"Love and compassion are necessities, not luxuries"
In yogic philosophy the energy centre of anahata - the heart chakra - relates to our ability to show love, compassion and forgiveness towards ourselves and others. Anatomically the area includes the physical organ of the heart as well as the surrounding muscles of the shoulders. Focusing here also involves the respiratory system and our ability to breathe into every moment and situation.
The lower chakras are about how we root, create and express ourselves in the more tangible world whereas the heart chakra is a bridge to the higher more spiritual realm of insight and spirituality - the heart is the intersection where heaven and earth meet. The heart chakra is the seat of our ability to love deeply as well as to receive love - one of many famous quotes from Rumi is "your task is not to seek for love but to merely seek and find all the barriers within yourself that you have built against it". All of us shut off here when we are hurt but if we remain closed we may experience bitterness and loneliness. Expect our yoga to include poetry, self compassion practices, movement and meditation to nourish and nurture yourself
The colour we associate with this energy centre is green and the element is air so our breath work practice will reinforce our healing in this energy centre.
To support our heart chakra the essential oils you can use are cypress, geranium, lavender, jasmine, rose and sandalwood.
If you like to work with crystals then rose quartz or green aventurine can help bring balance to this area.
If your mind wanders during your yoga practices or meditation repeating an affirmation can help you regain focus.
Affirmations are a way to anchor our awareness but they also can offer us deeper insights. If we find we have a strong resistance to an affirmation it might be an indication of an unhealed wound and maybe could be explored through journalling or with the support of a therapist.
Here are some suggestions:
I am loved
I am loving
I am able to give and receive love equally
I love my body
I am loveable
I deserve love
Love is all around me
If you wish to consider healing this area in more depth, perhaps consider journalling. Journalling offers space to reflect on your thoughts, feelings, experiences, and intentions. With journalling, we get around the filter of censorship and jot down the first thing that crops up this is a tool for reflecting on all that happens and creating space to vision.
We hold so many unconscious stories and journalling gives us space to reflect and possibly reframe experiences and see the joy. This is how we take our power back.
After meditation try journalling around the following prompts:
What does unconditional love mean to me?
Do I rely on external validation from others to feel loveable?
How do I show love to others eg) through my actions, words of affirmation, gifts
Do I do this for myself?
What makes me feel loved?
Do my loved ones know what makes me feel loved or do I expect them to know?
How can I show myself and others more kindness?
Heart on the mend
You are not here
a wise woman said
to fill the hole
in other people’s souls
You are here
to find the joy
in being who you are
what you love
You are here to find and honour
the wisdom of your heart
the knowing of your soul
And in the presence of your living love
others are more likely to remember
to find and to mend themselves
Nanna Aida Svendsen