Reiki for Fitness
Reiki for Fitness
By Karen Harrison, Ed.S, L C P C , L C M F T, A A S E C T
First published in Reiki News Magazine Summer 2016
DO YOU HAVE FITNESS GOALS? Reiki can help. From motivation to exercise, through the workout, and then going back for more Reiki supports through the entire process. I have used Reiki to help me accomplish my fitness goals and am in the best shape of my life. Some people in the Reiki community focus on helping others to heal but forget about taking care of their own bodies. Remembering that we are the Treasure House of the great beaming light and thus our bodies are a temple of the Divine, along with being our only vehicle for manifesting on earth encourages us to take care of our bodies. Living a balanced lifestyle focusing on the physical, mental, emotional and spiritual aspects of life using Reiki as our guide and helper will bring us the best results.
My Exercise Journey with Reiki
As a child, I was always the last one chosen for teams at recess because I wasn’t very good at sports or most things athletic. I thought of myself as a wimp. Through the years, without actually realizing it, I healed that old notion with Reiki by intending to be the best version of myself possible in every way, which Reiki decided included fitness. Since then, my exercise journey has taken many twists and turns. I have found that it is important to choose the kind and amount of exercise that most resonates with you with no self judgement, and this may be a trial and error process. Beginning in 1981, I worked out at a gym once a week, thinking that this was adequate, until joining Weight Watchers and learned that once a week for exercise fell way short of a healthy lifestyle. I added more days at the gym.
Years later, after taking a Reiki class with a yoga instructor, I thought that yoga was the more enlightened exercise modality, so I took Hatha yoga classes for three years even though I had major balance and flexibility issues that made me think of yoga class as torture and humiliation each time I fell out of poses. Had I used Reiki on it back then, I am sure that it would have gone better. My yoga teacher was wonderful, but it was my own self-criticism that yelled loud and clear.
After leaving yoga, I started going to Jazzercise® once a week and liked it because I love to dance. However, the level of cardio activity was rather intense and the footwork seemed very challenging. I activated Reiki and affirmed that I was easily learning all the seemingly complicated steps. Staying in the very back of the room so that no one would watch me, I would lean up against the wall, panting, while everyone was exercising. Women would come over and ask if I was alright. Activating Reiki during the class helped me to stay with it. Now, 12 years later, I find the steps much easier to do, including new steps. When someone comes to class who seems out of sorts, I beam Reiki to her. If a new instructor seems to be lacking confidence, I send her Reiki during the class. I also envision the Reiki symbols on the four walls, the ceiling and the floor to power up and clear the energy of the space.
Several years ago I joined a small gym near my home. I routinely envisioned the power symbol all around the gym. Then, two years ago, a personal trainer started talking to me about signing up for some sessions. Clearly, Reiki knew that I wanted to be in great shape. So I tried a few and have stuck with it. The trainer knows just the right combination of encouragement and push. Frequently he has asked me to do things I just didn’t think that I could do and again, I use Reiki. First I draw the power symbol over the machine and then I count out the repetitions with 1, CKR, 2, CKR, and so on. I have increased my strength dramatically! The trainer now jokes with me when he sees that look on my face of “I don’t think I can do this,” reminding me to activate Reiki.
Being fit is very rewarding in many ways. I lost some weight, dropped a size or two in clothes, and have reshaped my figure, which has increased my confidence, improved the way I look in my clothes and enhanced my posture. Also, with a career of traveling around the country teaching Reiki, it is very helpful to be strong to carry luggage, supplies and massage tables.
Fitness, Reiki and William Rand
I have participated in two International Center for Reiki Training (ICRT) Reiki teacher retreats (which I fondly think of as Reiki boot camp) facilitated by William Rand in Hawaii. William is in better shape than most of the rest of those attending, all of whom are younger. He plans plenty of activities that provide opportunities for exercise. We hike to waterfalls, through bamboo forests, and swim at beautiful beaches. Since some of these were challenging for me, particularly during the first retreat, I used Reiki to help me accomplish the challenges, which included lowering myself down the side of a hill with a rope, walking over lava rocks and managing the narrow and steep trails. I particularly remember feeling like my legs were giving out on our return hike from the beautiful bamboo forest and suddenly feeling uplifted and reenergized, I turned around and found another teacher helpfully sending Reiki to me.
Also helpful was coming to understand just how and why William could always be in the lead, seemingly springing over the rocks on the trail. On one particular hike, the teachers started getting tired about two thirds of the way through. So William hiked all the way back and drove the truck to pick us up at the end of the trail, and he was there before we arrived! Sometime after that, I spoke with him about his views on fitness and about how he incorporates exercise, a good diet and Reiki into his plan to be active and strong.
William’s workout routine includes walks of 4–5 miles a day as well as weight training and calisthenics which include push-ups and pull-ups several days a week. More recently he has added cross training, since the body receives even more benefits from switching routines rather than staying with one particular form. As a result of his dedication to fitness and to Reiki, William has noticed that he doesn’t get colds and flus all the time like he used to. His immune system is now so strong that in spite of the fact that he doesn’t get flu shots, travels all over the world in planes—which are a known hotbed of germs—and teaches large classes where people are sniffling, he just doesn’t get sick.
I recently asked William in what ways his workout routine helps him with his 7-Day Inward Bound classes in Hana, which, like our retreats, are physically active programs. He replied, “It appears that most of the time I am more physically fit than the FITNESS students and so it is easy for me to be the leader. I can easily do whatever I ask them to do but I am sympathetic toward them, and if they are not in really good shape I work with them where they are at. I encourage them to try to go beyond their normal boundaries and see what they can do.”
William has discovered that a good fitness program provides other benefits as well: he has a higher energy level, enjoys exercising more, has an increased metabolism and has more ambition and intensity in all his activities.
It is obvious that William’s workout routine is working for him. Yet that success does not depend solely on physical exercise. William is a champion for healthy living in general, often talking to his students and his teachers about their health choices, including giving a talk at one ICRT retreat about how sugar makes you sick, fat and dull-witted. He says that if you stop eating sugar completely for 3 days, your compulsion to eat sugar goes away making it easy to not eat it. The secret is to not eat any sugar at all thus prevent the compulsion to eat it from developing.
William believes that Reiki practitioners and teachers who exercise regularly will have an increased zest for life, be more efficient and effective, achieve higher energy levels and accomplish more. He says that regular exercise is well worth the effort: “Sometimes a student will say, ‘But I don’t like exercise. I’m not an exercise person.’
With Reiki, we can become whoever we want to be and can overcome any resistance to exercise; we can become a person who likes to exercise thus making it easy to do. We can do this by using the Holy Fire® and SHK symbols to empower positive affirmations and to help release any negative feelings or blocks to exercise. We can also conquer past negative experiences with exercise that might have come from invalidating gym teachers or students laughing at us. Reiki helps to clear those negative feelings. If a person has not had a positive experience with exercise, I suggest starting with something simple like walking around the block one time daily. It’s amazing how quickly your endurance will build up.”
Other tips that William offers include writing “I love to exercise” on an index card, drawing the Holy Fire and SHK symbols over it and then giving it Reiki before going for the walk, making it easier to begin. If you feel yourself getting tired or weak, repeat “Holy Fire,® I love exercise” over and over. You’ll feel uplifted and stronger and be able to keep going with greater enthusiasm. Soon you will to begin looking forward to your exercise time and will really enjoy it.
Watching William keep a pace on a walk that would have been befitting of a much younger man, I was curious about his thoughts on aging and exercise: “Having a strong body increases confidence, testosterone production in men and women, posture and poise. It makes you look good in your clothes and affects your personality. It makes your body younger, and affects your attitude about life, including what you can do and what you want to do.
As we start to get older and choose to deny it, that denial takes away awareness of what we can do to reverse it. Approach aging fully aware about what is happening to your body and then make use of every resource you need to remain healthy, strong and vital. A person who is physically fit and walks across the room will have a different energy signature than someone who doesn’t and it will be picked up by those around you; you will exude vitality, confidence and poise.”
I asked William if he thought that Reiki practitioners and teachers could be role models for healthy living and why: “Being a role model for healthy living makes it easier for people to accept you as a successful Reiki practitioner and come to you for Reiki. If you have overcome resistance to exercise, you can share about how you used Reiki to heal it and motivate you so that now you love to exercise. You will also have more energy and enthusiasm to develop your Reiki practice.”
Others Share Their Exercise Secrets with Reiki
In preparing this story on fitness and Reiki, I recently spoke with several other Reiki practitioners who I know combined their Reiki know-how with their exercise know-how. Here are some of their experiences and suggestions:
Ana Sampaio has created the “Reiki Body Armor” that makes the workout fun and empowers her for running by keeping her from getting tired. It enhances her endurance for her lungs and her heart.
Draw a huge Holy Fire symbol in front of yourself and step into it. Draw a large Power symbol in front of yourself and step into it. Draw the Power symbol on each foot. Draw Rama in front and pretend to hold the arms of the symbol like an elliptical machine. Place the Mental/Emotional symbol and Shanti over the lungs to help with breathing. Draw Gnosa on the forehead so that spiritual insights can come in while running. Send the Distant symbol ahead so the path is smooth and you stay upright. Place Kriya on the legs for stability.
Patricia Williams uses Reiki when she swims laps in the ocean to make it seem easy and effortless. She also gives Reiki to the fish and sea creatures.
Robin Fuerst shared this:
I have used Reiki in various ways over the years with my fitness activities. While running, I circulate the Power symbol when feeling fatigued and the Mental/Emotional symbol when aches and pains (inflammation) start appearing in my body. During hikes, I enjoy sharing Iava with the earth as I walk through her beauty. I also am grateful for Rama if fatigue is appearing toward the end of a long day’s hike in the mountains.
Patricia “Trish” Naffky is a triathlete. She has used Reiki in her many competitions and to prepare her for the competitions. She asserts that far too many of us in the Reiki community get caught up in the spiritual aspect of health and forget to take care of the physical body. She says that since starting triathlon training, she has found a far deeper spiritual connection because of a new-found focus on the physical part of herself. Patricia has participated in a variety of races including several sprint triathlons and an Olympic distance plus a 1⁄2 Iron Man and an Iron Man, both of which she says that she just wanted to plain finish!
Trish says: “I always ask my students and the ICRT teachers to send Reiki during the events. Because of Reiki, I am able to compete despite having a condition called Neurocardiogenic Syncopy, a condition that causes the myolin sheath around the Vagus nerve to deteriorate, which means that my heart and lungs do not always get correct messages from my brain and vice versa. This causes extremely rapid heart rate and loss of blood pressure, resulting in my heart stopping with any exertion. The medical community has told me I would have to live a sedentary lifestyle…so I took up endurance sports (I’m such a compliant patient). I am also prone to seizures during exercise. I remain conscious but lose all ability to control my body, falling violently. With Reiki I am able to control this condition and compete at a high level.”
Diet and training are major components of a successful race and even a successful experience with fitness in general. Trish explains that she uses SHK whenever she craves a food that is not beneficial to her body. Foods that are not healthy can cause sluggish workouts or make you feel too tired to workout at all. And when Trish eats healthy foods, she gives them an extra boost with Holy Fire® and CKR.
During training periods, Trish always uses Reiki to connect with her higher self before a workout. First, she uses HSZSN to center, then during a more difficult workout, she might chant CKR in her head. If she begins to lose her focus, she stops and centers and then uses SHK.
She also uses self-Reiki from the moment she signs up for a race right on to the morning of the race. “I meditate, using Reiki to connect with my future self, visualizing a workout or race and how I want it to go. I work though each moment of that day like it is happening right now, staying in the moment by using mindfulness techniques or visualizing the outcome that I want in a race.”
Finally race day comes with a lot of nerves. Trish gives herself Reiki first thing, then gives Reiki to her breakfast and continues giving herself Reiki as she goes to the venue. Since her coach is also a Reiki Master, she receives Reiki from her as well. Trish gives Reiki to the water and then once the cannon sounds and the swim starts, she recites CKR with each stroke, filling the water with Reiki love for all that are there and to get a bit more power. On the bike, she uses HSZSN to connect with nature, asking her permission to ride that day and thanking her for her beauty and inspiration. She uses CKR again with each turn of the pedals.
And by the time she gets to the run, she is reciting all the symbols to give her the extra push that she needs to finish.
Being healthy and fit is rewarding and Reiki empowers this process to make it easy. In my role as a counselor, I often speak with my clients about their lifestyle habits, including exercise. I find that my clients are better able to stay with their exercise routines if they schedule them rather than leave them to chance. Try setting aside certain days and times for exercise and then say nice things to yourself when you have completed it. Over time, exercising will become rewarding enough on its own to cause you to want to do it, and if you skip a day, you will miss it. Give Reiki to your calendar so that your exercise times are a sacred commitment that you make with yourself.
As Reiki practitioners and teachers, we are role models for health and wellness. Our students will naturally follow our lead in whatever we model. Let’s take care of our physical bodies with Reiki and exercise so that we radiate Reiki-infused health!
Karen Harrison is a Usui/Holy Fire II Karuna Reiki® Senior Licensed Reiki Master Teacher with the ICRT. Additionally she is a counselor, marriage and family therapist certified sex therapist and teaches essential oil classes. She can be contacted by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone