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”.
1) 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.
2) 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”.
3) 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).
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.
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.
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.).
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 🙂
I also find yoga very helpful to help connect to Earth and strengthen the grounding. Being balanced between Earth and Heaven energies is one of the goals of Japanese Reiki. There is one yoga posture that represents this phenomena: Tadasana-The Mountain. Standing up, feet hip distance apart, press the feet down, slightly pull the knee caps, firm the thigh muscles and lengthen thru the spine, roll the shoulders blades up and down, lift thru the crown of the head and feel the firm roots down the Earth. Be like a Mountain, firmly grounded to the Earth. Then raise your arms to a V and grow out to the Heavens, like the Mountains do. You are the perfect balance between Earth and Heaven, the Human Being.
Yoga means “Union”; union of body, mind, spirit and also union with the Universe and Divine. Reiki, for me, is a practice to bring the “Divine self out” and “to be the Great Bright Light itself”. These two paths, Yoga and Reiki, having the same ultimate goal and all supporting practices (precepts, breathing, meditations) make a great couple in the path of self realization.