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Nurturing the Heart:

A Gentle Heartful Breath Practice for Healthcare Professionals

on Valentine's Day

Happy Valentine's Day to all of you dedicated healthcare professionals out there!

As you go about your day, surrounded by the flurry of glittery pink and red decorations, displays of affection, and perhaps a breakroom filled with heart-shaped treats, we invite you to take a moment to celebrate you.

You, in the field of caring—a profession that demands practitioners to operate from a vulnerable yet powerful, HEARTFUL posture. As healthcare professionals, our hearts are at the center of everything we do. They're the source of our strength, resilience, and our ability to care for others.

With that in mind, we'd like to offer you a simple yet profound HEARTFUL breath practice—a quiet moment of self-care that you can incorporate into your routine, not just on Valentine's Day, but whenever you need a gentle reminder to tend to your own heart.

This breath practice is designed to open, awaken, and fill both the physical heart center (of your chest, lungs, and rib cage) and the symbolic heart center (associated with a sense of connection and compassion).


Heartful Breath Practice

Find a comfortable position, whether seated or standing and take a few deep breaths to settle into your body.

Place one hand over your heart center and the other on top, allowing the warmth of your touch to soothe and comfort you.

Gently massage this area by circling the palms over the heart center as if clearing a fogged-up window.

Still your hand over your heart.

Close your eyes if you wish, and turn your attention inward, tuning into the rhythm of your breath. Notice your chest's gentle rise and fall with each inhalation and exhalation without trying to change anything.

As you continue to breathe, gradually deepen your breath, allowing your belly to expand fully on each inhale and gently contract on each exhale. Feel the breath moving in and out of your body, nourishing you from the inside out.

Now, shift your focus to your heart center—the physical and symbolic seat of your compassion and empathy.

With each breath, imagine you are sending love and kindness to this tender space, filling it with warmth and acceptance.

As you inhale, envision your heart expanding with each breath, opening wide to receive the love and care you so freely give others. As you exhale, release any tension or heaviness you may be holding onto, allowing yourself to soften and relax.

At this time, you may consider saying this breath prayer.

Inhale: May my heart stay open, awake, and filled.

Exhale: May my heart overflow with love, connection, and compassion.

Continue this practice for as long as feels comfortable, letting your breath guide you back to a place of peace and centeredness. And when you're ready, gently release your hands from your heart and return to the present moment, carrying a sense of calm and connection with you.

We invite you to try this breath practice whenever you need a little pick-me-up, a moment of peace amid chaos. Let it be a reminder that you are loved, you are valued, and you are making a difference in the world.

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