We are light. Within us is a light, very much like the Sun, that is unchanging and brilliant. This is one of the fundamental teachings in yoga philosophy. The darkness of the winter creates an inward movement of our attention that creates opportunities to experience our inner life and radiance.
As we move into this time of the return of the Sun, here are 5 different ways to awaken the light within your heart:
- Move – Stand with your feet hip distance apart. Sweep your arms wide and up on INHALE in a sun-like movement. Lower your arms in a sun-like movement on EXHALE. Repeat 6 times.
- Breathe – Close your eyes. Sense the center space of the chest. As you INHALE, try to feel an expansiveness in the chest. As you EXHALE, hug the navel inward. Do 12 full deep breaths.
- Use Sound – Use the seed mantra of the 4th or heart cakra (energetic center), YAM. Focus on the center of the chest. Inhale, then sound the word, YAM, on Exhale. This sound creates vibration in the center of the chest. Repeat 6 times.
- Visualize – Focus your attention on the center of the chest, the cave of the heart. Visualize light, perhaps a beautiful sunrise, the light of a flickering candle, a lighted star atop a Christmas tree, sunset, or the light of the full moon that we’ll see this Christmas Day. Spend 5 minutes focused on that light. Feel as if the light grows more expansive within and around you. If your mind wanders, gently bring it back to visualization of light.
by Mary Hilliker, RDN, E-RYT 500, Certified Viniyoga Teacher & Yoga Therapist, River Flow Yoga Teacher Training School and 5 Koshas Yoga & Wellness.