You’ve heard the saying, ‘listen to your heart’, but what does it mean? Considering your mind is so eager to helpfully provide a rapid response or reaction to whatever is coming towards you, who has time to try and connect with whatever the heart is trying to chime in with in the background? And how do you hear it anyway? Our hearts speak via our intuition, something we often disregard or are inexperienced in hearing, whereas our brain is like a loud toddler, unedited thoughts yelling at us, forcing us to “listen to me’, ‘watch what I can do!” It takes practice to let the mind’s input be just that, input, and then to also check in with the heart before we choose a path or direction.
Did you know: Studies show that your heart puts out a huge amount of electromagnetic energy – 60 times more than your brain – enough to influence every cell of your body and enough for people around you to feel it and be affected by it. You have more nervous system pathways from your heart to your head than the other way around. Your heart can intuitively sense something before your brain. Your heart is a powerful communicator, both to you and to those around you.
Theme: Even though the heart may speak more quietly than the chatter of your brain, it doesn’t mean it’s has less valuable input – it’s actually much more wise and powerful. Throughout your practice, listen to your heart is telling you. Find those things that leave it feeling spacious and light versus constricted and dark. By working to stay in the present moment and quiet the mind, you make a path for your intuition to be heard.
Breathe through the heart, the prana vayu, by letting inhales come straight in through the heart, spreading up and down the spine, then gathering the breath right between the shoulder blades and expelling it back out through the heart.
Any heart opener appropriate to the level of your practice. Consider a supported setu bandha sarvangasana (bridge), or maybe stargazers. Prompt yogis to let their heart soar, as though its being lifted by a silk thread towards the sky.
Consider the meaning behind the name of the heart chakra: Anahata, which translates to unstruck. The heart is pure and perfect, untouched by the chaos of the body, thoughts and outside world. Breathing into the back of the body, feel the heart, buoyant, floating atop the lungs with each inhale and exhale. Remind yogis to quiet their mind, allowing their heart so speak.
Explore the heart, noticing how it feels: is it light and open, or cloudy and tight? Direct yogis to the small spot next to their heart, both infinitely small, as a star in the night sky, and infinitely large, like the ocean, where their soul, their essence resides. Help them see the light that exists there, warm and radiant, sufficient to permeate their whole being with a sense of light and peace. Even looking down from above, bring their awareness to the light radiating from them in all directions.