As a practitioner of both Yoga and Reiki, people often ask me how Yoga and Reiki relate to each other. I see them both as paths of self improvement that lead to “self realization”. Practiced together, they can support each other and lead the practitioner to the ultimate goal, “self-realization” or being “Great Bright Light”.
Physical practice: Both Yoga and Reiki typically associated with physical practice at first. Yoga in the West is associated with asana (posture) practice which is typically practiced to build power, strength, flexibility and balance. Similarly, first emphasis of Reiki practice is at the physical level, as a hands-on healing modality. Reiki practitioners typically start practicing hand positions to “channel” energy to induce relaxation, and promote health. The practitioner of both disciplines delves into the other components of the practice once they see that even the physical practice helps to promote well-being.
Built on pillars: Both Yoga and Reiki have supporting pillars other than just being the physical practice. Yoga, a 5000 year-old philosophy, depending on what type of philosophy you’re attracted to, has moral codes, breathing exercises, concentration and meditation techniques; all of which step by steps leads the practitioner to “self-realization”. Similarly, Reiki is supported with 5 Reiki precepts, attunements, symbols, mantras and meditations; providing a complete and a clear path to practitioner to discover and bring out the “divine self” and to be the “Great Bright Light”.
Taking the practice off-the mat/ or off-the Reiki table: Both Yoga and Reiki practitioners are encouraged to take the practice off the mat or off the Reiki table. Yoga supports practitioners with yama/niyamas or moral codes (compassion, truthfulness, honesty, self-restraint, non-possessiveness, purity, contentment, discipline, self-examination, surrendering). Reiki practitioners are encouraged to apply the practice to daily life by practicing the 5 precepts (Just for Today, Do not Anger, Do not worry, Be Grateful, Work hard, Be kind to all living beings).
Breathing: Both Yoga and Reiki use breath as a bridge between body and mind. In Yoga, a whole pillar of Pranayama practice offer practitioners an art of mastering life force energy. In Reiki, breath is an integral part of major techniques and meditations. Practitioners introduced to techniques, like Joshin Kokyu Ho, that use breath and Reiki (the spiritual energy) to connect, build and expand the energy-self.
Meditations: For some yoga practitioners, yoga practice equates to meditation. There are many traditions and techniques built around meditation practices to calm the mind and help practitioners to realize “self”. In Reiki, there are different levels of meditations that go hand in hand with the deepening Reiki practice.
Initiations: Repeated Reiki initiations or Reiju, help practitioners re-align and refine the connection to Spiritual Energy. Reiki practitioners are encouraged to get initiations frequently. In Yoga, depending on the lineage, initiations bring the energetic connection to the lineage and the connection is typically kept by keeping the attunement to the Guru (by serving, meditating on the Guru, etc.).
Practice,Practice,Practice: In both Yoga and Reiki, one’s own practice is utmost important. In Reiki, practice means practice of hands-on healing, precepts, meditations, symbols and mantras and attunements. In Yoga, depending on your inclinations, your practice can be selfless service, devotion, self-study or a combination of posture practice, breathing, contemplation and meditation.
In both modalities, the prize of your practice is priceless: Finding the true self.