Finally, spring has blossomed. After a long, cold winter for many Yogis and Yoginis, we are experiencing the rebirth of spring flowers, delicate new leaves, and the return of many different kinds of birds. Even the bears are coming out of hibernation! If you find that your heart has also been in an extended period of hibernation, connecting with the gentle unfurling of the springtime energy in your Yoga practice will support you in the process of releasing the fetters that may be surrounding your own Heart Chakra.
Some good indications of a closed Heart Chakra are a collapsed chest area, shallow breathing and shoulders that are hunched up to your ears. Another accurate indicator of a constricted heart area is a sense of emotional numbness and being overly intellectual and analytical. In other words, living mostly in your head and being unable to feel your emotions. If you find that this is the case for you, you may have experienced any number of painful life experiences that created a situation where you feel that you need to protect your heart, even if this need for protection is peculating just below your conscious awareness.
Often, our bodies reflect our emotions, or the need to blunt our emotions, without us being consciously aware of this process. However, somatizing painful emotions by closing down your Heart Chakra will also block the flow of prana throughout your body. When pranic energy is not able to circulate through your body with ease, your vitality will likewise become diminished. Many different health problems can be directly linked to blocked energy throughout the body. In the long run, you may even develop heart or breathing problems if your Heart Chakra remains blocked for many years, hence the saying that he or she died of a broken heart.
* Restorative Reclining Goddess Pose
Restorative Yoga poses are a wonderfully nurturing way to release physical and emotional constriction throughout the body. If you find that you would like to release the constriction around your Heart Chakra, practicing Restorative Reclining Goddess Pose is a very gentle way of letting go of tension and suffusing healing energy into your heart area. To practice Reclining Goddess Pose in a restorative fashion, you will need three rolled Yoga blankets or towels to place under your shoulder blades and your knees. For an optimal sense of self-nurturing, you may also wish to use an aromatherapy eye bag and wear a warm pair of socks!
Restorative Reclining Goddess Pose is usually practiced at the end of a Yoga class and can be performed in place of Shavasana. When you are ready to practice this Yoga pose, take one blanket or towel and roll it up length-wise like a burrito. Place the blanket on your Yoga mat approximately where your shoulders will be when you lie down. Now, roll the other two blankets up width-wise and place them near your Yoga mat. These blankets will go under your knees for support. If you do have a pair of warm socks, please put them on before you lie down on your Yoga mat.
When you have your Yoga props assembled, lie back on your mat. Bring the soles of your feet together so that your legs form a diamond shape. Place the other two rolled blankets underneath each knee for support. Lie back on your Yoga mat and situate the long rolled blanket just under your shoulders blades at the back of your Heart Chakra. If you are using an eye pillow, place it over your eyes now. Rest the palms of your hands on your Heart Chakra and breath gently.
With each breath, breathe in the delicate green energy of the new spring leaves. With each exhale, allow the fresh green energy to carry out any painful emotions you may be harboring in your Heart Chakra area. Rest in Restorative Reclining Goddess Pose for five to ten minutes, and then remove any props that you are using, roll to your right side and slowly push yourself up into Easy Seat on your Yoga mat. Pause for a moment to feel the gentle pulsation of spring green energy in your own Heart Chakra before continuing on with the rest of your Yoga practice.
© Copyright 2014 – Virginia Iversen / Aura Wellness Center – Publications Division
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The Seven Chakra System of Hatha Yoga