Day 4: Heart Chakra
We’re on day 4, and it’s Saturday, so I want to elaborate more on today’s special chakra before we get into the meditation.
The heart chakra lies in the middle of our line of energy, and is perfectly balanced by three chakras below and three above. The heart is also the connection between the body and the spirit, so many like to think of the first three chakras (root, sacral, solar plexus) as the chakras of the body and the next three (throat, third eye, crown) as chakras of the spirit.
Because of the heart chakra’s connection to our other energy centers, you’ll notice that many of the themes of love overlap with prior chakras we’ve looked at. For example, the heart chakra is about our connection to our family (root), friends and partners (sacral), and our self (solar plexus).
Another piece of beautiful imagery is the heart chakra’s element, air. Air is all around us, similar to how love is all around us (if we choose love over hate). Air also represents a middle ground between the physical objects of the world and a spiritual realm that we can’t see or feel.
Heart CHAKRA CHARACTERISTICS
Location: Center of your chest (not actually your heart organ)
Affected by: Love, compassion, relationships
When balanced you feel: Joyful, accepting, able to love unconditionally, compassionate, connected (to self and others)
When imbalanced you feel: Lonely, angry, co-dependent, critical, manipulative, jealous, unworthy
Bija mantra: “YAM”
GUIDED MEDITATION (~5 MINS)
Remember the key to any meditation practice is minimizing distractions. Maybe one day we’ll become so focused that even the loudest car horn doesn’t bother us, but for now… turn your phone on silent.
Bring your hands to heart center and close your eyes. The outside edges of your thumbs press firmly into your sternum, creating a connection to your sense of self. Let the pressure between your thumbs and your sternum allow you to sit up a little bit taller. Take three deep inhales and exhales here to ground yourself.
Bring one hand to your belly and place the other palm over your heart, allowing yourself to feel your breath and your heart beat. Listen to the sounds of your body for another five breaths.
After your next exhale, gently relax your hands to your thighs. Now imagine yourself walking through a lush, green forest. The air is still and peaceful with spots of sunlight making their way through the leafy canopy. There are trees with trunks as wide as cars and soft ferns dotting the ground. Vibrant moss spreads over the trees. You continue to walk down the path and along the way you reach out and touch trees and plants that catch your attention. Take your time to admire in their beauty. Allow yourself to feel awed in their presence.
Now you open your ears more and are able to hear the sounds of the forest around you. The calls of birds above you and the scurry of squirrels. There’s a whole network in the forest that you are now a part of. To be a part of nature and in union with all living beings creates a powerful sense of connection with yourself and with others.
Bring to mind your loved ones, your friends and family. Imagine if they were here in the forest, what would you show them?
Take a moment to breath in the green all around you. Inhale, the beauty of nature fills you up. Exhale, you share your love out with the forest. Inhale, you receive what the forest has to offer. Exhale, you give what you have to offer back. Continue this on your inhales and exhales for another 30 seconds.
Reach both of your arms back, slightly arching your spine and lifting your chin to the sky in a small backbend. Let your heart take in the possibilities of life around you. Allow yourself to be open to these possibilities. When you’re ready you may come back to a straight spine and open your eyes.
LEARN MORE ABOUT THE heart CHAKRA
Everyday ways to connect:
Being out in nature (surrounding yourself with green)
Journaling (writing down reasons to be joyful, learning to forgive others who wronged you)
Pranayama (controlled breathing)
Heart openers create a sense of vulnerability for many. The first step is to start small and modify to work up to peak expression
Urdhva dhanurasana (upward-facing bow)
Foods that nourish:
Green leafy vegetables (spinach, kale)
Herbs (mint, oregano, coriander, parsley, rosemary, basil)