In a recent episode of the podcast TaskHuman Talks, host and provider Jamie Carroll sat down with fellow provider Kristen McKinzie to discuss her background in yoga and Reiki. Kristen related her teachings to her own practices and healing, making it an honest and open conversation.
The key takeaways are:
Here are the highlights of the conversation, including a breathwork exercise:
The “Joy of Expansion” is one of Kristen’s mantras. She first heard the idea as a yoga student from one of her teachers, and it stuck with her. For her, it was a “lightbulb” moment, and she realized she wanted to live a life that leans into the feelings of expansiveness.
“Life is hard, but you always have a choice,” she says.
It’s helping her clients find that part of themselves that drives her services. She wants to support their growth and help them actively grow.
After the past year, she admits that it can be difficult and uncomfortable.
“All expansion is not joyful,” she says. “Some is hard.”
Working through the discomfort is worth it because of the increased understanding of yourself and the feelings of connectedness.
At one point in her personal life, Kristen suffered a year of loss. She describes it as “one loss after another,” and by the end, she was numbing herself to her emotions in order to cope.
After several nights of sitting “numbed out” on the couch, Kristen noticed her yoga mat and the thought that she should practice crossed her mind.
“If I unroll my yoga mat, all these intense feelings are going to come out,” she says.
She quickly squashed the idea because she wasn’t ready to start processing her emotions about her losses.
But the thought was there, and eventually, she gave in to practicing.
“I thought that what would happen was I would get on the mat and feel all the feelings,” she says, “and I did, but also I felt like I could take a breath.”
The movement and the breathing opened her to start healing. She was able to be present with herself, which allowed her to start processing what happened.
To start allowing yourself to heal and process loss, Kristen recommends taking 5 minutes to just sit.
“I think something as simple as taking 5 minutes out of your day to just sit,” she says. “And, I think oftentimes we think, ‘Oh, we have to be doing yoga,’ or we have to be breathing in this way. And all these practices are wonderful, but sometimes, literally, all we can do is sit.”
Yoga doesn’t always have to be doing something active to support your healing.
As Kristen journeyed further down her own path of healing, she discovered Reiki. After a few sessions, she realized that becoming a provider and Master Reiki healer was her next step.
For the skeptics, Kristen is clear about what Reiki is: an ancient healing practice that soothes the autonomic nervous system. It allows for relaxation, self-healing, and expansion.
And while, traditionally, people practice Reiki as a “hands on” modality, it doesn’t have to be.
Virtual Reiki sessions are highly effective because people are commonly more comfortable in their homes. This comfort allows relaxation to happen more easily, which then allows for greater healing from Reiki.
“We usually start out just kind of talking,” she says. “I tell them what to expect from the session. I ask them if there’s anything specific that they want me to focus on, or that, you know, something hurts, or they had this stress in their day, or their knee hurts.”
Reiki can be used to support healing for sleep ailments, mental wellness, traumas, and physical ailments. It can also be used to help find a deeper, calmer relaxation.
Immediately after a Reiki session, Kristen explains that most clients feel one of two ways. Either they have an “upsurge” in energy, or they feel really tired. She encourages her clients to hydrate well in either scenario. The next day or the following day, Reiki receivers feel more energy and an increase in their wellbeing.
Reiki works by focusing on energy and “delivering” it to the intended person. It takes the idea that the universe has an abundance of energy, and we, as humans, need to “tap into” it to help ourselves, since we are made of energy.
Kristen likens it to charging your phone.
“We can get run-down,” she says. “We can get blocked. We can get stressed. We can get to 0%. It’s like plugging in and recharging.”
The job of the client receiving the Reiki is to be open to allowing your body to receive the energy.
It might seem odd that Reiki works virtually, but Kristen explains she’s had great success. She focuses on the person and sends the energy. Because the energy isn’t bound, it reaches her client, and they feel the benefits of Kristen’s practice in reaching and aligning with a higher energy.
Because the TaskHuman app allows for video calling, Kristen is able to effectively support her clients in a variety of modalities.
“I’m offering yoga, Reiki, and meditation,” she says. “So all 3. So you could do one at a time, or all together, if you want.”
Combining the three practices will give you relaxation, mindfulness, and clarity.
Kristen leads a short Reiki and breathwork session to give you a better understanding of what happens in a full session.
To listen to Kristen’s full podcast episode, click here.