June 2, 2014

Where The Heart Is. ~ Michelle Handy


Bring your hands into anjali mudra, or prayer, at the heart center. Set an intention that will follow you for your day.

Rub your palms together so that you can feel the heat radiating from your very being. Separate your hands about half an inch apart so that you can feel the energy between the two, toying with the push and pull of each movement. Honor your intention in this moment. Listen to your heart.

Located by the heart, it’s no wonder why the Anahata chakra deals with social identity, trust, unconditional love, stability, emotional empowerment and forgiveness. Here, our citta resides. Patañjali identifies citta as our heart-mind in the yoga sutras.

“Purification and clarification of citta (citta-prasādana) is the primary result of yoga practice and leads us to connection with our divine inner light of awareness.”

~ Nicolai Bachman, “The Path Of The Yoga Sutras: a practical guide to the core of yoga”

Alignment of this chakra encourages contentment, motivation, compassion and empathy. You begin to honor your heart’s intention and appreciate that of others. In other words, you begin to live the meaning of “namaste.”

Whenever I step on a yoga mat, I feel connected to a higher power, whatever that means to you. Some days it’s my breath; other days I find motivation in a neighbor’s breath.

Whenever I work with children in my various childcare roles, I find stability in the innocence of children. They are so honest, open and mindful.

Whenever I write, I find myself inspired by the message of my words. I write for the sake of writing.

Some people spend their whole lives searching for that sense of fulfillment that could have been attained by aligning this chakra. Chest openers like Camel, Cobra and Fish combined with pranayama, or breathing exercises, help you connect to this chakra. As a result, the energy within shines forth with a radiance you’ve never seen before.

Have you ever seen someone talk about their passion with all their heart? You can see their light shining through their eyes as they speak.

Maintaining a regular yoga practice helps you be mindful of your heart. Next time you step on your mat, notice what intention comes to mind throughout your practice. How does that change over time? Are you still wishing for “a good practice” or rather seeking “to feel grounded in love and acceptance?”

“The attitude of gratitude is the highest yoga.”

~ Yogi Bhajan

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Apprentice Editor: Ffion Jones / Editor: Travis May

Photo: Nayyer Reza/Pixoto

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Michelle Handy