Category Archives: reflections

This week … and New Year

Winter Solstice

I have finally reached a point where I cannot deny it’s almost Christmas.  I am more drawn to the Winter Solstice and the celebration of the returning of the light alongwith the continuation of withdrawal and dreaming; the planting of new ideas and wisdoms to be grown as the light returns. The Solstice is at the end of the week.  There are various articles and programmes about what is and what is not a Solstice tradition.  A friend and I have made our own!  I find it deeply restorative and it’s a moment to be part of time and the universe, not separate to it.  In terms of the breath, this is the time of the pause after the exhale, the BK / empty pot.  In this moment, we can let go of habits and holdings that are restrictive rather than supportive.  It’s a powerful moment to enjoy a pause and observe.  You may be surprised what it is your mind suggests you let go of.

This is my final week of work and them I am on holiday until 7 January 2019.  My diary is full this week but sometimes clients have to cancel so let me now if you were hoping to book in and I will contact you if a space becomes available. 

Yoga returns for a six week term on Wednesday 9 January at 1800 and 1930.  Please see Yanley Yoga for information.

Yoga practice: I have not managed to film a practice.  Technology failed me, or I failed it.  I will try again in the New Year.  In the meantime, here’s a practice to allow you to ease into the Solstice and take some time out especially if Christmas is a busy celebration for you.  Hopefully the postures will be familiar and the notation is self-explanatory.  Do ask if you are unsure.  Allow your body to explore the postures and keep the breathing gentle, be mindful without challenging the breath but slow enough for the body and mind to connect and dissolve into the stillness of this time of year.  And remember to pause particularly after the exhale. Let go and observe without judgement.

In January I will open bookings for the Morning Retreat on Sunday 17 February.  I am not running a residential retreat next year.  Would you be interested in a day at Yanley Court?  And if so, what time of year would that be?  Does it have to be a weekend for you?  Let me know your thoughts.

I am continuing to develop my reiki teaching and aspects of elemental healing.  I teach reiki to support you to develop your own mindful practice and grow an awareness of what nurtures you and how to be in relationship with your environment.  Not dissimilar to yoga practice. Here’s a link to read more about the spaces on offer: Reiki Spaces.  Always happy to talk about these ideas.  Curiosity is often the first reason for a conversation.

Thank you for spending the year with me.  However you celebrate this time of year, I hope it’s full of laughter, love and time to reflect.

Much love, Yvonne

Reiki news & healing spaces

This year has left me feeling reflective and grateful for the healing aspects of my work.  Another year of teaching courses, providing healing shares and finding clarity around what reiki is and what it isn’t, is shaping the way I want to teach. 

I am creating one day reiki courses, specific to the original teachings of reiki as a mindful practice.  The additional aspects I work with and I find nourishing, I will offer as afternoon workshops.  I am spending time writing over December and will post ideas and offerings in January.  Here are some dates to bear in mind:

  • Reiki Shares are on Mondays 1900-2115 :
    • 14 January, 25 February, 1 April, 3 June
  • Introduction to Reiki (reiki I) on Fridays 0930-1830:
    • 1 March,  5 April, 20 September
  • Developing your personal reiki practice (reiki II) on Fridays 0930-1830
    • 5 July, 29 November
  • Developing your professional practice to be arranged individually
  • Elemental Healing workshops on Fridays 1330-1630
    • 3 May, 2 August, 25 October

Let me know your initial thoughts.  It’s always great to hear your ideas and responses

Yvonne x

Personal Practice

I’ve just finished teaching Introduction to Reiki and am left to reflect on what it means to have a practice.  When you begin your reiki journey, principlesthe focus is on personal practice and self-healing.  As reiki practitioners we aim to live by five reiki principles and to give ourselves regular healing; by dedicating time to our own well being, we can be present for ourselves and for others.

I had stepped away from teaching reiki.  I needed more time to reflect on reiki as a practice.  I have found that many of the ideas in yoga are echoed in reiki.  Last year I re-opened my reiki courses.  By taking myself to one side, I’ve been able to watch the energy weave its way through the groups.  Each time something different comes up.  I am beginning to realise its connections with yoga philosophy, bodywork practices, supporting self care as practitioner and self care as human beings in relationship.  Each group seems to find a different path and off we go exploring.

Reiki isn’t yoga but the intentions that shape its practice are synergistic with yoga.  In yoga, the discipline of practice creates heat to purify the person and create necessary change or maintain the benefits of the practice.  A yoga practice can include asana (postures), pranayama (breathing practice) and dhyana (meditation).  It might contain all aspects or just one.  Yoga is a practice of spiritual liberation.  This does not mean you are detached from the world.  It is a state where you understand the connections and the spaces in relationship, are master of your senses and can be present for yourself and for others (as for reiki).  Practice also needs the combination of sthira and sukha:

Yoga Sutra II.46: sthira-sukham-asanam – ‘The posture is firm and comfortable’

Sthira means steadiness, strength, being present in the moment.  Sukha means ease, flexibility, an attitude to promote happiness.  Asana (and pranayama and dhyana) needs the correct combination of sthira and sukha to be both steady and flexible.  These characteristics are needed for life off the mat.  Finding the balance between the two is part of practice.

For me, the most important discussion of the reiki course was what we mean when we try to work with intention.  YS1:12 introduces abhyasa and vairagya: the discipline of practice and surrendering to the outcome.  The action of practice results in change.  We cannot know what that change will be.  We try to let go of our expectations and demands, and surrender to what is offered to us.  When working with a healing modality, there is a saying: sometimes the healing we want isn’t what we need and the healing we need isn’t what we want.  It is the same working on ourselves or working for others.  We have to put the support in place and let go of the outcome.


I am committed to my yoga practice.  It has been a part of my life for a long time now.  I am only just realising the importance and support of my reiki practice – a journey I started over 16 years ago.  I often say to clients and students that reiki is something to be experienced, descriptions fall short.  I am finally discovering that it is also something to enhance my practice of self-awareness, self-care and self-development.

Thanks for reading, Yvonne x

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