This post is part of Sadhana, a 26-week exploration of each of the Namaste Yoga sequences. It’s never too late to join! All that is required is to try a new Namaste sequence each week – and don’t forget to post about your experiences to be entered in our monthly contests. Read all the Sadhana posts here or connect with others participating in Sadhana on our Facebook wall.
"Wheresoever you go, go with all your heart," ~ Confucius
It's not always easy to get the heart and the mind to agree.
The heart craves love, and needs to be able to give love in order to be balanced and whole. Like any other muscle in the body, the heart must be worked in order to stay strong. Sometimes, working it harder, pushing the limits of the heart, makes it stronger.
The mind is enigmatic. Topically, when it functions properly, the body works! But the mind also controls emotions, happiness, trust, hurt, fear. Being that the mind is also a muscle that likes to be used and worked, it can tend to focus too intensely on thoughts and feelings. If not directed properly, the mind can turn on its sibling, the heart, and start to question all the things the heart wants to share so freely.
The Heart Mind practice aims to unite the siblings and teach them to work in harmony. Beginning with the Heart Opening Breath Body Link, you call upon the heart to be exactly what it is at it's best: light and open. Cat Lift is another expression of opening the heart. By expanding the chest, you can make room for the heart to attain an even greater capacity for love.
Shifting into Downward Facing Dog brings the head closer to the ground: grounded thoughts. It's nice to let the weight of the head hang for a moment in this pose. You can imagine all of your stress and any tensions you may have draining away from you in this moment. Clear the mind, and make room for love and light to radiate from the heart, into your thoughts.
Sunbird Lift is another expression of opening, expansion, and now reaching! Lifting with the head and the leg puts an even greater focus on the strength you find when you can finally trust yourself! You can imagine the sun warming your face, and you can reflect that warmth back out to the world!
Sunbird Bow is another reminder to keep your thoughts grounded and the whole of your body centered. Be sure to place your hands evenly and distribute the weight of your body fairly across both arms. Feel your strength in this pose!
One-Legged Down Dog is another moment for reaching and expansion. With the back leg lifted, your hips are open and your lifted foot can reach to infinity! The head is still down, providing the constant reminder to let your foot get a little spacey, but not your head!
Plank pose keeps your center strong and your whole body balanced. The heart and mind are such important components of your being, but they rely on the strength of your core to keep them together and moving towards the same goals. The sequence closes, as it opened with Downward Facing Dog and Cat Lift. Bookends to the practice, as if written that way to quietly reveal that though the thoughts of the mind and the intent of the heart may not always align, they should be able to see their own truth in the reflection of the other.
Can you find your truth in the Heart-Mind Sequence?
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Heather Gregory is an avid Namaste yogini and has been practicing the sequences nearly every day for three years. Her favourite part of Namaste is the opportunity it affords to find her calm, collected center and carry that forward through each day. We enlisted Heather to embark on the 26 -week journey and blog about each sequence. You can contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org