It’s February already! Which means Valentine’s Day is upon us… this holiday can bring up a multitude of feelings depending on your current relationship, past Valentine’s experiences, or worries about your future relationships. In yoga, we focus on the present – so let’s keep our consciousness in the now!
Whether you are in a long-term, loving relationship or are as free as a bird, you can have a loving Valentine’s Day. And pre-Valentine’s Day. And post-Valentine’s Day! Let’s make February the month of love – for ourselves and for those around us. So how do we do this? Well, yoga can be a great tool! We can use yoga to enhance the chakras – and for the sake of love, let’s work on the heart chakra.
The chakras are energy centers found throughout the body. We can use these chakras to help balance our body and increase our overall health. And we can focus on our heart chakra to increase the love in our lives. I’m not talking about romantic, sensual love. I’m talking about the love you feel for your parents, siblings, pets, close friends, and your Self. This is the type of love that brings a greater appreciation for life in general. The heart chakra is located literally at your heart’s center – to enhance the love in your life, practice the techniques listed below to enhance your heart chakra!
In general, practice backbends. Practice wheel, bow, cobra, upward facing dog, locust. Simply open your chest in a backbend in order to open the heart
Set a timer for 11 minutes, then find a comfortable seated position (in a chair or on a cushion). Place your right hand on your sternum, then place the left hand on top of the right. Breath in deeply – filling your belly, ribs, and chest. Exhale slowly and completely while saying or thinking the word “Love”. You can even smile as you exhale! As you continue to breathe deeply, imagine the air entering your lungs as a warm, green ball of energy filling your body. And as you exhale, this warm, green air fills the room around you as you say or think the word “Love”. Feel free to continue this meditation with your eyes closed. If your mind begins to wander, bring your awareness back to your breath and the green ball of energy filling your body and the room around you. When your timer ends the meditation, slowly bring your awareness into the room around you, slowly open the eyes, and gently bring the palms to rest on your thighs for a final breath. When you are ready to move on to the rest of your day, stand from your comfortable seated position and enter the rest of the day with a heightened sense of love.
Wear green! The heart chakra is often associated with the color green – so donning this loving color can help to open your heart and enhance the love in your life.
Some great scents for enhancing the heart chakra include rose otto, rose absolute, melissa, neroli, ylang ylang, and bergamot. So play around with these essential oils to make a homemade heart-chakra perfume!
A mantra is a word or phrase that you repeat out loud or in your head. To consciously increase the love in your life, you can simply repeat the word “love” in your head slowly, or you can repeat a simple phrase such as “I am loved and I love others”. If you have trouble remembering your mantra (don’t worry, we all do!), then write down your mantra and post it everywhere! On your fridge, the dashboard of your car, and the background of your phone. Have fun with your mantra and try to find a phrase that truly resonates with you.
So make February a month of True Love! The world can always use a little more love. And you will be surprised to see how your life will change even with these little changes that you make.