#BeingReiki #1000DayChallenge—Day 329: New roads

I love sessions. But as the days pass and I advance slowly (oh, so slowly) on this road, what I'm enjoying most are the very simple breathing/meditations. Their power to ground, recharge and bring clarity never stop to amaze me. 

To explore this area further, I signed up for Frans Stiene's virtual practice group, where every month he introduces us to breathing exercises/meditations inspired by the original Japanese practice. 

Not only am I enjoying thoroughly each session, but I've started to draw some of the exercises we do. I've been struggling to find words to express these experiences, but it seems that if I let my hand express it for me, the result is a lot more fluid and charming.

As with sessions, from now on, it seems I have to let my hands do the talking for me. 

Purifying breath.

Purifying breath.

Life Coaching 101: 1... 2... 3... & Relax!

Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take,
but by the moments that take our breath away.” —Maya Angelou

Imagine doing something over 17 thousand times per day and not noticing it, not even once? It sounds crazy, but you do it every day: breathing. Our lack of awareness when it comes to breathing is—as my yoga teacher would say—the biggest clue that we seldom live in the moment.
Yes, breathing should happen automatically. But paying attention to its rhythm for just a few moments each day can result in incredible benefits at all levels: physical, emotional and even spiritual. 

1... 2... 3... Relax!
When I studied Life Coaching, the emphasis was in the process: the questions, the goals, the action plans, etc. Once I started coaching, I noticed my clients would arrive to the sessions in a rush, breathless and restless. Not a great place to start. 
I realized that the first step to move forward was to actually pause and catch your breath.
Now, as soon as my clients come in, I ask them to close their eyes and breath deeply, visualizing the air coming in through their nose and into their lungs. To feel their lungs expanding, then pause and exhale slowly, with awareness. I ask them to repeat this for a total of 3 breaths.
The transformation is amazing: from scattered and stressed to present and centered. 

Why breathing?
Breathing balances our body and quiets our minds so we can focus, reconnect with ourselves and—during life-coaching sessions—find honest answers to our questions. 
Physically, breathing not only keeps us alive. When we breathe with awareness, we help restore our body's internal movement and we massage our organs so they can oxygenate better.
Emotionally, it helps us to let go of limiting beliefs, release emotions and identify negative patterns. It also helps us relax and regain our center.
Spiritually, it helps us connect to the life force/energy, what some call Chi or Prana, thus increasing our level of awareness.

Ready to try?
Go ahead: sit comfortably. Be aware of your posture. How does your back feel? Your neck? Your feet? Close your eyes and inhale through the nose. Retain your breath to the count of 3 and exhale slowly through the nose. With each breath, notice how the air fills your lungs, your diaphragm... every space. Feel how it revives your strength and energy. When you exhale, notice how the air is getting warmer.
Repeat 5 to 10 times. 
I usually recommend to do this exercise twice a day, once in the morning and once before bed time. Of course if you ever feel anxious, you can use this technique to regain your balance at any time. 
I hope this exercise also helps you live more in the moment, not in a past that can't be changed, or in a future that may fuel anxiety. Because living in the moment is when things happen, things that, as Maya Angelou well said, "can take our breath away"... in a good way!


Niky Pauli s a certified Life Coach by the International Coaching Community, a Leadership Life Coach by the Sura Center and is trained as a Reiki practitioner. She's the founder of  NikyCoach, which combines traditional Life Coaching tools with meditation and energetic healing modalities.

 Photo Credit: Amanda Hirsch via Flickr

5 ways deep BREATHING can benefit your Reiki sessions

My lungs and I spent many years battling: I had asthma as a child and smoked in my 20s. When I practiced yoga, I was the person in the room who teachers addressed when they said, "Remember to breathe!"
When I started practicing Reiki, this changed. First, during my meditation practice—I had to work with my breath to build qi, which then translated into my sessions. Being aware of my breath really transformed my practice. How? 

1) Being one with my breath keeps me centered. No more, "Is this the right position? Is the person feeling it? What does that sensation in my left hand means? Is this a weird place to put my hand?" When you are one with your breath, it's almost like white noise: you create a peaceful space in which doubts have a tougher time disrupting your session. 

2) Clearer boundaries. When you are aware of your breath, it's easier to maintain healthy boundaries between client and practitioner, reducing (and with practice) eliminating that feeling of being drained or exhausted after a session. (Keeping your eyes open is also key!)

3) No labeling. When practicing a Reiki session, you follow the sensations but are not supposed to label or judge them. When you are busy breathing with awareness, it's a lot easier to let go of that instinct to classify.

4) Your session becomes more intense (in a good way). In many spiritual practices, breathing builds life energy (prana/chi/qi). The same happens in Reiki, where the ki part stands for life force. Try taking a deep breath all the way into your diaphragm/hara and then exhale slowly through your mouth: feel what happens to your hands. Notice the difference? That's what I mean.

5) Breathing keeps the little Napoleon inside at bay. During my practice, especially at the beginning, I had this little Napoleon that would pop out (hey, I was born in Europe.) He would say stuff like, "Way to go, girl, you are good, look how warm your hands are!" The shame I felt after these thoughts was so intense it disrupted my whole practice. I tried fighting my inner Napoleon, but it only made him sneakier. Breathing, however, brought calm and acceptance. As soon as he starts talking, I breathe deeply and remain centered in the now and connected to the right kind of oneness. 


Nathalie Jaspar is the co-founder at Natky927 Wellness Collective, a group of professional Reiki practitioners supported by life coaches, clinical herbalists and yoga teachers in New York City and Miami.