Our heart is more than just an organ, it’s an expansive energy center.
There are more nerve connections between the heart and the brain than any other system in the body – in fact, 90% of these connecting fibers ascend from the heart up to the brain. These neural pathways are constantly sending signals that interact with the brains higher cognitive and emotional centers, and it has been scientifically proven that practicing positive emotions increases intuition and promotes creativity.
Did you know that your heart rate changes on a beat-to-beat basis, even when you are sleeping? Referred to as Heart Rate Variability (HRV), these beat-to-beat changes in heart rate have proven to be an effective indicator of physiological resilience and behavioral flexibility in humans. HRV is influenced by several things - breathing patterns, exercise, even our thoughts.
Fun fact: research shows that the most powerful factor that influences our heat’s changing rhythms are our emotions - how we are feeling. Furthermore, by intentionally generating positive emotions (aka, gratitude), we can positively influence the HRV of other people in the same room as us! Yes, this can actually be measured. Sounds like what people refer to as 'energy' or 'vibes,' huh?
Week 1: LEARN (Lesson + Review) - I suggest completing the review immediately after the lesson, as this will help seal the information into your neural pathways. Set aside a 1-2 hour chunk of time to focus on this content.
Week 2: REFLECT - set aside an hour of time to fill out the Heart Coherence Reflection guide. You could also split it into several days and complete one question every day.
Week 3: APPLY - Complete one of the Heart Coherence Meditations 1x a day, either upon waking or before bed, for a full week. Review the content from Week 1 by re-watching the Lesson and reading through your notes in the Review Guide.
Week 4: INTEGRATE - Set aside 3-5x to practice the Heart Coherence yoga class. Schedule these classes into your routine and do what you need to do to show up to your mat! Have a journal next to you to record anything that pops into your mind throughout your flow. Print out several copies of the Love Letter from Your Heart, and use them as guides for journaling and reflection for 5-10 min after each class. At the end of the week, use the Heart Coherence Toolkit to create a daily plan (on page 2 of the Heart Coherence Reflection Guide) that will help you build heart coherence on a regular basis.
Use the review guide to help support you in your learning process:
Take your time with this reflection. Spend a few moments breathing into your heart before answering each question. This is not about what your brain has to say, it’s about learning to listen to the natural intelligence of your heart. This is a skill that takes practice. As you write, imagine an energy flowing from your heart through your fingertips that is guiding your words. Keep your focus on your heart as your write. Save the second page for Week 4.
1 - MEDITATE
I suggest doing either meditation once a day, whenever you need to build some coherence. This could be first thing in the morning, before bed, or even in the middle of your day!
Flowering Heart Meditation
Heart Coherence Meditation
1 - YOGA
Continue to build the skillset of listening to your heart by using this exercise. Make sure to set aside 5-10min of time after each yoga class to fill out the Love Letter from Your Heart. Your heart center will be activated after this class, so it’s a beautiful time time to let it talk to you.
This yoga sequence will soften the tissue around your chest, as well as build awareness around your heart area. Please note, a lot of emotions can arise from the heart, and not all of them are positive. You may feel things like grief, anger, sadness, etc during your flow. You may feel tears arise and not know why! In contrast, the class may be a blissful experience for you. Your emotions could also vary from class to class, changing each time you practice. Whatever arises, practice listening to it. Being with it. After class, use the Love Letter from Your Heart reflection to listen to the wisdom of your heart - the 40,000 neurons that process emotions independently of the brain. Most importantly, practice cultivating gratitude for everything that arises, not just the blissful emotions. Practice appreciating the challenges, too. Notice how they’ve strengthened you and helped you evolve into the person you are today.
If you would like music with this yoga class, start the following playlist at the same time the class starts in the video. Adjust volume as needed!
2 - CREATE A CUSTOMIZED PLAN
Now that you’ve experienced the benefits of connecting to your heart on a regular basis, it’s time to create a customized plan for yourself moving forward. Take the next week or two and implement your plan, using the yoga class and meditations as resources.
The following toolkit lists a variety of yoga postures and breathing exercises for you to choose from to build your plan. If you don’t know what the yoga postures look like, feel free to look them up on online or book a private session with me!
Lastly, be specific. Just like scheduling your weekly yoga classes and meditations, make a tangible plan for yourself that is realistic. Set a specific a period of time as a goal for you to implement this new schedule (I suggest a full month!). Write it down in your schedule. Most importantly - actually do it. Commit to it. If you need an accountability partner, find one. Neurological changes occur when we actually DO THE WORK.
Congratulations on completing the Science & Magic Heart Coherence course! Feel free to share your #brilliantbrainstory on the Science & Magic facebook page. We would love to hear how this work has helped you find more ease in your body, work, and life.