The random ravings of a Chicago-based yoga teacher turned divorce recovery coach. Hindu mythology as it impacts hatha yoga, mantras, pranayama, and more.
Wednesday, June 2, 2010
opening the heart chakra
Connectedness. Comfort. Peace. Openness. Joy. We don't have to wait to feel love from others in order to experience these blissful states. You can start with yourself, wherever you are.
Try any of these:
Sit in a comfortable place. It's wonderful to sit in the sun, if it's a sunny day. Give yourself a hug. Stroke your hair, your face, or your arms in a gentle way. Send feelings of love and compassion to yourself.
Give yourself permission to stop and center yourself throughout your day. Notice things of beauty around you. Imagine that plants and other living things are sending love back to you as you admire them.
Spend a moment scanning your body for any areas of tension or pain. Send love to those areas, or as taoists say, send an "inner smile" to those areas until you feel them smiling back at you.
When dealing with difficult emotions, it's much easier to let them go when you first offer your own love and understanding to yourself. Before thinking of what you could have done better, or kicking yourself for a mistake or misstep, offer compassion to yourself first.
Take a moment midday to think of all the things you've accomplished so far that day. Appreciate yourself and your efforts. And in addition to what you've done for others, be sure to include a couple of ways that you've been kind to yourself!
These are simple techniques, but don't underestimate them. They can be more powerful than complex yogic techniques -- simply because they are so easy to do.