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March 24 Restore Series

In our class this week, we discussed the use of touch in healing. Carmen has written a wonderful introduction to another modality used in healing that uses the power of energy.  Enjoy!

What is Reiki?

By Guest Blogger, Carmen Molina

Many people have asked this question.  Is it something
mystical, foreign, mysterious, spiritual, is it a religion?

Reiki is a Japanese healing method that was created by Dr. Mikao Usui in
or around 1914.

Reiki is a healing method that is used for just about anything.  You could
use it on people, food, plants, animals, projects, organizations,
situations, relationships, and the list goes on.

Reiki is a healing practice whereby energy is channeled through a
Certified Reiki Practitioner.

A Reiki Practitioner receives extensive training and receives a series of
attunements in order to be able to do Reiki treatments effectively.

It is transmitted from universal energy (Life Force) through the Reiki
Practitioner's hands onto the receiving person or thing.

The Reiki Practitioner uses hand placements along a person's body and
moves the hand placements onto another part of the body whenever she or he
senses that there is a shift in the energy flow.

The beauty of this treatment is that the receiver is fully clothed and
does not have to do a thing.  Just relax and absorb this healing energy.

The Reiki Practitioner does not use his or her own energy.  She or he does
not get depleted from their own energy when using Reiki on someone.

Reiki helps to enhance healing.  It helps relax muscles.  It helps healing
after surgeries, injuries, and it helps relieve pain.  It helps a person
regain a sense of "well-being".

Best of all, Reiki is not a religion, it is not a cult.  It is a way of life.
It is a natural method of healing.

Please note that Reiki is not a substitute for a medical treatment.

The Breath
Count of 5 Breath
Come to a comfortable seated position where your spine is elongated and your seat supported. Inhale for a count of 5, hold for 2 counts and then with a long exhalation let all of the air go.  Practice this breath for several minutes to balance the nervous system, gently energize the body, move the circulation and feel more centered. If you feel dizzy or short of breath, return to your normal breath pattern.

The Poses
Forward Resting Angle Pose
Props: bolster, two blocks, 4 or more blankets
Benefits: releases the pelvis which can help release tension in the buttocks, hips, belly and lower back.  Quiets the organs of digestion and elimination. Opens lower back area. As head rests on bolster, releases tension in frontalis where we hold stress in contracted state. Cooling and calming to overall body and provides a nice transition from day. Can help with sleep.

Depending upon the length of your torso, you may or may not need the blocks under the bolster.  A double-folded blanket folded over one more time adds height and comfort.  Place as many of these as you need on top of the bolster. Cushions and pillows are also good.  You will straddle the props bringing them in as close to your body as possible to support you as you forward fold.  Rub hands together to warm up the hands and gently cup them over the eyes and rest on the elbows on the bolster. Avoid too much pressure on the eyes.  To lesson any strain in the lower back, sit on a single or double-fold blanket.  Can add blanket rolls under the knees. Stay for 5 to 10 minutes. 
*note that for some students the breath can be constrained. Practice belly breaths to begin with.

Belly Down
Props: 2 or more blankets, neck rolls
Benefits: soothing to the nervous system, grounding, stimulates the
digestive system, gentle chest opener, lengthens the legs, ankles, releases the pelvis

Place a blanket for the chest to lie on as well as fill in the belly area and one blanket for a pillow. Lie belly down with legs extended, arms bent slightly out to the side. Can hold onto your neck roll to ground through the palms. Turn your head to one side and change direction when you need to.  Additional support at the ankles. Add a blanket over top for comfort and warmth.

Starfish Savasana
Props: 2 or more blankets, neck rolls, eye pillow
Benefits: soothing to the nervous system, grounding, gentle chest opener,  releases the pelvis

Lay a blanket on  your mat for extra comfort and warmth, blankets for the arms as well.  As you lay down, place your feet towards the corners of your mat and arms about 10-12 inches from your body, palms up. Add your eye pillow, and blanket on top.  We adjusted the legs with our Double Dutch for optimal release through the legs and pelvis.  Try a progressive relaxation, contracting and releasing different muscle groups.


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Supported Forward Fold with Legs Extended (Paschimottasana)
Benefits: calming, gently stretches lower back, nice transition from the days activities.  A good pose to do if you need a few minutes break from your daily work, easy to do and easily accessible.  Good for headaches.  Breathing is easier since muscles of the respiratory system are relaxed. Massage for the digestive system.
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