Pantone Declares: Year of the Heart Chakra

pantone-anahata

Any one who works in graphic design, interiors or fashion is familiar with Pantone. They are the color experts. And every year their teams comb the planet for trends and influences and choose a “Color of the Year.” It may seem arbitrary to us (or is it just me?) but their selection influences fashion, packaging and graphic design.

This year Pantone chose Emerald, “a lively, radiant, lush green.” Leatrice Eiseman, executive director of the Pantone Color Institute® has this to say:

Symbolically, Emerald brings a sense of clarity, renewal and rejuvenation, which is so important in today’s complex world.

You can read more about Pantone and their process here.

As it so happens green is associated with Anahata, the heart chakra, symbolizing healing and harmony. The heart chakra is the balance point for all the chakras – with the root chakras below and the mind and spirit above. Anahata not only serves as the mediator between these chakras, it governs our loving relationship with ourselves and with the world around us. Pretty intense stuff, right? I thought so.

Several years ago I took Prana Yoga training that unites the physical body with the prana (or energy) body. Our way into the energy body is through the chakra system.

Every asana we learned incorporated the chakras. Now I really appreciate focusing on the chakras as I practice. Every backbend not only opens the chest – but it opens the heart. Bridge, cobra, fish, half moon: Not just good for habitually slouched shoulders, but amazing for opening the heart. Ugh, so good!

Did I think Pantone knew they were declaring 2013 the Year of the Heart Chakra? Eh. Probably not. But I like the whole idea.

Leela and Chakra Game Play

Have you heard about Deepak Chopra’s latest venture, Leela? Launching today, it’s a meditation based video game where players work through the seven chakras focusing on movement and pranayama. The Leela website calls it:

a groundbreaking game concept that combines ancient relation and meditation techniques with technology to bring focus, energy and balance to your life.

The whole thing seems to be predicated on biofeedback, which makes sense to me. Yoga Dork is right, the demo makes the whole thing look pretty “trippy” (YD saw a live demo and reviewed the game. The demo I saw was on the Leela site.) but I have to say I’m intrigued.

I don’t think I’ll be going out to buy an Xbox anytime soon, so I’ll probably miss the opportunity to play. But who knows, maybe my niece and nephew will stop playing Lego Starwars long enough for me to sidle up to the Wii.

To Thine Own Self Be True

[via imagezoo]

I had the honor of assisting another Prana Yoga Teacher Training class this weekend. The students, in month three, are focusing on the manipura chakra, the seat of creative self-empowerment.

Even though my training was just a year ago, I realize how far I’ve gone from my yoga focus. And going to these teacher trainings reminds me of how powerful this practice can be. It seems appropriate as the year comes to a close, to focus on core energy and the creative power of the third chakra.

This last year, I’ve been rebuilding my self and my core, and lately I’ve felt an itch for more creative action. With a more stable base, I feel like it’s time to take myself and my energy and put it out into the world.

We also learned teaching points for setu bandhasana. Bridge pose has never been my favorite, and I’ll often skip it – or use a block for supported bridge – when I do my own practice. (Yogis can be lazy sometimes!) But as an assistant, I had to demo bridge for the class. And so up to the front of the room I go.

Along with the support of the class (and maybe a little ego pushing past my laziness), I had such a complete experience. I’m not sure how else to describe it. My breath was deep and my chest open. I felt that my base was stable enough that the rest of my body was weightless and I could lift up, up, up. I could have stayed there for an hour.

After a day of kind of letting the class settle in to me, I realize those thoughts or experiences are so closely related. The rebuilding year I’ve had, the building of the strong base, and now the readiness to expand outwards, pushing my heart out into the world a little more.

I’d love to hear how a pose, or a meditation, has clicked for you recently. Inspiration is welcome.