Your Greatest Superpower: Heart

Remember Captain Planet? Remember how “Heart” was included in team that could summon the pollution-fighting Superhero? Unfortunately, I remember, as a kid, considering that power to be much less exciting and a wee bit superfluous.

And yet, today I find myself constantly and powerfully coming back to the heart space.

I feel everything in my heart. It soars when I feel loved or see something or someone I deeply love. And sinks or tightens (sometimes painfully) when something bad happens or I feel unloved or rejected in some way.

For me, the heart has become a source of understanding myself, my desires, and ultimately, my intuition: when my mind is in denial, my heart’s true feelings are hard to ignore.

So why does this matter? It matters because all of us can tap into the power source of the heart. I believe it is indeed your greatest secret superpower.

Culturally, the heart is often identified with weakness. Think of the phrases like “she’s such a bleeding heart,” or “he wears his heart on his sleeve” or even the term “broken heart.” The imagery is rife with a heart in the wrong place, or doing something inappropriate. How dare you bleed out right now, heart?!

However, in more ancient traditions, there is the belief that the heart is the seat of something much more sturdy, valuable, and even untouchable. In yoga, the heart chakra is called “anahata” which literally translates to “unstruck.” This is quite possibly one of my favorite Sanskrit words of all time. What does it mean to have a heart that is unstruck? That exists and has a level of sturdiness that goes far past external events?

It means it’s a SUPERPOWER. A place of empowerment. A place of healing. A place that regardless of what happens to you externally, is preserved and potent. Unstruck. So yes, we may culturally have it wrong. But that’s OK.

My personal choice to strengthen my relationship with my heart has been a powerful journey. It’s by no means complete, but it is leading to some pretty exciting places. Below, a few tips to strengthen your connection to heart and tap into this seat of love, power, and strength.

A MEDITATION FOR HEART: I recorded this heart-healing meditation for a friend when she was going through a breakup and she loved it so much I decided to share it freely on the website. It’s only a few minutes and can offer a soothing reconnection to that place.  

PADMA MUDRA: Mudras are powerful gestures that attune us to a certain place and energy in the body. This is one of my all time favorites. To practice, place your palms together in front of your heart in prayer. Keep the base of the hands together as well as the pinky and thumb tips but let the other fingers open out gently, as if to form a lotus flower. Hold for 5 to 10 breaths.

HEART OPENING YOGA: There are many beautiful yoga sequences but this is a gentle heart-opening sequence that feels perfect for mid-winter.