Friends! Courtney here. Have y’all heard of Reiki? It’s basically a modality that is used to find inner peace, restore balance, and create comfort – something many of us strive for – am I right? We’ve tapped into it here in the studio and got a chance to interview the wonderful and inspirational Tori Washington, a local yoga master and Reiki guru. Since we’re all about exploring new art forms and methods for taking the pressure off, we’re excited to be able to share Tori’s thoughts, feelings, and intimate insight into this organic approach to health and wellness!
WHAT IS REIKI?
Traditionally, Reiki is a Japanese technique for stress reduction, relaxation, and healing. This life energy is administered by light touch of the hands and promotes healing for the whole body so that includes our mind, our emotions, our physical body and our spirit.
ARE YOGA & REIKI SIMILAR?
We are physical bodies, but more than anything, we are energy. Reiki is translated to mean “universal life force energy.” There are many translations for yoga – one being “yoke, join, or concentrate” – so yes, Reiki and yoga can work together. Blended they are powerful. We often start with the physical (a yoga practice) and from there, for many, the journey begins.
WHAT ARE YOUR THOUGHTS ON HOLISTIC HEALTH?
I saw a Holistic Therapist when I was younger and she changed my life. In many ways, she saved my life. I battled with anxiety and eating disorders as a teenager into my early 20’s. My relationship with food was really distorted and the way I treated my body stemmed from a lot of deep-rooted pain. She was the one person who didn’t try to prescribe me any medication. She was the only person who reminded me that I have the ability to tap inside and heal myself. I had to connect with the pain in order to transform it and it’s hard work. Instead of running from it, I had to get to know it. I quickly realized that this is a never-ending journey and it’s an honor that I get to show up every day and do the best that I can. It’s part of our life’s work. So holistic health to me, shifts the conversation from “how do I fix this?” to “how can I heal?” It’s accepting that the answer will change many times throughout your life.
WHAT ARE SOME MISCONCEPTIONS ABOUT REIKI?
So many! I’ve heard people chalk it up to magic, some people think it’s dangerous. That is from a lack of knowledge and understanding. Reiki has electrical and magnetic qualities that can be measured. There are now logical tests that can account for this type of energetic healing or therapy.
IS REIKI BECOMING MORE POPULAR?
One thing I know for sure is that people are looking for more. There’s a level of dissatisfaction with our current system of medicine. On an instinctive level, people know that there is something more to draw from. At the root of every physical pain is an energetic blockage, a story, something that they are holding onto and need to let go of or transform. It starts deep within. So as a whole, I feel a tremendous shift occurring. People are looking in the mirror and realizing that they are not just a physical body. They can feel it. When you notice that, you’re much more open to different forms of healing because now it’s not just about healing the physical. We are much more complex than that. We are much more powerful than that. I see the future of Reiki enhancing the way we approach medicine. It will give birth to a new way of healing – one that is more effective, less expensive, and draws on our own personal power.
HOW DO YOU FEEL ABOUT YOUR JOURNEY SO FAR?
I will say that right now in my life, for the first time, I feel that I’m on the right path with this. It hasn’t been something that I have always had a handle on. My fiancé always makes fun of me because if ANYTHING comes up on my skin or I have a weird feeling in my stomach, I immediately jump on WebMD and look up all the various ways I could be potentially dying. It’s ridiculous! And ultimately, it’s a crutch. So I have made a HUGE commitment to myself to come back to that place of remembrance – I am on a healing journey and it’s going to look different every day. So I’m simplifying everything. I’m healing my relationship with food which I now view as medicine. I’m trusting the intelligence of my own body and I’m learning so much. Stay tuned, I’m definitely along for the ride on this one!
WHY IS REIKI SUCH AN IMPORTANT PART OF YOUR LIFE?
Sitting down and closing my eyes for the sole purpose of healing by tuning into someone’s energy is the most infinitely loving thing I can do as a human on this earth. It is the link between my heart and someone else’s – it’s love and recognizing we are all made up of it. It’s acknowledging that we are all connected and in this together. It’s rebuilding your personal power to heal not only yourself, but the relationships in your life because of it. Practicing energy healing… I don’t really know how else to describe it… there are no words for how important it is to me. But it’s the link. It’s the link to everything that I am.
HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE HOW OTHERS FEEL AFTER EXPERIENCING REIKI AFTER ONE SESSION?
WHAT IS YOUR BIGGEST TAKEAWAY FROM PRACTICING?
Ah, so many takeaways – my heart bursts just thinking about it. I almost never refer to it as Reiki and always use the words ‘energy healing’ because as my practice has evolved, I definitely incorporate some of the traditional practices, but I’ve also blended in my own unique rituals. So energy healing is how I describe it.
Tori will be hosting several “Yoga Outdoors” events through her studio Yoga Six – Lincoln Park this summer. (She always offers energy healing in her classes!) She’s also co-hosting a yoga retreat with Angie Starz right outside Cuba’s colorful capital, Havana, in April 2017!