour
  • Session for 3 or more persons (hourly rate will be based on the type of services provided)

Session packages are available for one-on-one sessions. The fees are:

  • 4 sessions (1 hour) for 1 person – $310
  • 6 sessions (1 hour) for 1 person – $470
  • 10 sessions (1 hour) for 1 person – $785

Reiki Approach

In 2015, I began studying and incorporating Brett Bevell’s Mikao Usui’s Reiki Crystal of Awakening book in my home practice and client sessions. Below are my fees. Rates are available for companies and organizations.

  • 1 Session for 1 person – $80 per hour
  • 4 sessions (1 hour) for 1 person – $310
  • 6 sessions (1 hour) for 1 person – $470
  • 10 sessions (1 hour) for 1 person – $785
  • Combined Reiki and Yoga Session for 1 person (2 hours) – $150

What People Are Saying About Me

I have done both Yoga and Reiki with Ananda. I always leave feeling energized and knowing that I am where I am supposed to be. She has a calm, inviting, and accepting spirit. Sharon Malachi, the founder of DC Dog Grooming

Ananda is quite simply, amazing! As a newbie to yoga, her tailored-for-me kind and gentle style of yoga put me at ease and helped me discover which forms work best for my body and fitness level. She even offered (and strongly encouraged me) to select a class we could attend together so that I could experience other styles of yoga and find what works well. Meico Whitlock, a digital communications professional 

Ananda is one of the most powerful Reiki practitioners I’ve worked with. Especially when I’ve been going through periods of transition, she’s been exceptionally skillful at creating a very loving space in which I’ve been able to reflect, to explore, and to release — all of which has helped me to welcome in the new.  Yael Flusberg, a yoga therapist, coach, and writer

I had the great privilege of receiving Reiki from Ananda.  I was experiencing a great deal of angst during that time in my life and it manifested in my body as stress and tension.  My Reiki sessions helped to reduce the tension in my body, gave me clarity of mind and much needed peace. Tracy M. H., an education professional

Ananda is a warm, gentle, calming and positive energy and she radiates wherever she goes. I received a Reiki treatment from Ananda in 2014 and though brief, it was moving. I felt the warmth of her hands and the transfer of energy was undeniable. I would recommend that anyone looking for some natural healing consider a Reiki session with Ananda. Lexi Severini, a social media marketing professional

I had a blissful Reiki session with Ananda the day before my wedding. It was just what I needed before the big day. Kenny Dust, a spoken artist, writer, and hip hop producer

Upon my visit to the DC area, Ananda provided my husband and I with a wonderful yoga couple session. She gently guided us through a grounding, peaceful experience. I can’t wait to do it again! Briane M., a health care professional

I have had the blessings of experiencing Ananda’s yoga, Reiki, and creativity work. Throughout it all, her presence is deeply grounded, loving, and supportive.  She taught me yoga from her soul to my soul. She gifted the gentle touch of Reiki with a deep love and support that allowed my body/mind/spirit the freedom to unwind and heal. She lives and breaths her creativity work and has inspired me in my own creative endeavors. Ananda has truly been an inspiration in my own healing, spiritual journey. I am so grateful and feel immensely blessed to have journeyed and to continue to journey with her. Marisa Alonso, co-founder of Body Connect Health and Wellness

Hire Me

Contact me {ananda@anandaleeke.com} to discuss how we can work together.

Photo Credit: Leigh Mosley and Lucia Effros

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