Valentine's day is next week and let's face it - it's all pretty commercialized and awful. The pressure to spend money on big gestures just for the sake of it - which can go either way by the recipient depending on how well the stuff that really matters is going...it's no wonder many people choose to opt out.
But nothing is good or bad in itself and we can choose to forsake the grand gestures and instead bring our awareness to opening the heart chakra. That's the one thing that we all do need - and all partners appreciate.
The heart chakra is the Anahata or the fourth Chakra. It has usually taken quite a battering by others and even by ourselves with negative self-talk. Given this, it might seem ironic that Anahata is sanskrit for 'unstruck' or 'unhurt' - but this actually refers to the place that lies beneath all the pain - the place that experiences that sacred 'oneness' we can sometimes feel.
Connecting with this must be the best feeling in the world?
But we so often choose the other smaller path. Living from the place of hurt - because it feels safer - though we know (yes, in our hearts) that the braver path of living from an open heart is the only way to go.
And we DO have this choice. The craziness of hurting others out of the place of hurt was really nicely demonstrated by Thich Nat Hanh when I was lucky enough to be at a retreat he gave. "it's like you're hammering a nail..and you miss and hit your thumb, and then the hand with the sore thumb picks up the hammer and hammers the first hand back (then he laughs)" Hurting the other IS hurting the self - because we are all one really. If you can FEEL this - most of the time, that's sublime. But if you are still on the path to this..here's some other tips to opening your heart chakra:
1. Hug everyone. I really push this one - it can get innappropriate - but hey author Leo Buscaglia says we need 12 hugs a day for optimal health, so if you come within arms reach of me..prepare for in-coming. I do highly recommend this practice. Hugs are magic.
2. In the morning, set an intention to get through the full day without criticizing anyone. Be particularly vigilant of that demon inner voice.
3. Smile as you walk down the street and FEEL the reverberating energy coming back to you. If only a scowl comes back, imagine an intricate story of what's going on with them that's got them in a bad place. This helps empathy and shields you from their bad buzz.
4. Tell the people around you how cool you think they are - we always presume people know how much we love them and appreciate them. Say it!
Essential oils for stimulating the heart Chakra
Jasmine, Lavender, Marjoram, Rose. Yogandha Balance has both Jasmine and Lavender and is sublimly feminine - perfect for incorporating with your yoga poses for the heart chakra, meditation and mantras for the heart chakras - and also as a perfume (your mind will subliminally recall any meditation or mantras every time you wear it)
Yoga Poses for the Heart Chakra
Camel pose (ustrasana), Upward facing dog (urdhva mukha svanasana), Cobra (bhujangasana). Anything that opens the chest area, breath into the heart, feeling it.
Meditation and Mantras for the Heart Chakra
The mantra corresponding to the heart is the sound YUM (a nice heart opening before a good meal?). A very powerful mantra to repeat is OM MANE PADME HUM. My teacher Uma Dinsmore Tuli finishes all her fabulous trainings with "I honour my heart, my inner teacher. I honour my heart, my inner teacher. I honour my heart, my inner teacher" This mantra didn't resonate with me on my first training with her - I was clearly too far north..but now I love it and I feel it - its a beautiful surrender to the 'unstruck' and 'unhurt' part of ourselves.
Self-Masssage for the Heart Chakra
The sense of touch is associated with the Heart Chakra. So Abhyanga (or yogic self-massage is another wonderful self care routine for opening the heart chakra. When you want to speak/feel/think from the heart, give the sternum few taps. This stimultes the thymus gland too which boosts your immune system. One of the essential oils to open the heart chakra is Marjoram - Our award-winning Yogandha Muscle Soothe is full of organic divine sweet marjoram - so that's perfect for a heart-centred self-massage. See our full body daily self-massage below.
Do Get Muscle Soothe or Get the full set of body oils or if you prefer - choose 1 rollerball and 1 body oil - so it could be Yogandha Balance and Yogandha Muscle Soothe to underpin your heart-opening intention.
Use the oils to bring your intention into your every single day. Their application as part of a daily ritual of calm self-connection will be your window out of fight-or-flight and into a self-connected heart-centred state of being.
Over and Om for now,