Wherever you go,
Whatever you do,
Whenever you feel,
Do it with all your heart.
The Sanskrit word ‘for Heart is Hridaya’. It is believed to be the seat of the Atma (Soul). Hridaya is where Pure Consciousness resides.
Hridaya does not just refer to the physical heart which pumps fresh blood through our bodies, but also the energetic heart evoking feelings of love & compassion.
Vedic wisdom on the heart teaches us that:
The Heart or Hridaya is a pranic (energy) centre from which 101 ‘Nadis’ ( ‘subtle-energy channels’) emanate. It is the only organ that physically beats in a rhythmic vibration in 101 directions, forming the subtle channels within and outside the body. These pranic vibrations carry with them emotions and feelings throughout the microcosm and into the macrocosm.
Hridaya holds the nectar of life: ‘ojas’, the most nutritive juice obtained from the finest by-products of digestion. Ojas is the nectar that maintains life. Building ojas in the body strengthens your heart and supports vitality, longevity, peace & bliss.
Hridaya consists of ‘tejas’ the intelligence of nature that provides wisdom and guidance. It builds compassion and radiance. In the presence of tejas one can see through Hridaya, to witness the truth (“Siddha”.)
Hridaya is considered a maha marma. Marma points are considered intersections of mind-body-spirit. In the centre of the chest, in the middle of the sternum, lays one of the three ‘maha marmas, or great Marmas: the Hridaya-Marma. It is responsible for the circulatory system, blood pressure, stamina, vitality, and the immune system. According to Ayurveda, the vedic texts teach the heart of immunity is at the Heart.
Hridaya is located at the chakra centre commonly known as the Anahata chakra or the fourth chakra. Like the physical organ, the heart filters and regulates incoming and outgoing blood, the heart chakra filters and regulates incoming and outgoing spiritual energy.
In the classical text of Ayurveda,”The Charaka Samitha”, the human body consists of six main components : the physical body (four limbs, a trunk and head & neck), the Indriyas or five sensory organs, wisdom, the mind and the soul. The heart requires the utmost of care so that you are healthy both inside and out.
An unhealthy heart creates many physical & emotional imbalances. Taking good care of your heart is essential to enjoy optimum health & well being.
Ayurvedic care and healing encompasses a range of techniques that include nutrition, herbal remedies, exercise, spiritual practices, lifestyle and other healing approaches to bring a person into balance.
To maintain or rebuild a healthy heart, ‘sattvic’, or wholesome food is recommended.
Sattvic foods include: Buttermilk and skimmed milk; seasonal fruits and vegetables; dry fruits, seeds, cereals like unpolished rice, millet, quinoa, oats and corn; lentils and beans (mung dal; sprouted mung lentils) spices such as, turmeric powder, cumin, coriander and saffron, as well as: sweet tasting food like honey, jaggery, maple syrup and cold pressed unrefined oil sesame, and almond oil.
Hridaya Basti helps with strengthening the heart, cleansing the channels and encourages good blood circulation with regular beats.
A dough is made with black garbanzo flour and water. The dough is shaped into a small round ring (like a donut) about four to five inches in diameter and is placed on the heart area. The edges are glued to the skin with a few drops of water; warm herbal oil is then gently poured into the centre. When the oil cools down, it is squeezed out and replaced with fresh warmer oil.
Help yourself maintain a lifestyle that nurtures and supports your inner needs. Stress and anxiety compromises your well being and sooner or later affect your heart. Loving and compassionate relationships with others and oneself, qualitative and suitable environments at work and home, and a positive attitude towards life contribute to a healthy lifestyle.
Gentle exercises such as walking, breathing and stretching, for as little as 20 minutes a day, cleanse the channels, rebuild the organ muscles and provide proper circulation. Increasing your exercise time to 1 hour a day would multiply the benefits.
Ayurvedic culinary herbs are very beneficial in acquiring physical-emotional heart health. Some of these herbs can be used in your everyday cooking, such as:turmeric, nutmeg and cinnamon. Others can be taken as in tea such as; ginger, cardamom, saffron, tulsi (holy basil) and amla.
The Heart is the seat of pure consciousness; self-love and self-acceptance take you within your inner-self which connects with pure consciousness. Finding faith and dwelling within your inner love is in itself a path for your spirit to flourish. A regular practice of Meditation, giving and forgiving, praying and chanting will build your Prana, Ojas & Tejas.