My friend and fellow reiki master Haley Page opened up her own yoga studio, The Mat on Main, this year in her hometown of Russellville, KY! Small town Kentucky may not be the first place you think of as a yoga mecca but it has been a blessing to watch her studio grow and create a positive shift in her community. In the true spirit of supporting local and working together, Haley teamed with Steenbergen Sunflower Farm just a few minutes down the road to offer sunset sunflower yoga. Obviously, I had to try it out, especially because sunflowers are seasonal! The day I drove out to Russellville, a thunderstorm was slowly rolling in creating beautiful farm skyscapes. I think with reiki, a lot of people get very focused on the tangible… where is the reiki? Well, leaving a bustling city and connecting to the earth to cleanse your energy IS REIKI. Everyone is a lot more capable of balancing their own energy than we think. In fact, it is actually quite simple.
I would recommend this farm if you haven’t spent too much time in the country. It can seem a little “out there” but you are still an hour from Nashville and close to Clarksville. I lost my service a few times and was definitely just hoping my maps was taking me to the right place. Don’t worry! There is a big obvious and very darling sign that guides you down a dirt road to a parking area. When you arrive at Steenbergen Sunflower Farm you can already tell this place is GOALS. A really cute young southern couple owns the farm and they melted my heart riding their quad around.
The yoga space is in a clearing between the sun flower fields. Haley has provided spa water and extra matts just in case! I would recommend getting there early to set up your space, take pictures and connect to the flowers on your own. The yoga goes into the night so you won’t be able to take pictures after. Everyone who attends the class also gets to take home their own sun flower!
Haley is a virgo, yoga instructor, and reiki master aka she is the perfect guide for sunflower yoga. It isn’t a difficult class, the intention is more to ground yourself, feel the earth (you really can feel it pulse) and connect to the sun flowers. Haley lights Himalayan salt candles around the field that begin to glow brighter as the sun sets. Haleys passes out affirmation cards for everyone to pull which helps set your personal intention for the flow. I feel weird because I keep wanting to write “yoga class”… this is not a yoga class haha. This is a guided yoga flow in nature. It is very breezy and relaxed. Basically, I don’t want you to go here for a hard workout. Go to sun flower yoga to connect to nature and to connect to yourself.
So not only is yoga in a sun flower field beautiful and relaxing, sunflowers radiate a special energy. Sunflowers move to follow the sun and only grow in the summer. They have a strong and sturdy stock and can live for longer than a year (unusual for flowers). We can see sun flower symbolism in the sun tarot card. In this card we can see sunflowers are a reminder to follow the light and keep your eyes fixed on the sun. The baby, also wearing a wreath of sun flowers, symbolizes something new and fresh, that with a positive attitude can grow into something strong and sturdy.
Sunflowers are also associated with the solar plexus chakra. The solar plexus is our gut center, which controls not only our digestion, but is the foundation for our intuition. Our boundaries with food, as solar plexus controls the gut, can be correlated to our boundaries with people, work, self care etc. Bringing mental awareness to your boundaries with people, food, space, time and schedule is a good way to start connecting to your solar plexus chakra. Only with firm boundaries and a strong sense of self can you have balanced solar plexus chakra. I have always had the most trouble with my solar plexus because I’m very adaptable almost to a fault. A lot of times, I will knowingly let someone cross my boundaries, simply to not disturb the peace. Patterns like this can not change over night, but saying no in certain situations or dedicating time to something really can shift your whole life.
What attracted me to the sun flower field that day was this desire to connect to my solar plexus. I want to feel healthy, confident and vibrant. A lot of people think I already am this, but this year I learned a lot about what my boundaries are for myself, with work and with my relationships. I think the biggest lesson I learned is only when I allow myself time to be myself do I truly feel happy. This isn't groundbreaking, but I get distracted and I can make myself like or do a lot of things that aren’t actually for me.
Another solar plexus themeI I’ve been struggling with my independence, . I do everything by myself, and that is usually how I prefer to do it. This year I realized I need to make space to invite people to do things I would normally do alone or else I will be old and lonely. Most people are struggling with the opposite in wanting to be more independent, so it makes me feel weird. Do I like being independent? Is being independent serving me anymore? Have I acted like I don’t need anyone to the point no one comes around? I’ve had some negative thoughts about it but going to the sun flower field alone showed me why I like my independence. I was able to see how because of my independence I was able to create my blog/ business and meet Haley. It was positive for me to go on a little healthy road adventure to Russellville by myself. I love the part of me that doesn’t need an adventure buddy. I felt proud of myself for going out to sun flower yoga which shifted my energy and balanced my solar plexus. So as I said, reiki isn’t always tangible. You don’t always have to see a healer and do hands on healing for reiki to “work”. Simply entering the journey can be healing.