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“Your body’s ability to heal is greater than anyone has permitted you to believe.” - unknown
As healthcare costs rise, many of us are searching for natural ways to maintain health and ward off disease. Without question, we need more information about how some of the practices beyond our daily routines—proper nutrition, exercise, sleep—can contribute to health and wellness, like yoga, meditation, crystals, essential oils, and Reiki.
But can Reiki really influence your wellbeing? Whether you’ve never heard of this word or it’s already part of your practice, here is a little knowledge on how this technique can elevate your path to wellness.
According to the International Center for Reiki Training, “Reiki is a Japanese technique for stress reduction and relaxation that also promotes healing. It is administered by ’laying on hands’ and is based on the idea that an unseen ‘life force energy’ flows through us and is what causes us to be alive. If one's ‘life force energy’ is low, then we are more likely to get sick or feel stress, and if it is high, we are more capable of being happy and healthy.”
During a Reiki session, you lie on a couch, bed, or massage table, fully clothed. The Reiki practitioner may diffuse oils, play relaxing music, and share affirmations along with the treatment, but every session is different. Although there are over a thousand styles of Reiki, they are all founded on the same principle. The practitioner channels the life force energy already in and around us. He, or she, helps us tap into that energy and use it to relax, reduce stress, and heal.
In the original Usui Reiki Method, there are 12 hand positions, which all correspond to the seven chakras (energy centers) of the body. The hands can be placed on the body or hover above it, depending on the Reiki style and your comfort or needs. With each hand position—lasting up to five minutes—the entire process takes about an hour.
People often report a warmth or tingling with each hand position, which means it’s working! Reiki is practiced on men, women, children, and even animals. It can also be done remotely, over a voice or video connection. Remember, the energy is always there—waiting for us to use it for our own wellness.
While Reiki keeps you relaxed and decreases stress, it can also create positive change in the following physical and psychological areas:
- Learning, memory, and mental clarity
- Immune system
- Mood swings, fear, anger, grief
- Migraine, arthritis, sciatica
- Asthma, fatigue, menopause
- Recovery from illness, surgery, and chemotherapy
So, why have practices like yoga, meditation, and Reiki become so popular? Curiosity. We’re looking for healthier alternatives. We are discovering the miraculous abilities of our bodies and positive energies we possess and saying, ‘I respect my body, and it deserves something better.’
What if you could heal yourself? How powerful that would be. Go ahead, give Reiki a try.
If you’ve ever taken a hot yoga class, you know it’s always going to be one thing—outrageously hot. Not the “let’s hang by the pool and get that sun-kissed glow” kind of hot either. I’m talking that “I can't believe I have this much sweat in my body” and “I may or may not pass out” kind of hot. It’s nothing to mess around with, and after a year or so of not being able to go, it’s easy to forget just how serious that heat can be.
To get the maximum enjoyment and benefits out of your heated yoga classes, you need to prepare yourself before and take care of yourself afterward. Luckily, I’ve been taking some classes (sweating enough for the both of us) and I’ve listed my five favorite must-dos to help you readjust to your heated classes and get back to the hot yoga summer that we all want.
Heated classes are difficult in nature. The normal difficulty of regular poses is mixed in with the added challenges of sweating and dealing with the humidity and the heat (at times, I’ve seen the thermostat climb to 108 degrees—yikes!). Depending on what type of yoga class you’re taking (sculpt, Bikram, power vinyasa), the difficulty level and temperature are going to vary. It’s also important to remember that each person in the room is going to practice in a way that’s unique to them. Hours slept, hydration levels, food intake, and different lifestyles are all contributing factors that make our practices different. What you practice on your mat is your own––trust your body and only do what feels right to you. And remember, it’s okay to take breaks!
The rise in temperature mixed in with the humidity that we all know and love creates the perfect recipe for sweating—like A LOT. You go into a heated class dry and come out feeling like you just took a dip in the pool. Before heated classes, I had no idea it was physically possible to sweat that much. If you’re going to a heated class, especially after a long break, it’s easy to forget just how much you might sweat. Is it possible to lose that much water if you haven’t consumed it first? Trust me, going into your heated class super hydrated is going to make a world of difference and help you feel good throughout your practice. And don’t forget to take some sips of H2O while you’re practicing!
Heated classes are challenging, but I can’t stop going. Nothing quite compares to overcoming the challenge— and experiencing the cleanse my body feels after I’m done. It’s the perfect blend of hard and rewarding, but I couldn’t do it if my body wasn’t properly nourished. On the days I know I have a heated class booked; I like to make sure I am eating right. I make sure to take my vitamins and fuel my body with fruits, vegetables, and my favorite superfood shake. I hold off on food about an hour before my practice, so I feel comfortable. After the class, I like to replenish with a big protein shake (boosted with collagen to aid with muscle recovery and skin elasticity). There is no one-way path for properly nourishing your body but making sure you’re fueled for the challenge of a heated class is essential for getting the most out of your practice and feeling good on and off your mat.
Increasing and maintaining your water intake on the days you take a heated class is important, but sometimes you need something a little extra. If you’re sweating that much, you’re basically an athlete (at least in my book) and if you’re performing like a rockstar yogi, you need to hydrate like one as well. That means replenishing those lost electrolytes. Reward yourself and your body for the hard work and treat yourself to your favorite drink. I switch off between electrolyte-boosting drinks and coconut water depending on what I’m in the mood for that day. Adding these to my post-practice self-care routine has helped me feel more hydrated after and ready to take on the world again after especially sweaty classes.
Usually, a yoga mat is all you need for your practice––but heated classes are a different ballgame. I’ve gone with just a mat, and I’ve slipped all over the place. Let me tell you, there’s nothing worse than having sweat drip all over the place while you’re trying to hold a pose that makes you grip your mat for dear life (never again). Make sure you bring a towel to place over your mat, this will help with support and grip. Bringing a smaller towel is also a good idea. You can use the smaller towel to dry yourself off during water breaks or whenever you’re feeling just a bit too sweaty. This is a small step that makes a world of difference during those super-hot classes.
So, there you have it. Five of my favorite tips (more like lifesavers) that have helped me readjust to those heated classes I love so much. Getting back into it is a challenge for us all, so know you’re not alone. No matter where you’re at in your practice, remember to be kind and gentle to yourself––celebrating your health and your body’s ability to do what you love. We’re all just getting back out there, together.
Ready to jump back into your hot yoga routine? Browse Mindbody to find the perfect class for you.
While you’re at it, check out some Intro Offers near you that can help you get back to your cadence of hot yoga classes.