Using Breath to Open the Heart
How do we keep our hearts open amidst all the negativity around us? How do we keep our hearts open even during the toughest times when we just want to shut down and turn off? Are we strong enough to not let the negativity affect us?
I challenge you to play witness to yourself if you start to feel isolated and absent of love at any moment this week. You may notice that your body physically begins to change when this happens. Your back slowly hunches over, shoulders rise to the ear, the jaw clenches and maybe the body begins to feel cold. Come back to your awareness and acknowledge these “body alarms.” Ask yourself and reflect on what may have caused this change. Can you assign it to an upsetting news story, negative work e-mail, a frustrating text from a family member, or is it a recurring thought?
By having that awareness and playing witness, you will be ready to tackle it. Deep breathing is another great tool to help move yourself back into the more neutral mind and body state with the heart more open.
Deep Breathing Exercise
Step 1: Sit comfortably whether on the floor or even a desk chair at work.
Step 2: Close the eyes and begin inhaling for the count of 10 as smoothly as possible while feeling the sweet air. Breath in that positivity. As you exhale for the count of 10, exhale out the negativity.
Step 3: Set a timer to continue for 3, 7 or 11 minutes and begin to visualize your heart being filled with love. Feel your chest opening, the body being more expansive and your mind becoming more still.
Step 4: When the timer goes off, take your biggest inhale and exhale before slowly opening the eyes. Feel the change.
Remember that we all have these low moments, and we are human. Look at these moments as opportunities to get it right next time. As Yogi Bhajan says, “Enrich yourself with sacredness and opportunity will come to you from every corner.” Your breath, your mind and your body are so special. You are magnificent. Be ready to conquer it next time!