Getting Your HEART Ready for the Holidays

I’ve been thinking a lot this week about the true meaning of the “holiday season” in our culture. We all know that the grinch’s heart grew three sizes when he figured out that its not about greed, but about love. We all know that having our loved ones and/or family around us is the ROOT (alluding, alluding…) of what this time is supposed to be about. But the thing is, there’s a few other elements tied in with these concepts of love: Expectation – a byproduct of the human experience; & Consumerism – a byproduct of capitalism.

Now, obviously can’t get rid of either of these other factors – nor should we worry that its necessary. If yoga is about anything, its about finding balance, health, and happiness with the truth in front of you, whatever that may be. But often, the thing we forget in this season, is that can’t nobody feel the love, if you
A) are doing it begrudgingly; and
B) have not been careful to take care of your own needs and heart.
Its easy as pie to get wrapped up in what you want, what your mother wants, what your partners’ mother wants, what your boss wants, and then there’s all the stuff…. gifts, decorations, baking, parties… we forget that a very important part of the pie is L O V E. So, for the next four weeks in my blogs and Sunday class, we’ll be gearing up and getting you prepped to give and receive the love, unleash the power of BREATH, and get your body, mind, and heart ready with some tools to make it all happen.
Ok it’s TERMS time.  If you don’t care about the terms, skip down to the next fun colored section.

This is a timely little project, as I was just thinking its about time that I mention to my class the importance of both the bandhas, (or energy centers, often most easily thought of as a muscle group for starters) and the controlled breathing aspect of yoga, called pranayama. Which got me thinking how the heart center is activated by the breath. Which made me realize, well, if we’re focusing on getting the heart ready for the holidays, I should talk about the heart chakra.  Except that the chakras (which are considered energy “wheels” or circles in constant motion which govern different parts of body functions and how they interact with the outside world) are “realized” from the bottom up, meaning its best to start with number one, get a concept of what the freakin thing is, start to feel it and think about it & understand its importance in life and health, and then move on up to the next chakra.
And wouldn’t you know it — the heart chakra is the 4th chakra, and there are four weeks till Christmas, and five weeks till New Years, and the fifth chakra is at the throat, which governs the intake and release of air. And when thinking of the throat region in terms of Vayus, which is another concept of how air and breath move through the body – the throat Vayu (called conveniently the Pranic Vayu) governs all the rest of the vayus, or air, throughout the body. Oh the circle of life. 
AND SO!  For the next four weeks – we’ll spend a few minutes at the beginning of each class activating and getting familiar with the bandhas, practicing controlled pranayama, and thinking about how these help us to realize our chakras, one at a time, all the way up the heart (for loving yourself and others), and the throat, which is the access point for the breath, and source to facilitate allllll the other stuff.

So!  Tomorrow is the ROOT CHAKRA called MULADHARA. It means “foundation,” influences the excretory and reproductive organs, and is ruled by the element of Earth.

Come to class over these next four weeks, and get ready to TREAT YOUR HEART WELL, so that you are goooood and ready for the holidays 🙂

I found this beautiful
painting of Muladhara from
California artist

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