Suzanne Norman

Enlightened Living Articles

Heart Chakra

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

In our yoga classes this month, we've been focusing on the Chakra system.  An important concept of yoga is that of the Chakras. In yogic thought, the body contains seven primary points that store energy, known as Chakras.  (There are thousands of Chakras within our bodies)

Westerners would interpret the Chakras as nerve centers, but they are much more than this.  As life energy, called prana, enters our bodies (using oxygen as its vehicle) the breath and life energy serpentines its way down and up our spinal axis.  At the meeting points of this serpentine movement, a vortex of energy is formed.  These energy vortexes are Chakras

Though not physical in nature, they can be associated with various aspects of our physiology and psychology. 

They do more than store energy, each Chakra controls a different system of our body as well as a different realm of your emotions.  When a Chakra becomes blocked, you could suffer from problems in that area.  

For example, a sore throat, or….an inability to adequately communicate your feelings could signal a blocked

vishuddha (throat) Chakra.  If you have indigestion, or…are overly competitive, you could have an imbalance in your manipura (solar plexus) Chakra.

Certain yoga poses can make releasing and opening the Chakras easier, flooding them with energy, which helps to balance your entire body/mind.  
One of the goals of a yoga practice is to free the blocked prana to ensure balance and harmony in the physical body, the mental body, and the spiritual body.  

The Heart Chakra is called Anahatha.  This is associated with the cardiac plexus of nerves.  The heart Chakra is associated with the capacity for us to emotionally and spiritually nurture others.  On a physical level, imbalances here are associated with lung and heart diseases.  Psychological implication of a lack of energy imbalances here would lead to apathy or an inability to offer love to others.  Feelings of love and compassion are experienced at this center.  This energy center is about love, relationships, passion, joy of life.  It relates to the heart, lungs, thymus gland and emotions.

When we work with yoga asana to bring balance to this Chakra, we would look to heart openers, back bends!

One of my favorites is a simple, passive, supportive backbend.  Lie on the floor with a rolled yoga mat or blanket running perpendicular to the spin across the scapula (shoulder blades) with the arms in goal-post position above the rolled support.  Relax and breathe evenly but fully in the belly, back and chest.  Visualize your heart center, which is behind the physical heart.  imagine a radiant green aura of light coming from this place.  Each time you breathe in, allow that light to expand and as it does, expand the feelings of love, compassion, empathy, generosity, optimism, and grace.  As well, feel the muscles of the front of the chest, shoulders and mid-section releasing and relaxing.

Allow five minutes in this position.  When you are finished you will feel less tension and tightness in your shoulders and chest.  Your breathing will have deepened, and your posture improved.  More importantly, you will have a more open and compassionate heart center.
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