Opening the Heart

As I review, revise, and expand my notes for an forthcoming workshop I will be offering at Willow Street Yoga, in Takoma Park, MD, on June 7, titled - "Balancing the Chakras with Asanas and Healing Practices," I am amazed at how we often teach what we need to know or revisit.

As I journey through the individual chakras - the seven major energy centers we have in our bodies - I am essentially reviewing much of my life, my tendencies, my weaknesses, and my strengths.

I am excited to have this opportunity to do this workshop and take it in a slightly different direction than when I offered it previously. There is so much more material available that makes the chakra system and what contributes to its imbalance much more accessible. And I can now share many more practical and specific suggestions for achieving a more balanced energy system that I did before.

Yes - we teach and review what we need to learn - or perhaps embody on a deeper level...

As I reviewed the Chakra Balancing workbook by Anodea Judith, I was struck by the beauty and simplicity of this book and found much that hit close to home. Here are some things she shares on the fourth chakra - the heart - which balances the three upper and lower chakras:

"Gratitude invites the heart to open. To truly realize how much we are given in this life is to be flooded with divine love...

Forgiveness is an important...essential practice of the heart chakra. It frees the heart from the past so it can move forward into the present and the future...It softens our heart and relaxes the patterns that keep us from receiving what is available to us in the present moment...

Now that we have awakened the fires of our will, we are ready to enter the sacred and tender realm of the heart. Here lies the very center of the chakra system as well as the heart of our being, the chamber from which we give and receive love...

Love is the essence of life. It is the ultimate healer, the most potent teacher...

The Sanskrit name for this chakra is "Anahata," meaning "unstruck" or "unhurt". To open the heart is to treat others with honor and respect and refrain from causing unnecessary harm...

An open heart feels compassion and empathy for both self and others. It understands the tender nature of spirit, the delightful joy of connection, and the deep peace of acceptance. The heart's task is to find balance in relationship in all aspects: mind and body, self and other, light and shadow, masculine and feminine, inner and outer realms. the result of this balance is peace...

Working with the breath is a powerful way to cleanse the body...and dissolve blocks that keep our heart from opening. This invites the heart to soften, to become spacious, and to receive the life-giving properties of "prana."

To open this chakra is to dissolve the illusion of separateness and the needs of the ego. It is to open yourself to loving more deeply and to falling in love with life itself. Ultimately, this chakra begins a passionate love affair with divine spirit and all of its infinitely perfect manifestations."

For more information on the many wonderful workshops being offered at Willow Street Yoga:
www.willowstreetyoga.com

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