Since August is the month of Leo and Leo rules the heart, it’s the perfect time to focus in on heart chakra healing.
We packed our August 2018 Goddess Provisions Box(SOLD OUT) full of supplies to help you tune into your heart center and embody the monthly mantra:
“I have an infinite capacity for love.”
In addition to the tools in the Heart Chakra Box(SOLD OUT), here you’ll find some holistic wellness techniques to balance your heart energy and deepen your experience of compassion, connection and love.
These techniques are not only focused on the heart (anahata) chakra, they also work to balance the physical and subtle bodies through the heart organ and meridians for a holistic approach to healing.
Let’s dive in!
Qi IN THE BODY
First, let's clarify the difference between the chakras and meridians.
CHAKRAS are energy centers in the body that transmit and receive Universal Energy (or Qi) in and out of our physical and spiritual selves. In Indian tradition, there are seven main chakras starting at the base of the spine and extending all the way up through the crown of the head.
Through a Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) lens, MERIDIANS are invisible energy pathways in the body where Qi flows, penetrating every cell, organ, and bodily system. The chakras are also located along these pathways. The 12 major meridians are named for the major organ or system along their route and each organ is connected to a chakra.
For optimal physical, emotional, mental and spiritual health the chakras and the meridians need to be balanced.
If a chakra or meridian is blocked, the movement of Qi along the meridians is hindered and energy can not move into or out of the body which can lead to illness and disease.
Further, TCM considers emotions to be the main cause of energetic blockages so all disease in the body can be traced back to emotion, which stems from the heart.
In Chinese medicine, every organ has a function that’s not only physical, but psychological and spiritual as well.
The heart organ (and not the brain) is considered the “ruler” of the whole being, responsible for providing direct and clear insights to all other organs while also assimilating and organizing information as it travels back to center. Energetically it is the bridge that creates balance between the upper “heavenly” and lower “earthly” chakras.
TCM considers the heart the home of spirit (or Shen), where we access our deepest love, passions, insights and understandings.
When the heart meridian is balanced it can manifest as feelings of individuality, tranquility, generosity, gentleness, warmth, kindness, contentment, love, joy, integrity, creativity, optimism, spontaneity, wisdom, and vitality.
If the heart energy is out of balance you may experience heart palpitations, anxiety, dizziness, fainting, shortness of breath, lack of vitality, excessive heat or coldness (especially in the hands), sadness, heartache, excessive daydreaming, confusion, forgetfulness, emotional distress, insomnia or mania.
ENERGY MEDICINE FOR THE HEART:
Here are 3 simple practices you can do everyday to move Qi through your heart space (organ, meridian and chakra) for physical, emotional and energetic wellness.
1 | Yin Yoga - Supported Fish
Since the heart meridian is a yin meridian, you’ll want to nourish the Qi with presence and calmness. Yin yoga postures are perfect for a slower, deeper connection.
One really lovely posture is supported fish pose (matsyasana) which is a gentle backbend to open the front of the heart.
A convenient set up for this pose is to lay on a rolled up blanket, situating it so that it’s perpendicular to your spine and at the base of the scapula. Open your arms to the sides with your palms up and let them rest heavily on the floor as the tops of your shoulders fall towards earth.
To deepen the pose, you can add height by using blocks or bolsters under the head and thoracic spine. Scroll through the photo above to see a variety of ways to prop yourself up.
Enjoy this pose for 5-10 minutes. While you breath, you can meditate on the idea that energy flows out into the world from the front of the heart and comes in from back of the heart.
A healthy heart is balanced in giving and receiving. If receiving love is not your strong suit, the use of props in fish pose can help you practice accepting support.
#2 | Reflexology - Hand Massage
Reflexology uses massage and applied pressure to activate Qi throughout the whole body. Our hands and feet are covered with acupressure points that link to different organs and bodily systems.
The heart, pericardium, lung and small intestine meridians (which directly influence the heart organ) all start in the hands where they are closest to the surface so a simple hand massage can help move stagnant or excess Qi from this area.
To begin, add a few drops of annointing oil, like Spirit Element's Sacred Heart Body Oil from the Heart Chakra Box (SOLD OUT), into your palms and rub them together to warm the oil and release the soothing scent of lavender, rosewood, sandalwood and lemon essential oils.
Then use the thumb of one hand to massage the other. There are a few notable acupressure points for the heart and lungs in the palm at the base of the fingers so be sure to work that spot. Give your pinky finger some love too because the heart meridian lives there.
Continue to massage the whole hand including fingers and wrists. Be curious and pay attention to detail. Your hands may have a message or two for you. When you’re done with the first hand, return the favor and massage the other hand too.
#3 | Acupressure - The Spirit Gate
This last trick you can do anywhere.
There are several acupressure points for the heart meridian that run from the hands up to the heart. One of the most notable is the Heart 7 point (HT-7) or “The Spirit Gate.”
This point is known as one of the most calming points in the body that is especially helpful to use when dealing with anxiety, insomnia, vivid dreaming, mania, irritability, difficulty speaking or poor memory.
HT-7 is located at the crease of the wrist on the pinky finger side of the hand. Pulsate around that area to feel where a tendon runs from the arm into the hand. On the inside of the tendon at the crease, you’ll notice a depression between the bones.
Press down firmly with your thumb and hold for several deep breaths but no longer than five minutes. You may feel some sensitivity that’s warming and even “zingy.” That’s a good thing! You can also massage the spot in small circles while maintaining that strong sensation.
This is said to be especially potent on the left hand.
You may like to follow this with some topical essential oils applied to the Heart 7 point, adding plant medicine into the mix as well. In our Heart Chakra Box (SOLD OUT) we included an essential oil blend from Good JuJu Apothecary that’s made with made with arnica herb, soothing essential oils and emerald gemstones so it’s perfect for balancing the heart chakra and easing aches & pains.
For more goddess goodies like these, subscribe to our monthly Goddess Provisions box.
Kristen Hess is a yoga teacher based in Durham, NC who's sweet on self-care. Her passions and curiosity lie in tapping into the subtle body for deep emotional healing.
Outside of the yoga studio, Kristen is joyfully working as the Box Coordinator for Goddess Provisions. :)