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Energy is all around us, with the power to completely shift how we feel—including feelings of happiness, joy, sorrow, pain, and even self-love. With origins connected to divine love, the energy practice called Reiki can help inspire a sense of balance that leaves us feeling for peaceful, content, and all around harmonious with ourselves and the world around us.
Up ahead, we tap two certified Reiki Masters to learn more about this form of energy healing and how some of its practices can help provide access to greater self-love.
Reiki is a form of energy healing that utilizes the Universal Life Force Energy—also called qi, prana, or mana—to bring energies back into alignment. “With mindful and consistent practice, Reiki will help heal imbalances ranging from the physical to the emotional and spiritual,” says Carla Contreras, a Reiki Master and meditation teacher. “It’s a holistic approach to well-being and involves healing from the inside out,” she adds.
The practice has roots in Japan and is believed to be connected to divine love. It also works with the chakra system to help promote a recalibration of energy. “Chakras absorb and release energy and act as gateways to different consciousness levels and healing,” Contreras explains.
The beautiful thing about Reiki, and energy healing in general, is that we are all able to access it because we are all energetic beings. While those practitioners who practice Reiki professionally are trained in and attuned to the method, everyone can tap into their own Reiki connections. “First one would need to be aware of their own energy and body as they are intertwined,” says Nicholas Pepe, a certified Reiki Master and speaker with 12 years of experience. Those who aren’t attuned to Reiki can access this level of awareness through meditation, which helps strengthen the mind-body connection and bring about new levels of awareness. You can also do this through breathwork. “Connecting and becoming aware of your breath is a way to be in the present moment,” says Contreras. “While you inhale, notice how you feel as the air enters your nostrils. When you exhale, notice how you feel as the air leaves your nostrils.” she adds.
Breathing intentionally and cultivating a sense of awareness of how your energy moves and shifts through your body can help you capture the essence of Reiki and energy healing.
Since Reiki is rooted in divine love, some of its practices can help cultivate self-love. In Reiki, there are precepts called The Gokai (or “rules of conduct) that are all about practicing loving kindness to yourself and others daily. For a deeply nourishing Reiki-infused practice for self-love, Contreras recommends reciting these Reiki precepts daily to yourself. They are:
When you’re in need of an extra boost of love, Conteras says to “place your hands in a traditional prayer pose and vigorously rub them together until you feel the heat.” Once your hands are warm, place your palms on your heart or over your eyes. “Take a few deep breaths by breathing in through your nose and out through your mouth and feel the love for yourself, your friends and family, or the world,” she explains.
Another way to practice Reiki for self-love is through visualization. For this practice, Contreras says to either sit, stand up, or lie down with your spine long. “Close your eyes and imagine that white light energy filled with love is traveling from the base of your spine up to the crown of your head,” she explains. Repeat this body scan as many times as you’d like to feel yourself infused with the energy of love. When you’re ready, take a few deep, grounding breaths, then gently come back into your space by wiggling your toes and gently opening your eyes.
Pepe recommends a beautiful Third Eye Chakra practice that releases stagnant energy and helps you see more clearly “so that your view of the world isn’t skewed by unhealed perceptions, thought processes, and energetic debris.” For this practice, simply take two fingers—the index and middle finger—and place them on your forehead, between your brow bone. “Place them on your Third Eye for a minimum of five minutes, focusing the energy into the Third Eye, setting the intention to clear, release, and heal anything that is not of your highest healing good,” he explains.
Water is also deeply healing and can help release energy. To utilize its healing power, draw yourself a bath filled with relaxing Epsom salts and invigorating essential oils. While the water is filling up, set the intention that it absorbs all that is no longer serving you energetically and takes that energy with it when it drains from the tub. This practice not only helps promote feelings of self-love through relaxing self-care, but it also helps rebalance your energy and reset your nervous system.
No matter what practice you try, spending time focused on yourself is an act of self-love that can help you recalibrate your energy and your heart, bringing about a sense of calm, peace, and love.
Discover yogic tools that will provide calming, grounding, and nourishing with Vata Season Practice, a new session with Sarah Finger, available now in the Chopra App under For You.