The true heart – anahata chakra

Focus your awareness on the physical heart and its cavity. Although the physical heart only occupies a small space, the true heart is without limitations.
Try to feel the beating of your own heart. LONG PAUSE

Located in the middle of the chest is anahata chakra, the heart centre. The chakras are inner wheels of energy that control and distribute the energy around the body. Through the discipline of yoga (controlled breathing, sound and postures) we can balance these energy centres to awaken, release and harmonize the body.
The organs associated with Anahata are the lungs, the heart, and the entire cardiovascular system. These are the pumps and delivery systems of prana to the body’s many systems.
Nurturing the energy of the fourth chakra through breathing, meditation, and asana is vital to maintaining the body’s own healing power.

Anahata chakra is the centre of air.

Air is expansive and will expand into any space yet it is gentle and soft. Love is similar, being an expansion of the heart. Ideally, the heart chakra radiates love from a spring of solidly centered self-acceptance that reaches out with the compassion, care and support of others. Balance of our love of self and love for others and the interconnectedness of our spirits, is the fundamental message of this chakra.
Loving encompasses nurturing, caring, supporting, understanding, protecting among many other qualities.
When this chakra is open and balanced there is a genuine ability to give and to receive.
The anahata centre controls the sense of touch. This is not surprising, for the heart meridians run along the length of the arms into the hands. It is through our hands that we offer love in the form of comfort, a loving caress or a healing touch.

A wonderful practice for the heart centre is Hridaya Mudra (heart gesture).

Place the tips of index fingers to base of the thumbs and join the tips of middle and ring fingers to tips of thumbs. Little finger remains straight. Hands on knees, palms up.
Observe breath in the chest area.

If you enjoy sound, chant the mantra YAM three times in silence, 3 times aloud and 3 times in silence. Then observe the effect on body, mind and breath. Feel the effect on the whole system ; a feeling of harmony and deep peace.

Benefits : diverts flow of prana from the hands to the heart area, improving the vitality of the physical heart. The middle and ring fingers relate directly to the nadis connected with the heart, while the thumb closes the circuit and acts as an energizer, diverting the flow of prana from the hands to these nadis.
This mudra helps to release pent up emotion and unburden the heart. It may be useful during emotional conflict or crisis.

Namaste

More to come……………

A fascination with hands

I am drawn to hands. Mostly in the form of touch and gesture but also to the artistic creation or interpretation of hands. Clay, resin, wood, stone, any carving of hands are so very beautiful, so very expressive. Being a yoga teacher, I work with hand gestures , called mudras, which evoke a feeling or attitude within. There is a grace, a softness in the conscious movement of hands and fingers. They convey much without any words spoken. There is a whole language (sign) so the deaf can communicate more easily. A way of communicating without words – how wonderful.

It is said that the meridians of the heart run to the hands, so is it any wonder open palms open our heart. Consider the work of our hands : they hold, grasp, lift, push, pull, mould, paint, carve, write, carry and caress………. One may experience comfort through a gentle embrace or touch. Hands wipe aways tears: both your own and of others. Hands come together in prayer; for thanks and in hope. My prayer for now : thanks and gratitude for all that I have and hope for the many seeds of inspiration to flourish.