Yoga and the System of Reiki

Zeynep Premdasi Yilmaz Articles, English, Photos 12 Comments

As a practitioner of both Yoga and the system of Reiki, people often ask me how Yoga and the system of 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 the system of 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 the system of 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, teh system of 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 Humble, Be Honest in your work, Show Compassion to Yourself and Others).

4) Breathing: Both Yoga and the system of 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 the system of 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.

5) Meditations: 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 the system of Reiki, there are different levels of meditations that go hand in hand with the deepening Reiki practice.

6) Initiations: 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.). 

7) Practice,Practice,Practice: In both Yoga and the the system of Reiki, one’s own practice is utmost important. In teh system of Reiki, practice means practice of hands-on healing, meditating on the precepts, meditations, meditating on the symbols and mantras and attunements/reiju. 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 ๐Ÿ™‚

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. The system of 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 the system of Reiki, having the same ultimate goal and all supporting practices (precepts, breathing, meditations) make a great couple in the path of self realization.

To find out more about Zeynep and what she does:

http://reikinewsletter.blogspot.com

http://cincinnatireiki.ning.com

Zeynep is a Shinpiden graduate of the International House of Reiki and also the co-organiser for Frans Stiene’s Shinpiden Reiki Level III classes in the Cincinnatti area.

Comments 12

  1. Dear Zeynep,

    Well done!  As a fellow yogini, I loved how you showed how yoga and Reiki complement each other and also how you honored the many yoga paths! 

    Yoga and Reiki are wonderful as both spiritual practices in and of themselves and as pillars of spiritual practice.

    Thank you!

    Kris

  2. As both a Reiki and yoga practitioner and teacher, I find this is a wonderful exposition on the two disciplines as kindred souls! Both practices are spiritual in nature and complement each other perfectly!

    Dr. Olga Rasmussen
    Certified Anusara Yoga teacher

  3. A wonderful analogy of these two complementary practices, Zeynep! I am not a consistent Yoga practitioner but I feel you captured the essence of both Reiki and Yoga as body, mind, spirit disciplines.

    Thank you for sharing
    Denyce Peyton

  4. I,too, offer services in Yoga and Reiki and find them to be gateways to the Divine. Without hesitation they fuse and I rarely offer one without the other. My Yoga is enhanced by Reiki and my abilities to work with Reiki is fine-tuned through Yoga.
    Dharma Yoga Teacher and Reiki Practitioner, Boston, MA

  5. Hi Zeynep,
    Great article. Although I do not practice Yoga myself, but do have many Yoga teachers and practitioners as our students, I see how both paths can work very well together and how they both work towards the same goal, the great bright light / self realization.
    Keep on writing ๐Ÿ™‚

  6. Thank you for your comments my dear friends. I just read Olga’s article from 2009 and LOVED it. If you’re interested in yoga, I’d recommend you to read it as well.

  7. Love your article Zeynep as well as your name!  I practice yoga and Reiki as well.  Love how you wrote the similairites between the two.  There’s a horse that requests me to do both as well ๐Ÿ™‚  Thanks for writing…looking forward to more of your writings!

  8. Thanks, Zeynep!  I just got home from my Anusara yoga class and knew I had to extend a thank you for this post.  I love both practices so very much and find that one builds so beautifully on the other.  As I offer my hands on healing practice, I focus on being that bright light that is spoken of in both traditions.  My yoga practice also helps me to be aware of my body in space. I recognize the importance of my physical alignment for personal self care.  I sent your post off to my yoga teacher and it has renewed her interest in studying the system Reiki.

  9. Hi Zeynep,
    Its been years since I have practiced yoga . Last time I remember I was like 15 ๐Ÿ™‚
    Recently started Bikram ( hot ) yoga and its been only 2 weeks and I am seeing difference .
    What I find is , it has increased my focus as I have to pay attention to the Aasanas and trying to perfect them which in turn is making my Reiki meditations better as well. On the other hand breathing during yoga asanas is much easier for me due to the meditations I do. So I do see a interrelation and definatly Yoga is a nice compliment to my Reiki practice.

    You have mentioned about Tadasana , the way you have described and the way they teach us is very different its what they call tree pose . I tried to google and seem they both are called Tadasana. Wonder whats the difference ? Curious .

    Thank you for the wonderful article and wish you all the best !

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