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Some Ideas for Working with Anahata Chakra




Contents:





Introduction



It is not uncommon for books or yoga teachers to suggest particular practices for working with an individual chakra. What I am attempting to offer here is something a bit more general: a flavour of my personal view of the sort of practices, and approaches to practice, to use when wishing to work with Anahata Chakra. I have also attempted to distinguish between practices and approaches that will tend to stimulate (make more active) this chakra and those that will tend to stabilize (strengthen) the chakra. Inevitably, there is significant overlap in this and you may well find that, for you personally, something that I suggest as stimulating is more stabilizing and vice versa. In any case, what is offered here is very much a personal view (rather than a consensual view of experienced experts), so my strong recommendation is that you play and experiment with these ideas, both to find what works for you and to help you form your own views (as opposed to absorbing and trusting these ideas as given).











Posture Work


Stimulate


Stabilize

Chest opening / expanding posture work (e.g. cobra, fish, bow, camel …).

Twists and side-bends especially those relating to the upper trunk.

Open postures (e.g. arms wide) and unfolding movements.

Closed postures (e.g. arms wrapped around oneself in a hug) and enfolding movements.

Awareness of centre of chest.

Awareness of one’s hands and arms, and / or of one’s spatial context (e.g. air around one; being upright or upside down).

Awareness of emotional feeling (relating to practice).

Awareness of effects and benefits (of practice).

Expansive (large) movements (especially of arms).

Fluid movements (through space / air) especially of whole body.

Any that feel uplifting or joyous.

Any that feel centering and balancing.

With a sense of lifting occurring up through the body.

Sense of relationship between oneself and things like Earth, air around and others in the room.

Demonstrating (to others).

Pair work.


Tonal Words


Stimulate


Stabilize

  • Subjective
  • Elevate
  • Conscience
  • Ego / self
  • Mover
  • Desire
  • Prompting
  • Current
  • Contentious
  • Choose
  • Dutiful
  • Wind
  • Atmosphere
  • Motivate
  • Give
  • Initiate
  • Personal
  • Love
  • Open
  • Centre
  • Emotion
  • Value
  • Conviction
  • Empathy
  • Vocation
  • Resolve
  • Introspection
  • Initiative
  • Motivated
  • Intent
  • Seed
  • Own
  • Disperse
  • Start
  • Aim
  • Send out
  • Decide
  • Fluid
  • Heart
  • Consciousness
  • Will
  • Important
  • Contribute
  • Respect
  • Command
  • Purpose
  • Sensitive
  • Unfolding
  • Identify
  • Stimulate
  • Responsible
  • Aspire
  • Intrinsic
  • Direction
  • Guide
  • Solitude
  • (Moral) values
  • Generous
  • Concern
  • Intuitive
  • Relative
  • Balance
  • Integrity
  • Community
  • Movement
  • Attract
  • Reminding
  • Flow
  • Duty
  • Negotiate
  • Sociable
  • Breeze
  • Ambience
  • Participate
  • Share
  • Catalyze
  • Social
  • Care
  • Receptive
  • Encircle
  • Devotion
  • Significance
  • Dedication
  • Compassion
  • Service
  • Integrate
  • Interaction
  • Collaboration
  • Determined
  • Action
  • Germinate
  • Develop
  • Contain
  • Continue
  • Proceed
  • Welcome
  • Delegate
  • Air
  • Humanity
  • Awareness
  • Progress
  • Relevant
  • Collaborate
  • Esteem
  • Request
  • Meaning
  • Responsive
  • Enfolding
  • Interpret
  • Encourage
  • Considerate
  • Inspire
  • Extrinsic
  • Dimension
  • Influence
  • Relationships
  • Tolerance
  • Expansive
  • Equanimity
  • Attentive

Breathing / Pranayama


Stimulate


Stabilize

Awareness on giving out the exhalation.

Awareness on receiving the inhalation.

Awareness of and/or lengthening of pause after inhaling.

Awareness and / or lengthening of pause after exhaling.

Awareness of the initiation or start of both inhalation and exhalation.

Awareness of the flow and quality of both the inhalation and exhalation.

Awareness or sense of air inside oneself.

Awareness or sense of air around one’s body.

Nadi Sodhana (alternate nostril breath), Bhramari.

Ujjayi.


Visualizations


Stimulate


Stabilize

Based on giving things (good or bad) to others or world (or aspect of world).

Based on receiving things (good / beneficial only) from outside one.

Based on sending from one’s heart / centre to the rest of one’s being.

Based on one’s heart or centre receiving from the rest of one’s being.

Based on ideas of “unmoving mover” e.g. heart keeps its place in the chest yet causes blood to move around the body.

Based on observing or imagining movement or flow of current (or wind).

Start of a ripple or movement.

Continuation of a ripple or movement.

Word-based : love, aspire, …..

Word-based : balance, progress, …..

Air as something that responds or moves as a result of one’s own movement / actions.

Air as something that moves (independently of oneself) – e.g. wind, weather, breeze … .

Based on heart that feels and desires.
Based on hands that care and act.
Based on oneself – a being complete.

Based on oneself in relation to another (or others) or the context of one’s existence.

Exploring the essence or most essential aspect of oneself.

Exploring oneself as part of & integral with something larger (e.g. family, community, mankind, Earth, Universe … .)

Based on emotion or emotional feeling.

Based on sense of touch and sensation from the skin (e.g. feeling touch, caresses, warmth …)

Based on gently opening a container and seeing what is inside – and perhaps taking it out.
Based on putting something (or nothing) into a container and gently closing the container.


Other Ideas


Stimulate


Stabilize

Choosing and making decisions.

Negotiating and coming to agreement (and where necessary making compromises).

Tuning into one’s emotional feelings.

Consideration of the likely effects and consequences (of one’s actions and decisions).

Attending to things, caring for things/people that matter or are important to one.

Attending to one’s duties and responsibilities.
Devotional activity – doing things with a sense of love or devotion.

Purposeful action and activity.
Giving to others, doing for others.

Being with and interacting with others and sharing.
Massaging another.

Hugging and being hugged.
Responding to the needs of others (kindness)

Developing and maintaining friendships and relationships.
Self-directed activity.

Fitting in with others and other’s way of doing things.
Being the centre of attention.

Team work and collaboration.


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