If you are skeptical or uncomfortable about chakras, I completely understand. In all honesty, I was a “chakra skeptic” until I understood what they are exactly. Chakras are simply defined as energy centers. Whatever your “take” is on chakras, you cannot deny that living beings are energy beings. Chakras are known as the centers of life force and vital energy. The Chakra system is a visual template for maintaining physical, emotional, social, and spiritual balance within the body.
The ancient Indian language of Sanskrit defines chakra as a "wheel" or '"turning"; the wheel turns energy to our vital centers. There are seven known chakras that begin at the base of our spine and reach to the top of our head.
Whether you refer to them as chakras, energy centers, or other named body parts, they are well at work in every living being. For example the Crown Chakra, or seventh chakra, is located at the crown of the head. It pertains to our thought life, consciousness, awareness, wisdom, understanding, and spiritual connection. You may call this the brain, mind, spirit, or something else. Whatever you name it, it is indeed at work 24 hours a day.
Let's move a little further down to the heart. We all agree this is an extremely important vital energy point. This is known as the fourth chakra, also known as Anahata, or heart chakra. Chakra is used interchangeably with "center."
It is unquestionable that we keep our heart healthy, and once we achieve a healthy heart, it is even more important to maintain your healthy heart. It often said that, “Out of heart the mouth speaks.” Have you ever been in a conflict and wounded someone with your words or been crushed with their words? Well, if we let our heart become poisoned, wounded, resentful, or bitter–like anything–these things eventually have to come out. Why not work on releasing them and truly healing our hearts by getting to the root issues, in a healthy manner? It's important to do this before hurting somebody we love–or worse–allowing our wounded heart to continue to cut off vital relationships all because we are too lazy to do the real work. This is what I call open heart surgery. Ask and examine yourself often. Do you need open heart surgery?
Your heart center, or Anahata heart chakra, is related to all things love. It is the integrator of all the opposites connecting. The mind and body, ego and unity, male and female, sadness and joy. Our heart allows us to feel compassion, empathy, sensitivity, and gives us the ability to love deeply. Because of our heart we can have a deep sense of peace, balance, true happiness, and an overall feeling of well being. Our emotional energy comes from our heart. If your heart chakra is not healthy, you will be unhappy, unbalanced, fatigued, sad or depressed. A sense of loneliness and no purpose will reside in your heart center. Nobody wants to be any of these things. Have you ever met a sad person and they told you they wanted to stay that way and enjoyed their days in isolation? No. This is not the way we were designed to live. This is why achieving and maintaining a healthy heart center should be high on your priority list.
Here are three ways to keep your heart chakra healthy:
1. Speak with Love. The word Anahata is defined as unstruck, unhurt and unbeaten. This is the condition our heart should remain in no matter what storms occur in your life. But you laugh and say, “I am hurt, I've been beaten. How could I possibly let what they did to me go?” First things first, start to speak life-giving words. Right now, out loud, say, “I am healed. My heart remains unstruck, unhurt, and unbeaten. I refuse to allow a person, speed bump or any roadblock to steal my joy one more day. I remain unhurt. My heart will remain healthy and whole.” Remember, out of your heart the mouth speaks.
2. Give Love. Anahata is not only associated with love and compassion, but charity to others. Your heart can be completely transformed by serving others. Once you achieve heart health, you will notice that you have an abundance of peace, centeredness, and joy. Out of the abundance, serving others will come naturally for you. There is no greater joy and satisfaction that serving others and sharing your abundance with many who are struggling from day to day. Did you know that a simple hug or smile can change someone's life? Some people just need to know that somebody cares for them or know that others simply know they exist. Every day, out of your new, thriving, heart, you will begin to ask yourself, “Who can I serve today? How can I help someone today?” Then your eyes will be searching for those that cross your pathway, aware of who can be transformed from your overflowing heart.
3. Devote Yourself. Lastly, Anahata is purified through the process of bhakti, which means devotion. Philosophy describes it as a spiritual path for fostering love, faith and surrender. You want to create an atmosphere in your heart that fosters faith and love. Can you imagine if your heart abandoned all the “junk” that has built up inside it? Can you imagine relinquishing that person of the past hurt they have cause you? Simply release it and let it go. A healthy heart is a heart that receives true forgiveness and in turn, extends that forgiveness to others. Practice devotion to maintaining a heart that beats with vibrant energy and true life!
Michelle Ann Thielen is originally from Portland, OR and currently lives in Seattle, WA. She first discovered yoga in 1990 when she implemented it into her dance primarily for injury prevention, but throughout her studies and practice of various styles, her love of yoga, and community, led into a passion for sharing the gift of with others.She has studied Vinyasa, Hatha, Ashtanga, Restorative/Yin, Pre & Post Natal, Children's Yoga, and many other styles through various trainings and yogi masters.
Website: www.northwestyogaacademy.com, nwyogaacademy.blogspot.com
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