A Path to Healing: Including Energy Work in Yoga Classes

Nicole Markardt
A Path to Healing: Including Energy Work in Yoga Classes

As I sat in my car with beads of sweat forming on my forehead, I began dialing. Before I knew it, I was spilling my guts to a man I’d never met and asking him for help. I allowed myself to express the desperation that I felt in my heart and in my body. 

I’d heard stories of addicts reaching rock bottom where they finally show up at a support group and declare to a group of strangers that they have a problem; they have lost control over their lives, their body, and they were now held prisoner by their own thoughts. This was my moment. I came clean. I did not have it all together. 

I was afraid all the time. I panicked every time I was alone and became co-dependent on the people in my life because being alone became a dreaded reality. I couldn’t drive alone, walk alone, or even go someplace new alone. 

The man on the other end of the phone was a reiki master. He was calm and non-judgmental. He mostly listened as I told him everything -- the trauma, the events which catapulted me into being a fear addict who never felt safe.

Breathing Through Fear

An at-home reiki session was scheduled rather quickly for me, as the practitioner felt my urgency.  As he entered my house with his massage table, I was ready to hop right on and let the healing begin. 

He sat across from me and talked with me a bit. I noticed that when we finished speaking, he still had not opened his table. He asked me to uncross my legs and feel my feet root down into the floor.  He guided this sense of safety in helping me feel grounded. He then instructed me to breathe deeply and slowly with one hand on my belly and the other on my heart. 

He breathed with me. I used the rhythm of his breath as a guide. He taught me how to take a real breath after noticing that I was taking short, shallow breaths. After a few moments, I felt something that I had not felt in years. I felt relaxed.

Only then, did the reiki session begin. When it was over, I felt a shift in my reality. I knew that I could feel calm again. I was not broken, well maybe I was, but I could heal. I could feel light again. This introduction to connecting with my breath was one that would eventually change my life. Reiki found me.

Synchronicity or Coincidence?

I had been seeing a therapist for a few months during that time. As I revealed this newfound method of healing to my therapist, she smiled warmly and revealed that she was a reiki master as well.  Every other session with her became a reiki healing session. 

Over time, I no longer had panic attacks. I learned how to feel calm, how to breathe, and how to channel my own divine healing energy. I became a certified reiki practitioner and spent almost a decade of my life receiving reiki healing as part of my therapy for panic disorder.

Careers That Heal

Fast forward 13 years after my first reiki treatment -- I eventually received my 200 hour yoga teaching certificate. After teaching for about 6 months, I met another yoga teacher who is also a certified reiki practitioner. We decided to start incorporating reiki healing with Restorative yoga in a monthly workshop for students. 

This experience was so healing for everyone involved. It provided a beautiful transformation of the mind, body, and spirit.  The studio owner eventually offered me a weekly class where I could incorporate asana flow with reiki healing and meditation.

Reiki Can Change Your Life

Reiki profoundly changed my life. Not only have I experienced the amazing transformation brought on by tapping into this connection with my divine life force, but I now get to help others connect with it as well. No one can deny the humbling power of the healing energy that enhances our connection to everything around us. 

Very often, we impose restrictions and limitations onto ourselves due to our fears. We fear failure, abandonment, pain, and even success. Reiki energy work can destroy these fears while highlighting our universal connection and self-love.

The Reiki/Yoga Connection

The benefits of Reiki are very similar to the benefits of practicing yoga. One can expect reduced stress, a calm frame of mind, a more positive outlook, while both practices take place in a safe and soothing environment. 

A healer's power stems not from any special ability, but from maintaining the courage and awareness to embody and express the universal healing power that every human being naturally possesses. ~Eric Micha'el Leventhal

These ancient healing practices promote being present with ourselves while letting go of fears and releasing blockages. Very often a painful experience transforms the one who experienced it by sharing it with others. Sharing our tools for coping can truly heal not only ourselves, but transform our ability to connect with others. 

The reiki master who walked into my home 15 years ago changed my life. My direction eventually changed, my perspective shifted, and I was able to claim my pain in a more empowered way. If I can be a clear channel to facilitate healing in another person’s being…well that is something I strive for each week.