by Yogini Rina Ishwari
The chakra system was developed in India between 800 and 188 BC, and according to the yogi sages, each chakra represents an aspect of living, maintaining balance and progression that mirrors human evolution. Nowadays, the word chakra is no longer foreign as more and more people become familiar with energy healing modalities and yoga.
The focus today is on one of the most important chakras—the fourth or the Heart—Sanskrit name, Anahata, meaning un-struck, the principle of equilibrium, with a yearning to find unity, Self-acceptance away from duality and social identity, moving inward to a deeper, meditative state, understanding the deeper connection with Self-loving and Spirit, joyful expansion through the element air.
Excessive characteristics of the heart center: co-dependency, poor boundaries, difficulty concentrating. Energetic deficiency of the heart center is isolation, feeling lonely, sad, bitter and critical of self and others.
The goal is to keep balance, cultivating the aspect of compassion. The fourth chakra is the integrator of opposites in the psyche: mind and body, male and female, persona and shadow, ego and unity. A healthy heart chakra allows one to love deeply, feel compassion, and have a deep sense of peace and centeredness.
Learn forgiveness through relationships: love, compassion, dissolution of the ego. Acknowledging the state of consciousness you are in right now will allow you to feel/find unity. Work at a daily discipline of meditation practice—your own sacred space—which will upgrade your personal development and your trust in the Universe, the attributes of God as Light, deepening connection with Self I AM, cultivating not only individual but global peace, unity and balance.
Yoga practices: opening the chest, breath pranayama, poses including chest openers, shoulders, back bends. Be aware if you encounter excessives: co-dependent for love (deficient), closed heart, fear of intimacy, judgment. Applying the Universal spiritual law—as above so below—your world will mirror your inner development, as you gift yourself the rights to receive love and be loved.
Centering Meditative Exercise
Three simple steps to activate heart center.
1. Close your eyes, ask for guidance to bring single-pointed light of radiance to your heart center.
Let the breath flow in as a luminescent beam of light. Now, intake breath starting from the root chakra and on up the spinal column as far as it will ascend (aim for crown chakra), and then down the spine to the root chakra. Do 5 to 10 rounds, as needed, to get the energy flowing unimpeded.
2. Inhale love, feeling the heart pulsating with joy. Exhale Light up to third eye, quieting the mind.
3. Inhale spiritual heart, exhale global peace. Now, inhale from your heart, and on the exhale, focus on third eye chakra (point between the eyebrows), pulsating the energy of that command center, Sanskrit name, Ajna chakra. Affirm, “I am open to the wisdom within. Om, Om, Om.” Maintain silence and meditation as long as possible.
All are invited to meditate in the cave of the Guru—The Heart. Listening to the wind, wind chimes or stringed instruments like the cello or violin activates this center. Visualizing the opening of a rose is linked to this center. Emotionally, this involves transformation, where the symbolic hexagram or Jewish star represents the prana in the chest region.
Pranamaya kosha, the second sheath of consciousness, “Sheath of Vital Air”, supports all mental and psychic energy and individual consciousness. As the prana maintains the life force in the cellular body, the energy merges with the three humors (doshas)—vayu, pitta, kapha. Vayu, the air element, works with the body through the five ranas (energy life forces): Apana–intestinal region; Samana–stomach region; Prana–chest region: Vyana–entire body; and Udana–head and throat region. The yantra (sacred geometry) six pointed star symbolizes the air element merging the union of male and female energies representing Siva male energy and Shakti feminine energy motivated by love and the desire qualities of the heart, giving and receiving, forgiveness and letting go mundane experiences to validate qualities in this lifetime for transformation from the individual self to Universal Self or ananda/bliss.
The color green with twelve lotus petals is the transformation to spiritual fulfillment, which moves as a four directional wheel upward and downward. The symbol is sacred geometry, composed of two overlapping, intersecting triangles representing Siva and Shakti, motivated by love and the desire for sharing.
Activating the Heart Karuna-Compassion and Bhavana-Intention
Air as the vital life force prana aids function of the lungs to the heart, circulating fresh oxygen and vital life force energy. In addition to the heart, the heart center represents the vertebral column or cardiac plexus, with the element air getting in touch with all.
Kundalini practice: The Mangala Charn Mantra surrounds the magnetic field with protective light. Translated into English: I bow to the primal wisdom. I bow to the wisdom through the ages. I bow to the true wisdom. I bow to the great, unseen wisdom.
This mantra brought me to an empowering experience meditating on the heart, projecting the energy from heart, sitting in easy pose with palms together at the heart, thumbs crossed, chanting:
Ad Guray Nameh, extending arms 60 degrees
Inhale powerfully as the arms return to the Heart Center, and continue extending them again, chanting Jugad Guray Nameh, inhaling and returning arms to the heart.
Sat Guray Nameh, repeating the chant.
Siri Guru Devay Nameh, focusing the mind on Source.
During my experience, the prana energy in my heart felt like a cosmic pulse, awakening the dormant energy sheath of the plane of energy (pranamaya kosha), the lokas lotus planes of perception. I saw the vastness of the Milky Way. As the bija seed sound (yam) vibrated in my heart, all physical body sensation disappeared, the sense organ of anahata chakra became nadam (unstruck), and I felt prana life force in every cell, saw light and heard Om, energetically accessing the plane of balance or maha loka, as the ruling planet Venus gave me the feminine power of compassion. It felt like a bubble of air burst open my heart, as I repeated the Buddhist mantra, “Om mani padme hum.”
According to one of my favorite yogis, Sri Chinmoy, “A soulful heart has discovered a supreme truth: To meditate on God is a privilege not a duty.”
Yogini Rina is an advanced chakra yoga teacher, having trained with Anodea Judith, Tod Norian and Yogi Raj Alan Finger. She has been teaching yoga for 16 years, including her chakra wisdom workshops offered at The Yoga Joint, Weston Yoga, Kate Yoga, Jaya Dev teacher training and Namaste Yoga Salon. As a Reiki Master and Certified Healing Touch Practitioner for 20 years, she works on chakra balancing, clearing, and uses doTERRA certified pure therapeutic grade essential oils in her work. Attend her chakra yoga classes, 10:30am, Tuesdays, at Namaste Yoga Salon. For more information, visit RinaIshwari.com. See ad page 51.