Definitions and Causes of Stress: Relief Results from Understanding
There’s a beautiful human being inside everyone. What makes one different is the stress that covers the beauty. When the stress is gone, we become our original selves. In this article, Gurudev Sri Sri Ravi Shankar speaks on the 5 things we need to know about stress.
5 things we need to know about stress
The Definition of Stress
Too much to do, too little time, and no energy – that’s what the definition of stress is. When you want to do too much and you have neither energy nor time, you get stressed.
Challenges and Confidence
Secondly, remember you have faced many challenges in the past and you have overcome them all. So, have this confidence that you can handle this challenge as well.
The Importance of Life Itself
Then you must also know that there’s nothing more important in life than life itself. If you are alive, then everything else is. If you are alive, then there is business. If you are alive, so are your relationships. If you are alive, then there is fame or whatever you wish for. Don’t put life at risk to get these other things. You must give more importance to life itself.
Why do you do anything that you do? It’s because you want to be happy. And if you achieve something at the cost of happiness, it’s worth nothing at all. You achieved what you wanted but lost happiness, so that achievement is null and void. So you must keep this in mind.
Karma is Real
Things happen through a different law in the universe. You might have noticed that you are very good to people and still there are people who suddenly become your enemies. Your friends become your enemies. And the opposite happens–someone for whom you have not done any big favor helps you when you really need it. So friendship or animosity happens through some special law of the universe, and it’s called karma.
When your times are good, your worst enemy behaves as a friend; when your times are bad, then your best friend behaves like an enemy. So, understand things from a bigger dimension.
This post first appeared on artofliving.org.
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar is a humanitarian and spiritual leader, an ambassador of peace and human values. Through his life and work, Sri Sri has inspired millions around the world with a vision of a stress-free, violence-free world. He has founded courses that provide techniques and tools to live a deeper, more joyous life and he has established nonprofit organizations that recognize a common human identity above the boundaries of race, nationality, and religion.
Interested in learning more about Ayurveda and the programs at the Art of Living Retreat Center? Check out our annual catalog here!
Intuition: It’s Not About How You Feel, It’s About How You Target
Intuition: Accessing Your Hidden World
You have the power to create immediate and miraculous change today. In this video, Laura Day explains why feelings don’t matter and targets do when it comes to getting useful and actionable information from intuition.
Learn to use your intuition, psychic healing, ritual, writing, art, meditation, and the power of group to bring yourself to a New Reality of your own choosing. Laura Day hosts The Hidden World this October 24-28 at the Art of Living Retreat Center.
Laura Day is a NY Times bestselling author who has spent three decades helping individuals, organizations, and companies use their innate intuitive abilities to create profound changes in their lives. Her work has helped demystify intuition and demonstrate its practical, verifiable uses in the fields of business, science, medicine and personal growth.
Interested in learning more about Ayurveda and the programs at the Art of Living Retreat Center? Check out our annual catalog here!
In House: Jennifer Farmer on After-Death Communication
The most frequent question I get is “Can I communicate with my deceased loved ones?” The answer is a solid YES. If you are open to the Spirit World, not only is it possible, it is likely that you will have a Spirit touch and visit from your loved ones.
Is after-death communication possible for me?
Yes! After-death spirit communication is different for everyone. Some communication occurs through dreams and some throughout waking daily life. It’s important to mentally send your request and let your loved ones know you want to hear from them. You can do tell them out loud or through your mind. You might feel a little crazy at first, but rest assured, they hear you.
When Spirit visits your dreams
I’ve had many Spirit visits in my dreams over the years. For me, they are different than regular dreams. When I have them, I can feel my deceased loved one is with me more clearly. They usually have a lighted energy with them and I wake up feeling I’m had an in actual in-person visit together.
Dreams are not the only form of after-death communication. They also connect with us during our waking hours. I like a good night’s sleep, so I prefer to communicate with my loved ones during my waking hours.
Waking communication is similar to sleep state after-death communications. Asking your loved ones through your mind or verbally speaking is still the first step. Non-verbal communication from your loved ones in a waking state is just as profound as those in dreams. They can communicate better with us when we are relaxed, open, and receptive. That’s why so many people experience after death communication while in meditative state or asleep.
It takes two people to have a conversation. Sending your thoughts and words like “I really need to see you in my dreams” or “I need to know that you are okay” are the best ways to start the connection.
How can I communicate with my loved ones?
Asking is the first step in starting the new and improved connection. You can ask your deceased loved one to come and visit you during your sleeping period. When making your request, ask sincerely, from your heart, in a quiet manner or prayer. One strategy I’ve taught my clients and students to to take these steps before bed to connect with your loved one:
- In a relaxed state, right before sleep, imagine your loved one with you.
- See them as healed and whole.
- Imagine their face smiling brilliantly, and occupied with love for you.
- Say, “I love you!” with a radiant smile on your face.
- Ask your loved one to come visit while you are sleeping.
- Relax and go to sleep.
How communication eases grief
I’ve worked giving readings, teachings and meditation for more than 10 years now. I’ve focused so much on honing my gifts of Spirit communication for others.
My mom passed last year and I’ve had the opportunity to use my abilities for personal reasons. I’m sure glad I can. After-death communication with my mom has comforted me while riding the emotional roller coaster of grief.
Do not let depression, grief and loneliness take the better part of you. Talk to your loved ones who have gone. Staying in a state of grief, anger, guilt, or regret cannot bring back your deceased loved ones. God knows, I speak the truth in this. I held on to anger too long after my dad passed. I felt connected to him even while I was mad him for leaving me. Knowing that I could communicate with him after his passing was a life changer for me. After-death communication is open to everyone. Having a little faith in yourself and in the Spirit World is all you need to get started.
Your loved ones in Spirit want to help you through your time of grief.
Have you been thinking about your loved ones and how to connect with them after they are gone? After-death communication changed my life in so many ways and I wish the same for you. If you are open to the healing power of the Spirit World, your life will take on new meaning and purpose.
Over the past 10 years, Jennifer Farmer has helped people heal grief through readings and development workshops. She is well respected and a recognized leader in her field as gifted intuitive, medium and spiritual teacher. In 2008, Jennifer earned the seal of approval as one of the best psychic mediums. She continues to study new teachings and regularly attends workshops, including the Arthur Findlay College in the UK.
Access your gifts from Spirit and create a new Spirit-powered life with Jennifer at the Art of Living Retreat Center from October 4th to October 7th, 2018 at her retreat, Healing With the Spirit World.
This article first appeared on jenniferfarmer.com.
Interested in learning more about Ayurveda and the programs at the Art of Living Retreat Center? Check out our annual catalog here!
Celebrating Being Through Yoga with Wendy Swanson
Wendy Swanson, the owner of Be Yoga in Charlotte, is an open-hearted yoga teacher, acupuncturist, healer, and transformational leader who uses a beautiful combination of alternative health care modalities, yoga practice, and personal development work with her students. Along with running her studio, she has been leading retreats around the world for fifteen years. She recently spoke with us about her healing journey, her upcoming retreat, and the powerful awareness yoga brings.
I got involved with yoga about 25 years ago due in part to my first job after graduating from college. I suffered pain from sitting at a desk, which – as many of us know – is not good for the body over an extended period of time.
After discovering yoga through my church, people started noticing that my usually high-strung, Type A personality was less pronounced. I was a little more balanced. For those who study Ayurveda, I’m pretty Vatta, so yoga, breathing, and meditation helped to settle my energy.
From the start I found myself sleeping better and feeling better physically. I was in my body much more rather than getting caught up in my head so often. So, yoga had a huge effect on my whole being and helped me to relax so my true self could be expressed more fully.
But, as I continued on in the same career, I became miserable. I had a sales and marketing job in a very corporate environment. I was practicing yoga but was unhappy in my day to day working life. I knew that I was meant to do something different.
When I received an acupuncture treatment from a close friend, I was blown away by the results. I was also intrigued by the fact that it’s an ancient medicine with thousands of years of history. After I began to study acupuncture rigorously along with my yoga practice, I knew I was on my path.
Practical, Real-life Approaches with Miraculous Results
For so many of us, it’s impossible to give up our desk jobs because it’s the way we make a living. I work on methods for balancing this working lifestyle with numerous patients and students. We often hold ourselves in a scrunched, hunched-over position, sitting rigidly behind a desk or steering wheel.
While yoga asks us to assume shapes that may look kind of odd, these positions help with the six rotations of the spine so that we can feel elongated and free in our bodies. It is so amazing that once we feel good in our bodies, that translates to feeling good in our minds.
I really feel like my life purpose is to help people get out of the fight or flight stress response so that they can return to being present in their bodies. Both yoga and acupuncture help us move out of the sympathetic part of our nervous system which triggers the fight or flight response, and engage the parasympathetic nervous system, in which we can rest, digest, and renew.
Yoga and acupuncture go so well together that I often combine the two. I do a lot of restorative yoga and I’ll actually add in some acupuncture because this combination is extremely effective in calming the nervous system.
When our nervous system has been calmed, we make better decisions in that. We’re able to deal with our loved ones in a more compassionate and loving way, and we’re able to feel better in our bodies.
I have my own chronic pains from accidents and injuries, and yoga and acupuncture help me to stay in balance with that. It’s not about making every ache, pain, and problem disappear, but rather about how to be present with these things and how to lead a life that feels more open, more loving, and more fulfilled.
How to Slow Down Time
The meaning behind the name of my retreat, ‘Celebrate Being Through Yoga’, is acknowledging, honoring, and embodying our true selves. To celebrate being means to practice being authentically ourselves. It means showing up for our families, our friends, our jobs – whatever we may need to show up for – and feeling that we are enough. This is simple, but that doesn’t mean it’s always easy.
For me, showing up means being present in the little moments that make up our days. Perhaps you’ve had the experience of getting in the car, then arriving at your destinations having no idea of how you got there. Many of our day-to-day activities become habits. So showing up also means slowing down.
We still have to accomplish the tasks in our daily routines, but we can savor each moment more fully. We can really taste our coffee and feel it’s warmth when we sip it. We can pause and feel the connection when someone asks how we are.
So, it’s not necessarily about changing anything. It’s simply about noticing. By noticing, it’s possible to expand time. As we get older, time moves more quickly, and sometimes life gets very busy. So this practice allows you to truly enjoy and be there for the moments you get to spend with your child, for example. You may not have hours and hours, but when you can be present in the time you do have, it’s enough.
Yoga teaches us to be present by tuning us in to each and every breath. It teaches us to get in touch with what’s going on in our bodies. We get ourselves into some really odd shapes, and then we notice the sensations along with the breath. Some of these shapes might feel great, and some might not. But when we are present with and experience these uncomfortable feelings in yoga, we are better able to handle life when it doesn’t feel so great.
We remember that we breathed through whatever unpleasant sensations or emotions came up in yoga, and those sensations didn’t last forever. Then, we felt something great in the next pose! When we practice yoga we are practicing being present for the joys and struggles of life.
This practice involves yoga asana, some fairly gentle pranayama or breathing techniques, and meditation. We will also be learning some daily practices for self-care, which in ayurveda is referred to as dinacharya. All in all, we will be giving participants simple tools to celebrate life and celebrate who they are.
Diving Deep with Travis Eliot
We recently had the opportunity to talk to Travis Eliot, a respected yoga and mindfulness meditation instructor, about the most profound awakenings throughout his life and how they always led him back to Yoga.
We discussed the importance of a holistic approach to practice, going inward, ‘Cadillac Escalade Yoga’, and how he makes his retreats so transformational.
He and his partner Lauren Eckstrom will be leading their Holistic Yoga Flow Retreat at the Art of Living Retreat Center August 16-19.
North Carolina, L.A., Thailand, and Back Home to the Self
I can’t wait for our retreat at Art of Living in Boone because North Carolina holds a very special place in my heart. I grew up in Winston-Salem and my fondest memories are of playing in the mountains. This will be our first retreat here.
When I first left North Carolina for Los Angeles, I spent quite a while working in the entertainment industry. But, as soon as I discovered yoga, I was head over heels. I became a ferocious student of all things yoga and meditation from kirtan to Ayurvedic medicine; you name it. These things became my life.
Fast forward to a near-drowning experience in Kauai that changed my life even more. This experience opened my eyes to the fragility of life and led me to re-examine everything. Being awakened to my own impermanence, I was able to see where I was wasting energy and effort on things that don’t truly matter. I began to invest time and energy into things that are important, meaningful, eternal, infinite – the things which yoga brings us back to.
Soon after, I found myself on the beautiful island of Kolata in Thailand teaching yoga. I felt I was using every dimension of my being to teach these yoga classes. That’s when I knew without a doubt that this was my path.
Then, in 2005, I was reminded of my mortality again when the big tsunami hit. As I watched my bungalow, the yoga deck, the whole resort get washed away by the tsunami waves, I was overcome with gratitude for the many gifts in my life: my marriage, my breath, my meaningful relationships. After that I returned to Los Angeles and single-mindedly began to teach yoga to as many people as possible.
The Wisdom of a Storm
Living through the tsunami also taught me that this experience we signed up for, this crazy ride that is the human life, involves duality. It is impossible to have birth without death. You can’t have paradise without destruction, and you can’t have loss without gain, praise without blame, victory without defeat, health without sickness, female without male, or Shiva without Shakti… you could just go on and on.
The tendency that we often have is to only want the good and pleasurable experiences in life. We just want the positive, but that is not and will never be the human experience. As long as we remain in denial of that, we are fighting against nature. It’s as though we’re swimming upstream. In this way, we cause our own suffering.
For me, it became about really working on clear sight and fully accepting that we live in this world of duality. I learned not to cling to the good, and I learned not to push away the challenging or the negative.
So, I began to maintain more equanimity in my mind through the vicissitudes of life. Rather than being on this crazy roller coaster going up and down and up down, it became a little bit more steady.
When I hit the speed bumps of life, instead of being in an old 1960s beat up Ford Pinto that’s getting all jerked around, now I’m driving a plush Cadillac Escalade. That’s what it’s like- you still have to go over the bump, but it’s a lot less jolting.
Equate that to life and you get less drama, less conflict, less reactivity, and more smoothness, so that you’re able to deal with the challenges and curveballs that the universe throws at you with more grace, nobility, and equanimity.
Searching in All the Wrong Places
My yoga journey illuminated another life-changing lesson. I think that our culture has taught us that we’re not good enough unless we buy products and consume more. There’s a whole multi-billion dollar industry built around this concept of telling us we’re not good enough and that in order to become enough, we need to get things.
We become ensnared within this web of what the yogis call Maya, this illusion that we can only get our happiness from external sources. The great awakening of my life was that this is not true. It’s like a cat chasing its tail, or trying to cling to a phantom or ghost. Some people spend the entirety of their lives in this way, never actually attaining anything.
A great example is actually an animal, the Musk deer. From the day it’s born, it smells this scent that it is very drawn to. It will spend its whole life chasing the scent through forests and meadows, through mountains; then eventually it dies, never having found the source of the scent. The deer could never locate the scent because that whole time, it was coming right from underneath the deer’s nose.
This was my awakening. I realized that ‘the scent’ is not out there, but rather inside us all. Through the practices of yoga we learn to go inward rather than out. As we do so, we learn that everything we could possibly want doesn’t exist externally; it doesn’t come from things in the physical world.
What we seek by consuming things actually already exists inside us all.
All the happiness, wisdom, joy, abundance, knowledge… it’s all inside of us. That being said, I believe a good teacher is one who directs students to connect inward to the resources that exist within them. That’s what was so life-changing about yoga, on the deepest level, for myself.
There are no Shortcuts on the Path to Happiness… But You Can Speed up Your Journey
It’s so, so important to step back from life and take time for yourself, and a retreat setting provides the perfect opportunity. The greatest teachers to ever walk this planet always went away into retreat; it is essential. You must remember that you can’t give to others what you don’t have to give.
On a retreat you’re filling up your energetic cup, and we will be there as your guides to lead you through.
While it is a learning experience, it’s also an emotionally healing one. It’s common to experience emotional release while meditating in a retreat setting. We call these releases the unfinished business of the heart.
When we are able to acknowledge these emotions, we are beginning to heal some of the many griefs and traumas we have become non-reactive to as we carry them with us through life. In meditation we bring compassion to our past traumas so that we can let them go.
It’s three nights and four days of allowing yourself, in a safe, loving, compassionate environment, to renew and recharge very deeply, and to let go of what has been holding you back.
Something that really compliments this process at Art of Living in particular is the Ayurveda component. We will have time within the retreat itself for everyone to experience some of the ayurveda treatments at the spa if they wish to do so. There will be time to read, nap, hike, or stroll… Whatever you like to do to relax. It truly an investment into your own health and well-being.
Travis and Lauren’s Holistic Yoga Flow Program
A lot of what we teach is based around the framework of subtle anatomy, or the five koshas. We are the muscles, bones, organs, tissues, cells that make up our body, but we’re also much more than that.
The physical sheath is known as the annamaya kosha. Then we have the pranamaya kosha, the breath body, and the manomaya kosha of the mind and heart, which the Yogis really view as being one in the same.
Next is the vijnanamaya kosha, our higher self. This kosha can be understood as the witness or observer, as though this consciousness is looking down from a bird’s-eye view. This awareness can notice thoughts as though they are moving through the sky like clouds and emotions like waves that rise and fall within the ocean of the heart.
Then, there is the anandamaya kosha. The anandamaya kosha is bliss; it’s the essence of who we are. Although we all have different bodies, stories, and backgrounds, on a deep level there’s that essence within all of us that really is one and the same. In my experience, when all five koshas are activated, it’s as if you’re firing on all cylinders.
This is why a holistic practice is so essential. We utilize a holistic approach which includes meditation to embody many of these concepts I’ve mentioned. It’s not just a work-out in holistic yoga flow, it’s also a ‘work-in’.
So you can think of it as not just exercising, but ‘innercising’ as well. You’re strengthening your body while simultaneously strengthening mental qualities like focus, concentration, and presence, which have been proven by modern science to increase your health and happiness. You’re strengthening the qualities of the heart: generosity, compassion, kindness, love. This is what we practice in our retreats.
This holistic practice helps us to strengthen and awaken, and the beauty of it is that you get to take all of this and bring it back into your life. You get to bring it into every facet: your relationships, job, hobbies, and interests, and really embody the person that you want to be.
The beauty of it is that you return motivated to live the life that you want to live. And that’s why we’re all here… We’re here to be the truest version of ourselves. That’s what our retreat is based on.
Meditation and Science: Two Rivers Converge
The purpose of practicing yoga is to bring what you gain from your yoga flow into your entire life flow. That’s the thing about yoga – it’s a practice and a training. When you’re practicing meditation, you’re actively working with neuroplasticity by rewiring the neuro-branches inside your brain. This is why boredom and resistance are often experienced during meditation.
When we’re facing something in life similar to the boredom, resistance, challenge, or struggle that we’ve experienced in our meditation or yoga practice, we can deal with the adversity with more dignity because we’ve now rewired our brain to do so.
These practices aren’t new-age ideals; they revolve around science. People are able to deal with struggles much more calmly thanks to a strong meditation practice because it rewires the brain.
Spirituality and science have been seen as two separate rivers for so long, but we are living in a truly exciting time in which these two rivers are now converging together. I think that’s why spirituality and these teachings are exploding at such an amazing rate right now.
You’re not going to get everything perfect right away, and that’s okay. You’re going to mess up and make mistakes along the way. As Ramdass always says, yeah, I flunked the test many times. These great spiritual teachers, even Buddha and Jesus, had issues in their lives, and they made mistakes along the way. So, if they didn’t get it perfect, how are you going to?
It takes the pressure off to realize that this practice is not about becoming a perfect human being. It’s really about perfecting your love and your compassion towards all things, including and especially yourself.
Why People’s Opinions of You Aren’t Real
It doesn’t matter if you’re a Christian, a Buddhist, or an atheist… we all have this part of us that just wants to create and express ourselves completely. What we call that part of ourselves really doesn’t matter—people get so caught up trying to name things that they completely miss the point. All that matters is that we connect to that place inside and allow ourselves to get lost in our creativity so we can bring something beautiful into the world.
The problem is, the world has taught us not to connect to that place; instead, we’re trained to connect to everything but that place. We’re supposed to connect to the television, the news, the brands and the society that has tricked us into believing that we’re not enough as we are… and so we get caught in the cycle of trying to find love outside of ourselves in the form of food, money, superficial relationships, clothes, cars, and autographed Back to the Future posters … that last one is probably more me than you, but you get the point.
When we were kids, we didn’t care about any of that crap because we lived in the knowing that “You are what you love, not what loves you.”
When we were kids we just played and did what we loved to do. We created. We danced and sang all day. We didn’t care what people thought about us or what our ex-girlfriend was doing. We were totally free and pretended that we were firemen or astronauts or veterinarians. Our imagination was limitless and our creativity is what was running us. We were living from in to out. As time went on, we learned from society to shut off the oil well of possibilities that lived inside of us and to start moving from out to in. We learned that we can’t do the things that we want to do and that it’s “not that easy.” We learned that there’s not enough to go around and that the only way to feel security in this world is to get as much as possible and hold on to it as tight as you can.
Instead of working on getting as much as we can externally, what if we were focused on growing as much as we can internally? What if we were able to go back to that child-like state where we were filled with wonder and possibility and the desire to play full-out? What if we could step out of the box the world has put us in and realize that life is just one big playground of opportunity? What if you could let go of the results and allow life to lead you into a life that’s even more amazing and fulfilling than you could have ever planned?
Well, you can. Start to enjoy the process of working on yourself. Start to find your own inner fulfillment instead of external distraction. Start acting on what is exciting to you in the moment instead of what you’re supposed to do.
You are what you love, not what loves you.
Join Kyle Cease live at the Art of Living Retreat Center from Oct 19-21, 2018, for his retreat, Life Is A Playground
Kyle Cease New York Times bestselling author and Comedy Central headliner, Kyle Cease, helps his audience discover a new vision of what is possible in their lives. He draws on experience gained during his 25 years of performing, creating, and letting go of what other people think, to help you audience move past your anxieties, limitations, and self-doubts.
In House: Neil Kagan on his Reiki Journey
Why might somebody feel called to take a Reiki class? In my experience, there are generally four categories:
- You have a need for yourself
- You have a need for someone else
- You are in the Healing business (massage therapy, chiropractic, etc)
- You love the subject of energy work and other similar modalities
Taking healing into your own hands
The common theme through all of these is that you can learn how to take healing into your own hands — literally — with Reiki. By tapping into the unlimited supply of universal or Reiki energy, you can administer the energy to yourself, a loved one, an animal, or even a situation.
A holistic approach with Reiki
In my case, I fit into the second category. My firstborn son was getting ready to have a liver transplant at the age of 10 months. While I knew he had to undergo major surgery, I was still searching for ways and modalities that I could do to help facilitate his healing.
Approximately one month before his transplant, I took my first Reiki class. I still remember the energy I felt the first time I put my hands over him, just hours after his transplant. The energy I felt in my hand was very powerful, but yet I was not aware of just how powerful.
The beginning of a lifelong practice
The doctors told us that he would be in the hospital for a month — he was out in two weeks. His mother, his donor, also being treated with Reiki, had one of the fastest returns back to normal liver functions that they had seen from a donor. We couldn’t believe how well he was doing.
As he continued to recover extremely well from his transplant, I thought my days of using Reiki would soon be over. But as fate would have it, and as time went on, I would get sick with colds and later with a knee energy. I found myself using Reiki for myself, moving over to the first category.
A powerful tool for healing
I have been in this category for over 22 years, and have seen thousands of people using Reiki for all sorts of ailments, illnesses, and various other concerns. Reiki is very powerful on healing the physical body, it it is equally effective on the other parts of our being — mental, emotional, spiritual, etc. Still, to this day, I am amazed at how powerful and effective this energy is and how it can literally change peoples lives for the better.
Reiki Master Neil Kagan’s diverse background started with martial arts in 1981. This prompted a life-long study and practice of various martial and healing arts, including Yoga, Tai Chi and Chi Kung. In 1995, he earned the title of Kung Fu Master (8th degree black belt). He has been teaching classes since 1997.
Learn how to support yourself and your loved ones with energetic healing with Neil and Tobi Gold at the Art of Living Retreat Center from July 13th to July 15th, 2018 at their retreat, Become a Reiki Master.
In House: How Tobi Gold Discovered Reiki
I came to Reiki through teaching Yoga. For years, as I ended a class and people were resting in Savasana, I would place my pointer fingers in the center of my student’s foreheads and spread a little oil. Student’s would often remark, “I really liked the energy I felt from your hands!” I was not a Reiki practitioner then, but hearing those words led me to pursue it.
Finding the right Reiki teacher
In May of 2016, I took Reiki Level I at a lovely Holistic Center in Florida. I’d heard many stories about finding the right teacher, and didn’t understand why that was important. But that was before I had Neil Kagan as my teacher — I knew right away that he was the right teacher for me. In addition to making us feel comfortable with his relaxed approach and great stories, he was not “woo-woo” at all. In fact, he was very grounded, organized, and clear in his communication. I ended up taking all three Levels with him.
Healing from a distance
At Level I, I could practice Reiki on myself. At Level II, I could use Reiki for distance healing. I was telling my old friends from New England all about my newly acquired skill, and as they talked about their various illnesses, I offered to send Reiki to them long-distance. They would “recieve” this energy in a variety of ways, some with relief from pain, some with relaxation and better sleep.
I was so happy that I could help.
Now, as a Level III practitioner, I often use Reiki when I work with clients one-on-one. Reiki, the ability to use universal energy as it comes through my palms, is simple and effective.
Experiences with Reiki
I have one client who experiences chronic pain in his hips and lower back. All I have to do is bring in the Reiki energy and rest my hands in those areas, and he feels relief. Sometimes he falls alseep — a sign of complete relaxation and the absence of pain.
Another client experiences occasional pain from anxiety and tension. For her, I combine Reiki with restorative Yoga. I simply help her get into a comfortable, supported pose and apply the Reiki energy where she is feeling distress. She does experience the heat from my hands, and a deep relaxation with the treatment, which leads to reducing pain: a great gift.
Tobi Gold has been practicing Yoga and Meditation since 2001. She completed her first certification at Kripalu in 2007, and has been teaching Hatha and Vinyasa Flow ever since. In 2016, she took a Reiki Master Program in Florida, taught by Neil Kagan.
Learn how to support yourself and your loved ones with energetic healing with Tobi and Neil Kagan at the Art of Living Retreat Center from July 13th to July 15th, 2018 at their retreat, Become a Reiki Master.
In House: Wah! on Slowing Down
Slowing down seems like it’s the opposite of what you might want — to move forward. But when you slow down and reconnect to the energies of nature and divinity, you have enough flexibility and openness to move forward with a greater clarity of intention and a wealth of grace.
When things are going great, that’s when you can move fast. We all love to move fast, moving here, going there, getting it all done. But when it’s time to regroup, moving fast is the absolute worst thing you can do. Moving fast when you’re injured, sick, or in a bad mood only sends you down the wrong road faster.
Don’t miss the view
Anger comes from trying to force something into existence. Every one of us has felt that illusion: thinking we’re in charge, that we make our life happen. Life choices help us steer the boat, but we didn’t make the boat or create the water. If you want to make something happen, if you want to rise to the top, it’s actually an indication of aggression. Aggression moves against the flow. Aggression is unable to regroup and find a different way. My teacher Amma says, “You’re riding on a train, and you want to get to your destination faster, so you jog back and forth on the train.” You don’t get there faster, of course. But you do miss the view.
Your breath will tell you everything
Where are you going, that you have to get there so fast? Are you sure you can maximize your success? Or, let me ask you this — are you breathing? Can you take a fresh, clean breath right now? If you can, you’re in the flow. If you can’t, you need to regroup. Your breath will tell you everything, because it holds the same information as the rest of your cells. What is in your consciousness is also in your cells; what is in your cells is in your field. What is in your field is in your life. So what’s your intention? What do you want to discover and feel? And are you feeling it only as you get there? If you feel it all along the way as you take your journey, you inform your body and mind as to why you’re going this way in the first place.
Move with the waves
A surfer doesn’t create the wave; it’s provided by the Universe. You don’t create a trend, you simply move with the energy that’s already there. You don’t influence opinions or change people’s minds; you remain true to your own purpose and work cooperatively with those in your life. Every day there is an energy provided for you — when the sun comes up, there’s energy; when the wind blows, there’s energy. You can acknowledge what’s there for you and choose to move with it.
What are you grateful for? Gratitude gives you motivation. Grace gives you the softness to allow it to happen. Being flexible and malleable allows you to recognize what’s happening and change your course if you need to.
In with the new
The Qi Renewal Retreat James Leary and I offer is a chance to regroup, an opportunity to access the cells that prioritize your life and match it to your current hopes and aspirations. Most clients and students we work with are having trouble moving forward in their lives because an old pattern is not finished or resolved. Through the techniques of Life Qi Renewal, outdated life patterns can be released so the new can begin. Our favourite saying is, “Out with the old! In with the new!”
Wah! has been working in the field of personal development for 25 years and published books on yoga and healing. Her self-healing techniques, toning and QiDance are synthesized from a lifetime of study in yoga and meditation traditions.
Join Wah! and Dr. James Leary from April 18th to April 22nd at their Life Qi Renewal Retreat at the Art of Living Retreat Center.