Q & A With . . .
Tell us a bit about yourself, who is Rachana?
Wow this is always a tough one to answer, and I still struggle with it...Hmm, I would say Rachana is currently on a soul exploration journey as she traverses life earth side, sharing her discoveries and learnings along the way. We all like to identify with labels and who we think we are based on what we do – for me this is shifting and am starting to describe myself as wearing several hats, depending on which is needed in the present moment, including but not limited to having a 9-5 in the real estate world, being a Reiki master and a trauma informed yoga and meditation teacher, hosting sharing circles, retreat facilitator, and still learning, unlearning and re-learning many, many ways of being as I go along.
What is Holding Space?
For me Holding Space has always been a vision of being the container to hold a healing experience for another being in shared connection. I think as human beings we all hold the innate ability to hold space for ourselves and another, and I am happy and grateful to be able to share that wherever and whenever I can. It always starts within first.
This takes many forms and looks different based on need and in the present moment, but in essence it is holding with presence, empathy, awareness, lack of judgement and with trust a regulated and safe space in which any being can find healing for their soul – whether through a meditation session, Reiki energy healing, somatic embodiment tools or through simple Yoga movement and breathwork sessions that are shared from a functional lens.
I am continuously adding new tools to share and increase my capacity to hold space for others and myself. I co-facilitated a few retreats recently which were curated with a specific lens of healing and going inwards. We also had a yoga nidra and group energy healing session under the stars! It always amazes me the energies within each space that we co-create for intentional healing, and I always look forward to them!
What is Yin yoga?
Yin yoga is a beautifully slow, meditative and a super functional yoga form that targets and stresses both the connective tissues between muscles and the fascia that runs throughout the body. The aim is to increase circulation in the joints and improve flexibility as well as aid in lubrication of joints. It also helps us to regulate the body's flow of energy through the stimulation of energy lines in the body. Poses are held for longer to allow the body to really stress and stimulate our fascia. Basically, give our minds and bodies the time and space to just breathe and be! It is one of my favourite movement-based practices as it encourages stillness and intentionally going inwards, which most of us find very hard to do in today's fast paced world.
How long is a Yin yoga session and what does it involve?
My yin yoga sessions typically run an hour long and involve a mix of breathwork, meditation and poses targeting specific areas in the body – long held poses that are also deeply meditative in nature. We always have props on hand to find the shape that works for you on your mat. Each session is themed and yogic philosophy weaved in through the session.
Tell us more about the full Moon Yin and Yoga Nidra.
I have been hosting a few full moon yin and yoga nidra sessions for the past year or so with Yoga for Wellness Africa at Hob House. The sessions are beautifully intentional and centred around the specific full moon's astrological significance and impact on our daily lives. The yin yoga supplements us to go further inwards on a Yoga Nidra journey.
Yoga Nidra is a guided meditation practiced seated or laying down, where we progressively relax our bodies and go further inwards to awaken ourselves to our true inner natures. It involves intention setting into our subconscious minds combined with sensory cues, visualisations and intentions we internally create an environment that facilitates healing, release of thought patterns and any transformation needed by the individual. It is a deeply therapeutic and restorative practice. It is said that one hour of yoga nidra practice is equivalent to 4 hours of deep sleep!
The full moon sessions are potent for our inner healing journeys and the energy within each circle has always been deeply transformational for all that attend it, whether consciously or otherwise. I love holding space for and being in witness of these intentional energy shifts!
What is involved in Vinyasa Flow sequence?
Vinyasa flows are generally dynamic movements on our mats, where sequences are followed in a way that we find a flow between breath and each movement. A vinyasa flow sequence can be based around the sun salutations, or around a particular shape or even mini flows within each movement, linking our Drishti (eye gaze) to our body and body movement linked to our breaths. It can be challenging, and not only physically, as it requires total presence and awareness in the present moment for balance and stability.
Vinyasa yoga is a creative way to flow and move our bodies on our mats and increase our neuroplasticity, and in my vinyasa sessions I love inviting in play and not taking ourselves so seriously as we move mindfully on and off our mats.
What is your favourite yoga posture?
Oh, there are so many to choose from, but one that comes to mind is a headstand, or also known as Sirsasana. It took me many years to be able to go upside down, trust myself to find balance and to hold the pose for longer periods of time. It has been a reminder of resilience, perseverance, dedication, inner strength and trust within and that has been a lesson I have carried with me off my mat too!
What is Somatic Embodiment?
Somatic Embodiment is an approach towards mind & body integration and is a way of sensing and regulating our physiology and states of being from within. Soma is a Greek word that translates as 'the living body known from within'. When we practice somatic embodiment or somatic practices, we are helping to restore connection within our bodies as a safe space, allowing for unprocessed emotions to be felt, seen and metabolised, increase our windows of tolerance and restore our relationship with ourselves and the world around us.
What does a session of Somatic Embodiment involve?
It is embedded in being trauma informed, and we all go through various traumas as we traverse through life. Some we deal with and move on swiftly; others are not dealt with, and this leaves imprints within our bodies.
When we hold an intentionally somatic session, we share ways to build our internal and external resources, build trust and a felt sense of safety within, hold space and time to process trauma, as we hold ourselves with compassion and invite ourselves deeper into the body. These sessions are deeply intentional and allow trauma processing to restore well-being within individuals. Every session is different as we move with the client's needs and capacity hold space for themselves in the present.
What is Women’s Wellness Circle?
A Women's Wellness Circle as a beautifully curated event involving several practitioners sharing information and practices related to Women's wellness – including movement, grief processing, hormones and gut health, sound healing, nutrition, stress and its effects and so much more. They are held bi-annually as a weekend retreat and always packed with a wealth of information, experiences and meeting of like-minded women on different paths on their wellness journeys!
What is the most bizarre thing you have delt with in your line of work?
This is such a great question. A few years ago, I would have had so many incidents and anecdotes to share. As I have been more and more educated in trauma work and in my personal healing journey, no event or incident is too bizarre. We all operate from our internal lens of life and whatever actions or words are shared (or withheld) are done from that lens – it has increased my capacity to hold with grace these moments as non-judgementally as I can.
Having said that, there is a lot of spiritual bypassing in the yoga, energy healing and wellness world. A lot of quick fixes and promises of forever being healed being shared and this to me is bizarre. As you begin your journey with whatever you want to call it – going deeper within, awakening, healing etc- it humbles you. Spiritual bypassing is packaged as quick fixes and do this to heal completely or take my class/course/whatever to be free from karmic debts and live detached etc....
Anyone embarking on this journey, at whatever stage they may be on, I implore them to practice healthy discernment and strengthen their connection to inner gut knowing and inner selves – that is where the true healing and your own healer lies. Anyone else claiming otherwise is a liar!
What do you enjoy the most in your profession?
To be able to share our mutual journeys on a deeper level, and to be able to hold space for others as a reminder that whatever you are going through, you are not alone. It really fills me up and allows me to also learn from them. We will never know enough and may never be completely healed, but we can walk side by side on our journeys with shared humanity. Keeping that lens allows me to find deeper shifts within too. I am also enjoying the process of planning retreats and sharing healing in all the different forms I know how, including Reiki self-healing too!
What are the challenges you face in your profession?
There are a few challenges I have to say. We live in a fast paced, quantifiable results-based world – the work I do cannot really be measured that way – hence many people don’t see the need for it or dismiss it as just yoga movement or woo woo energy work. There is effectiveness in the long term, and lots of hours of studying, embodying and energy spent into it – the struggle lies in being able to share that in a way that people see the need and benefits of the work I do. It is a daily battle, but I continue as I know it makes a difference to those who do choose to work with me, for whom I am grateful!
Do you have a morning routine to set you for the day?
For the past few years, I have been waking up a few minutes early to catch the sunrises whenever I can as a mindful meditation practice and on the days I can't – a few minutes simply sitting with my breath, allowing space for my thoughts really sets the tone of the day. Some days are hard, I won't lie!
What’s your go-to way of winding down after a long day?
There are quite a few – if my day has been mentally challenging or emotionally stimulating, I love to sit and journal to wind down or get out of my head with physical movement to release stress. When I am physically spent, Netflix and bed are the ultimate wind down.
What is the one word that you want people to associate you with?
If you were not the face of Holding Space, what would you be doing?
Without a doubt something in the field of psychology and therapy. I love the human mind and how it functions. Or a stand-up comedian! Or a writer.... 😛
How can people contact you?
Many ways to get in touch with me. You can find me on social media (Instagram and Facebook) @holdingspaceke or on WhatsApp at +254 741449277. Website is under construction.