February is heart month so I got to thinking about our hearts. I have been studying the chakras - organizing centres inside of us that are responsible for the reception, assimilation and transmission of life energies. At our inner core, there are seven of these wheel-like energy centres. The heart centre, the fourth chakra, is known as the anahata chakra in Sanskrit and translates to “unstruck sound” (I love that!). The anahata chakra is located between the breasts at the level of the armpits. This chakra rules over the heart, lungs and thymus gland and its role is to facilitate healing, integration, balance and wholeness. When our heart chakra is healthy and vibrant we treat ourselves with care and respect. Opening the heart chakra expands one's capacity for sharing love and energy.
If you attend my yoga classes, you know that I view yoga as an integrative practice leading to deeper awareness of self, wholeness and freedom. Yoga is more than physical postures (asana). Yoga is a practical and ongoing process of becoming more intimate with self, weaving together body, breath and consciousness. Meditation (dharana), one of the limbs of yoga, cultivates greater wisdom when practiced regularly.
Here is a compassion meditation that I recently taught in my Tuesday morning Therapeutics class at 889 Yoga. We explore different practices to support physical, mental and emotional well-being. It is a unique class because although we may do some physical postures, our focus is much broader. Sound intriguing? Check it out.
▪ Choose a family member or friend to practice this exercise with.
▪ Pick a spot to sit so that you can relax and see each other comfortably.
▪ Facing one another; begin to gaze into each other’s eyes softly.
▪ Connect with your breathing.
▪ Gaze at the other person without judgment or criticism.
▪ Look at your partner and allow yourself to focus on their heart – imagine its hopes and dreams and buried sorrows and fears.
▪ Invite a sense of compassion to build up within your heart for that person.
▪ Breath into this feeling and continue to share compassion and kindness with your eyes.
▪ Imagine a beam of compassion running from your heart to theirs.
▪ Feel your own heart as you connect to theirs.
▪ When you have had enough, close your eyes and return to your own centre.
▪ Offer yourself compassion and love.
▪ Breathe into it.
▪ When you are ready, open your eyes.
▪ Notice how this experience was for you.
▪ Thank your partner.
Please Join Me
My winter teaching schedule can be found here. I also love teaching private yoga sessions. We can build a session around your needs. Please reach out if this interests you. If you wish to book a private or semi-private lesson, please contact me.
Love and light,