I thought this would be the perfect time to fine tune our heart opening awareness that we can enter the holiday season already uplifted, energized, connected and beaming with love!
The heart is the nucleus, the front and center stage of our bodies - both anatomically and spiritually.
“Open your heart center” is a common cue during class; and being reminded about the energetics and physiology of the heart will help you to do just that.
As the control center of the body’s circulatory system, the heart is made up of four separate chambers, which together create a double pump about the size of a closed fist. Approximately 1,250 gallons of blood are circulated by the heart each day through nearly 100,000 miles of blood vessels. The right atrium and ventricle circulate blood to and from the lungs; the left, to the rest of the body. The heart is cradled between the lungs, and during deep yogic breathing, the top of the heart is level with the fifth or sixth rib and becomes massaged by the diaphragm.
Healing heart disease through biofeedback and yoga has been increasingly accepted in the West since the 1990s, when yoga teacher Nischala Joy Devi co-designed an effective program for patients recovering from heart attacks and other coronary issues. Recently, studies including a biofeedback study by Dr. Dean Ornish, have confirmed that yoga is as effective as aerobic exercise when it comes to improving heart health measurements like cholesterol levels, blood pressure and body mass. These results are not surprising to those of us with a regular practice.
So, yes, through yoga we can heal the heart but the heart can also really heal us.
“Feelings” and “emotions” are literally and scientifically affected by our heart muscle. This is because the heart secretes behavior-influencing hormones, such as hormone oxytocin, nick named “the love hormone,” for its positive effects on social bonding and its ability to counter cortisol, a stress hormone. Furthermore, the heart’s electromagnetic field is several times larger than the brain’s, and it can be detected several feet away. This is crazy cool stuff to consider and use in your practice, especially around holiday times when stress levels run the highest.
The Sanskrit word for heart is hridayam, hrid meaning “center,” and ayam, “this.” The middle of the seven chakras, Anahata is where individual concerns (survival, food, sex) become selfless—and open into connection and love.
Heart-focused asanas include backbends, which stretch the front torso and create more room for the heart and lungs, which in turn creates an uplifting emotional effect. In the Bikram series, floor bow and camel are the pinnacle heart opening asanas.
Follow this link to go deeper into your practice of Ustrasana (Camel Posture).
Collectively doing this when we practice will fill the studio with such strong vibrations of compassion and devotion, we will possibly just light up the whole of Jupiter!
We look forward to a devoted, sweaty and heart opening month ahead with you!
In love and light,
Cassie and all
561 743 2300
561 339 7090 direct
Lose the handles, not the love.