Heart of Gold

Make sure your heart is in front of the head. Try to lift the heart and drop the shoulders. Does your heart lead the way?

It is rare for me to see an adult with their heart open and shining bright, outside of class. I’d say the #1 alignment issue is a closed off, tight, sunken heart. Thus, getting that heart of yours unsunk is a major and ongoing alignment goal. 

The physical act of aligning the heart center is seemingly simple: shoulder back and down…sternum up…ears stacked over the shoulders. Easy peasy.  Right now, you and I can make the necessary adjustments and voila – superstar alignment. How come it’ll all go away by 8pm? How come we never seem to sustain it?

First off, because it’s vulnerable. It’s vulnerable to put your heart out there. We want to protect the heart on all levels – from our bosoms being gawked at to exuding too much life force energy. Secondly – and this is one that I’ve come to realize lately – the heart is not supposed to be open all of the time. 

Like the sun and the moon and the flowers and the trees, the heart center should be dynamic. It should fluctuate. It has seasons. It has day and night. When we are sick. When we are tired. When we are emotionally drained. When we need to conserve energy and withdraw from energy exchanges with others, an unopened heart is actually an asset.  The only problem with an unopened heart is if it stays that way. If shoulders are so tight they can’t move back. If a forward head position is so ingrained it can’t migrate to a “stack” over the shoulders. I’ve noticed that when a person’s heart is closed when they actually need it to be open, breathing is bottlenecked, energy flow up and down the spine is constricted, and there is chronic muscle tension in the neck, upper back and shoulder areas. No fun. 

What’s the bottomline? 1. We need to stay loose and mobile, especially in our chest, neck and shoulders. 2. We need to tune into what our heart needs – sometimes it changes moment to moment. Drop into the feeling body and notice what’s it calling for, or as Shakespeare wrote, “Go to your bosom; knock there, and ask your heart what it doth know.” 3. We need to embrace the natural and poetic body/mind/spirit fluctuations, for all of it ebbs and flows. And 4. When you’re exercising, an open heart is optimal, so get those shoulders down and back or else…😉