In Yoga Journal's online course, Finding Connection Through Yoga: A Workshop on Our Universal Oneness, legendary integrative-medicine and meditation expert Dr. Deepak Chopra and his yoga teacher, Sarah Platt-Finger, lead a seven-week yoga and meditation experience that will help you develop a deeper understanding of yourself. Sharing tools, science, and wisdom from Chopra's best-selling book You Are the Universe and his acclaimed The Seven Spiritual Laws of Yoga, Chopra and Platt-Finger will help you experience greater health, joy, and peace in your life. Sign up!
In our online course, Finding Connection Through Yoga: A Workshop on Our Universal Oneness, Dr. Deepak Chopra and his yoga teacher, Sarah Platt-Finger, share tools, science, and wisdom from Chopra's acclaimed book, The Seven Spiritual Laws of Yoga. Chopra Center-Certified Master Educator Micole Noble teaches these "laws" at the Chopra Center for Wellbeing in Carlsbad, California, using mantras, chakras, and asanas. "I think there's something really special about The Seven Spiritual Laws of Yoga--I love teaching them," she tells Yoga Journal. Her favorite law to teach? The Law of Giving and Receiving, which is taught every Monday.
"On Monday, we recognize the gift we are giving ourselves by being on our mat, and then we allow ourselves to receive the many gifts of our yoga practice," explains Noble. "The point of The Law of Giving and Receiving is you can’t have one without the other—giving and receiving go together. Most of us are great at giving. We often need to remind ourselves to receive."
On the mat, yoga offers the following gifts, according to Noble:
1. The gift of breath.
"When you focus on breath and realize that every breath is a gift, life starts to look very different," she says.
2. The gift of self-massage.
"Moving through the postures is a self-massage. You're feeling into what your body needs, and moving in a way that is most nourishing for you," she explains.
Off the mat, you can use The Law of Giving and Receiving to give that which you'd like to receive. "Another principle of the law is if there's something you want more of in your life, then give it away, and it will come back to you tenfold when you least expect it," Noble says. "If you want more money, give money. If you want more love, give love. If you want more appreciation, give appreciation. The Law of Giving and Receiving is about being open to the idea that what we put out comes back (without expectation)."
Practice the Law of Giving and Receiving on the Mat
Each of The Seven Spiritual Laws of Yoga has a mantra, chakra, asana associated with it, Noble explains. The following practices are associated with The Law of Giving and Receiving:
Om Vardhanam Namah, or "I nourish the universe and the universe nourishes me."
Anahata (heart) Chakra.
Any pose that is heart-opening will target the heart chakra, e.g. Camel, Tree Pose, or sitting in half Lotus with the arms behind the back to open up the chest. When Noble teaches The Law of Giving and Receiving, she ends the practice by bringing her students' attention to the heart center, which is our center for love and compassion.
Think, imagine, or feel the color green (the color associated with the heart chakra) illuminating this area, like an emerald. Send love and compassion for yourself and others in all directions. Then, imagine this same green emerald light coming back to you and entering through the back of your heart. Fill up your entire body with this green light, and feel it loving you, protecting you, and healing you.