Reset Your Nervous System with This Simple Practice

A wise woman reminded me, as she witnessed me in a moment of fury, to bless my own heart—to turn the entire experience upside down and use it as medicine. A reminder that a conscious change of my focus, in the moment, holds within in it the magic to rewrite ancient wounds. As author Robert Anton Wilson wrote, "Magic is just the art of changing the focus of consciousness at will."

In a moment of judgment, or reeling with anger, heavy with disappointment, frozen in overanalyzing, deep in shame, imploding with total inadequacy—bless your own heart. Change that focus to one of gratitude and thank whatever part of yourself is doing its best to protect you in the only way it knows how. 

In your moment of boasting, bragging, self-pity, in the lie that you let slip out, to your story running over and over again in your head—pause and thank your mind for trying to protect a vulnerable part of yourself. Bless your sweet heart. Let it know it’s heard and it’s okay.

Your moment of frustration is your opportunity. Your misstep, the same one you’ve made a thousand times, is a sacred space, an invitation to let down your armor and heal. Instead of trying to push these parts of yourself away, let them be heard. Thank them and they will shift. Into those spaces, the ugliest and most awful, bless your own heart.

The Practice

  1. Take Hridaya mudra (a simple variation is in the photo above), the gesture of the spiritual heart.
  2. Take a few natural breaths to attune to the feelings generated by this gesture. Feel the breath focused around the heart center as you allow the space of the chest to soften.
  3. Bless your heart with your own prayer. Something like: Thank you (your name). Bless your sweet heart. Thank you for trying to protect me. I love you. You’re doing perfectly.

Find out about programs with Ashleigh Sergeant at Kripalu.

Reprinted with permission from teach.yoga.

Ashleigh Sergeant, cofounder of Alaya Yoga School, head of yoga content for Gaia.com, and former global yoga trainer for Adidas, has been teaching for more than 15 years. alayayogaschool.com

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