Balancing Your Heart Chakra in a Bandeau top & Firefly pose

Gandhi, Master Ahimsa/Non Violence teacher

During July we've moved out of our Greenwich Village home and we're heading uptown. Unfortunately my Gandhi sculpture pictures from Union Square will not be so easy to access living uptown. I bid farewell to you Gandhi sculpture, some day we'll meet again for a few more pictures and prayers.

For me this picture of Gandhi and summer's bright pink roses is a perfect visual combination which exudes yoga's wisdom and nature's beauty.

Before we head into uptown New York City to make our new home we are spending a little time in between the moving in and moving out process living with my in laws in New Jersey.

Our move was not seamless. Does anyone move with ease in New York City? My feeling is... not likely. Since nothing has gone according to my ego's wishes during this moving process, I refer to this period of time as a Sweet Surrender. Why sweet? Because I don't need to cook, clean or shop for home needs while living with my in laws. Why surrender? Because I'm not cooking, cleaning and shopping for my home's needs. I'm sure you can relate to something not going exactly your way these days. Does it also feel good and wrong at the same time?

I believe chaotic situations that are arising for all of us at this time are designed to confuse our ego. When your ego looses control you have no choice but to surrender to the divine plan. When your ego surrenders it is easier to access your heart energy and follow your highest guidance.

I'm learning although my ego disagrees, home is in the heart. Little by little I'm noticing if I allow my mind to settle into my heart's wisdom I can be anywhere with ease. This is my practice.

While we stay on the Jersey side, the Jersey girl in me knows exactly which flowers to visit at this point in the summer season.

I've never known the name of this flowering bush in the picture above nor have I searched through plant books to find out. All I know is it possesses beauty and reels me into imagine how bright pink cotton ball puffy clouds would look like if they existed.

Late July's bright pink splash of color both in Union Square, New York City and on the Jersey side of the Hudson River has inspired this post's outfit.

Floral bandeau top & shell necklace shell ring

I do believe like most fashionistas there's certain colors, fabrics and styles you wear and don't wear depending on your body type and the season. My personal style rules are very complex yet I'm noticing my fashion do's and dont's are becoming less rigid and are evolving to match our struggling economy as well as my personal growth.

Short shorts and bandeau tops have been off my list of what to wear during summer's heat since I've been 12 years old. Why? Because they're skimpy and remind me when paired together of most of the lovely "Jerseylicious" ladies I can see walking up and down the shore's broad walk looking for attention.

Surprisingly my mind is becoming more open to the possibility of sporty these skin mixed with stretch mark along with cellulite revealing styles. I now call wearing these skimpy pieces an act of self love because it takes a few shots of healthy self esteem to overlook what you don't like about your body and wear these skin sporting pieces while it is steamy outside. Besides these skimpy styles are chic when coordinated with other less provocative high summer styles.

As you can see I've mixed my bandeau top with a loosely knotted at the waist button up over sized top along with dark navy denim super stretch high waist jeans that I wore to teach class. I didn't wear the bandeau top to class that would've been weird and constantly slipping out of place. Instead I wore a bright rose colored camisole top with a shelf bra. The cami is not shown.

paper straw hat vintage & purple shades 

The energy of self love comes from our heart chakra. I believe there is an upper chamber of our heart chakra which I see as pink spiraling light slightly below the throat chakra and above the center of our chest. This center houses all our emotions related to our self care. Statements such as..."I love myself. I need to do this for me." activate the upper heart chakra. Self love includes taking time out of your day to practice yoga, get a massage, buy something you love that doesn't break your budget... Ask yourself "What would you like to do for you today?" Whatever it is I'm sure it will open and chip away at healing your high heart center.

The lower chamber of our heart chakra embodies our emotions that relate to others. To easily understand what I mean by others I often refer to the heart chakra located in between our chest and shoulder blades as the Facebook chakra. Why? Because if you're on Facebook you probably started your account with friends you know. As time goes by people friend you because you know their friends. Little by little you accept them in as your friend and when you read your news feed you slowly begin to learn that they too have a dog or cat they love, a passion for posting pictures of sunsets like you, every once in a while you'll see pictures of their loved ones and you just may learn what their favorite music is. It is kind of like the relationship I have with my barista at Starbucks. She now knows my name and I hers. Little by little we're now sharing more than a hello and we're slowly getting to know each other.

The center of our chest's heart chakra is typically depicted as green swirling light. Since this chakra is where we store our emotions that relate to others we know and don't know so well it is worthwhile learning which energy centers in our subtle body help us to relate to our intimate relationships. I'm referring to our Mom, Dad, our children and all our lovers. Yes, your first kiss relationship is still stored in your second chakra (your reproductive organs) along with everyone you had a sexual relationship with while the emotions that relate to Mom, Dad and your children are hanging out in the base of your pelvis, legs and feet.

gifted silver beaded wrist malas 

Here I am sitting in a deep wide footed squat which opens my inner thighs and pumps fresh new blood and oxygen into my legs. Notice how my elbows are positioned high on my inner knees. My hands are in anjali mudra as I energetically raise my high heart chakra upward and forward. As I do this I unite my shoulder blades towards one another creating a gentle back bend.

Soften your jaw and keep your chin parallel to the ground.

Stretch high waist jeans

When it comes to back bending, which like no other yoga poses brings the biggest potential to chip away at healing the heart chakra, it is important to first establish space in the lower back whilst dusting the inner cobwebs of the mind by focusing on each inhale and exhale.

embroidered & patchwork top vintage Peruna bought in London @ Marks & Spencer

Here's a forward bend which not only is a good transition out of a deep squat but also a posture which creates space in the lower back, hamstrings and with this arm variation you will feel a deep front shoulder opening.

Release the crown of your head towards the earth.

Our arms are our organs of action. They are also extensions of our heart chakra. When we use our shoulders, arms and hands to take care of ourselves as we brush our teeth, dress and eat you can see how these actions are expressions of self care that comes directly from our high heart chakra. When we use our shoulders, arms and hands as we relate to others by hugging people, carrying groceries to cook meals for others while our hands may shake another to say "Hello, good to meet you, Goodbye," type an email, text someone... and so on. Your imagination can inform you on how our shoulders, arms and hands act most of the time from our heart center as we relate to others.

You may have heard the expression "You wear your heart on your sleeve." Sometimes our hearts are too open and we get taken advantage of. Here's where strengthening our heart chakra with arm balancing exercises can apply a lightweight suit of armor around our heart. When I say this I mean your heart has healthy boundaries. You're neither rigid nor a push over. Instead you're heart energy is somewhere in between.

If you relate the concept of developing relationship boundaries to your Facebook account, I guess you can say it is like de friending or not friending someone on Facebook. You know your limits, here's where your self love kicks in.


Touch the earth with your hands. Ease off the heels of your hands and focus the energy of the base of your knuckles into the earth, specifically your index knuckles and thumbs. Feel them root into the ground like the roots of a tree.

Bend your elbows inward as if you're in caturanga arms. Sit onto the shelf of your arms.

As you tip toe your feet off the earth drop your tailbone down and cross at your ankles. This is where the mantra "Sweet Surrender" should start playing within your consciousness.

If you can't suspend your tail and feet off the earth let go of your mind's desire to do the pose. When your ego surrenders sweetly not only do you cultivate ahimsa/non violence towards yourself but also you receive a dose of patience. Patience is another word for practice. Practice embodies discipline. As you practice with the qualities of surrender, non violence, patience and discipline there will be a day when the yoga angels will come in and lift your butt and feet up off the floor for you.

When you practice daily on the mat eventually all you practice you live the rest of the day.

This is how living with my in laws during this period of time becomes bearable, along with not having enough extra money to buy a new dress is easier to digest as well as learning last month by way of Facebook communication a dear friend of mine from my school days died last year. Because of my daily practice I can whole heartedly feel Mary Jane's transition out of her body after speaking with her brother.

I think it is Mary Jane's birthday today.

It so happens that Mary Jane taught me how to apply make up when we were pre teens. She helped me to ripen my glamorous seeds. God bless Mary Jane and her survivors.

Firefly pose or they call it in Sanskrit, tittibhasana. Funny how I paired this pose with a bandeau top. This is the goofy sense of humor I've adopted by living with 3 boys.

Maybe you can raise your tail above your elbow's level and extend your legs out into firefly pose. Light up a smile on this one as well as sending your heart center slightly forward and up.

Destroy it!

Tarasana is a cooling forward bend which helps to lengthen your spine as it also rounds in a forward bend. Why? because the legs are not fully straightened nor bent. Being somewhere in between bent knees and long legs gives your spine some space to open.

Counter your forward bend with your hands in a yoga mudra back bend. Dog tilt your spine. Deeply inhale and gaze skyward. Soften the wrinkles on the back of your neck, relax your brow line and jaw.

Downward facing dog is a great body neutralizing pose after this sequence.

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