4 Ways to Work with Heart Energy (Dimensions of the Heart in Yoga – Part 2)

“When pure sincerity forms within, it is outwardly realized in other people’s hearts.” – Lao Tzu, 6th century B.C.

Pranamaya is our energy body. The heart center has its own energy that we will examine using yogic, Chinese medicine and western models.

According to yoga, energy allows us to be, to live and to act in the world (from YinSights; Bernie Clark). The energetic heart is expressed as the Heart Chakra, Anahata. If the heart chakra is closed, our core being is affected. Breathing is shallow, metabolism slows down and we feel physically drained. We pull into ourselves, withdrawing and becoming closed to the world. If the heart chakra is too open, we tend to give away all of our time and energy. We become so focused on others that we can lose ourselves.

In Chinese medicine, the heart meridian is one of the major channels that conduct energy throughout the body. Blockages in the heart meridian may result in diseases of the heart and chest including pain, insomnia and mental problems.

Western science has discovered that the magnetic field produced by the heart is more than 5000 times greater in strength than the field generated by the brain. The heart’s electromagnetic field can be detected and measured several feet away from the body, in all directions using a sensitive device (SQUID-based magnetometer).

When people touch or are close to one another, one person’s heart signal can affect the other’s brain rhythms. This suggests that the cardiac field is an important carrier of information. Studies by the Heart Math Institute propose that the cardio-electromagnetic field may be a little known source of information exchange between people and that this exchange is influenced by our emotions. (Source: http://www.heartmath.org/research/science-of-the-heart-head-heart-interactions.html)

Yogic Tools to Affect the Energetic Heart

1. Asana

Practice asanas that open the heart energy, such as backbends.

10-Minute Chakra Focus Practice for Anahata: Back Bending
(Source: Chakra Yoga; Alan Finger)

Upward-Facing Cat/Downward-Facing Cat Pose (Marjariasana) – Inhale/ Exhale 5 times
Sphinx Pose (Ardha Bhujangasana)
Cobra Pose (Bhujangasana)
Camel Pose (Ustrasana)
Hare Pose (Hasangasana)

2. Pranayama

Nischala Devi Joy uses Nadi Shodan and the 3-Part Breath in her program for heart healing. Nischala teaches that, “The surrendering effects of relaxing the physical body are enhanced by accessing the energy body”. (The Healing Path of Yoga; Nischala Devi Joy)

3. Meditation

Meditate on the heart chakra by focusing on anahata, chanting the seed sound Yam, and visualizing the mandala.

So Ham mantra: The heart is thought to be the source of So Ham. The syllables arise from the heart, are sounded on the breath and again, subside in the heart.

4. Heart Tapping

Stimulates the thymus gland to help build immunity and opens the heart chakra. Standing with your feet hip width apart, use the finger tips to rapidly tap the center of your upper chest. Vigorously tap the area for one to three minutes.

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Dimensions of the Heart in Yoga (A 5-Part Series)

Part 1: The Physical Heart (The Heart of Annamaya Kosha)

Part 2: The Energetic Heart (The Heart of Pranamaya Kosha)

Part 3: The Intelligent Heart (The Heart of Manomaya Kosha)

Part 4: The Wisdom Heart (The Heart of Vijnamaya Kosha)

Part 5: The Heart of Bliss – Unconditional Love (The Heart of Anandamaya Kosha)

6 thoughts on “4 Ways to Work with Heart Energy (Dimensions of the Heart in Yoga – Part 2)”

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