May 17, 2011

A broken open heart: healing and connecting with anahata chakra.

{Learn more about all 7 major energy centers — Fun with chakras! — brought to you by Yoga Freedom}

When you begin to touch your heart or let your heart be touched, you begin to discover that it’s bottomless.  ~Pema Chödrön

Heart chakra concerns: love, care, compassion, empathy, gratitude, generosity, affection, self-love

Heart chakra essential questions:

How do I show myself love and compassion?
How do I give love and compassion to others?
In what ways am I generous/stingy?
What am I grateful for in this moment?
How can I cultivate empathy for people close to me as well as acquaintances and even strangers?

4th chakra thoughts: Metta only gives and never wants anything in return. Metta is friendliness, goodwill, the strong, genuine wish for the welfare and happiness of others. Metta is the fundamental tenet of all major religions and all benevolent activities. Metta must be practiced, and it grows boundless with practice. Metta in word, thought and deed brings concord, peace and mutual understanding. Metta succeeds when it loves and fails when it degenerates into conditional affection.

1st chakra poem:

More Metta
our hearts are pumping

all our lives
never stopping
we live love
day in day out

but this peace of mind
too shall pass
knowing this
we still break our hearts open
with metta
with love
with friendship and devotion

Practice suggestions:

  1. The element of anahata chakra is AIR, so any and all pranayama practices (breath exercises) help balance and heal this chakra.
  2. Gentle restorative backbends such as lying over a bolster in supta baddha konasana (reclining cobbler’s pose).
  3. Deep back bends in which the heart is above the head, like camel, bridge and full wheel.
  4. Sitting in meditation and practicing the Tibetan Buddhist Metta Meditation technique.
  5. Practicing outside in the fresh air, ideally with a lovely breeze caressing your body.

Anahata music:

Love by John Lennon
Just above love by The Flaming Lips
Gracias a la vida by Mercedes Sosa
Ong namo by Snatam Kaur
All you need is love by The Beatles


Heart chakra literature:

Thanks for reading! Check out the lower three chakras in this series:

  1. Muladhara/Root Chakra – Survival, Security
  2. Svadhisthana/Sacral Chakra – Sex, Sensuality
  3. Manipura/Solar Plexus Chakra – Self-discipline, Strength
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