The full moon coming up on Thursday 28 January will be one in the sign of Leo, the lion, and will - as the Leo full moon always does - be governing the heart meridian.
The heart meridian is one of the Yin meridians of the Fire element (the Pericardium being the second Yin meridian of this element) and is paired with its Yang counterpart of the Small Intestines meridian (both connect in the tip of the little finger).
To quote from the ancient Chinese text the Huang Di Nei Jing (written 4,700 years ago): "The heart is the sovereign of all organs and represents the consciousness of one's being. It is responsible for intelligence, wisdom, and spiritual transformation."
The 3 branches of the Heart meridian all begin in the heart. One branch flows downward through the diaphragm to meet the small intestines. Another rises up alongside the throat, runs alongside the mouth (both left and right) over the cheek and ends in the lower eye both left and right. The third branch (again of course left and right both) runs across the chest, through the lungs, and comes out through the armpit. It flows along the midline of the inside upper arm, through the inner elbow, along the midline of the inner lower arm, until it crosses the wrist and palm, before ending in the inside tip of the little finger where it connects to the Small Intestine meridian.
Symptoms indicating an imbalance or blockage:
- Disorders of the heart and chest: palpitations, pain
- High blood pressure
- Rapid or irregular heartbeat
- Pain along the meridian path.
- Night sweats
- Vivid or disturbing dreams
- Sadness and sorrow
- Nervousness or fearfulness & anxiety
- Mental confusion & confused thinking
- Poor memory
- A sense of dread
- Emotional ups & downs
- Any kind of speech problems: talking incessantly, laughing inappropriately, nervous giggling and talking, stuttering, aphasia (the inability to speak)
- Loss of taste
- Bitter taste in the mouth
- A red tongue tip (caused by heat), red face
- Inability to love
- Lacking emotional warmth
- Easily becoming hot-cold on the emotional level
- Rounded-off shoulders
- Mouth or tongue sores
What best to eat?
- All red foods: red peppers, watermelon, cherries, red grapes, strawberries, raspberries, cherries, grapefruit, red cabbage, tomatoes, saffron, etc.
- Bitter foods: rucola, red beets, turmeric, basil, Brussels sprouts, quinoa, bitter gourd (karelay), dark chocolate, green & black tea (in moderation if at all, and definitely do always wash the leaves first because of the caffeine's effect on your kidneys (one cup's effects will last for 8 weeks) - I stay clear of these regardless what moon it is, or I choose matcha green tea which is the only actual 'tea' leaf I consume), etc.
What to reduce or avoid?
- Be aware: too much of bitter foods is not good
- Spicy food
- Try to avoid distraction or unclear direction in life (Archer Pose is a great way to work on this aspect and help the Heart meridian in this area).
- Time pressure - the heart suffers from this. Try not to feel rushed and pressured, keep breathing and relaxing through this time.
- Stasis or stagnation
- A lack of love in your environment
General tips to help this meridian:
- Wear red, pink or green clothes or carry red, pink or green stones (red coral, garnet, unakite, rose quartz, pink Peruvian opal, rhodonite, pink tourmaline, ruby-zoisite, mookaite, chrysocolla) over the heart or on the little finger.
- Hold and massage the little finger of each hand for 2 minutes.
- Think and say the key phrase “I will.”
- Practice gratitude
- Journal, express your emotions
- Meditate & find time for reflection
- Make time to create nourishing environments for yourself
- Connect to those you love
- Rumi has written beautifully about the Heart - reading his work can be a great way to connect
Yoga for the heart meridian:
- Cow Face Pose: Grab your hands behind your back. One arm goes over the shoulder, with the other under and behind the back. In KY, the crossing of the legs in shoelace is optional. Do Breath of fire for 3 minutes, then reverse the arms and repeat. If your hands don't touch, you can hold on to the ends of a small towel or cloth.
- Sit with the hands folded over the heart center, left hand under, right hand over, and just be with your breath.
- All exercises with the arms at shoulder height or above.
- Mantra - Chattr Chakkr Vartee is a great mantra for the heart, as is e.g. Guru Guru Wahe Guru Guru Ram Daas Guru
There are dozens of Kundalini Yoga kriyas for the Heart Chakra. I used to even run 3-day retreats on this topic and offer a 10-session private class series on it too. Here are a few nice ones to practice: