I was broken when I came to him no more fight in me. I did not want to feel this way anymore. I wanted the pain to stop, the embarrassment to end. He told me to serve people and I would heal my HEART and start to feel better. I told him I am serving people I am a social worker. He told me to continue serving but I needed to strengthen myself. I did not understand what was meant. Did he mean with Asana? He later told me that if I am able to take my suffering and transform it into GRACE then I will be at PEACE (what does that mean….I guess he knew)!!!!

The Heart Chakra, Anahata is our energy center from which love, joy, happiness and compassion emanate from. It also allows us to feel hurt, sadness, anger, pain, and lust, all of which are feelings of the lower heart chakra but are needed in understanding ourselves in this world, so that we may over-come them and move to the Higher Heart; where pure, Unconditional Love exists.

I suffered for many years with various names for my affliction: vertigo, panic attacks, bipolar disorder, panic disorder, anxiety disorder etc. I would get ill every 4 months and be bed ridden for a week to ten days. This started at age 12 and continued until recently. I finally could not take getting ill anymore. No more doctors no more MRI’s no more needles, no more tests. Ileana introduced me to Yoga and I began to change my life. I took many classes, had many healing sessions, many therapy sessions, and a lot of soul searching. I finally felt like I had some answers and tools to help myself. And then I had my last attack:

I was already not feeling well, but after yoga training, I believed I was super powered. I had just finished 3 months of training and was very fit, but had very little control. I left the house which is already a big step for me. I usually don’t make it far from my bed. That’s when I felt the first rush…THE WORLD SPINS SLOW AT FIRST… THEN OUT OF CONTROL…But I stayed with my breath and kept walking. keep breathing Loren…keep breathing. I keep walking and breathing but I notice after ten steps or so I begin to slouch over, I am no longer upright, I am reaching for the ground….keep breathing…DID U KNOW SOUND STOPS WHEN YOU SPIN…HERE WE GO… SLOW AT FIRST THEN LIKE A ROLLER COASTER…STOMACH LURCHES…FALL FACE FIRST…Lying on sidewalk…oh did I mention the rain…I manage to drag myself onto some steps..ANGER…SPIN …SPIN…QUIET….Then I see it …a FIRE HYDRANT…red but easy to focus on VOMIT….PANIC….RAGE….PITY…CRYING…RAGE…VOMIT….PITY….EXAUSTION!! Where is that fire hydrant…BREATHE….BREATHE……BREATHE…there it is!! control it…use it to relax your troubled mind..FOCUS DAMMIT…FOCUS ON THE FIRE HYDRANT…FIND YOUR BREATH…BREATHE IN BREATHE OUT. Things calming…..focus on hydrant..…why didn’t it work..all that training..for nothing…breathe dammit…That was the last time. That was my old life………….

The Sanskrit word for the fourth chakra is Anahata, which means “unstruck” or “unhurt.” The name implies that beneath the pain and anger of past experiences lies a pure and spiritual place where no pain exists. This experience, ‘my last attack’ was the shift in my life. Today, I own a yoga studio that I am privileged to attend every day and serve the members with Love. Teach them the skills I have learned to make my life easier and more peaceful. The Love I receive back is what heals me daily. I was not able to experience this type of love in the past, I was STUCK, too busy focusing on my anger, hurt, grief, self loathing and pain to feel those higher sensations of unconditional love and compassion. My Body and Mind are much stronger now. I better understand how to use my breathing to control my body and mind. I no longer suffer from those attacks. I will continue to serve……..I am finally beginning to feel some peace. Namaste.

Arnold Bittlinger. Archtypal Chakras: Meditations and exercises to open your chakras. Weiser Books: Red Wheel/Weiser. 2001.