Often, at the conclusion of a yoga class, students are instructed to lie on their backs in Corpse Pose. Extending the arms and legs straight down, as if in a sleeping position, students will feel a release of relaxation from the tops of their heads to the tips of their toes. The pose typically lasts only for a few moments before an instructor ends the class, but what if you entered a deeper state of relaxation brought on by spending more time in the pose? What kind of benefits would you see from a prolonged state of relaxation? This is the intention of yoga nidra, or “yogic sleep.” In a yoga nidra class, an instructor will guide students using techniques such as imagery or sensory observatio
When you think of the typical yoga student, what crosses your mind? Is it an image of a young, super-flexible person? An uber-spiritual hippie? If these notions have you hesitant to do yoga, here’s a surprising fact: the typical yoga student does not exist. You don’t have to have a perfect body. You don’t even have to be flexible or physically-inclined to reap the benefits of yoga. The point of yoga is not to compete or struggle to be the most agile person in the room. The goal is not to impress – it’s to become more in tune with yourself. What makes yoga even more amazing is that it’s a communal practice that can be done by literally anyone. It doesn’t take into account age, gender, nor phy
The adjustment of energy in the body through the process of Reiki is becoming more and more popular in American culture. Some speculate this may be due to an increased need for relaxation and self-connection, brought on by a dependence on technology. While that may not be the case for all who seek out Reiki services, one point has been proven: the practice is becoming more widely used and accepted as an alternative, natural treatment. In previous posts, we’ve talked about this holistic therapy in terms of benefits obtained from those who are having Reiki done to them --- but what about from the practitioner’s side? Becoming a Reiki instructor means making a personal commitment to understandi
For thousands of years, people have been using oils for medicinal cures, boosting positive emotions, and cosmetic purposes. Distilling parts of different plants, there now exists a vast range of essential oils that can be used in countless ways. The National Association for Holistic Aromatherapy lists the following oils as some of the most commonly used: Clary sage Eucalyptus Lavender Mandarin Peppermint But why do people continue to use these essential oils? What kind of benefits do users see? Let’s begin with clary sage. The Sustainable Baby Steps website describes clary sage as “an essential oil derived from a steam distillation of the flowering plant.” Its primary benefits include the ea
Since its development in the early 1900s, the spiritual healing art of Reiki has drawn thousands of followers who swear by this technique. Fortunately, it doesn’t seem as if public interest in Reiki is dwindling. Instead, more and more people are turning to it for its gentleness. Perhaps most important to the practice of Reiki is noting that not all practitioners use the same method; however, all share the common base link: healing. No method is better than another, since all have the goal of relieving stress and treating illnesses/physical discomforts. Just as there are different forms of yoga and meditation, not everyone approaches the obtainment of inner peace and healing the same way. Re
The Japanese technique of Reiki has been on the rise for those seeking non-invasive, gentle health treatments. While it’s been a well-known secret to many holistic health practitioners, Reiki is now being used in various medical settings as a natural method to relax and improve patients. Reiki is comprised of two words – “rei,” meaning “universal life,” and “ki,” meaning “energy.” Therefore, Reiki is a method of energy flow using a spiritual life force. Although spiritual in nature, Reiki is not tied in to any religion and is open to all. The typical Reiki session includes the practitioner flowing energy through their hands into a client. The practitioner’s hands are placed on or near the cl
Mudras, typically hand gestures used throughout various yoga practices, are effective in ways that go beyond spiritual. Over the past few years, there has been scientific evidence that these energy-channeling movements actually help to increase physical functions of the body. Dr. Matthew Taylor, founder of the Smart Safe Yoga website, reported that in 2014, two books were released that discussed the benefits of mudras. These books are Mudras for Healing and Transformation, by Lilian and Joseph LePage, and Mudras: The Sacred Secret, by Indu Arora. What they found related to science and mudras is fascinating. Primarily, the use of mudras distracts the mind from feelings of pain and isolation.
Imagine being able to channel your innermost energies just by the touch of your fingers. Turns out, it’s easier than you can imagine! You can direct energy to parts of your body by incorporating mudras into your yoga practice, enabling the formation of a closer connection to your inner self. Mudras are gestures, usually hand positions, intended to heal and/or energize. Hand mudras consider that each fingertip corresponds to an element. The thumb represents fire; index, air; middle, aakash (space component); ring, earth; and pinky, water. A lack of an element in our bodies may result in disease or general sapping of energy, which mudras help to restore. This recuperative process typically inv