A gentle approach to Heart Opening

So we’re at the very beginning of Pitta season. It’s the one Ayurvedic season that doesn’t slowly approach. One day it’s just here. I can feel it’s approach. My body is wanting to take my Ashtanga practice at a slower, more gentle pace… But my ego is saying that’s not good enough. My heart is feeling vulnerable and at risk of closing off again. (Ego probably likes that one.) My students are feeling it, too. Finding a mental desire to push in their practices but intuitively knowing they need to connect with their bodies rather than punish them.

As we enter this season of fire and water, it is so easy to just dive in deep. To take on a rushed approach to life, to power through, to force our plans to materialize just how we want them to. But the problem with too much fire? You get burned up easily.

In the last 48 hours, I’ve had a fellow teacher say she was feeling burned out. A student say she feels her heart closing up and retreating. A teacher in training asking for advice because she’s pushed herself so hard she’s ready to just quit everything. A life coaching client realized that she had been trying to force healing without acknowledging the root of the illness… Everyone is feeling the fire of the season!

There are a bunch of ideas for balancing that Pitta dosha in the summer, but today I’m really thinking and pondering on the gentle heart opening side of it all.

Because with this fire comes anger and frustration. Anger at others, sure. But even more so- frustration and anger at ourselves. When we walk with this anger, we begin to lose touch with our compassion. For ourselves, for others, for life in general. Since compassion is the thing that makes this world go round, it’s kind of important to work on opening to it. But the thing is- if we try to force ourselves into opening up to compassion (and, in turn, to love), we are just stepping into another space of too much fire. Forcing never works for anything really.

So what do you do when you want to open to compassion without forcing it, but the fire of the season is urging to you HURRY UP AND FIX IT ALL OR JUST BURN IT!?

Baby steps, darling.

We commit to gently opening to compassion, to easing the heart open with a single breath at a time. Inhaling softness, exhaling love. Noticing when we are pushing ourselves and stepping back, honoring the process as much as the outcome. Giving ourselves permission to be gentle.

Abstract ideas for sure. Since we are spirit beings inside of human bodies, we struggle with the abstract. So let’s attach physical actions to it all to help our bodies learn. (Our bodies do carry our emotions after all.)

Gentle, supported heart openers. Going into them at maybe 75% and just allowing the breath to take over, waiting for the body to (maybe) invite us to go deeper.

  • Bhujangasana
  • Anahatasana (the heart chakra is called Anahata, so this pose is literally the pose of the heart chakra. Poetry.)
  • Sphinx with a bolster under the chest
  • Heart opener on a block

Honor your emotions

  • Cry, scream, or even whisper them into a pillow
  • Do a little Soul Writing and just get it all out onto paper as quickly as you can
  • Share what you’re feeling with someone you trust

Chanting

  • Om Mani Padme Hum (invoking the beautiful spirit of my favorite deity, the divine image of compassion, Padma Pani.)
  • or using the Bija for the Heart Chakra, YUM (pronounced You-MMM, chant it repeatedly in a way that you can feel it vibrating in your heart.)

Stones and Colors and Oils, oh my!

  • Any green stones are great for the heart chakra and BONUS, balance out the red of fire
  • Wearing greens for the heart, and soft white clothing to limit heat
  • Sandalwood, Jasmine, and Lavender are great for balancing both the heart chakra and Pitta dosha

Above all, meditate

  • Try diving into Metta (aka Loving-Kindness) Meditation, a favorite of mine for many reasons.
  • Or maybe a simple meditation is more your thing. In that case, sit in stillness and breathe into and from your heart. Envision a soft green light drawing compassion and peace into your heart and your spirit. Sit with those feelings for a bit, then close with gratitude.

Bonus- a Change Me Prayer

(inspired by the Fairy Princess of Divine Love, Tosha Silver)

Change me, Divine Beloved,
Into one who can step into vulnerability.
Into one who feels the walls of her heart softening.
Into one who walks with compassion for myself and others.
Change me, Divine Beloved,
Into one who trusts and believes that my scars are beautiful,
That under my pain lies immeasurable beauty.
Into one who walks with love.
I am Yours. You are Mine.
We are One.  All is Well.

I’m hoping these ideas will help a few of you. As always- please reach out to me if you have questions or would like to schedule a session to work one on one with your healing journey!

May you allow yourself to unfold and open to compassion. May the fire of this season help you without burning you. May you live from a place of compassion for yourself and love for others. xoxo, Trishia

New Moon Rituals

I’ve found that moving in sync with the seasons and cycles is a great way to find a bit more ease, more peace, in my life. One of the easiest ways to start a natural rhythm lifestyle is to begin with the moon cycles. They repeat monthly, so you get many opportunities in the year to refine your practice and meditate on how the cycle impacts your life.

We begin this journey into living in sync with nature under the New Moon. A time of beginnings, a time of renewal, of rooting energy. A time for quiet reflection and self-nurturing. The new moon is the best time to plant seeds and set intentions for what you wish to bring into your life. It is also a time of heightened intuition, which helps us to set true intentions from the heart rather than the mind.

A New Moon Ritual

  • Spend a few moments creating a sacred space for yourself. Turn down the lights, light some candles, add any aromatherapy you may like. Gather up a journal, a cup of tea if you like, and any other elements that bring you closer to your spiritual journey. (Guidance cards, stones and crystals, sage or palo santos, etc.)
  • If you are using sage or palo santos, allow time here to clear your space. If you are not using sage or palo santos, take a moment to visualize a clearing of the space around you- perhaps seeing a bubble or a glowing light surrounding yourself and your immediate space.
  • Draw your eyes closed and focus on your breath, once it is even and slow, count each inhale- just to the count of 10. Let yourself sit in this space for a few moments. Open your journal and begin with “I am ready to receive blessings and abundance into my life. I am ready to receive ______________” Just let the words flow here. Let the blessings pour from your pen. Don’t feel the need to edit or moderate these wishes. Often, our hearts whisper these desires in a way that is easy to brush over. But if we allow those words to come forward, we generally find exactly what we need in this moment of our lives.
  • Once you are finished, gently sit back and focus on the breath again for a few minutes. Recenter, drink some tea, savor a bite of chocolate… Nurture yourself.
  • Here you can return to your journaling. Can you find a common thread through your writing? A recurring theme? This process can frequently lead you to a focus point for moving forward with intention. Focusing on that common theme (abundance, spiritual growth, better relationships, feeling valued, etc.) can help you in everyday choices and big decisions.
  • Take a few more minutes to send gratitude to your guides, your angels, your intuition. Remember that you are always guided by Divine light and surrounded in Divine love.

Repeating this process with every new moon can help you to refocus as the year continues. This also leads you towards learning what is holding you back in your growth so that you can release that heaviness during the Full Moon.

————— Want to move even deeper with your intentions and learn how to use meditation and yogic tools to reduce anxiety and depression? Join Trishia for Just Breathe, a workshop series at Evolve Yoga this September!