I’ve found myself a new obsession, a healing art form known as reiki. In case you’re unfamiliar with reiki, an abridged definition is:
Reiki is a Japanese technique for stress reduction and relaxation that also promotes healing. It is administered by “laying on hands” and is based on the idea that an unseen “life force energy” flows through us and is what causes us to be alive.
So what is this mysterious “life force energy” living within all of us? How can it exist if it’s something we cannot visibly see or touch? And if we can supposedly sense this energy moving throughout our bodies, how can we control it as a way to heal from within? But more importantly, does what I’m writing about sound absolutely insane?
For some, their answer to the latter question would be a most definitive “yes” and I don’t blame you. While you lay still on the floor, your energy healer moves their hands over you from head to toe analyzing your chakra energies and both the male and female sides of your body. If this doesn’t sound New Age weird to you, I would be shocked. It’s something that hippies practice. We’re all witches and practice a dark art. We wear crystals around our necks as a form of protection and burn sage to cleanse our homes. Shoot, we let people balance our energies using two hands and a quiet space.
Are you still intrigued? Good. Let’s continue.
It was a Thursday evening after work one day when I walked into the yoga studio for my normal level 2 practice. Michelle was the instructor. She had short pink hair, intergalactic leggings, and mala beads dangled around her neck. At the beginning of class, she announced she’d be coming around during savasana (corpse pose) giving out some bonus reiki for those who wished to receive it. Obviously, I am open to trying new things so I let Michelle hover her palms over my head as I lay still on my mat and let my mind go blank. Long story short, I stuck around after class to chat with Michelle about reiki and she passed her business card to me in case I decided to ever try a full hour of reiki at her apartment.
One Sunday, I traveled to Michelle’s apartment–a space neatly arranged with brightly colored eclectic furniture while a curious cat claimed the couch as her personal space. After chatting for a bit, Michelle instructed me to stretch out on the mat placed in the center of your room and to treat the next 60 minutes like a meditation. While my body worked out fidgets and kinks, I slowly moved into a realm of deep calm as Michelle moved from the top of my head to the soles of my feet stopping at certain energy points for extended periods of time. She moved me over to my stomach to work on the backside of my body which symbolizes one’s past. The front of a person’s body represents the living present. Once my 60 minutes were up, I opened my eyes and listened to Michelle in total wonder how someone barely touching me could sense emotions and past experiences emulating from my body.
Several months later, I am a devoted client of Michelle’s, both in the yoga studio and as a reiki believer. A whole separate post could be written about my sessions with Michelle, but we can save that for a snowy day should the interest from readers arise.
Michelle approached me a couple of months ago about writing a review on one of her digital chakra balancing kits. Her hope was for me to listen to the audio meditation she wrote, flow through the 11-minute yoga sequence, and review the guide and FAQ documents that come with this kit.
“YES!” I shouted.
Within 24 hours, Michelle sent over the links for the Heart Chakra Balancing Kit, a specific chakra I am always working on.
Heart Chakra Meditation
The heart is a magnificent organ. Complex and intricately connected, the art of balancing the heart chakra is a tricky one. I replayed this meditation a number of times not because I was dissecting every word Michelle spoke, but because I was simply focusing on a different relationship each time I went back to listen
If you are looking for calm, seek no further. Michelle’s voice had me tearing up the first time I sat through the meditation. The affirmations on self love and knowing that we are loved is enough–just let me sit here and quietly release emotions in the form of tears, OK? It’s a soothing whisper, a gentle reminder coming from Michelle that you are beautiful and worthy. It is like a soft rain on a Sunday morning that slowly pulls the covers closer to you, enveloping you in a warm embrace. While only 11-minutes in length, there is wisdom to retain. A powerful tool in channeling self love is meditation, and Michelle’s rhythmic voice takes you to a place of understanding that you are enough.
When Michelle asked me how I felt about not having music in the background, I looked at her and asked, “There wasn’t any music?” And if you listen to the track more than once you notice that, hey, there is zero music playing and I’m OK with it. I’m no stranger to guided meditations. I often listen to them before bed or after work to unwind. Most of the audio clips contain music coupled with a voice and usually one overpowers the other making it difficult to focus. I was able to move into a comfortable position both physically and mentally as soon as I pressed “Play”.
Heart Chakra Yoga Sequence
A huge perk of this kit is Michelle’s inclusion of an actual yoga sequence. The other great part? It doesn’t expire! That’s right. Once you download it, it’s yours to come back to whenever you feel like it and let me just say our heart chakra needs as much openness as it can get.
I once feared intense back bends and any pose where I found my heart positioned above my head. It’s not natural. That’s not how my body works. I am going to snap in half!
But as you’re guided by Michelle’s voice through this sequence, you can’t help but feel peaceful in each posture. Even peak poses, like Camel (Ustrasana) Pose, feel comfortable. It is with the breath and Michelle’s rhythmic sequence one moves freely and without paying attention to the little voice residing in all of us saying we can only go so far putting limitations on our bodies and minds.
The best part of practicing this sequence? I am able to go as fast or as slow as I need. Though the sequence is timed, one does not feel rushed or in competition with the yogi next to us to finish first which sometimes arises in a communal studio. I was able to hone in on the parts of my body that needed extra love. I could breathe as exaggerated as I needed. I opened myself up perhaps to what is one of the most vulnerable chakras and let the benefits of heart-expanding poses sink deep into my soul.
Michelle packs her chakra kits with a handy dandy fact sheet about the chakra you’re working on, what foods to eat/what out for, poses to balance the specific chakra, and more! I really loved her section on how to determine whether your heart chakra is balanced or not. I write a lot about self-love so this kit spoke to me, especially after my last few reiki sessions where Michelle discovered I was a little out of sync in this department.
I have been listening to her meditation a couple of times a week, falling into a trance-like state of mind on the train to work or right before bedtime. It’s amazing to feel this glow of self-worth and value which ultimately branches out and affects other relationships in your life in a most positive way.
So, are you curious to find out what chakra(s) need a little attention in your life? Want to know what empowers your energy centers and what you should avoid? Are you looking to deepen your yoga practice using reiki as a means of discovering what poses help X chakra? Then what are you waiting for?! Check out Michelle’s entire website here and know that if you open your heart to new experiences, you might find yourself pleasantly surprised by the results. (See what I did there?)
Light and love, my friends!