Medicine Hat, AB - Following the loss of her mother, Medicine Hat resident Ginger Schenkey found herself in a mental rut.
"With having had a loss, it created a lot of inner sadness," explained Schenkey. "It was a big loss and when you're in that place, those deep emotions can create other things. Sometimes you're angry and other times you can just feel really off."
Schenkey then searched for outlets that would allow her to better control her emotions.
"I was really intrigued by the energy portion of life and what something like reiki or yoga could offer."
That led Schenkey to the recently opened Warrior Yoga studio here in Medicine Hat.
"I came across Crystal and she's a really awesome person. She's really open and willing to help people and I've really enjoyed the healing."
Warrior Yoga allowed Schenkey to see another side of life.
"You just lay there and relax. Whether it be that you're thinking about things that you need to work through or maybe you're just looking to have a completely restful time. From there, Crystal does the rest of the work, which is amazing."
While laying there, Schenkey said the release that Warrior Yoga gives a person is incredible.
"When energy is effected, it impacts some of our emotions and our feelings, right? Maybe we feel a little insecure or maybe we feel a little upset or mad. Maybe we feel angry even and you know, that's a really good indicator that maybe there's some blockage or something that needs some work on. It feels like nothing you've ever experienced."
And that's what Schenkey was looking for, a balance within.
"If you don't honor those emotions all the time, you're really not healing from them and cleansing yourself, right? By coming to a place like this, Crystal will help move you through some of those emotions and blockages that you may not even know exist."
Owner of Warrior Yoga Crystal Marshall said her goal is simple, to help Hatters like Schenkey.
"I found that people think reiki is witchcraft, I hate that term," laughed Marshall. "Reiki is not spiritual, it's not religious. I think of it more on a scientific side of things. A balance of mind, body and spirit. It's your spirit. Who are you?"
Marshall said for first-time clients, she recommends they book a two-hour session.
"It entails at least an hour of getting you into that meditative state, so that I can move and shift energy a lot easier. My hope is that I can get you into what's called theta. It's to get you relaxed enough that the energy can shift and then metaphorically, we can peel away layers of the onion that build up your mind."
After that hour is complete, Marshall said her clients usually need an hour to unwind.
"What happens in my room, stays in my room and I like to give my clients that time to release. I have lots of Kleenex, it does get quite emotional. Some people have a thick onion they need to work through. It's finding something that my client needs and everybody needs something different."
Marshall explained she typically helps people who have hit rock bottom.
"We as people like to throw everything up in the cupboard and eventually that cupboard gets so full, but we just manage to stuff one more thing in there and close the door. Eventually that door can't hold back anything and it all comes spilling out. Those are the people that come through our door and I'm guilty of it too."
This program is something near and dear to Marshall's heart, as she was also someone who hit rock bottom once upon a time.
"When I first started my yoga training, I was an emotional nightmare. I ended up leaving one of my first classes and crying. At that point in my life, I cried for everything and anything."
Then she heard about this style of emotional cleansing.
"I found myself in another reiki masters room and he just moved that stuff that I physically couldn't. It was so deep that I didn't even know what was bugging me, it was stuck. He peeled away more layers of the onion, gave me homework, and I feel like I've flourished ever since that point."
Marshall believes if people don't deal with their emotions properly, it could lead them down the wrong path.
"It's when a person gets to that point where they don't know what to do. They're not happy and maybe even on the verge of suicide. Yoga and reiki really help with those mental blocks."
Marshall said she is simply wanting to offer residents of Medicine Hat another way to unwind and truly enjoy life around them.
"If you love the change, you focus on that positive and you are grateful for that. You're going to keep moving forward and it's going to sustain for the rest of your life."
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