opening your heart.

opening your heart.  such things can make a person free from anger, lust, jealousy and the vrittis or bothersome troubles of the mind.  the heart chakra or Anahata chakra is revered as a center of devotion and transformation in many spiritual traditions.  it lives in the center of the spine and connects the lower chakras with the higher ones.

a large part of balance comes from the heart center,  and the relationship between yourself and others is closely related to the ego in the third chakra and the heart space as the fourth.  keeping your heart chakra open allows you to love yourself and therefore give your love to others.  when you don't love yourself you crave it from others causing  jealousy and fear.  when the heart is unsettled in affects the blood and the unsettled feeling circulates through the body causing anxiety.

massaging people I always find stress in the same area of the back.  the mid back especially the muscles stretching from the low back to the middle,  or the middle to the shoulders are always stretched out and stressed.  the rhomboids specifically which rest right behind the heart are always always always overstretched.   this comes simply from rounding the shoulders and slumping over in the chest.  the pectoral muscles in the chest are tight and shortened, this is caused by constantly sitting over your computer,  carrying heavy things on your shoulders and not so great posture.  all these continuously close off the heart.

yoga poses that help open the heart include Gomukanasa, Garudasana, and any sort of back bend you can muster.  Even laying down with a bolster along the spine and centering into your breath for a few minutes can slow down the breath and quiet the mind. Lay on your back with the bolster along the spine,  your hands face up at your side and the bottom of the bolster or a rolled up yoga mat at the base of your spine. Just being here and breathing for 5-10 minutes can open your heart and significantly reduce anxiety and nervousness.    When I practiced last weekend,  my teacher wore a green shirt and announced I wear this not for St Patricks Day but in honor of the Anahata Chakra.  The green color of the chakra can be very calming and to think of a shining green light opening up your chest can help when you try and quiet the mind.

Oils that open the heart chakra can be worn on the chest itself or in the inner wrist crease closest to the pinky to run with the heart meridian.  Any flower oils such as rose or jasmine can open the heart chakra as well as lavender, roman chamomile and especially bergamot.

Bergamot is sedative yet uplifting.  Its indicated for nervous indigestion and emotional stress. Like lavender,  it balances.  It can be cooling or warming and is best described as restoring, calming and relaxing. Encourages the wearer to "let go." Its energetic qualities enhance the free flow of Qi. When the flow of Qi is disrupted, irritability,  sleep disturbances and anxiety can develop.

Opening your heart chakra is the first step to loving yourself more fully so you can love the ones around you more fully. Unconditional love is the truth of the heart chakra.