Monday, February 1, 2016

HEART CHAKRA (4th Chakra)

Up next in the chakra ladder is the Heart Chakra.  This centre is located at the heart and involves all the good things in life - love, joy, compassion, connection, etc.  The element for this centre is air, so physically it is fairly easy to connect with this chakra simply by breathing deeply and focusing on our breath.  We'll also focus on opening and expanding the chest.  How often do you let your heart lead?  Does it feel natural to allow your chest to open, or do you tend to hunch the shoulders and close off?  Open the heart and find all of those things that you enjoy about your practice and every pose that you're in.

Heart Chakra
Sanskrit Anahata
(centre of unstruck sound)
Location at the heart
Color green
Element air
Symbol two intersecting triangles
(forming a star)
Purpose love, joy, compassion
Demon grief
Yoga Postures
(to support & open centre)
- Salabhasana (plank pose)
- Ustrasana (camel)
- Bitilasana (cow pose)

Vatu Mandala Pranayama for the Heart Chakra
*** this breath technique comes from the Gitananda yoga tradition
*** this specific technique uses a breath retention so should not be practiced by those with hypertension, heart disease, asthma, ulcers or when pregnant.  If you are new to a pranayama practice, breath retentions can be intense, so please STOP if you feel any strain, irritation or cramping.

This technique involves a three-part breath:
  • inhale for a count of 6
  • exhale for a count of 6
  • hold the breath (with the lungs empty) for a count of 6
Continue this pattern for at least 9 rounds.  You can decrease the count to 5 or 4 or increase the count to 7, 8, or 9 as long as the inhale, exhale and hold are all the same length.  For an audio recording that includes a visualization to go along with this technique, feel free to visit my site by clicking here.  

Happy breathing and allow yourself to experience joy in your practice.

See you on our mats!

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