Our culture is largely one of competition and chaos, so I am always seeking out those who are working to spread the light from a place of compassion and creativity. I recently spoke with spiritual guide Kelly Knaub, a healer, reiki practitioner and yogi, about her journey and her mission to help women heal from burn-out. Kelly’s powerful work and words are so inspiring and uplifting, I wanted to find out more…
How did you get into reiki and kundalini yoga?
The truth is, I never planned on getting into either one. I had practiced yoga for nearly two decades off and on, with about 10 of those years spent studying under a Kripalu yoga teacher. My plan was to get certified in Kripalu, the yoga of compassion (which I still hold close to my heart). I had been renting out a space at Golden Bridge Yoga in New York for about a year and a half for a 12-step support group meeting I had started for people who grew up in alcoholic homes. Although I loved the energy of the space, I had no interest in Kundalini yoga (also known as the yoga of awareness). In fact, I have to be completely honest—I had judged it as weird and a bit “cultish.” Eventually, I got to a point in my life where I had completely burned myself out and was experiencing a full-blown crisis, physically, emotionally, and spiritually. I knew that I had to let go of some of the many responsibilities I had on my plate to give myself time to heal. When I gave up my weekly support group commitment, I decided to try a class at Golden Bridge since I figured I wouldn’t be going back. Those 90 minutes changed my life. I fell completely in love with it. It provided healing on every level that I hadn’t before experienced with any other style of yoga. Shortly before I took that class I had a dream that I traveled to the spiritual realm, where everyone was dressed in white. I had gone there seeking help. Certain things I dreamt revealed themselves as I stepped onto my Kundalini yoga path. Several weeks later I received an intuitive insight to sign up for teacher training, and the rest is history 🙂
My path to Reiki is somewhat similar. Not long after I began yoga teacher training, I was still struggling with my physical health—a severe (chronic stress-related) GI infection that I had been battling for nearly 8 months—so I decided to try Reiki. I booked a session with a practitioner who lived not far away in Brooklyn and was astounded at how intense I could feel it in my energetic channels (it was very tingly!) and how completely peaceful I felt when I left. She happened to be teaching a Level I and II Reiki course the following week, so I signed up and got certified. Within two weeks of giving myself daily Reiki treatments (as well as an herbal protocol I embarked on under the guidance of a naturopath after antibiotics failed), my infection cleared up for the first time ever. Since then, I have studied with two other Reiki masters, learning techniques for utilizing intuitive practices with Reiki and also getting certified in Shamanic Reiki, which incorporates shamanic practices and earth-based wisdom. I also had dreams about Reiki before I ever received it or started practicing. I get a lot of guidance in my dreams.
What services do you offer your clients and how are those services unique?
Right now I offer a 12-week, one-on-one mentorship, The Divine Journey Home, which helps women who are stressed or burned out heal and connect with their soul’s purpose. All of us—every single one of us—came to this earth with a purpose and I truly feel called to help other women get in touch with that. It’s also great for women who already have clarity on their purpose but want support and guidance in staying connected to it. It’s a unique program in that it uses a variety of healing tools: Kundalini yoga and meditation, Reiki, shamanic practices, handcrafted aromatherapy products for energetic support, and exercises such as journaling, self-care rituals, guidance in creating a spiritual practice, creative visualization, and more. The classes and sessions are available in-person in Brooklyn or through Skype or Google Hangouts. People often tend to think that long distance healing work is not as effective or powerful, but I know from firsthand experience that it is. I’m currently studying long-distance with Sandra Ingerman, a pretty renowned shamanic teacher, with classmates all over the world, and I’ve had some of my most powerful journeys that way. It’s energy that we’re working with, after all.
Can you talk about some benefits of working with you?
I’m passionate about helping women see that whatever challenge they’re facing — whether it’s burnout, crisis, ill health, or simply lack of play time — can become an opportunity for growth and even their greatest blessing. I help them connect with their intuition, transform negative beliefs that are standing in their way, and create strong self-care and spiritual practices. Another huge component is helping them move through any fear that’s holding them back and to get clear on what steps they need to take to create a life that feels fully aligned with their purpose. I also want to note that “purpose” is often misunderstood as this one set thing that we have to “figure out.” I have learned that purpose has way more to do with who we are being in the world than with what we are doing. Our work will likely evolve over time—the key is staying connected to our authentic selves. Aligned action can flow from there. So this is really about peeling away the layers to uncover your true self and to create a life that reflects that truth.
What was/is your vision for the work that you do?
My vision has definitely evolved. My initial idea was to start a small line of aromatherapy products. Over time, I got clearer on my purpose and realized that I felt called to help women on their own healing and spiritual paths. In the end, I found a way to combine all of my passions, including the aromatherapy products! My vision now is to help other women raise their consciousness and wake up to who they really are. It’s especially important to me in light of everything that’s going on in the world—there’s so much fear, anger, and negativity permeating the collective consciousness right now. But there is also a lot of hope and a lot of love. People are coming together.
What do you practice each day?
I practice Kundalini yoga & meditation every morning, which I’m fascinated by because before, when I did other styles of yoga, I always struggled with a daily practice. It was always something I resisted and just couldn’t seem to make stick. My experience with Kundalini yoga has been so different. I call it “energetic hygiene.” It’s like brushing my teeth. I can’t imagine starting my day without it.
Can you recommend an inspiring book or movie?
I watched the movie “Finding Joe” not too long ago and that was pretty inspiring. It’s a documentary about Joseph Campbell’s theory of the hero’s journey (or shall we say the heroine’s journey?) and following your bliss. I streamed it through my Gaia subscription, which I highly recommend. It’s like Netflix for the spiritually-minded.
Discover more about Kelly Knaub and her work here: