In these oh-so-strange times of the corona virus pandemic, one thing is certain: Somebody, somewhere could use a helping hand or sturdy shoulder. For some, the distancing and shut-downs make little difference to their quiet or homebound lives; for others, the change is a welcome respite from have-to or should-be; and still for others, the restrictions and isolation lead to fear or existential angst. If you should come across—or intuit—the latter, you are probably meant to be there… to extend help.
And it never fails: When we help another, we uplift ourselves. When someone has the courage to allow the input or assistance of another, and that other does so with the utmost grace and kindness, the result is exceptional: The alchemy of combined helped-and-helper energy seeps into the healing vibrations around us all. Today’s practice offers a means to clear and open proactive, empathetic energies, so that the ability to reach out to another rises to the fore. Further, if you sense an unidentifiable need within yourself, the practice will help you to hone in on and shed unsettling thoughts or emotions.
The warm-up for this routine directly relates to the practice’s aim to loosen and release blocked energy. Standing, begin to shake the left ankle; when the joint rattles-and-rolls, bring the shaking up the leg. Continue to involve the entire limb from ankle to hip, shaking vigorously for about 30 seconds. Then, repeat on the right side for another 30 seconds.
Immediately begin to shake the left wrist, then working the entire arm from shoulder to wrist into the movement. After about 30 seconds of energetic shaking, repeat on the right arm for another 30 seconds.
Finally, shake the entire body powerfully and rapidly. Bounce, bend, weight-shift: Move with intention and commitment, knowing that you are expelling any detrimental energy. Continue the full-body shake for 1 minute.
Now, bring yourself into your favorite seated pose. The two primary movements of this practice are small, yet exceptionally fast and vigorous. The first stimulates the Heart Center, which enables one to see the Truth of a situation: It will open one to an awareness of the needs of others; simultaneously, it will guide you to a feeling of gentleness with yourself.
To activate this vibration, touch the thumb and pinky fingertips together on each hand; the other three fingers are straight and together. Hold the hands in front of the Heart Center, with one hand closer to the Heart than the other: The palms face the Heart. Rapidly, begin to circle the hands closely around each other, stirring the energy of the Heart. The outward circling should be so vigorous that you feel a slight breeze on your chin. Continue to circle, eyes closed and gazing at the Third Eye, for 3 minutes.
Next, take a moment to stretch or massage the hands and arms. The next part of today’s kriya for active empathy draws the previously aroused Heart energy into the chakras of expression and insight (the Throat and Third Eye chakras). As you awaken and charge these qualities, your ability to help another or yourself is heightened: You will perceive the true need and be able to respond in accordance with the wisdom of the Universe.
To create this energy, bring the hands into fists with the index finger extended. Bend the arms, elbows near waist and hands next to the shoulders; the index fingers point straight up. Here, begin circling again, this time feeling that the index fingers are generating the stir. The circles are small and outward, i.e., the right side moves counter-clockwise, and the left moves clockwise. Move with such rapidity and conviction that your entire body vibrates in response. Continue for 3 minutes.
As you complete the circling, inhale deeply, extending the arms straight up alongside the ears; stretch the palms open and the fingers wide. Suspend the breath for as long as possible. When you need to exhale, lower the arms to the sides at shoulder level, palms up, fingers spread. Inhale here, and suspend the breath again for as long as you can. Upon the exhale, draw the hands into Prayer Pose in front of the Heart Center, the edges of the thumbs resting against the sternum.
Here, take some time to steady the breath; gradually begin to deepen each inhale and exhale. With your closed eyes keenly focused upward to the Third Eye, allow the specific energies that you have created to permeate your mind and heart; connect to your empowered compassion. Then, if you like, settle into Svasana for another few minutes.