Yoga and the Heart

heart holly

Holly Rios danced around a yoga practice for years before finally settling into a flow that was based on simplifying the concept of what it meant to be a dedicated yogini. Simplifying led to expansion and expansion led to joyfully guiding eight group yoga practices a week.

“Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.” – Leonardo DaVinci

Yoga and the Heart

Google ‘Yoga and the Heart’ and you get literally hundreds of millions of results. There are physical benefits, heart-mind connection benefits; there are techniques, studies and conclusions. I think, however, far too often, we make it all too difficult and complicated. I think the place to start is, of course, right where you are.

We’ve all felt the grip in our heart (and we know it’s different than the grip in our gut) and if you think about it, you know that grip comes from the center of your chest, where you find, instead of your physical heart, your heart center – your Anahata chakra – the place from where your love and compassion radiate. That’s where we start.

You can read the studies and you can learn the practices – they’re there for you and will wait until or if you’re ready. Why not start by inhabiting the place you’re now in – the physical space around you and the mental space you’re holding and taking a deep breath. And then another; all the way to the edge of your inhale and all the way to edge of your exhale. Let your inner gaze rest on your heart center and just be. Then let your gaze move inside your heart center and just observe – without judgment.

Moments like these can be as valuable as the effort to move through a physical asana practice. Learning to stop and give your heart a voice opens a doorway to healing and liberates the energy you’re using to hold unwanted feelings at bay. Once you’ve tapped into this space, heart opening yoga postures will most likely feel more meaningful, more inviting and you’ll move into them with purpose and flow.

Opening your heart center can often leave you feeling vulnerable and that vulnerability will almost certainly make you feel uncomfortable; but just as we breathe into and accept the awkward nature of some yoga postures and find the space to be okay, so too can we breathe into and accept the discomfort of opening the tender places inside our souls. It’s only in opening and acknowledging that we create the opportunity for healing.

Allow your vulnerabilities to be the places where your light shines through. Open your heart.

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Categories: Healing Arts, Meditation, Yoga

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