The Urban Yoga Den

…where it's all yoga.

I Know in My Heart… February 24, 2010

Let’s wrap up our January/February class focus of HEART.  We’ve physically exercised the heart-areas of the body and conceptually explored the heart chakra. Through anatomical focus on the neck, collar-bone, ribs and shoulder blades, we’ve felt the physical relationships among body parts.  Through concepts such as “the heart’s desire,” “following the heart,” and “love,” we’ve embraced what lies deep within our souls.  For more details, ideas and experiences regarding this Bi-Monthly Focus, please see my other January and February posts.

This week, as we wax toward a full moon on February 28th – and the final class of our HEART focus – I invite students to ponder passions, purpose and partnerships by affirming what they know in their hearts.

As the moon grows, so can our heart’s wisdom.  This fourth chakra is our first energy center of conscious decision making, beyond karmic destiny.  So below is a meditation adapted from one of my fave teaching resources, Body and Soul Magazine.  Through this simple exercise of finishing a motivational sentence, we can address any questions, crossroads or confusions in our lives.  We’ll be practicing a brief version of this meditation in classes this week, culminating under Sunday’s full moon.

I hope to see you!  Heart-felt thanks to all for our rich and fulfilling January and February classes.

OM Shanti.

MEDITATION ON THE WISDOM OF THE HEART

(instructions for this meditation are archived on the Tips-n-Tools page)

Center

  • Begin by thinking of a crossroad, decision, confusion or question in your current life.  Without criticism or judgment, simply reflect on the situation.
  • Settle into a meditative position – whatever seated pose is comfortable for you.
  • Close the eyes.  Witness the breath as it is at the moment; notice the state of the mind; and observe the qualities of the body.  No need to change a thing – simple witness, notice, observe.
  • Begin to shape the breath into deep, three-part inhale and exhale.  Inhale into the belly, ribs, then collar-bone.  Exhale from the collar-bone, ribs, then belly.  Breath only through the nostrils.
  • Allow the mind to rest on the breath.  You might listen to the sound of the breath, or mentally follow the path of the breath, or note how the body moves with the breath.
  • Become aware of the growing ease in the body as you continue this deep, three-part breathing.
  • Continuing the breathing, as you fill the ribs, expand them forward, sideways and backward, filling the lungs like a big barrel of air.  Allow your exhales to become longer than the inhales, seeping slowly out of the nose, thoroughly emptying of air.

Enhance Heart Chakra Awareness

  • Maintaining focus on the ribs and lungs, deepen the awareness into the heart chakra.  Imagine the heart chakra expanding forward, sideways and backward – as well as above and below the body.
  • Once you sense the expansion of the heart, bring to mind your crossroad, decision, confusion or question.  Let the mind rest neutrally on the situation.

Explore Your Wisdom

  • On your next inhale, silently begin the sentence, “I know in my heart…”
  • On the exhale – without extra thought or over-analyzing – finish the sentence with your natural, immediate response, silently or aloud.
  • Depending on your situation, some examples might be, “I know in my heart…I am in love.”  Or, “I know in my heart…this career is no longer right for me.”  And perhaps, “I know in my heart…I am afraid to try new things.”
  • Remain focused on the heart center and continue the deep, three-part breathing.  With each inhale, repeat, “I know in my heart…”  And with each long, slow, thorough exhale, finish the sentence.
  • Repeat the process 10 times.  You might find the same statement arising; you might state a different response each time.

Close and Journal

  • After your 10th repetition, return to normal breathing.  Allow the mind to return to neutral, perhaps resting on the natural flow of your breath.
  • Slowly open the eyes.  Jot down whatever you remember about your exercise – including how your breath, mind and body felt; how some of your sentences ended; and any additional thoughts.
  • Consider this wisdom as you address your situation in the coming days…
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