This duality of western and eastern practices has been a theme in my life.
I began my study of yoga in 1998, when I was a senior in college and took yoga to fulfil a kinesiology requirement. I found myself looking forward to class each week and applying the breathing techniques outside of the classroom when stressful situations arose. I subsequently went on to participate in multiple work exchange programs within yoga studios to both act as a refuge from my western medical studies as well as to a way for me to develop a community as I have transplanted from one city to the next.
It was during these work exchanges when I was introduced to my first Reiki teacher, Brianna Bedigan. It was during the time I was struggling to find my way in my Human Genetics PhD program in at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine and was told that Reiki 1 was a self-healing tool. Though somewhat skeptical, I was intrigued and figured that it couldn’t hurt so I signed up for the training. I remember immediately after the attunement, I felt that I could see more clearly, that colors were brighter/vibrant, and I felt a deeper connection to all things. Wanting to know more, I continued my practice and completed my Reiki 2 training within the same week of defending my PhD thesis in 2011.
After graduation, I moved to Lake Tahoe, CA to take a break and reset from my lab lifestyle. I worked as a snowboard instructor at Squaw Valley and began attending a monthly Reiki Circle. I continued to explore this pathway and received my Reiki Master Training and Attunement from Evon Eisenberg in 2014. The previous week, I had a significant fall that left me with a concussion and dislodged my sacrum. I sought healing from yoga at the Wanderlust Squaw Valley Yoga Studio. It was slow going and frustrating to not operate at my high functioning hyper athletic self, but I was diligent about attending 3-4 classes per week. It was in that same studio that I sought by next direction and decided to move to Seattle.
In Seattle, I missed the levity of circles in Tahoe and out of that Reiki Play! was born. I think it is important to spread the understanding of Reiki beyond those “initiated” and to make the experience more an exploration so that we can learn from one another.
I returned to Tahoe to complete my training in Angelic Reiki as well as in 2017 I completed my 200 hr yoga teacher training at Wanderlust studio. My favorite class to teach mixes yin-based restorative poses while infusing reiki energy. I call this modality: Yinki and it’s an enthusiastic favorite of my students.
I started making Reiki Infused Salts to contribute to my teachers and reiki community and they loved them. I gave them as gifts and as a method to share good energy “hugs” from a distance. Soon other students wanted their own.
I have been drawn to more eastern practices as my career in Western medicine has developed. The more that I study both, the more I understand the interconnectivity of them. While sometimes it seems that I have stumbled upon this path, I understand that nothing happens by accident. I love the freedom that more Eastern practices gives me. It feels good to be led by intuition.