It’s that time of year again, when everything is hearts and flowers. Or is it? Does your heart need a little TLC right about now? Let’s talk about healing the wounded heart, which we’ll look at from the perspective of the ancient yogic system of the chakras.

The challenges of the heart are love and balance.

Located in the center position of the 7 chakras, or energy centers in the body, the heart chakra represents balance between the body and mind, and the material and spiritual aspects of life, meeting in perfect balance in the heart. In creating a strong heart chakra, we’re integrating the various parts of ourselves, as well as our relationship to the external world. Without first  creating balance inside ourselves, it’s difficult to achieve a healthy and long lasting love relationship.

Practice: Balancing poses in yoga, such as Tree or Dancer, help us learn to be firmly rooted in ourselves as we stand and interact in the world.

We begin to heal the heart through self reflection and self acceptance.

The most common imbalance in the heart stems from lack of self love. Self love begins with self knowledge. Can you find the courage to get to know yourself and accept the self you discover? To respect yourself and care for yourself as you would another? This process, of nurturing and befriending yourself is at the center of healing the wounded heart.

Practice: Journaling your own truth, without judgement or shame, is a beautiful practice of befriending the self. Try writing from a courageously truthful place about feelings you’ve been pushing away or denying. You can even hide or destroy what you write if you’re concerned about privacy.

Healthy intimacy begins with self knowledge and being grounded in our own being.

Once we become established in a practice of self awareness and self acceptance, we can stay grounded and centered as we open our hearts to others in intimate relationships.

Practice: Lie on your back on a yoga mat or rug with your knees bent and feet flat. Hold your arms out in front of you and pull your hands toward your chest as you inhale and reach out as you exhale. Create a conscious affirmation of what you are drawing toward yourself as you bring your arms and hands in, “I am worthy of love” and what you are sharing with the world as you reach out, “I create healthy, balanced relationships”.

When a relationship doesn’t work out, the need to grieve that loss is clear. But sometimes grief isn’t that straightforward. Sometimes we pre-grieve, fearing a relationship will end or that we’ll never find one in the first place.

Whenever grief comes up, meet it with simple daily self care, and a promise to your hurting self that you will always be there for her and take care of her.

Practice: Take a few minutes to focus on your breath. Close your eyes and deepen your breath, consciously making the exhalations longer than the inhalations. Do this for one minute. Then, practice a few minutes of alternate nostril breathing, beginning with closing off the right nostril  with your right thumb and inhaling through the left. Then close off the left with the ring and pinky fingers of the same hand and exhale right. Then inhale right, switch and exhale left. Do this for a few minutes, ending with an exhale on the left.

The awakened heart opens in compassion for others, without losing the self or creating imbalance.

When we’re grounded in self love and acceptance, we meet others from a balanced place of knowing how to “just be.” The courage to touch our own longings and pain creates our ability to hold the space for others to deeply experience themselves.

This week, try some balancing yoga poses, journaling, affirming what you want to give and receive, and alternate nostril breathing. Not because you’re broken and need fixing, but because you are beautiful and deserve love and compassion.

All My Best,

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