Hrudayam: Ayurveda and Yoga for the Heart
I know it’s not a ‘Heart Health Month’, but really, every month should be a ‘ Heart Month’.
Our heart beats every second of every month, doesn’t it?
I recently had the good fortune of listening to Dr. Vasant Lad, the great Ayurvedic practitioner in the US. He explained the word ‘Hrudayam’ very beautifully in a short time.
“Hrudayam,” he said, “Consists of three words”.
“That’s exactly what the Heart or Hrudayam does.” Dr Lad said. “Our Heart circulates the blood by receiving and giving back to various organs and systems through veins and arteries.”
He further pointed out that the mantra for the Heart Chakra is ‘YAM’, the last word in ‘Hrudayam!’ “So repeating the mantra ‘yam…yam…yam’ may help the heart health.” Dr. Lad suggested.
It is not just a pump, but a source of emotions like joy, love, compassion, sadness, and grief. We often say, “My heart is filled with joy (or compassion or love etc),” but never do we say, “My brain is full of joy!”
We need to nourish our physical and emotional heart. Free radicals, wrong food, and a sedentary lifestyle harm the physical heart. Mental and emotional stress disrupts the emotional heart. So a number of Ayurvedic herbs, renowned for their positive influence on the heart are often recommended along with a daily practice of meditation, calming yoga poses and breathing techniques for a healthy heart.
Heart opening poses like:
Followed by toning and massaging poses like:
Meditation on any female energy or Shakti like:
They help rejuvenate the emotional heart.
Imagining soothing colors like pink or green, which are the heart chakra colors around the chest area calm the heart.
Wearing a Rose Quartz, a gentle gemstone, in a necklace may help calm the emotions. One can also wear healing stones like Green Aventure or Amethyst.
Rudraksha are the dried seeds of the Rudraksha tree. They are said to be good for physical, emotional and spiritual heart health. Rudraksha seeds are often used by Yoga practitioners due to a belief that they open ‘Heart Chakra’. Rudraksha beads can be worn as a necklace or bracelet. Rudraksha water can be made by placing the bead in the glass of clean water, and then drinking the water the morning after for heart health.
Lets take care of our hearts, folks. May we all be Heart Healthy
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