Understanding the Heart chakra

heart center

Have you ever noticed in everyday life the multitude of expressions we use concerning our hearts and it’s relationship to how we feel? Somehow we instinctively recognize each Valentine’s day that our heart signifies our romantic love; sayings such as I love her with all my heart, she has my heart, my heart belongs to you are so common they are intuitively acknowledged as true. To quote William Shakespeare “If you love me I will always be in your heart” over the centuries these words have touched millions of lives.

Perhaps more powerful than feeling love in our hearts is the heart ache we all have felt at one time or another. People instinctively hold their chest it’s as if an emotional dagger has wounded a person, indeed the lowest point for a person we describe as heart­break. Suffice to say there is more to the heart than just pumping the blood around the body.

Simultaneous functions of the heart exist and are prevalent in all humans which distinguishes them from other animals. The heart radiates the feelings aspect of one’s consciousness whereby any person can direct their love outwardly or inwardly depending on their motives, perspectives and habits.

For the average person caught up in seeking happiness they look outside themselves from external sources to fulfill their desire to be happy. Whether that be towards people, an object of pleasure or expectations the heart reaches out in desire. It’s as if a ray of energy wants to attach onto that object or person based on the potential to fulfill the desire, it will keep looking for fulfillment until that desire is fulfilled. Then we feel relief followed by the feeling of temporary happiness and you think that would be the end of the story. As you have probably figured out by now it’s not, the desire intensifies , new desires sprout, new cords of energy reach outwards and we begin the process all over again. Not to mention that happiness outside ourselves is often followed by a slump or hangover in ourselves. It hurts!

In expecting to receive love, then receiving the love from another the heart creates attachment and from the perspective of prana (life energy) this is a literal cord project from you to that other person or object. Once expectation and attachment based on arbitrary condition is in place we are in perilous territory. Let’s say two people that become attached through conditional love do not meet each others expectations, this causes frustration and bickering in many a relationship. Worst case scenario there is a fall out, the pranic cord is severed and the heart ache ensues.

Heart ache or heart break are very real feelings and may manifest outwardly in new emotions, any downward pull of prana will literally depress you and may make you sick.

In yogic terms there is a valid reason for this phenomena and it’s simply due to the expectation of receiving happiness from another based on conditions out with your control. Behind all attachments and desires there are subtle ramifications to the flow of your life force in a downward direction. Hence the saying I feel down or low.

There is an expression that goes, let the good times roll, but roll to where? If the heart directs it’s love outwardly there will be a current of energy that uplifts us for a while, but it is doomed to fall again and not be sustained. The never ending mystery can be solved simply which clarity and guidance from the yoga teachings. It is this:

Know that you are the happiness that you seek. It is within you always, it is you! When we look outside ourselves then set conditions on our happiness this is only a dim reflection of the true love potential in your heart. If you recognize the true source of the happiness you will not become too attached or be heart broken when things don’t go your way.

It is possible to cultivate lasting love and purify the heart chakra where your love becomes impersonal and expansive to all regardless of their actions. In fact your love becomes unconditional. This is is the key.

To work on the heart chakra but to ignore the lower chakras (Firmness in your direction in life, openness to your intuition and self control to become the best version of yourself) leads to apathy, cynicism and lack of direction. Do not be cold to the World, find the love within and share it in all your words and actions and with all the beings you touch.

If your love can become impersonal, expansive, unconditional and held in sincere kinship, things will start to shift for you in an upward direction, literally upliftment. In essence the heart will start to become sacred, to be clear this does not mean you become cold or unfeeling towards others. The inner secret is to develop the heart’s love and offer it to the Divine in any form that speaks to you.

Through this new awareness you begin to realize that real Divine love flows through your every situation, every person you touch, every sunset you gaze upon, all of these and more are Divine gifts that allow you to feel the love within you. Take time to bring that feeling inwards and recognize the higher source. Each time you practice this the love in your heart will increase exponentially.

Develop devotion in the form that speaks to you, chanting or singing the Divine names is regarded as the highest path of yoga called Bhakti. Giving your whole heart in this practice allows you to direct the heart’s energy to the Divine, this sacred offering will purify the heart it is the only desire that won’t lead to heartache.

For the love in your heart to truly grow and be sustained there is an essential yogic ingredient, you consciously choose to offer your heart’s love at the spiritual eye (ajna chakra) in deep meditation. As you channel the love upwards within yourself it’s as if a ray of light is shining to that beyond and beyond.

Once you begin to understand and become aware of the heart it’s relatively easy to see when it’s reaching out in desire based on condition. In that moment learn to re­direct the heart’s feelings inwards, know that you have the love and joy within, then even the difficulties become wonderful experiences.

Awaken Divine love to transform your yoga practice and spiritual life. Make the heart a sacred refuge once and for all, then you will awaken unto something far greater than yourself.

You will become an expression of Divine love.

This October I will give a free lecture on the chakras including simple practices that have the potential to uplift you. For guided meditations on the chakras visit our FB group. Eastside Yoga meditators.

Love to you!



About eastsideyoga

your neighborhood yoga studio! with our warm welcome, peaceful vibe and experienced yoga teachers, we aim to transform the body and bring stillness to your mind through the timeless teaching of yoga. eastside yoga is a friendly community of people who love yoga and meditation. we strive to nurture beginners and help deepen your yoga practice. our yoga studio and class schedule are convenient for residents of the east side and downtown austin.
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2 Responses to Understanding the Heart chakra

  1. brookeyogi says:

    Thank you so much for sharing this!

  2. Renee says:

    Thank you Steven for this wonderful article!!!

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