Take it to Heart
The word rhythm comes from the Sanskrit word hrdayam meaning the heart. (It’s obvious now that it’s from Sanskrit, hence there are no vowels. They had a real aversion to them making it a nightmare to spell and pronounce. Amazing for Scrabble though).
In school we learned the heart is a pump. But it's so much more beautiful than that. A pump is manmade and mechanical. You are biological, and biomotional. Your heart beats are made by a spiralling movement in your chest which ripples through your body. Your heart was the first organ to form, you grew from your heart space, this incredible centre of physical and emotional health.
Your heart sets the rhythm and tone for your life. Remember those moments when your heart skipped a beat, wore your heart on your sleeve, or you felt disheartened?
The heart focused mini course is both informative (you’ll learn some anatomy) and transformative; knowledge is power! But more than this, my yoga affects more than the heart; the rhythm of your breathing creates electrical activity in the brain that enhances emotional judgements and memory recall. The amygdala is strongly linked to emotional processing, and fear in particular.
When we’re exposed to chronic stress, the part of our brain that best helps us to cope with it, actually shrinks, and yeah, we have even less capacity to cope with stress. Cool huh? I guess that’s the body’s way of putting some checks and balances in, otherwise if we’re honest; what would be the impetus to take personal responsibility for the stressors in our life?
You can take a high load of stress, but you do need to honour the cost of that and repay the debt of gratitude you feel for your whole body. After 20 years of living and breathing yoga, of course I’m going to say yoga and meditation are invaluable, but fortunately we have many researchers to prove that fact.
I’d rather teach you before you reach a place of chronic stress. But wherever you're at, this course and your whole hearted commitment is going to create the benefits you want. Whether that's improved sleep, mood or energy regulation.