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Animal Spirits – totems for heart chakra work

The heart chakra, Anahata, spins with the energy of love, joy, and harmony. If your heart chakra is feeling out of balance, by journeying to one of these animal spirits you can gain insight and guidance to make your heart happy.

hummingbird in flight

Image by skeeze from Pixabay

The joyful nature of Hummingbird invites you to find your own inner happiness. In Hummingbird’s quest for the sweetest of experiences, he playfully spreads joy and love. Hummingbird is linked to the healing power of plants, and reminds you there is powerful beauty everywhere.

 

Deer in tall grass

Image by Lubos Houska from Pixabay

Gentle, peaceful Deer epitomizes the energy of the heart chakra. Anahata, which means “unstruck,” is pure love, untarnished and untraumatized by any worldly goings on. Like an innocent child, Deer is offers only unconditional love, without judgement or condemnation. Call on Deer to learn to be sensitive, compassionate, and, at times, courageous. (“Courage,” after all, comes from the Latin word for “heart.”)

 

Dove on a cherry tree


Image by Susann Mielke from Pixabay

Long a symbol of peace and love, Dove flies in when your heart needs healing. Dove’s qualities are diplomacy and gentleness. Dove soothes grief, the wound of this chakra. Dove also symbolizes faith, and her energy can be accessed through Bhakti Yoga, the practice of joyful devotion.

 

Antelope in the wild

Image by Bishnu Sarangi from Pixabay

Antelope is associated with Anahata in yoga philosophical symbology. While the horns suggest the rising of spiritual consciousness, the soft eyes remind you to be guided by compassion. Antelope brings empathy, grace, and atonement to your heart chakra work. He invites you to free yourself from your emotional blocks, and comes with the message that you are loved.

I am Yogini, Hear Me Roar!

Helen Reddy was finding her fifth Chakra in the 70s…

I have been enjoying some heart-chakra-opening pursuits of late, recharging my creative side and engaging in extreme self-love. Now I’m ready to climb the next rung of the Chakra ladder to tell you all about the fifth Chakra.

Vissudha, the fifth Chakra, glows bright blue in the throat and is all about – say it with me – communication. From Vissudha comes the desire, and the right, to speak and be heard. We’re not just babbling on here, though. This is where we speak our truth, find our own voices and, also, listen as others speak their truths.

A healthy throat Chakra inspires honest, clear and positive expression of thoughts and feelings, through spoken or written words or through the arts. When what we say resonates with others, Vissudha is spinning freely.

Vissudha provides an way to express and release all the feelings and emotions that build up in the lower Chakras. When it’s blocked, we find the quiet types who silently hold onto feelings of hurt, pain or anger. The shy ones, afraid of speaking out, clench their jaws and build tension and toxicity in their necks and shoulders as they swallow their words.

As in all the Chakras, we can have too much of a good thing. When Vissudha’s volume is cranked up, we find the gossipers, loud folks we can hear over everyone else at a party, and people who never let you finish a sentence without interrupting. Listening is as important to communication as speaking, and an over-active fifth Chakra makes a poor listener.

When Helen Reddy started telling us to hear her roar, she was sparking a bright blue flame for women who, at the time, were just starting to add their voices to the previously all-male chorus of American society. We could all use a good roar every now and then to keep Vissudha balanced. Next time you’re on your yoga mat, enjoy a “raaarrrrr” in Simhasana (lion’s pose).

Stay on your mat a bit longer and try throat-stimulating Sarvangasana (shoulder stand) and Halasana (plow). A good neck roll to loosen up tension can open up the fifth Chakra as well.

Off the mat, we can chant, sing, scream or shout, tell jokes or stories – anything that gets sounds coming out of your mouth. We can also express buried emotions by drumming, dancing, or painting, or sitting quietly and letting them all pour into your journal. Keep listening skills working by listening to songs, stories or the sounds of nature.

Need inspiration? Sing along with Helen. Let’s hear you roar!

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It’s not easy being green

Kermit was fourth Chakra green before being green was hip.

In the last post, we left Tarzan beating his chest and screaming from his powerful solar plexus. Now we wander upward to the heart center and find Anahata, the bright green fourth Chakra. Anahata translates to “unstruck,” as sound made without two things striking, but is taken to mean “unhurt” or “clean.”

Located in the center of the chest, in the cardiac plexus, it’s not surprising that Anahata is all about love. Being in the middle of the seven Chakras, with an equal number above and below, Anahata is the balancer and a healthy fourth Chakra creates balanced love.

Every individual has the basic right to love and be loved. Being a lover in a one-on-one relationship is part of that right, but there’s more. Loving oneself and, therefore, deeming oneself worthy of others’ love, is essential to Anahata’s energy, as is a sense of kinship and belonging as part of a community. When you recognize your kinship to and interconnectedness with all life, you can be certain your heart center is glowing green.

The fourth Chakra inspires healthy relationships, where both parties give and receive, creating intimacy and devotion. When the scales tip too far to one side, relationships become a place of fear rather than love.

When Anahata’s green light is smothered, we stop reaching out. Those with deficient fourth Chakras tend to be antisocial and intolerant, lacking the empathy needed to fit into the web of relationships. When the fourth Chakra’s energy becomes excessive and consuming, we find codependency, clinging, and the green-eyed monster of jealousy.

Our friend Kermit sings of his journey to fourth Chakra balance. At first regretting being green, and blending in with ordinary things, he laments not being red or yellow, the colors of those lower Chakras that want to stand out and be seen. Then Kermit recognizes his kinship to the leaves, mountains and trees and decides that being green is beautiful. He points out that green is the color of spring, the lovers’ season. In the end, Kermit is green and that’s what he wants to be. He loves himself as he loves the green life around him.

Kermit is right when he says green can be “tall like a tree.” Unfortunately for tall trees, they have a long way to fall. The risk of an open fourth Chakra, an open heart, is suffering great loss. It’s not surprising that practices to balance Anahata include some for releasing grief.

On the yoga mat, we can find Anahata’s green glow in heart-opening poses like Trikonasana (triangle), Virabhadrasana II (warrior II) and Dhanurasana (bow). Even rolling our shoulders back and down makes room for fourth Chakra energy.

When we step off our mats we can discover our green glow by playing with children and pets, those wonderful beings who love us just as we are and accept our love without fear. Look for creative projects that bring joy to ourselves and others and enjoy a good laugh every now and then. Rejoice in who you are and share your love with all who accept it and you’ll be basking in green light.

And listen to Kermit, because how can you not love a singing frog?

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