Yoga Heals Body and Mind


Hello Luz, Can you please share a little bit of info about you to the readers of this interview?  
Sure, hi everyone, yoga has been a great passion and life changing philosophy for me. It was in the mindset of ‘do your yoga off the mat’ that made me realise how powerful yoga actually is. Life situations seem to be less of an obstacle with the tools of yoga. I recently divorced, have three kids, moved from place to place and through all this change yoga has been my best company. I learned to adapt, cope and flow with all that life gave to me physically, mentally and emotionally. I finished the international teacher training at the ​KYM in Chennai​, I am also a teacher and tutor at Birthlight yoga, and a ​yoga therapist at the CNHC​ in the UK. 
  
I knew that Yoga can help in healing body aches, but I didn’t know that Yoga can also help in healing emotional and relationship issues. Can you please explain how practising Yoga exercises can help mend relationships?  

“The success of yoga does not lie in the ability to perform postures but in how it positively changes the way we live our life and our relationships” - Sir Desikachar
  
I have been trained in the Krishnamacharya tradition at the KYM in Chennai, this is a place that doesn’t only look at our body from a physical perspective but they look from a holistic perspective as well. We as persons, are a whole. Which means we take in consideration the emotional, mental and the physical issues that exist in our life. When I was in my twenties, I had a lot of emotional trauma from an unloving childhood with an abusive mother. It was only through yoga that a sudden change in perception happened, a change in me and how to see the world with the different people around me. I have seen this change also in many of my clients. As we use yoga to mend any physical ailments, so we can use it to heal our broken hearts. Yoga goes beyond the physical, yoga is pure energy flowing through our bodies, even when we can’t see or feel the concept of this. I started practicing yoga due to a car accident, which left me with physical pain, never for a million years did I ever think to do yoga for my emotional pain, the change just came with the practice. It was the breathing and the awareness of my life, my body and my connection to everything that brought me clarity and caused my own individual change. When there is a change in you, there is a new way of perceiving and this might help mend relationships, with yourself and with others.  

I think when we understand our mind and body, we get a better understanding of others’ mind and body. What is your take on this?  
My mentor, who also trained with the KYM, always said to reflect on what you just said to me, dear Uma. I got pretty much in the habit of the idea that ‘if it works for me, it works for another.’ Now, I understand it is not. We might have an idea about how the mind and body works from another person's perspective, but we will never fully comprehend how they feel or think. This perception of understanding will always be ‘coloured’ with our own assumptions and projections. However, we do learn empathy and compassion when we are able to put ourselves in someone else’s shoes and in this we can hopefully ‘understand’ them better. So, even though I might ‘understand’ my own body and mind, I can’t automatically assume that this will help me understand you or someone else with how they feel or think. Even in same situations, your body or my body might respond very differently in the those same circumstances, our thinking might be different also. As Dr.N. Chandrasekaran, (KYM, M.B.B.S., diploma in Yoga), says in his book YT part 1;​ ‘Guard against superimposition. One should regularly practice [yoga] to gain practical wisdom. Yet, one should not translate the effects from one’s own standpoint on others. It is superimposition and it will not work in yoga therapy.’

Why doesn’t it work in yoga therapy? His answer is this: ​‘The practice of any technique will bring some effect on one’s constitution. The same effect should not be expected when the technique is applied to others. Every individual is different, so the effect of the technique will also be different.’ ​ I could not agree more, after my many years of teaching, it finally dawned upon me that this is indeed the case.  

How long have you been helping men and women address their relationship concerns?
I have been interested in relationships ever since I was a teenager, always asking questions, looking for ways to ‘fit’ into this world, to understand my own relationship with myself and others. When I moved to China, and met with the female expat community, six years ago, that was the time that most women came to me with questions and asked for help. However, I don’t mend relationships as a couple therapist would do, or a relationship coach. I guide women through their emotions, as they ask for clarity, I give them appropriate techniques to their specific needs and situation. Often they ask can yoga help me with understanding myself or my relationship? I say, try this or do that and see how it feels for you. Once they start with the practice and the techniques given, a change happens and in this change the women decide to do ( or not to do) something about that particular relationship. Please, be mindful that we are not only talking about a relationship to men, as in married couples or romantic relationships. Some have issues with their mothers, fathers, or other family members, but also work relationships are being discussed. 

What, in your personal opinion, the most common problem that women face in their relationships between their partners?  
Communication and listening skills, the ability to convey a message and listen to our partners in such way that makes clear our own wants and needs. We have different communication patterns, different expectations, assumptions, wishes and goals. It takes two very patient people to communicate and listen, it is a fine line between responding and reacting. We are either biased, set in a certain communication pattern, or have our own opinions that we like to impose to others and therefore not always take the time to either listen or respond accordingly. 
  
I believe if any relationship problem has to be addressed, then there need to be an active participation of both the parties concerned to get it resolved. But you have only worked with women to help them face their relationship challenges. How well did it work?   
A change in one, can bring a change in another, somewhere along the line someone has to change the pattern and the direction of the relationship. Relationship issues can not always be resolved in a way we expect them to. As Sir T.K.V Desikachar mentioned about yoga: “We begin where we are and how we are, and whatever happens, happens.” This also holds truth for any relationship issues.
   
When women come to me to guide them through any relationship problems, my first two questions will always be; ‘what are your expectations and can you accept those expectations not being met?’ It is in the unmet expectations that we suffer. The second step is to reconnect with the other person in a way that makes us feel that we stand in our own integrity, how painful this might be at times. And then the channels to communication can be opened again, giving ourselves the time to reflect, respond and maybe even react to how we feel and see things. Of course, I am talking here about relationships that have had no abusive incline or safety issues. Most of the time, women just want to talk and reflect first, before acting, they are looking for options, doors that can be opened. At times we just want someone to listen, to hand over a tissue and a smile.  

But eventually, yes, you will need two to tango. Any kind of relationship only works when two parties are willing to take a look at the circumstances, to communicate lovingly and respectfully. That is why relationships are our biggest teachers in life, it tells a lot about who we are, our expectations and what we wish from life, ourselves and others.  

What are the emotional problems that women deal with, in their relationship with their partners?  
This is a challenging question, relationship issues mainly come to the front through physical ailments as headaches or at a mental level as burnouts, depression or anxiety. The emotions that might come along with this is often sadness and anger. But there is a range of emotions, like fear, guilt, shame, envy and other emotions that come and go and change from moment to moment.
  
And you think practising yoga exercises could help these women resolve the issues? I don’t think it can, I KNOW yoga does! Again, not always in the way we ‘expect’ them to, we have to learn to ‘let go the fruits of our labour’ when we do our yoga practice. Resolving an issue might well mean to accept the situation for the time being, or to compromise more or maybe less, or to cut our losses and yet in all these to find our peace with the situations we are in. Resolving a situation means to accept and find peace with your decision and outcome. Yoga brings clarity and awareness, the postures are there to prepare our body to move deeper into a more peaceful, positive, and focused mental state. While we do our practice and become one with our physical exercise through the breath, amazing things start to happen, however yoga is very individual based. From my understanding, change is not brought solely by the different movements, it also has to do with the energy of the person and their own physical, mental and emotional state, their own journey. When we come to know that yoga brings personal transformation, our perspective on life changes and automatically our perspective on how we see relationships changes also.   

As a yoga practitioner I know, in my daily life, that every movement of my body reflect my mind and my thoughts reflect on my actions. Hence they both are affected when one is disturbed. So, do you think that practising yoga exercises can actually help men and women heal their past physical wounds that are reflecting as emotional problems in their present life?   
I know that yoga can do many things, but yoga is not an ‘one cure fits all’ and we need to make sure as yoga therapists/ teachers, to know our own limits, depending on our knowledge and on how well we can apply the yoga tools to the specific needs of the individuals. Having said that, some people are able to ‘heal’ their physical wounds that are reflecting as emotional problems through yoga, depending on their complaints/ wounds or injury. However, they will need proper guidance from a yoga therapist/ teacher who knows how to use the tools of yoga in a knowledgeable and proper way. We also need to be mindful, that certain wounds/complaints/injuries can only be ‘healed’ to a certain extent. It all depends on the individual, the yoga therapist/teacher, the network around the person (including doctors, psychologists/psychiatrists and other guidance) to create an whole picture of the state of the individual and to come up with a plan for support.
  
Can you please share a couple of your experiences for a better understanding?  
For example, endometriosis. Women who come to me with endometriosis, a disorder that affects 176 million women worldwide and is related to their menstrual cycle, have many problems. Starting from abdominal pain during their cycles, severe cramping, extreme tiredness, fertility, insomnia, long cycles, issues with concentration etc. These women very often feel misunderstood, sad, depressed, angry and stressed. Now, endometriosis can only be completely ‘healed’ through surgery, and then even the disorder can return. What yoga offers are asanas to help release the pain, pranayama to cope with the situation and visualization to move through the cycle allowing the women to feel more confident in their bodies. When working on the disorder, we work on their mental state and their feelings about themselves and the situation while we are releasing the stress and the physical pain that comes with endometriosis. Often the women will need a network of good gynecologists, dieticians, support group and a yoga therapist to guide them through their cycles and the obstacles that they encounter each month. 

I practised Yoga exercises regularly until a few months back (very irregular now) to get rid of the chronic Migraines that I was suffering for almost thirty years. So I learned yoga asanas to fix my back and neck issues that were thought to be the major contributors for my Migraines. While I was practising those exercises, I found that other ailments such as shoulder pain, TMJ disorder, sinusitis etc vanished. Remember these pains started while I was 12years old and then it became chronic as I grew up. I had problems with relationships though I thought that I was a very nice and loveable person. Do you think that chances are there that these physical ailments could have been the cause of my relationship problems?   
I am sorry Uma, I can’t answer this question. Only you know the answer. If I had to make a guess, I could say maybe. If your physical pain made you shout at people, because you were impatient, due to your migraines, well this could be a possibility, right? Or your physical pain caused you to sleep bad during the night, which caused you to be tired during the day, this could have had an effect on your behaviour towards other people. Maybe you were snappy at times and people thought that you were not as nice as you thought you were. Often how we feel will have an effect on our behaviour and our actions as you already mentioned, so it could be possible.  

What do you, as a Yoga therapist, see as the causes of depression and anxiety in women?  
Depression and anxiety can have many different causes. It can be an imbalance in hormones, or they can have their roots in unhappy relationships, it can be work related, home related issues, lifestyle, change of seasons, and many more. There is not one specific cause for depression or anxiety, sometimes it is even a mix of causes.    

How do you address depression and anxiety in your Yoga therapy sessions?  
It depends on the individual and on the situation. If it is a very severe case, I would always initiate the help of a doctor or psychologist. If it is less severe, at times all that a person might need is a massage, or more sunlight. And at other times I give them asana, pranayama, and/or visualisation. 
  
The effect of depression and anxiety varies from person to person. So I feel that it is always good to work with one-on-one instead of a group session.
   
Again, this depends on the person. The need for community and laughter is actually what a person with depression might need at times. And at other times one-to-one sessions would be better, or a mix of both.
  
Do you work with them individually, since these concerns are very sensitive and they can’t be talked out in the presence of others?  
Actually, there are women who feel more safe in a group setting. Also some women need community, the presence of other women helps them to relate to their own issues and gives them a relief of knowing that they are not alone in their struggle. Nevertheless, working one-to-one helps me to create an individual plan to their specific needs. Which in return supports the women more in depth in their specific journey. So, it depends again on the set up, and what the women prefer to work on. 

How long would it take for a woman to come to terms with her physical and mental conditions?  
I will not be able to answer this question, this totally depends on the individual. There are women who never come to terms with their conditions, there are women who take up a year, others five or even longer. But there are also women who take only five months or less to come to terms with their situation. 
  
What is the difference between a Yoga teacher and a yoga therapist?  
‘The first lesson in yoga therapy: “Do not teach yoga” (Principles and practice of yoga therapy).’ Yoga is the manifestation of the total potentiality of an individual, Yoga therapy is an application to bestow healing on to the practitioner, according to Dr.N. Chandrasekaran. He continues in his book, and I could not agree more;​ ‘With yoga therapy, a client comes with a specific health issue [this might be mentally, physically or even emotionally]. They want to regain their health, these individuals have not come to learn yoga [as the way we know it, solely for the purpose of exercise] they have come with a very clear goal, to balance their health.’

As yoga therapist we need to think about making the situation for the clients better, in such a way, that the client is capable to implement the necessary changes without harming them any further or without aggravating the condition. Which comes down to having the knowledge and how to apply this knowledge to modify certain postures to the benefit of the individual and their needs, to approach the situations from different angles and to make sure the guidance and support is their along the way. 

Can a yoga  teacher help some one to address a specific health issue as good as a yoga therapist can? 
Depends on how well a yoga teacher can apply the knowledge of yoga to an individual’s specific needs. In my opinion, I feel that the term ‘yoga therapist’ is just another label. Every well trained yoga teacher with many hours and a love for the philosophy of yoga, can be a therapist. As long as they get to know the person standing in front of them and know why they are giving those particular practices to their clients. What is the purpose of the practice and will this specific practice support the needs of the individual seeking health. 

I am a people person. I enjoy interacting with people. I like observing their actions as well as reactions. I also observe my own actions and reactions. And I find that I have become a more supple person than I was. I was a very adamant, angry and revengeful person. I believe the reason for the transformation in my personality is Yoga. I also found that not all who practise Yoga have a supple personality. So, I think it is the exercises that makes the difference. Do you think the same?  

Could you please give me more details? I didn’t get that question clearly. Sorry.  

Ok, here I go. My notion - Not all yoga practitioners become a calm person and develop a supple personality. My sister’s yoga therapist speaks so fast that my sister finds it difficult to follow her instructions. The teacher doesn't make any effort to find out whether my sister could follow her instructions or not. That was one incident. And I had another experience. This time it was a middle aged male yoga teacher. I was reading a book while I was waiting for my nephew to return from his summer yoga class. The newspaper flew from the table at the front and landed on the floor near my leg. I was reading a very interesting book, so I wanted to complete the para before taking the paper and putting it on the table. This gentleman walked towards me with a very angry face, bent down and picked up the paper and took it with him. I know he did that to show how irresponsible I was. If I was him, I would have done that with a neutral face. I would have thought that it is upto her to pick the paper up and put it back on the table. And the third experience was with an online friend, a yoga teacher who travel around the world to teach yoga to kids and grown ups alike. He is not a therapist. When I asked him whether he can reply to my email questions. He said that he don't have the patience to read the questions and write the replies. He said that he felt lazy to do that. He said he is a fast paced person. If he has told me that he is too busy to reply to my questions, then I would have understood that.  I wrote to him to keep the questions with him and send me the replies when time would allow him to slow down a bit. The same experience with two more female yoga therapists from my country.  "Have no patience"- can this actually be the case with yoga practitioners? I just wanted to know whether a trained yoga practitioner thinks the same.   
No, I do not think the same. The individual is what makes the difference in combination with the yoga practice. We have our own lessons to learn, our personalities and our perceptions help in our journey of transformation. We are born with a certain constitution, and within this constitution, we can kind of ‘move things around’ in our personality, change certain things in our behaviour, and transform ourselves in other ways with yoga. Some of us just have a little more pitta, or vata, or kapha. However, as we mentioned before, the effect of the yoga practice is unique to all. To understand yoga, you will also have to learn the philosophy behind it. The yoga sutras of Patanjali, for example can help in understanding our own yoga path to transformation. But, this transformational path is a very personal one. We don’t know what our lessons might be in this world, stand alone that of another person. Nevertheless, we need to take in account our three doshas and work from there. Also don’t forget, that we are working on samskaras (patterns/habits) and these have big influences in our lives too.  

You have been helping people for so long. Have you come across anybody who came to you for help, but NOT open for receiving help? If yes, how have you dealt with that person and helped her to get her problems resolved?  
Yes, I have encountered this a couple of times. It comes down to action, once a person sees how much work it takes to break down patterns/habits and the time involved, they already give up before ever starting, it is all in the mindset. It is important that people know that it is a lifelong journey. However, a good therapist/teacher will also let clients know that the process can be broken down in smaller steps. Take one step each day towards your desired outcome, do your practice when you can (even if it is only 10 minutes of breathing), eat an apple for a more healthier lifestyle, go for five minute walk etc. Just start, start where you are and with what you can do. Many focus on excuses and on the things that can’t be done, at the end it won’t help you. With change comes work (action) and only the individual involved can make the change. I had some clients who came to talk about how bad the situation they were in, I would give them a yoga practice to take home, and often when they had to return for another session to see how their progress was, they would come and say they did not make time to do the practice or to implement the changes. As a therapist you will notice that these clients aren’t ready for change, and this is ok, everything in due time according to the individual.
   
Thank you so much for your time, Luz. As I said before, I turned to Yoga to get rid of my Migraines that was married to me for such a long time that I actually wanted to end my life a few years back because Divorce (cure) was not an option. On the path of recovery, while I was understanding the happenings inside my body, I discovered that I am also starting to understand things that are happening outside my body. That is the priceless gift of practising Yoga exercises that I have got. Am glad I found you on Facebook and connected with you in ​your group YogaWella, for women’s health​.   ______________________________________________________________________  
Note for the readers - Please feel free to share this interview with your friends and families.   
You can also read the previous interview that features Sandy Pradas of ​Joyful Heart Yoga​. She answers my questions on how “​Yoga Helps Migraines​”  

Thanks for sharing. Sharing is caring. :)  

I am a recovering chronic Migraine sufferer. I practise Yoga. I have shared a few of the exercises that I am doing in ​this FB Page​. Please Like and get notified when I post new exercise videos and more useful articles on Yoga and Migraines.

HAPPY BLOGGING!

For Your Growth :)
Uma Mahi.

Meet Kirti, The Trusted Reiki Grandmaster from India



Can you please tell us what Reiki is?
Reiki is a Japanese technique for stress reduction and relaxation that also promotes healing. It is administered by "laying on hands" and is based on the idea that an unseen "life force energy" flows through us and is what causes us to be alive. 

People say that Reiki is not a science-based practice and it gives the placebo effect. Can you please tell us what is a placebo effect and whether what they say is correct?
I am not sure as I never thought of Reiki either as a non-science or as a placebo effect. Placebo effect is when someone says that you will be all right and your mind admits and you actually get well. In a placebo effect if a doctor gives you a sugar pill saying that it is a 100% cure for any of your problem, then your mind will accept it and your body will process itself to mend the illness. 

According to me, Reiki doesn't give a Placebo effect. A patient can actually feel the vibrations of energy. 

You neither feel the vibrations of the pill given nor the genuineness of the medicine in a placebo experiment.

Can Reiki cure any illness?
Yes, Reiki can heal any illness. Even Cancer was being treated in past with Reiki. 

Can you please give us a couple of references to your above statement?
My mother attuned a throat cancer patient {in earlier stage} into 1st Degree and she practised it regularly on herself. Her surgery, later on, was successful and she recovered faster.

What are the ailments that Reiki cannot heal?
It cannot heal a mind that doesn’t want to heal itself.

Can you please tell us a bit more on that?
Any Healing modality can help you when your mind allows to let it heal your body. No matter how desperate your soul is to heal any ailment in your body. If your mind orders that “I can’t Heal”, your body can’t heal itself. When we don't let our mind be the master then we will never be able to reach to the signs our soul sends us. And so, the mind don’t let our body heal.

Can Reiki be practised for self-healing?
Yes, Reiki is practised as Self-Healing and needs to be a part of Daily Practice.

For general physical and mental health, you mean? Just like going to a gym for a workout or doing yoga exercises daily to keep fit?
Yes, exactly. We need to practice Reiki each day. It helps in healing ourselves at Mental, Spiritual and Physical level.

How long have you been practising Reiki for yourself?
Truly speaking I do it on and off to myself but since my son was born, I am doing it to him daily.

Have you got cured of any illnesses using Reiki healing for yourself?
I can say that. I was diagnosed with minor thyroid and I healed it. I healed my sugar addiction to some extent and it’s a lifelong process. I manifested my son by keeping trust on Reiki and doing it to my womb {in addition to Law of Attraction}.

Can you say that you are a healthy person now that you are practising Reiki healing for yourself?
Reiki works on all the level Mind, Body and Soul.  It is a myth that Reiki healers never get ill. As we have to pay for our past karmas we get sickness and happiness accordingly. But yes daily practice keeps anyone free of negative energies and vibrations.

How long would it take for the healer to heal a Migraine, for example?
Actually, in any healing modality healer is a medium to bring the Life Force Energy to the patient. The energy heals a person according to the acceptance and belief of the recipient. Patient’s body and energetic vibrations decide how long will it take to heal them. But it helps instantly in pain relief when given for at least 15 to 30 minutes.

Do you say that those ailments that need surgery can also be cured by Reiki healing method?
If the ailment is at the primary stage and rarely need surgery at the moment then it can be cured. But the acceptance of energy and belief of the recipient is the healer in itself. 

Is Reiki a spiritual thing?
Yes, Reiki is Spiritual but not Religious practice.

Why did you learn Reiki?
I got attuned to Reiki 1st Degree in 2004 when I was 20 Years old. I didn’t know much, but I wanted to learn it as I read about Reiki somewhere on the Internet. I learnt it as I was curious about it and now it has become my daily practice.

1st Degree is the first level of the Reiki Course, I suppose. How many degrees should one have to complete to become a Certified Reiki Healer?
Yes. There are 3 levels mainly. 1st degree is Hands on Healing, 2nd degree is Distant Healing, the 3rd degree is divided into 2 levels. 3rd A is Master healer and 3rd B is Grand Master healer or Master and teacher certification.

Except for these main degrees a.k.a. levels there are much more which are created by different healers around the world.

Reiki level/Degree 1st and 2nd are enough for anyone to heal themselves and people around.

Are you a certified Reiki healer?
Yes, I am a Certified Reiki Grandmaster {i.e. master and teacher} since 2006.

You mean, one can become a teacher when they complete all the degrees of the Reiki course and then one has to do a master degree to become a Grandmaster. Is that right?
Yes. That is right.

Can Reiki be practised by anybody irrespective of their religion, gender and their nationality?
Yes. You just need attunements from a Reiki Master and Teacher who initiate you to Reiki.

Attunements and initiate? Can you please tell us more?
They are both the synonyms in a way. Attunement is to initiate or connect your energy field to the Universal Life Force. So, we sometimes use Attune and sometimes can use initiate. The initiate is to start something new.

Does Reiki enhance the mental stability as much as it enhances the physical state of being?
Yes, it helps in any mental issues as it treats the bodily issues.

Can Reiki healing be done to elderly persons and little children?
Yes, Age is no bar. My 65+-year-old Grandmother got attuned into Reiki 1st degree and she did Reiki to herself for recovery from a surgery later on. 

And I am giving Reiki to my 7-year-old son since the starting of my pregnancy.

Do you say that you gave Reiki energies to your son while he was still in your womb?
Yes, I used to do Reiki regularly throughout my pregnancy. And never had any severe pregnancy issues.

How do you think it has helped him and what differences do you observe between a normal kid and your son?
Although, we all come on this earth with some mission, purpose and our past karmas, but by doing Reiki to my child helped him to be more connected to the Universal Energy. And it strengthens our bond to a great extent. He has a few allergies since childhood but his body heal faster through natural remedies and medicines and Reiki.

I understand that Reiki can be practised for a quick recovery after any surgery. Is my understanding, right?
Yes, but not instant. The patient’s body takes some time but it heals faster than any other case.

I am a Yoga practitioner and I know that Yoga is a holistic healing method. Is Reiki also a holistic healing method?
Yes, it is one of the holistic healing modalities and was used by Lord Buddha himself.

Is Lord Buddha the founder of this healing method?
Although, healing through hands and words is an ancient modality in India. But yes, it is said that Buddha used to heal people.

What should I do if I want to become a Reiki Healer?
If you want to learn Reiki, then you need to find an authentic Reiki Master and teacher.

How can they be found?
the Internet is filled with a lot of information about Reiki healers, but if you want a list of healers and masters around you I recommend people to check lifepositive.com.  They have many healers and masters registered to their directory. There are many other websites. But I usually recommend this one the most.

Can Reiki be practised for long distance healing?
Yes, after the 2nd-degree attunements the healer can send Reiki to people at any distance, at any time and at anything on earth.

By anything, you mean to even immovable objects like mountains?
Yes.

Which means you can send Reiki energies to help people around the globe because you said you are a Grandmaster?
Yes, because I am attuned to 2nd degree. Any person who is attuned to 1st and 2nd degree can heal anyone and anything around the globe.

Can you give us a little more information in this long-distance healing? Should the healer and the receiver be ready and aligned at the same time to connect through the mind? Since you said that the receiver should be ready to receive energies, then it is in the mind especially since they are not in the same place. Right?
The receiver and Healer both need to be ready for the healing to receive and give Reiki. A specific time is needed, but we can feed Reiki to reach to a person at any mutually convenient time. No time zone affects the Reiki energy and healing.

While I was surfing the Internet, I found that there are Reiki symbols that can be used during a healing process. Is it necessary to use the Symbols by a Reiki Practitioner?
Yes, they bring extra power to the healing. They are taught from the 2nd degree.

You mean the 2nd level of learning to become a Reiki Healer?
Yes.

Do you use any Reiki symbols for healing?
Yes, I use all the Reiki symbols.

How many symbols are there?
The symbols are usually kept secret as they have no value for non-Reiki people. There are lots of Symbols used while healing through Reiki.

Even in the long-distance healing?
Reiki symbols once learned and attuned in a person while Attunements can be used anytime and anywhere.

Do Reiki practitioners have an association for them to address or discuss or help if any issues arise? 
Yes... But I am not a part of any such association... So don't know much.

I know a woman (whose identity I can’t reveal) said that she attended the full course of Reiki healing and it didn’t help her Migraines. What do you think would be the reasons? How many sessions are considered as a full course?
There is no full course or specific timing for healing. As I already said healing any ailment depends on the belief of the patient and their acceptance.

There can be different reasons for not getting cured:

  • Maybe the healer was a new practitioner and wasn't able to express the information about Reiki properly.
  • Maybe the person didn't believe the healer’s capability. {at higher level of her consciousness}
  • Maybe the patient wasn't sure if she is receiving the energy or not.


These are only a few assumptions. The real issue can be revealed by talking and understanding the mindset of the patient. 

If any of the readers of this interview would like to know more, how can they contact you?
They can check my website www.spiritualcuratives.com or contact me at spiritualcuratives@gmail.com 


HAPPY BLOGGING!

For Your Growth :)
Uma Mahi.

An Interview with a Serial Entrepreneur, The Karpinter



Can you introduce yourself to our readers? 
I am Rajesh Bhandary. I run a furniture & furnishing store named Karpinter. I am an entrepreneur, a photographer and a person with a great sense of humor. 

How long have you been an entrepreneur? How did you become an entrepreneur?  
I am an entrepreneur for the past 14years. When I quit my job as an Area Manager from a leading furniture company I saw a lot of prospect in this field of business so I wasted no time venturing into it though I was 24 years old at that time. 

Did you have to convince your parents about this transformation, from an employee to entrepreneurship? How was their response to your decision? 
Yes, I had to. But I couldn’t convince them to till date. Because they feel that running a business is a very stressful job. So I started without their support. 

Was it your sole decision or you had friends who encouraged you to get into this furniture business? 
It was my sole decision. I have always been deciding things on my own. Either good or bad. If things fail I always accept my fault and take responsibility.

Is Karpinter your first business venture? 
No. It wasn't. Naveen Industry was my first business venture where we manufactured sofas, in Madurai. It was a partnership concern.  


What are the main factors that are to be considered before choosing any business? 
I would see the market for that particular product and the return on investment 

Are you the sole owner of Karpinter or is it a partnership business? 
It is a partnership business. 

How many partners are there in Karpinter? 
One apart from me.

What is the best business ownership in your personal opinion? Is it sole-proprietorship business or a partnership business? 
It varies from business to business /person to person. It also depends on the investment and profits. 

In your personal opinion, what businesses can be run by a single person? 
There are many businesses that can be run by a single person. Photography, website designing and any business that can thrive on the skills of an individual person can be run by a single person.

What personality traits of a person would you consider before making him your partner? 
Many. The two main things - I would see WHY he wants to do this business. And whether he has the patience to wait for the business to roll.

You said a business should be chosen after considering the investment and profits. Can you please explain us more? 
If the return on investment is too less, then either of the partners is going to lose interest in the business. So the returns should be good. In my opinion, splitting small profits among partners is not a healthy practice. 

How did you get into this business of making, selling and repairing furniture? 
Having gained great experiences in the furniture retail industry for the past 9 years I found that none of the retailers provides good after sales service for the furniture they sold. The reason is mainly because most of the furniture are imported from China and some are of poor quality. So providing an after sales services are either difficult or very expensive. So I found a great business opportunity in the after-sale service of furniture retail industry and I set up a service centre for furniture. And it is running very profitably. 

Would you be willing to guide someone if they want to start a furniture business like yours? 
Sure! I have roped in a lot of people into furniture business and been a mentor for some. I would really be happy to help. 

How would you like them to contact you? 
They can contact me at rajeshbhandary@gmail.com 

How is your business journey so far? Tell us the story, please  
It has been a fantastic journey so far. I have learned a lot from this entrepreneurial journey.Learned about life, about people, about relationship, finance, etc 

I started my business with just 25,000 rupees. I quit a job where I was paid 40k a month, to pursue my passion. It was a struggle to start off with. It took us (me and my partner) 2 years to break even. 

Are you talking about your first venture, the Naveen Industry? 
Naveen Industries was a factory in Madurai. Elita was my first furniture showroom in T.Nagar, Chennai to display the products that we manufactured. It was a great success. Money started coming in. After 2 years we had to close the store due to financial losses/bad debts.

You said it was a great success and money started coming in. And then you had to close after 2 years. Would you be willing to share your mistakes that you did with our readers? It could help a business person to avoid doing those mistakes. 
There was a major change in the market that we didn't expect. We failed to keep up the changing trends in our furniture models. We weren’t able to provide something unique to our customers.

During that period I was offered a business opportunity by a friend that wanted to get into the retail industry. We started our store in Velacherry in the name of Deccan Furniture. It was running successfully. The lessons that I learned from my past mistakes helped us to open 3 more branches in the city. We ran those stores till 2014. There was a steep increase in  the space rentals and lot of furniture stores sprung up all over the city and the competition was too high that we had to wind up our business and end our partnership. 

Do you feel sad about the way it ended? 
No, I don't. I knew this is always a part of the game.

Do you think you could have done things differently to still stay in the furniture retail business? 
I don't think I could have done anything differently to stay afloat. The changing trends were very fast. So, I decided to take time out. I took a break.

How many years did you take a break from your entrepreneurial journey? What did you do during that time? 
I took a break for one year. I  had a passion for candid photography. So I started a company called "Clicks n Flashes".




I have clicked 20 weddings, over 15 birthday parties and loads of kids' portraits along with other events in a span of one and a half years. Parallelly I set up a small office at Keelkatalai for my KARPINTER business which was in its budding stage. I wasn’t making any money from KARPINTER then but I was willing to wait since I had believed that there was still scope in the furniture business.1 year after Karpinter started to function, we set up a small touch n feel store at Harrington road. It has been a rollercoaster ride for me but I truly enjoyed the journey. 

Would you mind sharing a couple of experiences from the rollercoaster ride? Your experiences may help others as well. 
When I went into financial losses I had hardly few people to support me at that time.That was the most difficult situation and getting out of it.

So, you mean it was very difficult to clear the remaining stock? Was it very difficult to pay the rents? Was it very difficult to handle customer queries? Was it very difficult to pay your employees? 
Clearing stocks wasn’t an issue but paying rents and salaries were tough.

And you found that nobody was willing to help you come out of that financial crisis! How did you feel during that period of transition?   
I felt very low. I just couldn't concentrate on anything. I felt very lonely.

Do you think that there should be a back-up for your kind of business or any business for that matter?  
Yes, Definitely. Because business trends keep changing. It is tough to run a business for 25 or 50 yrs now. The is always changes in the market within a span of 5 years. Products keep changing. So every business owner SHOULD have a backup.

 Don't you think an experienced Business owner should be able to make a forecast about the changes? So that he can safeguard his business from any loss as well as keep his business floating along with the changing trends?  
In any business, things keep changing very fast and we, the business owner should be financially sound to adapt ourselves to counter those changes.

What word of caution would you like to give to a new entrepreneur?  
Don’t listen to other people's words. Keep a watch on the market, ALWAYS. Choose a business that you are an expert in. Make sure to have control over any sudden changes/ difficulties.  

What is most important trait an entrepreneur should have in your opinion? 
Never give up attitude. Honesty. Faith in the good quality customer service. 

Is it easy or very difficult to set up a business like yours in this city, Chennai in India? 
It is easy provided you have adequate knowledge and funds. 

What knowledge should one have to set up this business? And how much should one has in his pocket at the starting and for the back-up? 
One should have a good knowledge in accounting and marketing. I would say 60% from his pocket and the balance can be borrowed funds. Starting a business with 100% borrowed funding will end in a disaster.

How do you choose the brands for your furniture showroom? 
I chose the brands depending on my past relationships with those companies and their reputations. 



Imagine if one is new to the business, then what should one consider to choose the brands?  
Marketing. Reputation. Reference.

Do you find enough time to spend for yourself and for your family when you run this business?
Yes, I do. 

How could a busy person like you can take time off from his busy schedule of running a business? 
IF we have the right people to do the right job then you have no job. 

Are you talking about your employees? Partners? 
Employees.

How do you choose your employees? What qualities should one have to work in a furniture company like yours?   
Business can be taught but dedication cannot be taught. I choose persons who are dedicated and fire in their belly to grow in this field.

Did your business take you to places that you wished to visit?  
Yes, it did. I love travelling. So I enjoyed my business trips.

Which places did you visit? Did your visits help your business? 
My business took me China and Malaysia to look for new opportunities. Every time I went to China, I gained good knowledge in manufacturing techniques, new products and designs. 

Visiting China was an experience that cannot be forgotten. I like their culture, people were very friendly. It is so amazing to see the way they handle competitions in business. I have learned many business tricks from Chinese business owners. 

How do they handle competitions? What was that you learnt that could be implemented here in India, to handle competitors? 
This is what I learned - Saturate your area first, earn a reputation for yourself and for your brand. Keep your eyes wide open for new products and technology. Social media marketing is a must 
now.

Thank you so much for your time. We wish you to have a very successful business at Karpinter and Clicks n Flashes.


HAPPY BLOGGING!
For Your Growth :)
Uma Mahi.