Chakracize with the Anahata Chakra - the Heart

Last night Brian and I went to a couples' group at church about love and relationships. It was called, "Love Talk." After the initial introductions and video we got right to the point about getting where you want to go. I thought it sounded so much like "setting your intention" which is what we do at the beginning of each yoga practice. Here are some of the suggestions that were made.
1. Be a better listener
2. Stay on point in discussions
3. Don't finish my partner's sentences
4. Curb my emotions when talking
5. Be more sensitive to my partner's feelings
6. Think clearly before speaking
7. Avoid jumping to conclusions
8. Tune in to and discern the other's emotions
9. Maintain eye contact while talking
10. Be more vulnerable
11. Speak with more clarity
12. Invite and receive feedback
13. Use more humor
14. Come across personally warmer
15. Be more assertive with my needs
16. Better assess when to talk
17. Don't jump to conclusions

Love Talk by Drs. Les and Leslie Parrott

I thought to myself, "WOW! I can find something I need to improve on in each of those 17 suggestions." Then the pastor, Chris Tiger, and his wife, Priscilla, did a great job of making us feel at ease by sharing their experiences. At the end Brian and I rated each other on five realms of communication and set goals for ourselves.

You might ask me, "Jeanne, that is a nice story, but what does that have to do with YOGA?"

Smiling, I would reply, "Those 17 suggestions are all about what happens in a yoga class, and they are all practical recommendations for every practice that we participate in with yoga."

In yoga we open our hearts and unleash joyful fearlessness in order to stretch, expand, and strengthen. We leave with a feeling of being empowered and blissful. Receiving feedback and having a sense of lightness with humor makes us let go of the ego-attachments related to pride or self-criticism. Alignment, attitude, and action go along with every yoga posture just like these three go along with relationships. I remember hearing someone say one time that love is not a noun; it is a verb, and that means it should be something that we live and do not just say.

The heart chakra or Anahata Chakra is in the center of the chest and spine. Anahata means "whole or unbroken." This is the seat of love and compassion. People with warmth, lovingkindness, tolerance, and compassion for others in their immediate circle of partner, family, friends, and beyond have an openness in their fourth chakra. Those with a poorly developed or blocked Anahata Chakra have difficulties with relationships and the proper balance between giving and receiving of love. They often complain of loneliness (even with a partner) and feelings of isolation. A weakened or blocked heart chakra prevents one's inner feelings from unfolding.

Just like the couples' class that we attended, all of us need to work on our seat of compassion and lovingkindness. In yoga practice we use variations of chest opening postures to help open up this area of our body. This might include cobra pose, locust pose, camel pose, bow pose, fish pose, and other backbending postures. Also similar to the potential goals we went over in class, we set our intention to open this chakra through our practice and end with life-giving affirmations in final relaxation. Some of these include the following:
!. My heart is open to giving and receiving love.
2. I lovingly accept myself as I am.
3. I give and receive with an open heart and bind myself to all living beings.

We will be doing heart opening postures this week in yoga, and I would love for you to join us. You can e-mail me back at tranquilityyogastudio@gmail.com for more information on class times and receive a weekly newsletter. Join us this week and set your intention to be more open and receptive with supplies of energy for all aspects of love, joy, and surrender.

Namaste'

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