joy lab
a happiness incubator
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Heart

WEEK four: The heart CHAKRA ~ anahata


Meditation:  Scanning the chakras for love, sending it to parts that need healing, is the meditation for the Heart Chakra this week.

Yoga: Below are poses to help open, and energize the Heart Chakra.

1. Camel: Sometimes, a restricted Heart Chakra is accompanied by tension in the Throat Chakra, too. This pose stretches and releases tension in both.

2: Cat and Cow: These are nice gentle stretches for the chest, spine, and neck. They stimulate the abdominal organs and adrenals, and help relieve stress. 

Breathing: During these breathing exercises, focus on an affirmation. The simpler, the better. "I am love", is one I like. I included three this week, because I love them all.

Breath of Joy: This is my favorite. Best described in video form. I opted for the one taken outdoors surrounded by greenery with birds flying by. Breath of Joy

Circle of Joy Breath: Start by standing in mountain pose. Inhale, interlace your fingers, then press your palms forward & out as you exhale. Inhale, bringing your arms overhead, stretching your spine. As you exhale, release your hands, circle them back behind you. Inhale, interlace your fingers, lifting your arms slightly to stretch your chest and shoulders. Exhale, release your hands, bring them back to the front, interlace your fingers, press palms foward. Hands to heart.

Kundalini Chest Fly: This is a breathing/yoga exercise that activates the heart chakra and improves lung capacity. Start by sitting up straight, in a crossed legged seated position. Stretch your arms out to your sides, parallel to the ground, with your palms facing forward. Exhale, as you rotate your arms and bring them forward until they almost touch. As you inhale, rotate your arms and bring them back, out to the side. Find a good rhythm, and continue this for 5 minutes. (This can be done standing as well)

Teach me how to trust my heart, my mind, my intuition, my inner knowing, the senses of my body, the blessings of my spirit. Teach me to trust these things so that I may enter my sacred space and love beyond my fear, and thus walk in balance with the passing of each glorious sun.
— Lakota Prayer

Write:  The Heart is a beacon. Besides beating 72 times per minute (and processing energy from the other chakras, and guiding us throughout our lives), its job is to Radiate and Receive. Meditate on those words and journal about them. What does it feel like to Radiate? And how does it feel toReceive? (...love, compassion, empathy, kindness) What do you experience when your Heart is restricted, limited or closed? And when your Heart is Open?

Do:

Heart Mapping: "If you want to know where your heart is, watch where your mind goes when it wanders."...it's true, isn't it? A Heart Map is a heart & brain wander. It's an amazingly simple and effective tool for clarity and manifesting.  It's a fun, tactile (really great to do with kids, friends, a companion, or on your own) activity. It combines doodling, with journaling, vision boarding, and brainstorming. You can create a heart map for virtually anything; a relationship, a goal or dream, a project, a trip. But I also like to make them for virtues or ways of being that I'd like to exude more of. This week, create a Heart Map based on something you'd like to radiate more of into your world (and receive!). Something that comes from your heart-center...patience, empathy, compassion, loyalty, warmth, kindness, etc. I made a little tutorial for you!...(This is how to know I love you: I got in front of the dreaded camera!) :)

Set an Intention: Set a loving intention for yourself this week. Listen for what your heart has to say. It may speak up during meditation, or any time. Write it down and carry it with you.

Senses: Surround yourself in green...of the nature sort, if possible! Stones for this chakra include emerald, rose quartz, jade, aventurine, malachite, pink rhodochrosite, and green kyanite. The smells of sandalwood, rose, neroli, and cedarwood are soothing to the Heart. Eating for this chakra will be easy for those who love kale! Leafy greens, broccoli, kelp and sprouts, all energize the Heart Chakra. And, not surprisingly, Green Tea gets a green light. It's getting late and I'm getting punny. 

Self Care: As with all weeks, go easy on yourself. Since this chakra is associated with the Air element, get outdoors. Feel the breeze, spend time among trees. Eat your greens, get plenty of rest, drink lots of rest. Give yourself a generous amount of patience and love.