In this heart-centered season of February and March, I was so pleased to get the chance to take a “heart-focused” workshop at the 2017 Northwest Yoga Conference in Lynwood, WA last month. At the conference, Savitri (wife of Aadil Palkhivala and co-founder of Alive and Shine Center in Bellevue, WA) spoke about the heart chakra as a place in the body “designed to tap into our own cosmic intelligence.” Savitri pointed out, however, that many yoga gurus often have a lackluster attitude towards this access point in the body, favoring instead more popular areas like the head, pelvis, belly button, or root survival chakras.
We’re best served when we don’t ignore the heart chakra, though. Savitri says that accessing the heart chakra was her saving grace in handling life’s catastrophes, and she believes the meditations she’s devised around the heart helped cure the breast cancer she had in her twenties, as well as chronic fatigue and the effects of a severe head injury. On an emotional level, her focus on the heart helped her cope with the grief she felt after her only sister was murdered. It also helped her mourning process after the largest plane crash in history killed both of her parents when she was a teenager.
Savitri describes this chakra as the “master chakra” to combat the perpetual loneliness people feel today–a loneliness that’s indelibly shaped by modern living. She believes her meditations can also counter the numbing techniques people use to handle loneliness, such as food, cell phones, sugar, stimulants, music (that’s too loud), books, and violent TV programs.
“Cell phones are dangerous because you are immediately turning to others to not be lonely, “she says. As a teacher of yoga, I believe that yoga teaches us how to live life from the inside out, but numbing practices leave little room to be reflective or access the heart since our numbing vices are typically outwardly focused and external.
So what can you do to turn inward and explore the beautiful feeling of accessing your heart–your “Soul Energy” as Savitri describes? First, Savitri suggests that physical, mental and emotional pain are alarm systems created by the body to warn you that your soul is not guiding your life story. Savitri says to look at these alarms as “blessings” and appreciate them, so that we can better understand what feelings such as depression, loneliness, hate, anger and jealousy are telling us. All pain and these negative feelings are the universe indicating to us that we are going off course.
Second, we can practice heart-centered activities. As we commemorate the start of spring, we can direct our attention to the element of wood while cultivating heart-centered activities such as nurturing blooms, family, and friends through picnics and other activities. We can invite the spirit of spring into our homes as we open blinds and bring in light.
Finally, we can spend a few minutes of each day practicing the following meditation technique called Mental Centering™ created by Savitri. She has generously shared her Heartfull™ meditation with Peaceful Dumpling.
- Sit erect with your eyes closed. With the middle finger of each hand touching the front of each armpit, trace a horizontal line to the center of your chest. With the middle finger of your right hand touching your skin, you will feel a sensitive area on your sternum. Massage gently for a few minutes. This is your Heart Chakra, the doorway to your Soul. Imagine light glowing lovingly in your Heart Chakra.
- Next, place your hands with the sides of your fingers together, slightly cupped, on the right and left sides of your head, facing your ears. Your hands should be approximately three inches away from your head.
- Exhaling, move your hands forward and together in Namasté, not more than one inch away from your face, with the tips of your thumbs at the same level as your eyebrows.
- Inhale. On the next exhalation, move your hands down slowly to your Heart Chakra. As you do this, imagine your mind following a straight line in the center of your body, and offer your mind to your heart.
- Say inwardly, “I offer my mind and senses to my loving Soul within.”
Do this technique three or more times and breathe slowly and peacefully. Benefits: Increases pratyāhāra (withdrawal of the senses), concentration and focus, enhances intuition, self-love, and respect while awakening your conscience. The increased awareness of your Soul’s presence brings calmness to your mind and body.
Notice that at the end of this technique, your hands end up in Namasté. Savitri explains that when this mudra is taken, your mind withdraws its ego perception of others and returns to the Soul self. Her suggestion is to do Mental Centering as often as you need throughout the day.
© Copyright 2017 Heartfull™ Meditation and technique trademarked by Savitri.
How do you connect to your Heart Chakra?
Also by Jacqueline: How to Unblock the Sixth Chakra and Rediscover Your Intuition
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Photo: Pexels, Savitri