The Anahata Chakra - the centre of self care
The Anahata Chakra. https://www.cloudyoga.london/valentines
Located at our heart centre. It houses our emotional intelligence, the essence of our well-being.
The Heart Centre.
The sound is yam (yoooom when chanted).
The colour is green, as rich and emeraldy like as you like!
When I first fell ill and walked away from mainstream medicine, I stumbled upon an acupuncturist purely by chance, who informed me with great sadness that my heart centre was broken.
Too much loss, sadness, too many emotional wounds, too little love.
It took me a while to understand TCM philosophy, to understand that I wasn't - as western medicine had had me believe - a unit containing parts, but a whole that required holistic healing.
We did many things to heal my heart, the acupuncturist and I. Some helped, a lot didn't and that was because of my story, my family, my past and the environment I was forced to live in. It wasn't until I began to take my healing completely into my own hands, initially with incredibly gentle yoga practices, with diet and with self-care, that the heart pain lessened, that the loneliness eased and I began to draw loving kind people into my life instead of arseholes.
I'll never forget the acupuncturist's words, or the importance she placed on finding our own inner power and ability to heal.
Because our bodies are just that, ours. Ours to love. Ours to heal. Ours to nourish.
It's why I teach yoga, to empower if I possibly can. She empowered me, I’d like to pay it forwards.
When in balance, the heart centre cultivates love. Both for ourselves, and those around us. It allows our natures to be understanding, forgiving, while a sensation of light-hearted joyfulness prevails and abundant, unshakable internal peace thrives.
The heart centre is the place within us where we hold our beautiful memories, feelings and experiences. It also holds our pain.
If we’re feeling rooted and grounded, strong in our desires and safe in our needs, this chakra has the potential to bring eternal happiness and hope. We will radiate kindness, balance and emotional stability even in the midst of the most adverse storms.
When knocked off centre, when sadness, loss, feeling undervalued, overlooked, misunderstood or slighted begin to feature in our everyday lives, however, the heart centre can close off, shut down and withdraw as a blossoming flower might at night.
When out of balance this beautiful emerald green space can leave us feeling unsettled, unable to settle, wounded and alone.
I spent many years desperately trying to heal, with herbs and teas, meditations, psychological work and yoga poses. With intentions and superficial self-blaming self-help courses which fuelled the practitioners ego and gaslighted the client. It didn’t work.
It simply confirmed what I feared. I was broken. Undeserving of love. Worthless.
I was taught to be utterly ashamed for the sadness I felt for all the lost years, for the sense of frustration I experienced because I could not live my life normally, for the fury that raged in my soul.
I’ve since learnt to embrace the darkness. To allow it space. To walk steadfastly into it, rather than shying and cowering away.
It was by embracing this dark, while opening towards the light, that I found the peace I’d been relentlessly searching for.
Welcome the darkness with open arms. Fucking own that shit. You’re fine. It’s normal.
It only turns to poison if you press it down into your belly. If you seal your heart off from future hurts and refuse to see it for what it is…
The dark within the light. A necessary balance. A balancing opposite. The flip side. The whole.
A beautiful mudra for the heart centre is lotus mudra. Which encourages a connection to our roots as they burrow valiantly down into the darkness of the earth, stabilising and grounding us, thereby allowing our hearts the supported freedom to open to the light above.
Find a comfortable place to sit, whatever that means for you today.
Roll your shoulders down your back. Find length in the spine and start to notice your breath.
Bring the palms together at the heart centre. Anjali mudra.
Now open the palms, while keeping the heels of the hands, the little fingers and the thumbs together, opening the centres of your palms to the sky.
Hold this hand gesture directly in front of the heart, breathing deeply into the heart centre space, perhaps inhaling and exhaling for a count of 4-6.
Once your breath has settled and slowed so that the inhales and exhales are matched, imagine that you are holding a magnificent green sphere of light, and imagine that this is your cherished heart centre. Feel the life within it, the beauty.
Either stay here for as long as feels comfortable, or gently raise the lotus flower to the third eye and back down to the heart centre a few times, slowly and calmly, all the while imaging this beautiful green chakra light glowing, strengthening and expanding.
The lotus flower floats effortlessly on the surface of the pond, open to the sunlight, while its roots delve deep beneath the surface, penetrating the murky, muddy bottom, allowing the flower to hold strong. A symbol of beauty and light emerging from the depths of darkness.