“Le coeur a ses raisons que la raison ne connait point,” which translates to: the heart has its reasons, whereof reason knows nothing... We know the truth not only by the reason, but by the heart." - Blaise Pascal
This quote by famous mathematician Blaise Pascal is from 1669––talk about ancient wisdom! Even a genius steeped in reason and mathematics recognized that often the answer lies in listening to the heart and emotions, as opposed to relying solely on the brain. This week we’re focused on balancing your heart energy.
In yoga, we emphasize opening and balancing the Anahata (Heart) chakra as being vital to feeling our best. The seven main chakras are energy systems running along our Sushumna Nadi, in our subtle body, the blueprint of our physical body. The fourth chakra, Anahata, is the recognized seat of love and compassion and translates to “Unstruck.” Its essence is selflessness, expanding beyond your ego, and learning to release fear and forgive those who have harmed you.
The heart houses the two primary emotions of love and fear. When Anahata is out of balance, physical issues may arise in the chest region, including problems with the heart and arteries, lungs and respiratory system. Sometimes a heart attack or lung disease can stem from emotional pain. Fear of pain manifests in a protective posture of rounded shoulders, which further closes off our heart within our chest.
Emotional issues manifest when we cannot forgive the people who caused us the most hurt. Our human experience includes love and pain. When you’ve been hurt, part of the healing process is self-protection. But if we aren’t careful, fear supersedes love, blocking our emotions, and disconnecting from our hearts. Taking the time to tune into your feelings and listen to your heart will help fortify your connection to yourself and to others.
Releasing old resentments and hurts which may be blocking us from expressing our emotions isn’t easy. Courage and love are often used interchangeably––being vulnerable is one of the greatest acts of strength. We face the choice to act from a place of bravery or operate from a place of fear countless times every day. To step into our strength, we need to take the risk and be vulnerable.
By practicing heart openers and strengtheners as well as learning to breathe deeply and fully, we create an open heart. Take time to strengthen your own heart and forgive yourself for what may be blocking you from being your most free and compassionate. This week, use these specially designed practices to balance your heart center.
Kristin Gibowicz - Healthy Backs: Nurturing Hope Through Backbends
Cicily Carter - Heart Chakra Yoga: Backbend Flow
Happy Good Flow with Pradeep Teotia
Pleasure Flow with Kylie Larson
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