Category Archives: Anahata
It’s February and that means Valentine’s Day is just around the corner. While I think celebrating love is something we need to do more often, my problem with Valentine’s Day is its focus on defining love in relation to being in a romantic relationship. Love is universal and should be celebrated as such. We can start by remembering that we are worthy of love and this song is one of my favorite reminders of that.
Peace and love,
In yoga, the heart is the seat of wisdom and love. Know that you are loving and you are loved. Meditate today on the mantra: I am love.
Peace and love,
June is National Rose Month. The rose is commonly known as the symbol of love but the true meaning of a rose is dependent on its color. I thought it might be a fun exercise to see look up the symbolic meaning of each rose associated with the chakra colors.
Root chakra (muladhara) – red – love, beauty, courage, respect, passion
Sacral chakra (svadhisthana) – orange – desire, enthusiasm, creativity, fascination
Solar plexus chakra (manipura) – yellow – joy, friendship, welcome back, new beginnings
Heart chakra (anahata) – green – vitality, healing, self-respect, well-being
Throat chakra (vishudda) – blue – the unattainable, the impossible, mystery
Third eye chakra (ajna) – violet* – love at first sight, enchantment
Crown chakra (sahasrara) – white – purity, innocence, youthfulness, sympathy
*often indigo instead
Unlike last week, which I found a bit challenging, there are just so, so many great songs related to the heart chakra. Narrowing things down was hard, so I may have to do a second list at some point.
This week’s chakra has been all about the heart.
While we don’t want to confuse gratitude with love, an open heart is a grateful heart.
An open heart is also ready for the ups and downs of true love.
The healing color of the anahata chakra is green.
Let’s all be open to the frequency of love.
Stay groovy, babies!
Much like last week, many of our questions focus on our relationships with others. This week we’re focusing not on the exchange of energy and power between ourselves and others but rather our capacity to love ourselves and others purely and without expectations. The heart is an amazing organ and a balanced heart chakra has the capacity to help us find the strength to heal past wounds. Rather than deny or avoid hurt feelings that come from loving deeply, we learn to feel pain fully and let it go rather than hold on to it.
Some questions to consider:
- Do I feel connected to others?
- Do I judge others? myself?
- Am I being loving and compassionate with myself? with others?
- Have a expressed gratitude lately?
- Am I open and honest about my feelings?
- Can I learn how to stay with someone through hard times when communication is difficult?
- Do I allow loved ones to fully be themselves?
- Do I allow myself to show loved ones my true self?
- Do I love myself?
The affirmations for the anahata help use find balance, love, and compassion for ourselves and others.
- I love.
- I release hurt from my past.
- I forgive those who need forgiveness.
- I forgive myself.
- My heart is open.
- I am a compassionate being.
- I live in grace and gratitude.
- I am open to love.
- I accept love.
- I express love freely.
- I know forgiveness.
- I trust love.
- I am one.
Let love rule, yogis.
Since one of the signs of an balanced heart chakra is compassion try to go an entire day without criticizing anyone, including yourself. It’s much harder than it sounds for most of us. To physically strengthen the chest, add some extra push ups to your workout routine.
Asanas, or yoga poses, that focus on stretching and strengthening the chest are particularly useful to balance the heart chakra. Here are few of my favorites:
- Camel (Ustrasana);
- Cobra (Bhujangasana);
- Puppy or anahatasana in yin (Uttana Shishosana);
- Bridge (Setu Bandha Sarvangasana);
- Triangle (Trikonasana)
- Dancer (Natarajasana).
Our journey to healing the fourth chakra continues with a look at foods that bring balance.
Traditionally, the food group associated with the heart chakra is vegetables, green vegetables especially since that’s the color of this chakra. Other foods that can help bring balance are green fruits, brown rice, tofu, beans, and bean sprouts.
Creamy Asparagus Risotto
from Weight Watchers
- 1 lb. asparagus, cut into bite-sized pieces
- 1 T. unsalted butter
- 3 small shallots, minced
- 1 c. uncooked arborio rice
- 1 T. fresh lemon juice
- 4 c. chicken broth
- 1/3 c. grated Parmesan cheese
- salt & pepper, to taste
- Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Fill a large bowl with ice water. Add asparagus to pot; blanch for 2 minutes. Immediately remove asparagus from pot and place into ice water; set aside.
- Melt butter in medium pot. Add shallots; cook, stirring frequently, until translucent. Add rice and toss to coat; cook for 2 minutes. Add lemon juice; cook until all lemon juice has been absorbed, stirring constantly.
- Meanwhile, bring broth to a simmer and keep warm. Add 1/2 cup of hot broth to the rice and stir until absorbed. Repeat with remaining broth, making sure each addition of broth is absorbed before adding more.
- When rice turns creamy and is just done, remove pot from heat. Add cheese and stir well. Stir in asparagus. Add salt and pepper to taste.
This week we continue our chakra work by focusing on the heart chakra or anahata.
Heart Chakra Basics
The heart chakra is located around the heart and center of the chest and is associated with the heart, lung, and shoulders. The anahata is the seat of love, compassion, peace, and balance. The fourth chakra is at the center of the chakra system and represents the balancing point between the material energy of the lower chakras and spiritual energy of the higher chakras.
When the heart chakra is too closed, we feel isolated, suffer from low self-esteem, and are unable to be open to giving and receiving love. When it is too open, we are co-dependent, clingy, and give away love so freely that we undermine our own needs. Physically, we suffer from circulatory and respiratory illness.
When in balance, we are open to giving and receiving love to others and ourselves. Our relationships are healthy; we are able to embrace the highs and lows of relationships and compassionately deal with issues through effective communication. We are able to heal past wounds.
Healing Through Meditation and Pranayama
We can awaken the chakras in many ways, including meditation and pranayama, or breath work. Included here are some simple suggestions.
Light meditation: The color of the anahata is green, a highly healing color. Meditate on glowing orb of green light growing at your heart. As this orb begins to spin with the breath, imagine it moving in a spiral pattern through the other chakra. Imagine light and energy moving in a spiral from the heart to the throat then to solar plexus then to the third eye to the sacrum to the crown of the head and finally to the root chakra, healing each chakra as you go. Then imagine that energy spiraling back to the heart in the opposite pattern.
Mantra meditation: You can meditate using a simple mantra. The simplest option is to repeat “I love” with each breath, mentally saying “I” with the inhale and “love” with the exhale. Or you could vocalize the Bija mantra of the solar plexus by taking a deep breath in and chanting “LAM” on the exhale (the “a” sounds more like calm than lamb or click here to hear the correct pronunciation).
Pranayama: The element associated with the heart chakra is air. One of the best for bringing balance to the mind is alternate nostril breathing or Nadi Shodhan Pranayama.
- Sit comfortably with your spine erect and shoulders relaxed.
- Place your left hand on the left knee, palms open to the sky or in Chin Mudra (thumb and index finger gently touching at the tips).
- Place the tip of the index finger and middle finger of the right hand in between the eyebrows. We will use the ring finger to open or close the left nostril and thumb for the right nostril.
- Gently press your thumb down on the right nostril and breathe out through the left nostril.
- Now breathe in from the left nostril and then press the left nostril gently with the ring finger and little finger. Removing the right thumb from the right nostril, breathe out from the right.
- Breathe in from the right nostril and exhale from the left. You have now completed one round.
- Complete 9 rounds.
Until tomorrow, loves,
This week’s blog posts and classes will focus on the chakras, with a look at the heart chakra. The week wraps up with a special workshop Exploring the Yamas on Saturday (click the link or see details below). Hope you can join me!
- 4 p.m. Yoga at the Museum at the Art Museum of Greater Lafayette
- 7:15 p.m. Yin Yoga at Community Yoga
- 9:30 a.m. Yoga for Everyone at Community Yoga
- 9:30 a.m. Slow Flow Vinyasa at Community Yoga
- 5:45 p.m. Classic Yoga at Community Yoga
- 7:15 p.m. Yoga for Better Balance at Yoga Balance
- 12 p.m. Slow Flow Vinaysa at Yoga Balance
- 10 a.m. Exploring the Yama at Yoga Balance: The sage Patanjali outlined an eight-limbed path of yoga, a step-by-step guide to cultivate a steady mind so that we may obtain a state of bliss. Most of us are familiar with asana (or physical postures), the third of the eight limbs. Using asana, mantras and meditation, this class will explore the first limb of yoga: the yama, the ethical guidelines for how we relate to people and society. Investment: $20. Reserve your space through the Morton Center offices (765) 775-5120 or drop in.