Often the biggest challenge when trying to master meditation and mindfulness is keeping your brain on the job. Your mind begins to wander from what you're doing later to that work email you forgot to send, and before you know it your internal monologue is non-stop and questioning how to meditate at all.
We get it, and so does Nica Bautista – a yoga instructor, energy worker & reiki therapist from Brisbane. Channeling her career and personal journey, Nica revealed her top five tips and tricks to stay focused during 'the zen'. Plus, keep on reading below as we quizzed Nica on all things reiki, energy, and chakras explained.
- Know that you are worthy. Know that you have an innate power and wisdom that’s unique to you. Trust that you have every right to explore this power and use it to create and the life you aspire to have.
- Try different forms of meditation. Meditation isn’t always sitting in silence. From guided meditation, singing meditation, silent meditation, walking meditation and even chocolate meditation, find what resonates with you the most. The key is to find something that will give you the space to connect to your inner self that keeps you feeling grounded and at ease.
- Be compassionate with yourself. Don’t beat yourself up or think you’re doing it ‘wrong’ if you get distracted. Practicing compassion is also practicing mindfulness, it’s a process.
- Observe yourself on a daily basis. To practice mindfulness we need awareness. Awareness starts with observation. Notice the way you react, observe your thoughts and the way you interact with others. Try not to analyse at that moment, make space to just observe. Take note of the observations and then come back to them later to reflect and analyse if action is needed to make a change.
- Keep a lesson bank to develop your intuition and resilience. You can write it down or keep it in your mind. A lesson bank is all of the memories and lessons I’ve learnt from past experiences. Make note of any challenging experiences you’ve had an what you did to get through it. Store the process in your lesson bank and refer to it whenever you find yourself in a similar situation. If you’ve gone through it once, the second time around is less daunting!
As a yoga teacher, reiki practitioner and energy worker – which one came first and how do they all connect?
Yoga came first. I started practicing Yoga about 11 years ago and taught a program called Body Balance (by Les Mills) before becoming a Yoga Teacher in 2020. It took about a year until I could transition from my 9-5 marketing role to becoming a full time Yoga teacher.
I accidentally fell into Reiki when a good friend invited me to do our training together. As a brief overview, Reiki is a Japanese healing technique that works with the main energy centers in our body called The Chakra System. As I developed my skills as a Reiki Practitioner, the pathway to becoming an Energy Worker was an organic process.
Both Reiki and Yoga work heavily with the Chakra System and have a big focus on moving energy around the body. Yoga refers to energy as ‘Prana’ while Reiki refers to energy as “Ki”, which is the same as ‘Qi’ in Chinese medicine.
Reiki and Yoga are complementary modalities that work together to evolve a person’s connection to their mind, body and spirit. Essentially opening the pathway to create a higher sense of awareness and relationship with your higher self.
What is an energy worker?
An energy worker is essentially someone who works with the Subtle Body to intuitively remove energy blocks and channel a flow of energy. As a Reiki Practitioner, you’re attuned to feeling and identifying these energetic frequencies.
Reiki Practitioners can identify which energy centers are blocked/imbalanced and then use Reiki to channel universal life force energy into these areas. Tuning into these energies, Practitioners often can feel the ‘buzz’ or warmth of the energy. In some cases, such as myself, Energy Workers can receive images, colours, emotions or even phrases during a Reiki Treatment therefore being able to provide an Energy Reading. For the person receiving Reiki, it’s a similar feeling to having a hug from a loved one or a comforting hand on your shoulder when you’re down.
How can Reiki connect with ‘empowerment’?
Reiki connects to empowerment by bringing awareness to imbalanced energy centers, removing the blockages and identifying the root cause of these blockages. However, it’s important to note that Reiki Practitioners are Facilitators and Reiki is a tool. It is up to the person receiving Reiki to use this knowledge and insights to take action.
For example, the Throat Chakra (Vishuddha) is responsible for communication, self expression and speaking your truth. If this energy center is blocked, this could be due to not expressing yourself or holding back from saying what you actually want to say. Physically it can manifest into a tight jaw or the feeling of a heavy throat. Knowing the Throat Chakra is blocked (awareness) begins the self inquiry for the individual to reflect and identify what they’re holding back from communicating. Once the observation has been made then action can be taken (empowerment). In this example, the action is to feel empowered to speak up because you are worthy of being heard and using your voice.
What drew you into the spiritual and yoga side of things – have you felt this way inclined your entire life?
I was first drawn to Yoga because of the physical aspect and the perceived lifestyle that was associated with being a Yogi. Looking back I laugh at myself now. I had convinced myself I was going to ‘ride my bike to the markets and eat green beans like Yogis do’. Very quickly I found out Yoga was so much more than eating healthy and leading an active lifestyle.
In the beginning, spirituality looked like personal development. Eventually it grew into yearning for more and having an interest in different modalities, practices and history of our ancestors. Now, Spirituality means constantly developing a higher sense of awareness in order to connect and understand yourself on a deeper level. I was fortunate to have strong women around me who shared their knowledge about Spirituality. I learnt about shadow work and how to manage your inner world when it felt like you had no control of your outerworld and what’s happening around you.
I turned to Yoga and personal development as a way to cope with the challenges I was experiencing at the time. Some days I wasn’t sure how to navigate through it, but Yoga helped me gain clarity and learn more about myself to know how to deal with what was going on.
What does empowerment mean to you, and how do you practice it? Is there a memory/time in particular you felt empowered?
Empowerment to me means taking inspired action to live your life in alignment with your values and what lights you up from the inside out. It’s about backing yourself and having an unwavering self belief. Empowerment is doing the thing that you want to do, even if it’s scary and to back yourself. It’s also having compassion and developing self love when things don’t go to plan. It’s consistently observing and creating awareness to learn more about who you are and why you were put on this earth.
I’ve found that when I feel the most disconnected to myself or unbalanced in my life, Yoga and Yoga Teachers specifically, have helped me to cultivate a connection back to myself. The practice helps me to remove the noise of the outside world in order for me to gain clarity and understanding. In turn this helps me to progress forward and make decisions that are aligned with my goals and how I want to live my life.
A significant memory was when I took the leap and left my 9-5 in order to become a full time Yoga teacher. I truly felt the shift when I stepped into my power and started to really live life in alignment.
What’re some key lessons you live by in the day-to-day as a female that you’ve learnt from your work?
I’m constantly observing, adapting and building awareness as the basis of taking inspired action. I always say the greatest gift Yoga has given me is a higher sense of awareness. With this awareness I can identify what I need to bring into my day to help support me. Without this, I would feel like I’m running around in the dark not knowing where to go!
I often tune into how I’m feeling and constantly adapt to this. For example, if I have a big training session planned but I know my body needs rest, I’ll allow that rest to happen - even though my mind wants to train, I need to give space to my body to rejuvenate.
What do you wish women knew about your work and how it can help?
I wish more women knew that they are worthy of receiving love and being held. There’s so much expectation for women (and men) to do it all! To train hard, play hard, eat well but also indulge! To earn great money and do all of the things! I wish more people knew how important it is to also look after their energetic health.
We’re all made up of energy - quite literally the atoms and molecules that we’re made up of all vibrate at different frequencies. It’s just as important to look after and cleanse the energy in your body as it is to eat healthy and train hard.
See and learn more about Nica and her work on Instagram: @nica.yogicoach