THE HEART, THE CENTER OF OUR BODY
The Vedic Science of Ayurveda, Yoga, and Tantra recognizes the heart as the most important energy center in the body, where different physical and energy paths intersect. It can be imagined as a multi-layered confluence of channels affecting the heart and vice versa.
The heart is an important part of doshas; vata, pitta, kapha, and oyasa (the subtle essence of vitality and immunity) and plays a key role in many internal body channels (srotas). The heart is also deeply integrated with the subtle body that permeates and informs our physical body, extends beyond the physical form and is more energetic in nature. As a result, the heart is an important crossroad between paths (nadis) through the subtle body and is closely related to the heart chakra (anahata).
Due to the many connections and the complex network of intersecting physical and energy pathways, the heart, as the center of our body, influences many processes:
The functioning of doshas. Vata, pitta, and kapha are partially intertwined in at least one junction, in the heart. Consequently, the functioning of the doshas certainly affects the functioning of our heart and also vice versa - what happens to our heart affects the functioning of the doshas and, consequently, the whole body.
It affects the state of the digestive fire (agni), and therefore the ability to nourish tissues (dhatu).
The flow of prana through our body.
Our mental health and general mental state.
Connection with higher consciousness.
Our emotional health, our emotional body, especially emotions such as fear, anger, rage, possessiveness, love, empathy, grief, and sadness.
The list of stressors is very long. And there are just as many consequences caused by stress in the body, so it is necessary to control it with various tools before the consequences are reflected in the form of disease.
AYURVEDIC APPROACHES TO HEART HEALTH
The ayurvedic tradition sees the body, mind, and spirit as inseparable parts of an integrated whole. The impact on one, in turn, shows changes on the other. The heart, as the center, strongly feels all the changes, which are reflected in its health. But it also works the other way around - when we start healing the heart, it will help many other parts of the body, the channels and the subtle body of our being, to heal and strengthen themselves. Choose from the suggestions below using your intuition and follow your heart to guide you on the path that is right for you.
The techniques presented are based on ancient texts that emphasize the importance of calming the mind, practicing non-violence, maintaining mental health and happiness, preserving vital energy, and controlling the senses. The heart, as an energy center, is deeply influenced by almost all aspects of our lives. Subtle therapies can be a powerful means to positively influence the mind, nervous system, and our general state of consciousness and support heart health by:
They support mental and emotional stability.
Cleansing the body's channels and energy pathways (srotamsi and nadis).
Promoting a healthy flow of subtle energy in the body (prana).
Digestive fire care (agni).
Cleansing of toxins (ame).
Improving tissue nutrition (dhatu).
Supporting the subtle essence of the individual (ojas).
or Shiva's tears are the dried seeds of the fruit of the rudraksha tree. An ancient story tells that when the god Shiva came out of deep meditation, some tears poured out of his eyes and fell to the Earth from which the rudraksha tree grew. Seeds benefit the heart both physically and spiritually. They are good for meditation because they open the heart chakra. Wear a necklace made from these seeds around your neck. Soak rudraksha seeds in water overnight and drink this water in the morning. Drinking this water reduces blood pressure and strengthens the heart.
Performing a series of positions known as surcha namaskar or sun salutation strengthens the heart. By performing at least 2-12 cycles a day, it will strengthen the heart and help prevent a heart attack. If heart problems have been around for a long time, and surcha namaskar is an overwhelming exercise for you, replace it with the following asanas: grasshopper, lotus, bridge, cow, camel, bow, bow forward and stand on one leg - tree.
Prana-energy and ayam-balancing, controlling. Pranayama is a controlled breathing technique where, in addition to oxygen, the body also receives the cosmic energy prana, which is the basic element of life and consciousness. In the treatment of the heart, ujjayi pranayama is especially recommended, which relaxes, helps in concentration, meditation, self-healing, and grounding, while warming the body.
To begin with, you can practice ujjayi pranayama with your mouth open, where you concentrate on the space between the vocal cords. When inhaling, try to pronounce the soft H sound and also extend it over the entire exhalation. You breathe evenly and fully. When you feel the space between your vocal cords closing, try breathing through your nose.
Meditation is an exercise to relax our heart muscle, slow down the pulse, and generally calm the body and mind. The morning and evening practice of meditation prepares us and introduces us to the day as well as to a night of restorative sleep. In the morning and evening, each of us can take time for daily practice, which helps to strengthen the heart. Concentration or focus should be on inhalation and exhalation. We inhale on four, hold it slightly, and exhale on five. We are focused on our diaphragm.
The diaphragm is the muscle that separates the lower abdomen from the chest. When inhaling, the diaphragm strains, flattens, and moves down (the abdominal wall bulges), allowing the lungs to fill with air. On exhalation, the diaphragm relaxes, the air is expelled from the lungs, and the abdominal wall flattens. This way of breathing has two important effects on the body, namely relaxation and regeneration. In the case of rapid and irregular breathing, meditation will not achieve its purpose.
Scientists recently found out that 41,000 neurons also innervate the heart. This has given meditation an important place in the Western world. To calm the mind and lower it to a wave with cardiac neurons means a new testing ground for scientists.
Ayurveda knows three basic biological principles of the functioning of each organism, which it calls three doshas. The combination of vata, pitta, and kapha is unique to each individual, depending on our physical constitution (prakriti), which is determined by our conception and genes. Our way of life, eating habits, injuries, and traumas can lead to an imbalance (vikriti) that can be balanced when we know our true constitution and follow a food protocol that is appropriate to our dosha combination. Identifying and tracking individual needs strengthens the entire body and allows all organs to function and metabolize optimally. The heart is the organ that connects all three doshas and their balance is one of the important aspects of its healthy functioning. With nutrition, we cure the damaged vata. It is necessary to eliminate red meat, beef, pork and mutton, egg yolk, cheese, butter, trans fats, hydrogenated oils, cakes, pastries, ice cream, chocolate, coffee, carbonated drinks, alcohol, and smoking. This is done with the help of herbal bastion - an enema. This heals the damaged vata, which helps pitta and kapha to transfer nutrients to arrive as soon as possible at their destination.
LET US TRUST OUR HEARTS
Because the heart is both an important physical and energy junction of our body, it is thus also strongly supported by a wide range of therapeutic approaches. Ayurveda teaches that healthy tissues and organs are a natural consequence of optimal health, which depends on the strength of our agni, diet, lifestyle, as well as emotional, mental, and spiritual well-being. If we add to this the care of sleeping, exercising, managing stress, cultivating healthy relationships, living joyfully, and giving meaning to our lives according to our authentic self, we will undoubtedly support our heart. Ayurveda is a holistic and individualized tradition of well-being and that is why it is important to respect ourselves, our time and follow our personal path to healing.
Bilka Baloh is an independent researcher and a counselor for a healthy and balanced diet, a scholar of Ayurveda, a lecturer and mentor for therapeutic fasting. She is committed to mountains, climbing, yoga, and meditation. She is a visionary who sets her goals high. Her life motto is " Never give up!” She believes that there are no coincidences and that everything in the universe is “on the key.” That life is a predetermined plan we receive at birth and cannot be avoided.
“But we can partially amend it, improve it – by a healthy lifestyle and by ethically sound action towards fellow human beings, animals, nature, and the whole creation. Working on personal development is a healing of past wounds as well as a remedy because all diseases derive from unresolved conflicts that are deeply rooted in our subconsciousness. When we make them aware, when we express our fears, repressed feelings, anger, and distress, we do not only redeem ourselves but also redeem our loved ones. And the key we are all looking for is love for ourselves.''
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