The Heart as a Filter

The Heart as a Filter

We know that the heart chakra, Anahata, is the balance point of the lower and upper chakras, but have we contemplated its true placement in the emotional body?  When we consider that the heart chakra resides between the Manipura (3rd) chakra and the Vishuddha (5th) chakra we discover the power of the heart to act as a filter.  Consider that an imbalance in our Manipura chakra may result in violent outbursts, or the need to be right and have the final word and we can witness that natural jump for Manipura to Vishuddha.  We have a gut reaction and for some of us the instinct is to react and allow the vocal chords of the throat chakra to respond.  What would happen, if we realized the power of the heart as a filter?

Just as a cup of tea or coffee moves from compression of beans, through a slow filter, to ensure that the result is a smooth and tasteful beverage, we too can employ the filter of the heart to deliver a smooth result from a gut reaction.  If we use the heart as a filter, we are given an opportunity to gain connection with the self inside, to ruminate on our gut instinct and invite in the time necessary to offer a loving response that supports our optimal health and the health of others. 

February is National Heart Month – Cardiovascular disease knows no borders. Cardiovascular disease, including heart disease and stroke, remains the leading global cause of death with more than 17.3 million deaths each year.  Consider the next time you feel an instinct to go from gut to voice the impact you may have to your heart.   Our practice is here to support you in soothing the heart, reducing stress and finding peace in your life.  Choose a new path for a healthy heart.

 

NamasteWorks Yoga + Wellness is The Place to Discover Yoga as a Healing Art.  We are a private sanctuary located in the heart of Highlands Ranch that offers specialized private yoga therapy programs, classes, teacher training, workshops and retreats.  Our founder is Nancy Levenson, a certified yoga therapist with a focus on providing wellness to our community.  To inquire about any of our programs, reach us on our contact form, or call us directly at 303.725.1434.

 

 

Mudras Enhance Senior Coordination

One practice that is particularly wonderful for seniors is introducing hand mudras into class. Hand mudras are gestures or seals that can improve flexibility and coordination among older adults simply by touching finger to finger. As we age, the fingers of our hands often stiffen and lose flexibility. Mudras help to stretch the fingers and bring sensitivity back into the hands.

Using a mudra in coordination with breath is an excellent way to stimulate an opening to the lungs and heart, open the joints and relieve other tension that may exist in the head, neck or shoulders. Start simple, choose one or two mudras that will help your clients coordinate their fingers, hands, eyes, brain and breath.

One of my favorites, and usually an easy one for senior clients, is the symbol of yoga – the Lotus Mudra. Tied to the heart chakra, the Lotus Mudra is a symbol of purity and helps to open the heart center.

Lotus Mudra
Lotus Mudra

With the base of the palms together, touch the thumbs together and then the little fingers together. Invite the other three fingers to open as wide as possible, like a lotus flower opening. Place the hands in front of the heart with the thumbs facing toward the chest.

Start the breath practice with a floating lotus flower. Inhale and float the flower from the heart up to the third eye (forehead). As you exhale draw the palms closed into prayer hands, squeezing the hands together and taking the elbows out wide to the sides as the hands lower back to heart center. As you start your next inhale, push the heels of the hands together and open into Lotus Mudra. As the flower moves up with breath, imagine that it is rising from the depths of mud and muck, reaching for sunlight. And as you exhale imagine that the petals are drawing inward toward each other to close. Complete ten rounds, breathing in and out with movement. If you use affirmations in class, add “I open my heart to receive whatever comes my way today.”

Integrating mudras into your senior practice is an excellent way to balance mind and body with breath. For more information on mudras, I highly recommend you add Mudras, Yoga in your Hands by Gertrud Hirschi to your personal yoga library.

©NamasteWorks Yoga + Wellness, LLC, http://www.namasteworksyoga.com, by: Nancy Levenson

Opening The Heart Through Yoga

Your vision will become clear only when you look into your heart … Who looks outside, dreams. Who looks inside, awakens. -Carl Jung.

 

Sharing your insights with others is like opening the heart for all to see. Our hearts are delicate and carry the emotions we feel toward ourselves and all living things. Today my heart is filled with purpose and fear. Purpose, as I embark on a journey of sharing my inner thoughts with you here; and fear as I embark on that same journey of sharing my thoughts with unknown readers. My vision is clear, I’ve looked into my heart and I’m here in the service of others. Regardless of the path, mind, body, or spirit, I open my heart to all who desire assistance in their own journey to awaken. When you open your heart to yoga, you see the light, you shine the light and you receive the light. The actions of the heart have the ability to touch so many. I hope you will visit often and receive some light from the opening of my heart.