My Reiki Experience at Raleigh NC Yoga

I have been receiving Reiki from Claudia for nearly six months now and I can honestly say it has been one of the most transformative experiences I have ever had. From the moment I walk into her cottage, I feel the healing begin. Claudia always welcomes me with a hug and asks how I am doing. Sometimes I just start talking and it is amazing where the conversation takes us! There is usually an emotional or physical need that surfaces each time.

Claudia is a wonderful listener and is very gentle and non-judgmental. I feel comfortable sharing what I need to with her and that my personal journey will be kept only to her. The cottage is a safe place…all you have to do is be open to inner growth.

I’m never sure what to expect, and sometimes we decide to try a specific exercise after I arrive. This could involve pulling a Tarot card, learning about some aspect of Yoga, or maybe Thai stretching. The treatment involves Reiki in the traditional sense, of course, but Claudia always knows what to do based on what I need that particular day.

At our most recent session, I had my eyes closed and Claudia was moving around my body. I wasn’t sure where she was at the time, but all of a sudden I saw an elephant on a unicycle holding an umbrella! I started cracking up and she asked me why (it is ok to share during your sessions if you want to!) I told her what I saw and she told me she was remembering a song she sang to her daughter Victoria. She began to sing in Spanish, and I heard “elephante.” She said the song was about an elephant and balance. Magic!

Those are the kinds of connections I am thrilled to receive and one reason I enjoy Reiki sessions so much. Human connection. Positive energy flow. Increased strength. Open chakras. All of these gifts are there for you if you focus and accept them. I suggest giving Reiki a try!

My Yoga Teacher Training Experience at Y Respira Raleigh NC Yoga – WInter 2017/2018

My Yoga Teacher Training Experience at Y Respira Raleigh NC Yoga – WInter 2017/2018
By Summer Hunt-Goldstein

My Yoga Teacher Training with Y Respira/Raleigh NC Yoga has been an incredibly transformational experience that has far surpassed my expectations of what it would be like.  I went into the training with the desire to ‘deepen my practice’ and take it to the next level and I am leaving the program with all that and more. Looking back over the summary of what to expect from this YTT, every single thing that the description said we would take away from the training is true.   Of course, my yoga asana practice has grown tremendously, but I have also grown in so many other ways.

Over the course of the training I have learned:  proper alignment and form for each of the most common asanas along with more advanced asana I had never done before, the sanskrit names for each of the asanas we practiced along with the chakras and bandhas, the main muscles that we work and stretch in each asana, an understanding of each of the body’s systems and how they are affected and benefited by yoga,  the history of yoga and its major players and influences, a basic understanding of the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali, the 8 Limbed path of Yoga, how to articulate, correct and modify asana to make it accessible to as many people as possible, how to practice yoga on and off the mat, how to guide and share the yoga experience with others and so much more! The last several months have been filled with moments of profound growth and have been both challenging and rewarding in the best possible ways.

From the beginning Claudia talked about the goal or reward of yoga as being the connection with our true or authentic self.  I feel that this YTT program helped me remember who my authentic self is and it has given me the tools to honor my authentic self and begin to peel back the layers that obscure it.  I feel like I have reconnected to an overall sense of joy that I had somehow blurred and my curiosity and excitement for life is greater than ever. As a result of this training I have begun to replace negative thought patterns and bad habits with self love– which I believe must be practiced in order to share love with others.

Everything with this training has fallen into place for me.  I found Y Respira after reading about all of the different YTT programs in the area and it was the only studio that I felt a calling to.  There was no better time for me to trust my intuition as because of it I have found a yoga studio and yoga family that I will return to over and over again.  The timing of the program was perfect (September-March) as I can not remember another winter that has passed with as much gratitude and delight. I even believe that the cold of winter (we had some of the coldest days in years this year) didn’t bother me as much and I had a lot more energy.  The shorter days didn’t depress me but were transformed into a time to go inward, reflect and make room for self care and personal growth. There were definitely moments of stress and anxiety, more so earlier on in the program, but thankfully the rewards and joyous moments of a dedicated yoga practice start happening right away.

One of my favorite things is that my breathing and love for oxygen have transformed.  Some of my favorite memories of the physical practice are of when we did classes where we simply laid on our backs for all or the majority of the class filling up our lungs with fresh oxygen and completely emptying them out.  This is of obvious importance and deserved recognition considering the studio is called Y Respira!!!

This yoga teacher training program has set a solid foundation for me to continue the journey into my yoga practice, the yoga way of life and how to share that with anyone who is ready and willing to learn.  My love for yoga has grown even deeper along with the practice of honoring my authentic self and encouraging others to do the same. I didn’t go into the training with the overall intention of teaching yoga to others, but my love of yoga has deepened so much that I’d be denying myself of one of my true passions if I didn’t teach in some way.  Finally, I am not only leaving this training with a greater understanding of Yoga, but also with a greater understanding of the importance of getting out of my comfort zone and the beautiful growth that occurs there. For me, yoga has evolved from something I did for an hour per day into a way of life. I am eternally grateful for Claudia’s exceptional teaching and support along with the other teachers and fellow students at the studio and hope I will be able to make the same impact on others!

A Cynical Yoga Practice?

I haven’t quite wrapped my head around it, but the word cynical is falling in my lap way to often at times. I find myself a lot of times questioning the “norm”.
Let’s bring this for example. In massage school they speak a lot about massaging the back. Because it is such a big area and bc it feels so good, but in teaching yoga I find most people need the front stretched. If massage is meant to be relaxing, then why not relax and stretch the areas that are most over worked. The front body. We live so within ourselves, constantly hiding from the world, guarding our chakras along with our fears and traumas or battles.  Why not massage the front more and not the back? We live in a slouching culture, hung over desks, or allowing gravity to pull us down into our seats. I am concerned. For myself and others.

This is where I feel cynical. So much lack of common sense being taught these days. So much laziness. I blame myself also. When I point fingers the first point goes to myself. When the back wants rubbing, then to me the back needs working. By work I mean pick my slouchy lazy comfortable self up and sit up, stand up tall. Face my stuff. As I write this, I am unconsciously, now consciously drawing my left elbow in a little closer, so now I am consciously am going to move it away from my mid line. I am gonna practice my “common sense”. My body is speaking to me. I need not guard my heart, but release the discomfort of vocalizing or writing things. This is all I just needed to release these thoughts.

Have you ever appreciated someone for their behavior?

Have you ever appreciated someone for their behavior?

Tonight a girl in massage training lashed out at me bc she didn’t like my questions. She later called me annoying for asking questions and said I was just a horse massage therapist. lol I can’t believe I am also a horse massage therapist. lol How awesome is that!
My questions are my questions. I learn differently. Active listening is a common technique used for people that speak another language. Speaking out loud by rewording comments and asking questions is important in a school setting.

I was more shocked than hurt. I closed my chakras quickly as I haven’t been spoken “at” like that since the bullies in high school.

I felt bad bc I am not good with names, but c’est la vie. I will always remember their story and energies. I later told her I appreciated her honesty. Her lashing out was her truth. Truth is good, but truth without kindness is led only by the ego. Ego vs Intellect. Which wolf do you feed?

Oh, and never stop asking questions, this is your life. You deserve to know the answer to your questions. And now I will sleep better at night. #satya #thereareteacherseverywhere #truth #yogaoffthemat #raleighncyoga #yrespira #chakras #heartopeners #eyeopeners #surrendertoyourtruth #truthwithkindness #bluemoon #canyoufeelthetidesturning 

Sports Injuries and the Healing Power of Yoga

Written by Guest Blogger:
Jason Lewis

Sports Injuries and the Healing Power of Yoga 

Sports injuries are far more common than you think – from 2011 to 2014, a reported 8.6 million people ages five and up sustained a sports-related injury. We all know that rest and ice are the most common remedies for an injury, but gentle stretching is recommended for even the most common sports injuries such as shin splints, pulled muscles, and pain/soreness. Stretching is the number one way to prevent injuries in the first place too, so why not start incorporating a little bit of yoga in your life as a healing method and preventative measure? 

Natural Pain Relief/Healing 

Whenever we feel an ache or a pain, the first inclination is to reach for a painkiller so that we can continue on with our day. For athletes, painkillers can quickly become a part of the routine to promote performance and recovery, with 60 percent of amateur athletes reporting the frequent use of painkillers. Oftentimes athletes adopt the mindset that they need to play through the pain, but there are consequences. Unfortunately, this increases the risk of addiction and drug abuse in even the most seasoned athletes. However, yoga is a natural method athletes can take part in to relieve pain and promote healing naturally. 

When practiced regularly, yoga can increase recovery time after strenuous workouts and practices, increase range of motion, stretch sore muscles, and increase your concentration. Stretching is like breathing to an athlete, but according to, “Yoga goes beyond simple stretching by working the muscles and joints through all ranges of motion–activating the little-used muscles that support the primary movers.” By combining yoga with physical therapy, athletes can not only heal their injury, but their mind. A sports injury can be seen as a setback or obstacle, taking a toll on mental well-being – not to mention it is extremely frustrating. Yoga can enhance mindfulness, helping you to channel the anger and frustration you feel into motivation and self-improvement. 


Find the Right Method 

All yoga isn’t created equal, and an Internet search can leave you feeling a little overwhelmed by all the yoga-related information. There are various types of yoga such as Restorative that focuses on relaxation, breathing-focused, fast-paced Vinyasa, and Hatha, which involves standing and seated poses and is great for beginners. It is best to keep in mind that some forms of yoga are a workout in themselves, and can be strenuous, so when you are deciding which type of yoga to try, consider whether your goal is to strengthen or recover. For example, Vinyasa could be used for cross-training to improve core strength and overall movement that a typical, repetitive training workout doesn’t address. However, if your training schedule is already packed with lots of high intensity workouts, Restorative yoga can help quiet your mind and central nervous system. 


When you first begin practicing yoga, you might find it helpful to take a few classes with an instructor first to prevent further injury. Some yoga poses are more difficult than others, so the most beneficial yoga session will be one that is in line with your skill level. The goal is to be challenged, but not so much that you risk further injury or being put off by yoga all together. It will take time and a little experimentation to the find the right class and instructor. Start by telling the instructor what you seek to get from your yoga session, and he or she will be able to point you in the right direction. 

Yoga is a wonderful way to promote healing after a sports injury, as well as relax your mind. Once you learn the proper way to practice it, you can start incorporating some yoga poses into your daily stretching for improved performance and state of mind.