This interview series from the Intent.com editors features in-depth conversations with some of the nation’s top yoga instructors and wellness experts. Our featured interview this week is with Tommy Rosen, founder of the Tadasana Festival and teacher of yoga for addictions recovery.
Thanks for taking the time to speak with us, Tommy.
Of course. Sorry this took so long!
We wanted to speak with you about the practice you teach, Heart of Gold Flow, which is focused on opening the space of the heart. Why did you think this area of the body, in particular, would be so important to help people open?
All disease comes from some form of constipation, which we experience in the bowels, in our veins and arteries, in our lungs, in other organ systems, or in energetic channels (nadis) of the body. Constipation in the arteries and veins that lead to and from the heart cause major problems. We want to avoid this.
On a purely physical level, the heart just runs and runs. It is a miracle engine that constantly pumps blood and oxygen to all the cells of our body. Keeping it happy and sailing along smoothly is a good use of time and focus.
Energetically speaking, an open heart means a good clean flow of energy in and out. When the heart can receive and emit communication well, really good things happen.
Emotionally speaking, having an open heart means we can receive and give love, establish healthy and loving relationships, and also experience the fullness of being alive (with everything good and challenging that comes with that).
Also, let’s remember that the heart produces the most powerful emanation from the body—5000 times more powerful than the energy emitted from our brain. I think of the heart as the center point of our radiance and thus, as responsible for our outward projection into the world.
How has the practice you share in this video been important for your personal journey?
My journey has been one of personal transformation from the darkness of addiction into the light of recovery. Another way of looking at this is to see it as a movement from a mind-centered existence to a heart-centered one.
Yet another way of seeing this is from the perspective of the chakra system. All the energetic centers of the body have importance, and the 4th chakra is the Anahata—or heart energy center. This is where one can make decisions based on the calling of one’s highest self. In active addiction, it is impossible for people to access their highest self. It is as if the pure essence of the self is locked behind a door, and they do not seem to have the key.
I am not certain that yoga or in particular, The Heart of Gold Flow, will liberate someone from addiction. The path of recovery is more complex than that. What I can share though is that once a person has a footing in recovery they can strengthen their position on the path through this practice.
What was your intent in sharing Heart of Gold Flow with a wider community?
We all have heard the phrase, “To Follow One’s Heart.”
This is how we want to live our life, if only we can access that part of ourselves. My hope is that everyone can experience they joy and awesome results of this practice. Physically, it will strengthen you. It will give you mental clarity. And it will open your heart in ways you will deeply appreciate.
The Heart of Gold Flow is for everyone. It is a tool on the path to awareness. I hope people love it!
Editor: Kate Bartolotta