I have a “hearty, hard heart,” a well-known yoga teacher once told me, with love. I was upside down at the time, attempting to walk up from Dhanurasana (Wheel Pose) to standing upright (in Tadasana,) and parked on a yoga mat 40 stories up, overlooking the bustling city of Hong Kong — a sprawling mass of cold concrete. If I remember correctly, I began to cry with relief, and fear.
This particular instructor was able to tell a myriad of things about the the state of unconditional love, grief and fear in my life as well as my own ability to heal by watching me bend backwards – the balance of body and spirit is directly and physically correlated to the flexibility (or lack thereof) in my chest and around the heart. At the expense of going a little “woo woo” on all you readers, this is where the Fourth Chakra, the “House of Unconditional Love,” transforms various subtle energies into physical karmas….or tight muscles.
“The knee bone is connected to the, hip bone.”
Or rather, pain in the heart is connected to the….heart.
Some things change, and others don’t. Tonight when faced with a workshop on heart-opening there weren’t any tears. The lesson of the Fourth Chakra for this little yogini appears to be opening up and being honest about unconditional love for others, yes. But for the Self first and foremost. A few words to guide the ship by:
“To allow oneself to be carried away by a multitude of conflicting concerns, to surrender to too many demands, to commit oneself to too many projects, to want to help everyone in everything, is to succumb to the violence of our times.”
— Thomas Merton