Ask any group of people to point to themselves. I guarantee no one will point to his or her head. Which grows first in the human body: your heart or your brain? Answer: Your heart.
This knowledge indicates that something greater than us wants our heart energy to be more predominant than our intellectual, analytical capacity. At the very least, something within our DNA is telling us pay attention to both. After all, the heart and brain maintain a constant 2-way dialogue. In this conversation, the heart sends far more information than the brain does. The heart also generates the strongest rhythmic electromagnetic field in the body—a measurable rhythm that can actually be measured in the brain waves of people around us.
Why do we so often try to tamper down or rationalize our hearts’ emotional space? Why do we try to direct our lives with only our brains? And then wonder why this doesn't feel right. When we come to the yoga mat, we are dialing into our heart's intelligence. We learn tune in to the emotional spectrum of heart energies that manage our internal world of choices.
Historically, many have thought that relying on emotional energy weakens our ability to make fast decisions. Gratefully, the world has evolved to appreciate that the smartest person is one who balances choices between the dialogue of heart and mind. We should seek to strengthen this balance and dialogue between head and heart. Otherwise, an over emphasized head can be over controlling and view emotions as a problem to be treated. An over emphasized heart can fool us into assuming everything is good all the time without paying attention to the realities of life and its required practicalities. Leading with only one or the other in itself promotes imbalance and unhappiness.
So what do we do? The answer is clear: Engage the gateway into the heart. This gateway is our breath. The first breathing technique we learn is Anapanasati, awareness of breath: its duration, it's origin, its temperature, its cadence, its rhythm, its texture, the effort it takes, where you feel it, and so on. This renewed sensitivity to our life energy transfers into other parts of our life. As a result we begin feeling more.
"The great art of life is sensation, to feel that we exist." Lord Byron
The asana are designed to help us feel both Sensitive and Fierce sensations. Yoga encourages us to feel the full spectrum of emotion and sensation so that we can re-unite our hearts’ intelligence with our intellectual understanding.
"These two teachings, the supremacy of the heart and the uniqueness of each human being are very important to me. They give me the fullest understanding of my membership in the human family." Robert Muller
The more we feel, the more we become expert in our own human experience, and eventually in the overall human experience. We learn to feel what other people feel. When the constant dialogue of our hearts becomes a way of life, then we live more gently with one another. We realize that we can share this beautiful planet without war, without fighting, without aggression. And peace can prevail. Isn’t it encouraging to know that you can use your yoga to connect to your sensorium of experience—and ultimately, help to bring peace on Earth. Love yourself, love your day, love your life.