“You’re somewhere safe and calm. You see a door appear. Open it. As you do, you see a flight of spiral stairs winding down behind the door. Follow them down, and down, and down, until you reach the next level and another door. Open it.”

Aimee Bello’s voice echoes off the walls of the yoga studio. The room is dark, comfortably warm, and smells sweet like palo santo. It’s the perfect environment to sink deeply into a guided meditation. But this class isn’t your typical chill-the-f*ck-out meditation sesh. Nope, everyone is here today for a very specific purpose — we want to access our past lives.

Past Life Regression is a controversial topic, to say the least. Psychiatrist Dr. Brian Weiss’ book, Many Lives, Many Masters was one of the first pieces of literature on PLR to go mainstream. Written after his experiences with a special client who was able to access what seemed to be past life experiences while in a deep hypnotic state, Many Lives, Many Masters introduced the general public to the idea that there might be a life after death that we haven’t quite explained yet. Weiss found that as his client explored her past lives and dealt with the trauma accrued there, she was able to live a healthier, more peaceful and present life. It was as if the client learned lessons from experiencing her past lives and was then able to apply her learnings to situations she faced in the present.

“Meditation and hypnosis are basically the same thing,” Aimee told me. “You’re focusing intensely on one thing for a fixed period of time. So what we’re able to access with hypnosis, we can also access through meditation.” She has trained with Dr. Weiss and has led hundreds through past life regression meditation workshops. In a typical mediation workshop, Aimee leads people through the experience of seven different lives, and one of their deaths. Through her work, she’s helped people overcome creative blocks, work through relationship issues, channel self-love and truly find inner peace.

As much as I wanted to believe what was being told to me, I was skeptical. How would I know what I was experiencing was actually a memory from my past life and not just something I was subconsciously making up?

“Think about it this way,” she said. “The average person sees 100,000 images every single day, for their whole lives. If you close your eyes and reach a deep meditative state, and an image comes to you clearly, it’s coming up for a reason.”

So basically, even if I am making up a past life in which I live in the desert and kill rattlesnakes, my subconscious is choosing that imagery for a reason and is clearly trying to communicate a message to me. Pretty cool, right?

One of my favorite aspects of past life work is the idea that certain people show up in multiple iterations of our lives. For example, your sister in this life could have been your mother in a past life, and a co-worker in another. Or your lover could have been your teacher or friend or partner long, long ago. As Aimee led us through our 90-minute past life regression meditation, I was surprised to see my BFF pop up in one of my past life experiences.

When the whole experience was over, I felt light. Exploring past life regression made me feel like there was really nothing to worry about — no problem too big, no lesson too confusing. Moreover, it brought me some peace to think about the people in my life who I’ve lost, and the idea that we might experience another life together soon. If you’re in the LA area, get to Aimee’s classes stat, or book a private session with her — you won’t regret it.

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