The challenge of the heart chakra is to remain open and balanced in a world which can be emotionally painful and perilous. This center is the seat of unconditional love, forgiveness, and utter devotion. From the first of our lives, however, we are met with disappointment, greed, the conditional love of others, and, of course, loss. It is no wonder that a deficient or excessive heart chakra is so much more common than the open, balanced heart which cares about others and approaches all situations with wisdom, love and equanimity.
This piece of us is so vulnerable, in fact, that many of us show up with an imbalanced before we are even able to drive a car. Life is messy, and, if our parents or guides are not adequate to help us work through issues in a healthy way, it is easy to contract, develop barriers, or find ways to hide and protect our most tender parts.
The problem with this is that, when the heart chakra becomes imbalanced, our lives and intimate relationships suffer unless we can find a way to open them again and achieve healthy balance. We cannot connect with other humans, experience self-love, or true happiness and intimacy unless we find a way to connect with the heart center and achieve healing and harmony. Yoga has long been the best means of achieving this.
Yoga is more than a set of postures. It includes movement, breathing, stretching and meditation. Especially when focused on a specific area, it can be very good at balancing and healing. The following routine is aimed directly at the heart center and should be performed with this in mind. As you do it, you may notice certain emotions and thoughts rise to the surface, or you may find the entire routine too arduous somedays. During any particular moment, remember corpse pose is available, as is child’s pose. This routine is best for those who have done Yoga before with an instructor, and after a normal warm up.
Yoga for the Heart Chakra:
Start from a standing position. Place your feet hip width apart and bring your hands to heart center. Pull your shoulder blades down your back. With closed eyes chant ‚Äúvam.‚Äù
Sweep the arms down and then up over head in a mini backbend, then bend forward at the hips bringing the arms out to the side and reach toward the floor with the chest. Lengthen the back and land the arms beside the feet.
Bend the knees, plant the palms on the mat and step the right foot, then the left foot back into a plank position. Bring the knees down under the hips, curl the toes under. Walk your hands one step ahead of where they are, spread the fingers and come into a downward dog by lifting the hips up toward the sky and straightening the legs.
From downward dog, lift the right leg straight up with the hips even and the toes pointed down. Bend the knee and then bring it slowly through the arms and place it on the floor under your chest. Settle down onto the leg with out shifting your weight to your right cheek. Keep your back leg straight with your toes pointing down. Hold this pose while breathing deeply or chanting, Aum for twenty seconds. Shift onto your right cheek, walk your hands forward and try to lay your head on the floor. If it won’t reach, rest it on your stacked fists.
After 20 more seconds, lift yourself out of the pose and back up to downward dog. Lift your left leg, bend the knee, and repeat the pigeon pose on the left side, then come back to downward dog.
From downward dog, bend the knees and place them on the floor, then sit back and straight up, resting your bum on the back of your calves. Bring your arms behind you, intertwine your fingers and reach your fist toward the ground, doing another mini back bend.
Shift the bum onto the floor and bring the legs straight-out in front. Sit crisscross with the right leg in front and bend forward over the knees. Breath into the stretch for ten second, sit up and switch legs.
Scoot against a wall, turn and place the legs straight up it with the bum as close to the wall as possible. Bring the arms out to the side and bend them into goal post. Breath into the heart center and relax for several minutes. You can meditate on the sound‚ Aum the color green, or on the following affirmations:
I am loved.
There is an infinite supply of love.
I love myself and others.
I love everyone.
I invite love into my life.
This article has been contributed by the Mindvalley team.
Mindvalley is one of the world‚ fastest growing online publishing companies. Through a unique blend of conscious marketing, technology and a fun and quirky work culture, the Mindvalley team spreads enlightened ideas across the Internet and beyond.
Learn more about chakra healing, check out this article about chakra meditation: chakrahealing.com
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