1- Try this three part breath. Breathing is 100 times more powerful than any physical asanas that we can do.
2- Closet check! Look around your closet- is there any green? Look around your house? Any green? You may notice an abundance of green or a complete lack. I have a green “issue”- anything that is a bright springy green, I am all over it. My own heart chakra imbalance is trying to “self-regulate” through my rabid love of the color green. I was helpless when faced with this green polka dotted casserole dish! To balance the heart chakra, begin to add some green to your life.
3- Backbends or forward bends? That depends on how your heart chakra is out of balance. If you are a people pleasing perfectionist that seeks approval and acceptance from external sources, you will want to focus on forward bends and drawing yourself inward with less focus on others approval, more focus on approving and accepting yourself. If you are introverted, critical, cold, unable to find intimacy, you will want to open your heart with a backbend. Try camel or wheel pose.
4- Make a date… with a friend who you can totally be yourself with. No show, no pretending, just letting your freak flag fly. Days after I had my second son, a friend came over and offered to make dinner. I was trying to say no, I’m fine, when she basically called me a control freak and said sit down, I am making dinner. I was shocked, hurt, offended at first (postpartum hormones and all!), but it was a defining moment in my life…. You mean, people can know one of my secrets (I am a control freak) and STILL love me? I don’t have to be perfect for someone to love me? WHAT?!?!!? It was intensely liberating and scary all at once. I am forever grateful to that friend who taught me an amazing lesson in unconditional love that day.
5- Journal time: From whom do you seek acceptance and approval? What conditions do you put on yourself? Do you find yourself saying “When I lose weight, get a job, aren’t so messy, finish this project, then I will love myself/then I will be worthy/deserving of someone else’s love? What would life feel like if you stopped caring about what anyone thought? What if YOU approved of yourself?
6- Posture check- stand up against a wall with your heels touching the wall. Notice the position of your head and shoulders. Are they pressing back into the wall or are they forward leaning? If they are forward, bring your head and shoulders back to touch the wall. What feeling does that bring up in you? Do you feel like you are sticking the “girls” out too far, showing off, acting all high and mighty? Is it physically painful because your chest and shoulder muscles have shortened and tightened and your back muscles are weak and overstretched from habitually bad posture? Try to hold this posture as you step away from the wall. Throughout your day, return to this tall, upright position (mountain pose) until it starts to become a muscular habit. Slouching is a symptom of a deficient heart chakra- we are burying our heart.
7- Our arms and hands are extensions of our heart chakra. Try these qigong hand exercises and massage.