In honor of Valentine’s Day, I invite you to focus on your Heart Chakra, the energy center located in the middle of the chest. Representing love & compassion, it is considered the bridge between the three lower – more physical – energy centers (representing safety & security; creativity & relationships; personality & perseverance) and the three higher – more spiritual – energy centers (representing expression & communication; intuition; divine union).
The Heart Chakra is where we store and process emotional experiences. Basic issues associated with the Heart Chakra are kindheartedness, romantic and platonic relationships, self-acceptance, trust, forgiveness, hope and empathy. Major issues of an unbalanced Heart Chakra are grief, despair, heartache, jealousy and sadness; feelings of isolation, loneliness or shyness may dominate. Logic, not emotion, rules our behavior.
A balanced Heart Chakra, however, brings an overriding sense of compassion, a willingness to share and give of ourselves, a “heartstrings” connection to those we love, an ability to trust, and a sense of hope and inspiration. To help promote a balanced Heart Chakra, I invite you to try Spinal Twist (Matsyendrasana) and a simple Heart Meditation.
· Sit on a folded blanket or towel with the spine extended, legs lengthened on the floor in front of you.
· Bend left leg; cross right foot over left thigh at midpoint.
· Inhale; bring left arm around the outside of right knee. Grasp knee or instep of right foot.
· Exhale; use the left arm as leverage by pressing against your leg and rotating the upper body to the right.
· Keep shoulders level. Engage abdominal muscles by pulling them in slightly to help protect the lower back.
· Inhale. Raise right arm over your head. Exhale and lower the arm behind you, placing your palm on the floor behind the buttocks.
· Exhale and turn your head to the right. Gaze over your right shoulder.
· With each inhalation, create an extension of your spine. With each exhalation, engage the abdominal muscles and slowly turn your body a little more to the right, without straining the lower back. Hold for up to 1 minute.
· Release and return to center. Repeat on the left side.
· Silently affirm: I am trusting, open, and grateful.
· Opens and expands the heart center
· Stretches the spinal column and its connecting nerves
· Helps reduce stiffness in the neck
· Massages the abdominal area
· Sit in any comfortable position; eyes may be closed or downcast.
· Bring thumbs and forefingers of both hands together to form a triangle over your heart center.
· Inhale through the nose for a count of 8. Exhale fully for a count of 10.
· Repeat for several rounds.
· Lower your hands to your sides. Ask yourself the question:
“If my heart were planted, what would it grow?”
· Sit with the question for a while. Breathe deeply as you visualize an answer or an image.
· Focus on the visualization.
· Breathe deeply.
· Slows the racing mind
· Reduces blood pressure and heart rate
· Calms the entire being
· Promotes peace and serenity
· Brings you back to the present