“So we have come to know and to believe the love that God has for us. 1 John 4:16
The heart chakra lies at the center of your sternum (breast bone), between the breasts/pectorals. It is where we experience love and balance. While we meet Christ in all the chakras, this is the space we meet him most. It is where the vertical relationship (us and God) and the horizontal relationship (us and other people) intersect. Because of this, the biggest work of the heart chakra is for us to learn to love ourselves as God loves us, and to love others as God loves them.
In Mark 12:30, Jesus tells us that our relationships to Him and to the people in our lives are of utmost importance: “The most important command is this…you must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, all your mind, and all your strength. The second is equally important: Love your neighbor as yourself. No other commandment is greater than these.” Notice the two are of equal importance - we cannot have one without the other. Jesus also speaks here to how we love ourselves. So often the idea of self-love is discouraged in Western Christendom, and when we read verses like 2 Timothy 3:2 we understand why. The self-love Paul speaks of in this verse, however, is self-centeredness and self-preoccupation, not a humble enactment of God’s love for us. It is curious that we must love God FIRST, and then love our neighbor as ourselves. It seems that the moment we truly begin to grasp God's love for each of us is the moment we begin to love God (1 John 4:19); and that knowing translates into radical self-love, born from the pure love God has for us. As we step into the fullness of that love, we are able to truly love our neighbor as ourselves.
Grief is the dysfunction of the heart chakra. Fortunately for us, the Lord meets us in our grief and turns it mourning (the process of moving through grief). In the Sermon on the Mount Jesus says, “Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.” (Matthew 5:4). Jesus teaches us to hold a space for both others and ourselves so that they/we might move through their/our grief. In His high, wide, long, and deep love, we find all the space we need to be comforted and healed.
I love myself the way God loves me.
I love others the way God loves them.
Deficient - passive chest openers; fish, supported corpse
Overactive - forward bends; dangling, seated staff & fold
A portion of this blog was adapted from my Holy Yoga Masters Training