Sunday, February 27, 2011

Opening the Heart Chakra

For the yogi, everything is yoga.  Yoga is life.  I think this becomes the normal way of thinking for the person who sees themselves as a yogi.  Yoga is no longer a series of poses or asanas but rather a way of living your life.  The ideals of enlightenment become your approach to the circumstances you encounter.

Tonight, in my first class as an instructor, our lesson will focus on opening up the Heart chakra.  The Heart represents the fourth of the seven body chakras.  It is the balancing point, a fulcrum of sorts, between the the material world and our inner/spiritual world.  It is a bridge that connects our survival instincts to our ideals of knowing who we truly are and finding our purpose for living.  It is in this chakra that we begin to connect to peace and seek harmony in our lives.

The Sanskrit word for the Heart is Anahata.  In its literal translation it means unstruck or unhurt.  So, despite the fact that we all suffer and endure personal pain, the heart still has this immeasurable capacity for love.  Sometimes out of unconscious self-preservation we try to shut this chakra down, which only serves to create more suffering because the true nature of the heart is to love.

The element associated with the Heart chakra is Air.  I find this so sublime because love like air wants to fill up all of the spaces inside of us.  It will take on the shape of its vessel and at the same time cannot be contained.  Through breathing (pranayama) the Heart is strengthened and toned.  But one must bring a deliberateness to the act of breathing.  It must be deep and you should mediate from time to time on the beauty and significance of this chakra.

In yogic practice, the Heart is considered to be feminine.  The feminine in all of us yearns to release and let go of the temporal aches and pains and disappointments in this life.  The very act of breathing can enable this release to take place, to massage our hearts and enlarge our ability to love not only others but also ourselves.

Set aside a few moments to shut out the world.  Bring your hands together in prayer position.  You will find that your thumbs fit nicely against your sternum. Bow your head to your heart and begin to breathe steadily and easy.  Deepen as you go.  Feel the inhalation and exhalation in your belly.  Pay attention to the beating rhythm, you will soon begin to feel it throughout your entire body.  Give thanks to your Heart for its continued work, you really do owe it your life.



bein good to me said...

Beautiful post.
How did your class go?

Smarts said...

Hey Lisa, the class went great! I enjoyed the second one even more as I felt like I got the jitters out on the first one!