Solstice Yoga & Reiki

Release into the Summer Solstice with Yoga Restoratives and Reiki!


magical trees


When my friend and colleague invited me to join her in offering a summer solstice event, I did my happy dance. What a delightful way to honor the rhythms of nature while inviting balance into our own systems. Restorative yoga is one of my favorite practices as it is deeply calming and soothing to my often frazzled nervous system. Adding Reiki into the mix is like the icing on the cake!

Esther will guide the class through a series of asanas, or yoga postures, while I provide deeply nurturing and healing energy for each participant. This will be our second collaboration like this; last year was a huge success and everyone left feeling super-relaxed and at peace. It was a great joy to watch as stress visibly melted away and smiles began to emerge organically.

I hope you’ll consider joining us on the evening of June 20 if you’re near the Chestnut Hill neighborhood of Philadelphia. I hope you’ll find a meaningful and healthful way to celebrate the solstice wherever you are, and perhaps include these practices in your own way.

Register here and we look forward to seeing you then!


Full Tank

I’m noticing a tremendous improvement in the quality of my life as I begin each day with Reiki. I fill up my tank with healing energy every morning, which gives me the juice I need to honor my value of showing up in every moment with gratitude, kindness, and non-judgment. I’ve become more accustomed to feeling joyful and remembering my wholeness, which allows me to quickly notice when I’m out of alignment.

The moment I begin to blame, criticize, judge, or disapprove of myself or another, I can feel my mood begin to plummet. I recognize this as a warning that I’m leaking my precious life-force energy and disconnecting from my True Self, my sense of purpose, and my divine mission to be a loving presence on this planet. The fuller my tank, the easier it seems to be to notice when I get off track.

The fuller my tank, the more I have to share with those who cross my path. Rather than offering up my last crumb, I’m able to give from the overflow of my ki (life-force energy), knowing it can easily be replenished from an unlimited source. When I’m running low on ki, I’m no good to anyone and my crankiness can only bring others down. Just like the airline attendants have been telling us for decades: put your own mask on first, and then you’ll be better able to assist your neighbors.

Reiki is but one of countless ways to energize myself. I find creative expression and time spent in nature to be almost as uplifting. Yoga, dance, music, prayer, inspirational reading, video chats with my niece and nephews, preparing and enjoying meals made from whole foods (meaning real/unprocessed food, not the store!), connecting with kindred folk, and being of service to my community all contribute to my sense of fullness. So can simply sitting on the porch while enjoying a cup of tea, the birdsong, and a gentle breeze.

It seems to me that it doesn’t matter how we fill up, only that we do it frequently. What I love about Reiki is the ease and simplicity, as well as the fact that it’s always available, no matter where I am, what time it is, or what I’m doing. Anyone can learn Reiki in a short period of time and have access to this healing energy for a lifetime. If you’re interested in experiencing this seemingly magical gift, I’m here to help.


Ouch! That hurts.

I’ve been experiencing intermittent pain in my left foot for almost a year now. It comes and goes mysteriously, aggravated by hiking, dancing, and bouncing- basically the types exercise that bring me joy. At first I tried to ignore it; after all it’s usually a dull ache, with short spurts of intensity, but generally tolerable. Obviously this strategy was a failure!

For several months I’ve been using all my tools: anti-inflammatory diet, healing essential oils, ice packs, rest, elevation, and of course loads of massage and Reiki treatments. Nothing seems to have any lasting effect. A friend suggested castor oil packs, which did seem to allow for more mobility immediately afterwards, but now not so much. As summer is approaching, the idea of sitting still with my foot in a castor oil-soaked sock wrapped in a heating pad is decidedly unappealing.

So what to do when all the healing techniques you know aren’t helping? It seems there are four basic answers for me, and I’m exploring them all with full gusto. First, get some help. Sounds obvious, right? Trading in fierce independence for a more balanced regime of giving AND receiving through interdependence is a big lesson for me. I am determined to keep practicing this skill. I’ve started receiving acupuncture twice a week to relieve pain and to balance the energy flow through my body.

Secondly, can I accept that forces bigger than myself are at play? Can I acknowledge that I’m feeling frustrated at my seeming failure to heal myself and the resulting lack of mobility? And at the same time, can I investigate the possible silver lining? Can I react favorably to a forced rest period that allows me to read <gasp!> novels and to journal? Can I learn to accept that this is what I have to work with in this moment, and release all my attachments, judgments, and expectations that only increase my suffering? Although I’m not 100% there just yet, I’m convinced that yes, I indeed can do this.

Thirdly, what is the message my body is trying to deliver? At first glance, asking for and receiving help and enjoying more stillness are answers that float to the surface. Yet I want to tap into the deeper layers. Yesterday during my acupuncture treatment, I asked my inner self, “What am I not seeing?” I had an instant vision of dense roots reaching up from the earth, trapping me in place. While I’m still contemplating the full meaning of this experience, it seems obvious that fear of moving forward, of stepping into my full potential, and rising above my current belief system has been tethering me.

It’s tempting to be lured into the story of why, when, and how I got here; I have the tools to release fear and tap into my inner strength, purpose, and willingness to heal without intellectually understanding this ailment. That’s the beauty of Reiki; it is spiritually guided and I don’t need to know. Now that I have a goal of getting unstuck and releasing fear of the unknown that change is certain to bring, I can begin to appreciate the final answer to my question of what to do when nothing is working. Gratitude, mingled with trust. Clearly the universe has a plan in place for my growth and awakening that I am unable to see.

For some reason, this chapter is a part of my journey. For now, I can accept this on faith and remain open to the lessons at hand. I’m also reminded of my upcoming role on a panel for Healthy Aging at my neighborhood holistic health fair. It’s a fantastic opportunity to share my knowledge about growing older while prioritizing health, recharging Ki (life force energy), and heeding pain as a messenger. This helps create a healthy lifestyle that cultivates wellness and vitality, regardless of the hand (or foot) we’ve been dealt.

Radical Self-Care, Get Help

One of the most valuable aspects of being a Reiki Master is the ability to give myself daily treatments. I love that whenever I want, wherever I am, I can flow life-force energy for healing. It’s simple and powerful and helps me connect to my deeper truth every time. I also get a boost of energy each time I give a client a session. As Reiki flows through me, my body naturally absorbs some. It’s the best job perk ever!

Because I have access to healing energy on a daily basis, I sometimes forget the magnificent feeling of receiving a session from someone else. Yesterday I arranged to be the client and allowed myself to be flooded with Reiki. It was magical! I felt a deep sense of serenity and weightlessness that was profoundly nurturing. I felt like I was floating in a sea of wellness and that I belonged there. Afterwards it seemed like I had released a lifetime of burdens that had never been mine to carry.

It was a tremendous reminder to me of not only the amazing benefits of Reiki, but also of the importance of asking for help. Often I find myself identifying with the label of “independent woman” and trying to do everything myself. I am learning to recognize that there is no shame in asking for help, just as there are no rewards for going it alone. Receiving a gift allows another to enjoy the blessings of being a giver. Being in the flow of give and take is a beautiful aspect of belonging to a community. Allowing interdependence means becoming a better receiver, and that is a goal I am ready to pursue.

Radical Self-Care, Uncover Your Innate Energy

Last night I was thoroughly exhausted. When I found a video in my inbox called Four Mistakes that Zap Your Energy, I paid attention! It’s part of a free series offered by Hay House and Kris Carr, a NY Times best selling author and holistic health pioneer. It’s only available for a limited time, so if you’ve missed that window, check out her website; there’s tons of other helpful info there.

I learned a lot from what she had to say. I won’t try to repeat her message, but will encourage you to listen for yourself. I tuned in while doing restorative yoga poses and flooding my weary body with Reiki healing energy. Then I went to bed at 830 pm, so clearly my  innate energy needs to be uncovered. I will start implementing her suggestions today.

Community Reiki Clinic

When giving a Reiki session, it’s pretty obvious to me that there is an overflow of energy. The client naturally receives an abundance of Reiki, but the excess will spill over, filling the room and beyond. Pets are able to sense this and are drawn to the room where I am working when I do outcalls. People comment on the “good vibes” in my office space and sometimes I joke about creating a Reiki café where people can hang out and soak up healing energy. This is because Reiki is not confined to the limits of time and space. Let’s just say that universal energy is pretty darn miraculous! I’ll probably never intellectually understand how it works, but I’m astounded again and again by its vast power and unfathomable-ness.

I’ve been observing this phenomenon for over a decade, so when I was invited to offer a Community Reiki Clinic at a wellness center, I wholeheartedly agreed. It’s my hope that Reiki will one day become a popular source of wellness maintenance. Therefore offering people the opportunity to receive a treatment in a group setting got me pumped. This lowers the cost significantly, making it available to a much wider range of recipients than those who are able to schedule frequent one-on-one sessions. It’s also a great joy for me to watch the transformation that takes place on people’s faces as they relax for an hour in a Reiki-infused environment. And I get to rotate through the room several times delivering personal attention and connecting with each participant.

When learning how to give a Reiki treatment, we are taught that it is our intention that opens the channels for Reiki to flow. In the beginning, it might be helpful to use a few words (“Reiki on” or “May Reiki flow through me now for the highest good of Sally.”) for the mind to accept the power that lies at our fingertips. Eventually though, it’s enough just to think about Reiki and poof! The energy is flowing strongly. I’ve been experimenting with different “settings” for distributing the ki (life-force energy). I call the setting for hands-on Reiki “Super Soaker” after the popular water gun that releases a strong stream of water. This is the setting most practitioners rely on during treatments. I’ve also been using a “Fountain” setting, for filling the room with Reiki, and a “Sprinkler” setting as if I am watering the garden of participants resting before me.

I can only imagine that there is a limitless variety of ways to share healing energy. I always encourage my students to be creative and to experiment with different styles. I’m delighted to discover a new format of practicing that is more affordable and accessible to more people. I’m even more excited to remember that I am limited only by my thoughts, and that as I open up to the realm of Limitless Possibilities, I will be led to new ideas and circumstances that will expand my growth and ability to serve. I look forward to my experiments with the even more new settings and the opportunity to share them with you. If you’re in or near Philadelphia, check out Mama’s Wellness Joint for the next Community Reiki Clinic.

Daily Health Deposits

I like to think of my health as a savings account. Every day I make deposits and withdrawals based on my thoughts, words, and actions. Obviously I want to continuously increase my balance, so I aspire to make more frequent and larger deposits than withdrawals. This way I am giving my body the support it needs to do its job of being well and energetic.

Stress seems to be the number one withdrawal to our health accounts in modern society. Whether it be at work or home, from family or society, financial or social; it seems inescapable. Worse yet, it often drives us to seek comfort in activities that further deplete our health such as over-drinking, -exercising, -eating, numbing out in front of the TV, or any type of distracting behavior that saps our life-force energy. When these withdrawals exceed our healthy deposits, we make ourselves more vulnerable to disease and discomfort.

Perhaps the most healthful thing we can do for ourselves is to practice kindness; not only towards others, but also towards ourselves. This looks different for each person as our passions and challenges are all unique. For me, being kind to myself means planning nutritious meals and regular mealtimes, making time to rest, meditating, reading inspiring books and blogs, and dancing. These are all activities that make me feel great and boost my energy. And they all take time, special props or settings, and a good deal of effort.

I have discovered a super-power for creating limitless deposits with little effort. I’m talking about daily application of Reiki healing energy. Reiki is a powerful healing technique that uses gentle touch to flood one’s body with universal life-force energy. This is the same energy that the immune system uses to function at maximum effectiveness. Most people don’t have the luxury of scheduling an appointment every day with a professional Reiki practitioner, so I am a huge proponent of self-treatments.

Woman practicing energy medicine

One of the great things about Reiki is that is can do no harm. For this reason, it’s super easy to learn and to treat oneself. There are no prerequisites or special abilities involved. I’ve distilled the essence of what people need to know for self-use into a three hour class that promotes a simple sequence of hand positions that is my absolute top recommendation for maintaining wellness. Even better, it’s easy to give oneself a dose of Reiki “on the fly” in stressful situations or during downtime. Think meetings, airports, subways, exams, family holiday dinners, and busy checkout lines.

If you’re interested in making daily contributions to your health savings account and becoming your most vibrant self, I am here to encourage you to take a Reiki class and commit to giving yourself the gift of a 10-20 minute blast of healing energy daily. If you live in or near Philadelphia, I’d like to invite you to my Reiki for Self-Care: Banish Stress from 2016 class on Sunday, January 17. We may not have control over the amount of stress that life deals us, but we absolutely have the power to manage it with daily practices of self-care and kindness.