October 05, 2015

Bridge of the Heart

What better way to get ready for the upcoming Thanksgiving weekend then by focusing on the heart chakra.  The heart chakra, also known as Anahata (centre of unstruck sound) is the 4th of the 7 major chakras, so it is the midpoint between the outer, physical reality of the lower chakras and the inner, other realms of the upper chakras.  This chakra illustrates the importance of balance and how both sides of any coin are important.  The yantra (symbol) for Anahata is a triangle and an inverted triangle intersecting to form a six-pointed star.  The upright triangle points up towards the higher chakras and the inverted triangle points down towards the lower chakras with the heart chakra located in the center.  It’s important to lift up and awaken to higher consciousness and spirituality, but it’s just as important to root down and stay firmly grounded to the earth and the physical reality we came here to experience.

The element associated with the heart chakra is air.  Air is invisible, formless and fills all empty spaces.  It is something that can’t be seen, so it is the beginning of our ability to trust in things that are beyond our physical senses.  When connecting with air through the breath, we can feel expansion, lightness and connection that is characteristic of this energy centre. 

I live in balance & gratitude.  I lead with my heart.
I give love & love comes back to me
The heart chakra is also about all those things you would expect it to be about – love, laughter, joy, compassion, connection, etc. . . . all those things we should be grateful for everyday, but that we bring extra focus to during Thanksgiving.  When we have balance within this chakra, we can easily give compassion and love to others (including ourselves), we are empathetic, we see the beauty in all things, etc.  When this 4th chakra is out of balance, we may be antisocial, critical of others, or jealous.  A good yoga posture to help balance and open our heart chakra is urdhva mukha svanasana (upward facing dog).  This posture opens the chest and allows us to come into the feeling of leading with our hearts.  Any backbending posture where we open up the front of the body is going to help to create more space for the lungs so we can bring in more of that air element.

Other healing practices to open up space in Anahata include pranayama (breath work – this is  an amazing practice that helps us bring up issues that we may not have even realized we were holding onto, so we can release them out), spending time in nature and benefiting from the fresh air, or giving and receiving lots of hugs.  How about practicing yoga which requires deep breathing while listening to a heart centred playlist?  How perfect that I have one to share!  Enjoy! 

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