How REIKI beautifully changed my life and can change yours too
"The greatest glory in living lies not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall"- Nelson Mandela
This loving and graceful energy entered my life when I was stuck in a situation and felt life was going in circles. I was also experiencing roadblocks in my career growth as a yoga teacher. A business colleague recommended my Reiki master Sneha Ramji to me.
This was the 2nd time Reiki was knocking at my door and this time I decided to give it a serious chance. My scepticism was slowly melting as I was already into a regular yoga practice and my yoga teacher training course had opened my eyes to a whole new way of being. Read about my Blogs on my Yoga Journey here.
Just after a few sessions, I started becoming more self-aware and observant of my thought processes and behavioural patterns. I stopped shifting the blame externally and started taking responsibility for my life for what it was. I experienced this energy as a very loving and gentle source subtly helping me to shift and change for my betterment. This initiated me to take up Reiki-1 training and my journey of self-discovery and personal growth had begun. This loving, gentle energy helped me peel off layers of self-doubt, self-judgment, lack of self-love and respect, and a lack of self-esteem. I soon started realizing that this was an inward journey. The energy helped me become more present in the moment and cultivate acceptance, forgiveness, patience, and compassion (1st towards myself).
Over time, with regular self-healing practice, I experienced huge shifts in life situations and was able to break some stubborn thoughts and behavioural patterns and I was ready for my 2nd level of training.
After my Reiki level 2 attunement and during my regular self-healing practice, I could feel the flow of energy and shift in the frequencies before and after my healing. I was becoming more perceptive to the change in energies within and around me. We also relocated within 2 months of attunement and it was as if a higher force was taking a reality check and anything not serving my life could no longer be tolerated and was burnt like dry twigs set on fire. These included my troublesome behaviours that were coming in the way of my growth, interests, and relationship were shuffling or unwinding from my life rapidly.
Around this time, I felt drawn to share the healing energy with people as people started opening up more on their issues. People started approaching me through referrals from yoga students or were divinely guided to find me. As my intuition heightened, I felt as if a switch was turned on. I was guided to ask the questions or share an exact message that my clients needed to hear for that simple shift in their lives. I noticed I had started becoming more sensitive to other people’s thoughts, feelings and emotions and could also feel others people’s physical issues on me. Without having to do any advertisement my clientele started growing and along with that my healing sessions started evolving and they became more intuitive, as I began trusting the messages I was given.
Once we understand that everything is energy and realise that we have the power to harness it and control its influence on us, we are no longer the victims of circumstances. Rather we have the power to work in co-creation with the universe, it is then that the universe opens its doors to all the magic that is available to us.
Yoga as a Natural anxiolytic and antidepressant
If you’re reading this post, it is highly likely that you’re struggling with anxiety or at least know someone who is.
Poor Mental health affects more people every year than cancer or heart disease- every year one in four people in the Uk are affected by a mental health problem. Living with mental health can affect many aspects of our daily life from physical and emotional health to relationships, work and finances.
I have suffered from anxiety and depression for almost 3 decades which had gone unrecognised due to lack of awareness. It has manifested in many forms as migraine attacks, hypertension, insomnia, laziness and poor performance, procrastination, loss of clarity and overthinking.
It was 4 years ago when i had a panic attack and had to be rushed to the hospital, I started learning more about both anxiety and depression. I felt my heart in my mouth and that my blood vessels were going to burst. I have tried various medication, counselling or therapy to always hit a wall.This is when i got hooked onto Yoga, though i have been practising it for many years, i did not have a regular practice..it was always on and off.
I certainly won’t say that Yoga is the only Elixir for every problem but it has definitely made a huge shift in my life and changed my perspectives. Yoga has taught me to look at life with a different set of lenses. I have learned the power of Present moment through my yoga practice. It has taught me to trust in the state of impermanence and the flow of life.
Disclaimer: Whatever your condition before you try these practices, it is important you have a confirmed medical diagnosis and seek medical help. As it is important to understand your condition.
How does Yoga Qualify as an Anti-Drug for Anxiety and Depression
Yoga as a Present Moment Reminder: Yoga is a form of movement meditation that connects our mind, body and breath as we move into the poses with the help of complex instructions. Focusing on our breath and body sensations as we hold in the pose brings us into the present moment where life is actually happening, by getting us out of our heads. These poses help stretch and relax the body and calm the mind.
Yoga makes us more Self Aware: Besides physical and physiological benefits yoga also helps improve self awareness which is an excellent tool for people with anxiety and depression. Yoga practice helps us cultivate moment to moment awareness of our body, breath, emotions and thought, thus gradually transferring the awareness into our daily life. It helps us become aware of our thoughts and feelings as they arise in the moment, thus being able to handle them better and cope well. It provides us with a space for reflection, self acceptance with shadows and all and leads us to inner peace and calm.
Improved Breathing: Pranayama is the backbone of Yoga. Pranayama is a vast topic with very simple to complex breathing techniques for beginners and advanced practitioners
A regular yoga practice improves our breathing pattern and teaches us to breathe deeper developing a gentle diaphragmatic breath. Most people with anxiety have a shallow and rapid breath, once we learn or adapt to a gentle diaphragmatic breathing pattern , it becomes easier to calm our nerves during stressful situations by breathing deeply.
Helps Combat Stress: We are in a time where people are busy and stressed due to their day to day lifestyles.whether it is everyday stress or anxiety disorder, yoga helps us shift from a fight/flight mode to rest and digest mode by way of improved breathing and learning to ease into difficult poses.. This can be transferred to our everyday life situations.
Improves Stability and balance: Yoga improves our physical strength, stability and balance by helping us feel rooted and grounded as we hold the poses. This sense of strength, stability and balance can be transported to other situations giving us internal strength and stability and a trust in yourself.
Provides benefits of physical exercise: Moderate exercise is good for both anxiety and depression.Yoga also provides benefits of physical exercise as we hold on or move into poses. It helps improve strength, flexibility and balance. It also improves the range of motion and joint health. There are many other physiological benefits which are listed in my previous blog.
Boosts Confidence and self esteem: A regular practice helps you build a deep connection with self and since Yoga is a non competitive and non comparative practice it helps boost confidence and self esteem by means of understanding yourself ( strengths and flaws)
Yoga helps build a meditation practice: A Yoga practice is not just about getting in and out of a few poses. It also consists of a meditation practice at the beginning or at the end, thus it helps you build your own meditation practice. A regular meditation practice helps you to become aware of your thought and behavioural patterns that might be working against you. A regular meditation practice also helps you to make a shift in your thinking and develop habits that help you move forward in life.
Effects on the brain : Yoga improves blood circulation to the brain, making you more alert, thus improving mental clarity. Scientifically speaking it improves production of GABA, serotonin and dopamine levels. It also causes a surge in energy levels. Yoga also helps us develop a regular meditation practice which in turn have these effects on the brain.
I have provided a link for relevant studies to support the benefits of Yoga for mental health here.
On my journey and my struggle with anxiety and depression, I trained to become a Yoga teacher and I have made truce with them through Yoga. Though my symptoms are not completely cured Yoga is a safe haven to go to when i am faced with challenges or experience these bouts. Besides Yoga i have used other holistic therapies like Hypnotherapy, Energy healing and Chakra balancing.
Tell Tale "Need" Yoga Signs After 45+
Do you recognise any of these signs.
• You have developed niggling aches and pains in your back/ knee / shoulders .
When we develop these aches and pains we realise we aren’t 25 anymore and wonder how are we going to ease these pains. Knowing all the side effects of medication we wouldn’t want to be dependent on them. This is where Yoga comes to the rescue. Different postures and practices like Pranayama help ease pain in different parts of the body
- You are struggling with weight issues.
First we grow longer and then we grow wider .. that’s a myth and an insult to ageing. Mind you no one really wants to loose weight but would like to look better, fit into clothing, move more easily and feel more energetic. Only weight loss is not going to help you achieve these. Definitely a regular Yoga practice will help you with these goals Yoga helps you become more aware, gently nudging you towards healthier .Yoga also indirectly aids weight loss by way of becoming mindful of what, when and how we eat .
• You’re not as flexible as your younger self
• You notice that balance is an issue.
We all must admit that balance is a challenge as we mature and that is when we need it the most. Whether it is gardening , cycling or hiking, balance is needed to continue doing these activities that we enjoy safely into adult life . Without encountering dangerous falls. Certain Yoga poses help improve balance with a regular practice.
• You have reached a turning point and increasingly seeking a deeper meaning in life.
As we enter mid life , we are always looking for a deeper meaning in life, a regular meditation and Yoga practice can help you cruise through mid life crisis to help find a purpose or deeper meaning in life ( talking out of personal experience)
• Empty nest syndrome
It is usually around this time that children move out to pursue education or are getting married and suddenly we find our life has no purpose. We are definitely left with a lot of time on hand and may be emotionally distressed and anxious about how our children are faring. You could start reprioritising this time for your own health and wellbeing by developing a Yoga practice, because you are well worth it.
If you do resonate with any r all of these signs you must give Yoga a try. Many of the local gyms or Yoga studios offer classes for beginners. Yoga will not only help with these issues but also helps improve your clarity, concentration and memory which are also seen to decline with age.
We at Yoga 4 U offer classes for beginners and starting a 6 weeks beginners course in the New Year, why not come and try our classes.
An Insight Into Gentle Yoga