The heart. Heart opening.
This is a space that for many years I have struggled with in my yoga practice, and oftentimes, it has caught me by surprise. Whilst I am better with heart-opening poses these days, I still find I have to allow myself time to drop any resistance in order to get into them.
The heart chakra, ANAHATA, means unstruck, unhurt, unbeaten. It symbolises and represents our ability to love. It is located at the centre of chest, just above heart. The heart chakra is considered to be the love centre of our human energy system. We tend to feel intensely, emotions like love, heartbreak, grief, pain, and fear. That is why many energy-based therapies tend to focus on balancing the heart chakra as the purest healing. Learning self-love is a powerful initiative to undertake in order to secure and maintain a healthy heart chakra.
It is also where unconditional love is located, and unconditional love is a creative and powerful energy that may guide and help us through the most difficult times. It is an energy that is available in any moment, if we turn our attention to it and use it to free us from our limits and fears. It is about love, joy and inner peace and so when the heart chakra is in healthy alignment, you will feel surrounded by love, compassion, joy and connected to the world around you.
In relation to our physical bodies, the heart chakra is assumed to directly affects the heart, lungs, chest, arms and hands. When it is out of alignment, we experience poor circulation, blood pressure issues, and other heart and lung conditions.
Mentally, an imbalance can result in issues such as co-dependence, manipulative behaviours, feeling of unworthiness, and an inability to trust yourself or other people.
Personally, I have find that this area tightens because of fear, and since I have been working with a business coach, I have found a way of facing the fear and not living with it, but embracing it. Don’t get me wrong. I still find I catch my breath when life throws me a curve ball, or I find myself stepping into the scary shit zone. I just have to remember to stop, take a breath and remind myself that change happens in the scary shit zone, and all change is good. It is better than not taking any action at all. Because, we all know that if nothing changes, nothing changes. Life is more exciting outside our comfort zone.
So, it is imperative that we keep our hearts open, and replace judgments with acceptance. It is vital we learn to love even more, and to allow ourselves to be loved; to give, accept and experience unconditional love. When we can keep ourselves in a loving space, we will have a positive effect on our environment, a healing effect.
Here are some heart-opening yoga poses to incorporate into your yoga practice:
- High Lunge, hands clasped behind to open chest
- Wild thing
- Up Dog
For a seated practice, begin your practice seated. Close your eyes and turn your attention inward toward your heart. Be still and quiet and take this time to witness your innermost self. Drop down beneath the mind chatter into the cave of your heart and listen there for the inner voice. It takes practice to get quiet enough and willing enough to connect this deeply with your true self. So do not be discouraged if this seems challenging—it is! Through regular practice of listening in, you will slowly be able to tell the difference between the inner voice of your heart and the neurotic chatter of the mind. Over time you will be able to observe both. This inner listening cultivates a sense of discrimination, which supports skilful choices, which lead you toward your heart’s calling, your purpose. The result is bringing compassion and love into all you do.
Let me know how you get on in the comments below; I would love to hear from you.