Recently I read that the marker of a “good” teacher is that they encourage us to move from the heart, and while there are many criteria by which we categorize and label our teachers this statement sums up so much of what quality time on our mats is all about.
Physically, moving from the heart allows us to recharge our pranic battery. Have you ever actually noticed how rejuvenating it is just to stand in mountain pose and lift all of the energy from the feet up in to the heart space as the collar bone widens, the shoulder blades shift down in to the body and the belly button slides back to the spine? Just releasing the tension of the fascia around the heart muscle helps us to recharge. Staying with this energetic connection, using the muscles and bones to deepen it as you move through your flow really sends the shakti pulsations through the body with grace, divine awareness, and love. Energizer * bliss * bunny. Plus, it just feels darn good to let go of all that gripping.
On a subtle body level, moving from heart center is moving from the anahata chakra, which is positioned in the central channel (nadi) behind the spine at the heart. Anahata is associated with the ability to make decisions outside of the realm of karma. In the first three chakras we are bound by the laws of karma and fate. In Anahata, the decision making process blooms… ‘following your heart’, based upon one’s higher self and not from the unfulfilled emotions and desires of that lower nature. It is also associated with love and compassion, charity to others, and forms of psychic healing. When we connect to and move from this place we learn to expand our “grace radius” out to the world around us, allowing for a deeper connection to all the beauty and strength inside of us, how we can use those qualities to make more loving and authentic decisions for ourselves, and how we can utilize these internal processes to connect to and find gratitude in the relationships around us. The physical opening of the heart space creates more space for these energetic possibilities to thrive.
When we learn to move from heart on our mats we find ourselves making wiser decisions from a deeper understanding of what we need. Utilizing our power rising from the third chakra in decisively balanced ways to achieve opening without injury, awareness without striving, ease with stability. Our time on our mats becomes decisively more organic and connected. The ripples of the mind find less and less incentive to pulse and instead flow in one smooth pattern of peace. Every single ripple becomes a piece of the puzzle in the rhythm of the moment. Leaving our mat with this awareness we are more able to take our compassion, our understanding, and our grace muscles out into the world, expanding our radius with every dhanurasana, every ujjayi, and every Yam (that is the sound of the heart chakra, not the tasty ginger colored potato).
As we move out of the holiday’s it is so easy to plug away, forget to pause, to recharge, evaluate, assess…our heart energy becomes more and more depleted as we lose our internal connection to our power and grounding- the thoughts and the need to strive become our primary motivators. Spending extra time on our mats, our meditation cushions, in line at the grocery store, the car ride to work… to stop and feel the heart rise and blossom helps to revitalize the body-mind connection helps us to make better decisions from a place of grace and understanding of our own power, and to feel oh so *supah fly* in every moment we are given, every breath that expands out and contracts in from the center of self.
All is well,
Peace and grace in 2012 and in this moment…knowing that through the heart we realize that every breath is a moment to love.