November 18th, 2017
By Willow Mainprize
In a city where we are taught that hard work, and exerting the most amount of effort is what it takes to be the most successful version of yourself, Reiki, at first glance, seems like a counter-intuitive practice.
With Yoga having swept Vancouver and the world for its mind/body benefits, and dare I say, fashion (Are those LuLu’s you’re wearing?), I was beginning to wonder if Yoga was becoming more trend than transformative, which frankly, was always a bit of a turn-off.
Even as a child, I have always marched to my own drum. If everyone was into The Backstreet Boys, I made of point of, well, not being into The Backstreet Boys. I even boycotted Halloween. And Yoga? Nope. Tried it. My first foray into Yoga was a Bikram’s Hot Yoga class in Kits about 13 years ago when it first began to be the hot new health trend, and I almost passed out. Instead of a Kundalini awakening, I left with a massive migraine. Ok, not the best class to start with, I admit. But, chances are, if it’s trending, I may dip my toes in the water but I will refuse to swim. Don’t get me wrong, I understand that Yoga is a beautiful practice with incredible benefits, it’s just not for me.
My feeling is, Vancouver has been ripe with Steve Nash Gyms, Grouse Grinds, vegan buddha bowls, and yes, Yoga studios, for forever infinitum. We have been there, done that! This beautiful, eclectic, forward-thinking, seawall-loving city is ready for a new self-care regime is it not?
Yoga has been practiced for centuries for good reason and, comparatively, Reiki is just a wee babe having only been founded in Japan in 1922 by a Buddhist monk named Dr. Mikao Usui. However, some historians claim that some form of energy healing has been around since the time of the Egyptians or even before that. So what is Reiki exactly? To put it simply, Reiki channels Qi energy through the bodies meridians while clearing, opening and balancing the energy centers (chakras) that are at the core of optimal health in the body. Sound familiar? That’s because Yoga works on the exact same principles through movement. However, Reiki, harnessing this Qi energy, uses stillness and deep relaxation to rejuvenate, rebalance and restore the mind, body and spirit. Yoga and Reiki produce similar health results, Reiki just does so with less effort. Ok, I am not saying Reiki will help you strengthen your core and drop those last few pounds in time to pile them all back on again at the next family feast, but it can do the following: increase feelings of peace and relaxation, enhance mental clarity, increase energy levels, reduce anxiety and depression, and alleviate pain just to name a few. And the beauty of it is, with a little training, you can Reiki anytime, anywhere for as long or as little as you want with nobody being the wiser but you. No Yoga mat required. No trendy, overpriced outfit necessary. You pay the class fee once and you reap the fruits of thy labour (or lack thereof) forever. All these benefits with out breaking a sweat? Sign me up!
And I did sign up and lemmetellyou – Total. Life. Changer. Honestly, when I first started practicing Reiki I did so very quietly. I was worried I would be laughed at, scorned and teased. Too far outside the box for the average Joe to understand, I thought. It took me over two years, and finishing my Master training in stealth mode before I came out of the Reiki closet. But here is what surprises me; the more I talk about it, the more I hear about it. Suddenly, almost everybody is doing it or knows somebody who is. My post office lady has been practicing for over 20 years. The hostess at Hy’s has been receiving treatments since basically in utero thanks to her mother who is also a Reiki Master. My paralegal friend at a large law firm gets a friend to send her Qi-balls to get her through her insanely busy work day. Oh, and the Staples guy who printed my business cards? He and his boyfriend do it. It’s everywhere. Granted, there are a few that raise a skeptical brow but, my point is, not a single person I have spoken to has not at least heard of Reiki if they don’t already practice it themselves, or know someone who does.
So, there ya have it. Apparently, I am not a trailblazer, folks. I am in fact, a trend follower and for the first time in my life I am absolutely ok with it. I am ecstatic even. The truth is, despite my head having been hidden under a rock in a closet afraid of my own Reiki-loving shadow, people have been enjoying Reiki for years in Vancouver. So, why am I only hearing so much about it now? Perhaps, thanks to groundbreaking developments in quantum physics, the principle of harnessing universal energy for ones own betterment isn’t such a far-fetched notion. Perhaps, it isn’t taking all that much convincing for people to slow down and explore a new way of being in the world. Perhaps, we are ready to embrace the idea that the most successful version of ourselves can be found in the stillness rather than in the relentless movement towards a goal. Let’s face it, there are few things in life that yield maximum results with the least amount of effort. Why wouldn’t anyone want to jump this Reiki bandwagon and tell all their friends?
So, is Reiki the new Yoga? All I know is that it is certainly trending on its own merits and therefor worth exploring. The Yoga studios seem to think so too. Both Reiki and Yoga are now being offered together to promote the optimal health of mind, body and spirit. It appears to be a natural, synergistic paring that compliments each practice equally, bringing the best of both worlds together for maximum results. And when you put it that way, maybe that’s finally a Yoga trend I can join in on.
To learn Reiki, or receive a Reiki treatment with a certified Reiki practitioner, contact Willow or Rose at firstname.lastname@example.org
Willow and Rose Mainprize are cousins and Usui Reiki Practitioners and Teachers at Rosewillow Reiki in Vancouver, BC. Canada.