Category Archives: Heart Chakra

#MondayMeditation: Ra Ma Da Sa

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I’ll be honest: I’m exhausted. All the hate, turmoil, and fear gets me all riled up and agitated. I want to be loving, open, a kind always but it’s hard to do at times. To help me feel more healed and focused this week, I’m going to use one of the mantras we have learned in my teacher training. It’s simple and is lovely.

Ra Ma Da Sa

Sa Say So Hung

Meant to be sung for 10 minutes or more, it is a healing mantra for yourself, anyone who needs it, or the world. It all depends on who you hold in your heart while repeating it or listening.

 

In peace and light,

Debra

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#TuesdayTunes: You Can Love Yourself

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.

Enjoy!

Peace and love,

Debra

#MondayMeditation: Heart Chakra

I am 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,

Debra

National Rose Month

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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

Namaste,

Debra

 

 

National Wear Red Day

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The first Friday in February is the American Heart Association‘s National Wear Red Day, part of their Go Red for Women campaign. Heart attacks and strokes cause one out of every three deaths of women annually. It’s a day that’s especially poignant to me because my mom and her mom and sister have cardiovascular disease. Their experiences with heart disease and cancer led me to obtain Yoga of the Heart certification.

Education and healthy living can help prevent some incidents or reduce the effects of cardiovascular disease. Yoga can be part of a healthy lifestyle, whatever your current fitness level. Please note: you should always check with your doctor before beginning any fitness regimen. Yoga teachers and styles run the gamut from vigorous and fitness-oriented to quiet and meditative, so doing a little research and trying different classes can help you find what works best for you.

photogrid_1486141601211.jpgOne of my favorite heart-opening poses is anahatasana, or heart-melting pose.The anahata, or heart, chakra is the balancing point between our lower level and higher level chakras. It associated with love and compassion and making decisions based on our higher self.

Note: If getting down on the floor isn’t accessible to you, you could do this pose seated in a chair. To do the seated version, sit toward the forward edge of a chair with the spine straight, hold on the back of the chair with your hands close to the seat, and arch the back and lift through the heart.

Anahatasana

Contraindications

  • Bad neck
  • Tingling in hands

Getting into the Pose:

  • From hands and knees, keep the hips directly over the knees
  • Walk the hands forward and pivot shoulders so head comes between the arms (upper body is in the same position as in downward-facing dog)
  • Allow chest top drop toward the floor
  • Hold 2 to 5 minutes

Modifications

  • If shoulder pain, walk hands wider than shoulder distance apart and/or rest chest on a bolster
  • If neck pain, support the head with a folded blanket or block
  • For knee pain, blanket underneath
  • Toes can be tucked under for stability
  • For more intensity, rest chest and/or chin on floor (looking up between the hands)

Benefits:

  • Stretches middle and upper back
  • Opens shoulders
  • Softens heart

Meridians & Organs Affected:

  • Urinary Bladder
  • Stomach and spleen lines
  • Heart and lung meridians

Joints Affected:

  • Upper back and neck
  • Lower spine
  • Shoulder/humerus joints

Chakras Affected:

  • Fourth

Coming Out:

  • Walk hands back under shoulders or slide forward onto belly

Counterposes

  • Child’s pose
  • Cat/cow
  • Downward facing dog
  • Sleeper

Sources: Paul Grilley, Yin Yoga: Outline of a Quiet Practice; Biff Mithoefer, The Yin Yoga Kit: The Practic of Quiet Power; and Bernie Clark, The Complete Guide to Yin Yoga: The Philosophy & Practice of Yin Yoga

Peace and love,

Debra

#FunFriday: Heart Chakra

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!

Debra

#ThoughtfulThursday: Heart Chakra

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Our journey to find balance at the heart of our being continues. We’ve looked at mediation, mindful eating, and physical movement so far this week. Now it’s time for a bit more introspection.

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.

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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?

Affirmations

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.

Debra

 

#Wellness Wednesday: Heart Chakra

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This week we’ve discussed how to bring balance to the heart chakra, or anahata, through meditation and diet. Today, we’ll look at activities that can also bring balance.

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

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:

With love,

Debra

#TastyTuesday: Heart Chakra

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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.

fb_img_1470703916366.jpgCreamy 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
  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.

Stay balanced,

Debra

 

#MondayMeditation: Heart Chakra

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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.

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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,

Debra

 

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