Are there specific poses that can help us to deepen heart chakra opening? Learn three powerful heart chakra balancing poses.
The best heart chakra yoga poses are those that open the chest area as well as poses that draw energy into the heart.
Situated behind the heart, Anahata, the 4th or your heart chakra is your point of balance. Balance between the body and mind, balance between Heaven and Earth.
The heart chakra sits right in between the three lower chakras and the three upper chakras.
And you know that your three lower chakras have everything to do with your physical body and sensations, while your upper chakras are more about intuition, interconnectedness, your mind, and the spirit.
It is at the heart chakra where the energies or lower and upper chakras must achieve balance. One of the ways to do this is with heart chakra yoga poses. The following poses open and balance the heart chakra.
Camel Pose - Ushtrasana
One of the most challenging things in life is to be vulnerable. As we grow older we become more closed and constricted. We have been hurt many times and we feel the need to protect ourselves.
Physically, we rotate our shoulders forward, we push out our chin and round our upper body to protect the heart.
This constricts the flow of prana to the heart and creates an imbalance in the heart chakra.
Camel pose is a strong asana that opens up your chest area, exposing you, making you vulnerable and more open to giving and receiving love.
This yoga asana stretches the entire front of the body, abdomen, chest, and throat, as well as deep hip flexors - the psoas muscle. It strengthens your back muscles and stimulates organs in the abdomen.
- Kneel on the floor with your legs hip width apart. Release your weight down through the knees and legs into the earth.
- Press your shins and the tops of your feet into the floor. Place your hands on the back of your hips. Inhale and slowly lift your heart up at the breastbone and allow your hips to move forward.
- Draw your shoulder blades back as you move into the position.
- When you can't go back any further, reach with your fingertips towards your heels.
- With full control, take your head back - don't let it "drop" - the key word here is "with control".
- Draw the shoulder blades together.
- Stay in the position for 3 complete breaths.
- This is a challenging position for your lower back, you should now release your lower back in child's pose.
Cobra Pose - Bhujangasana
Cobra pose allows for the prana to be directed into the heart chakra, rather than scattered around. This heart chakra yoga pose also allows for strengthening of the entire shoulder area, providing more stable support for the shoulder.
- Lie on your stomach with your feet extended out, the tops of your feet touching the mat and your forehead touching the ground. Your hands are under the shoulders.
- Press the tops of your feet into the mat and allow your knees to lift off the ground slightly. Let your pubic bone drop down into the mat to stabilize your lower back.
- Take a breath in as your raise your head lifting the upper body using the power of your back. Breath out. Continue engaging your legs and pushing your pelvis into the floor to protect your lower back.
- On your next in breath use the power of your arms to lift your body until you have extended as far as you can go. Make sure your arms are not fully straightened as this may hyper extend your elbows and destabilize the pose.
- Feel your chest opening and your whole front of the body opening gently. Feel the prana flowing through your chest and into your Anahata chakra.
- Take two to three full breaths in this pose and then release.
Forward Bend Pose - Uttanasana
In the previous two heart chakra yoga poses you opened the front of the heart. The forward bend pose opens the back of the body.
As you know, all chakras (except root chakra and crown chakra) are at the front and at the back of the body as well. That's why postures that open the front and the back are equally important for opening and balancing these chakras.
From an anatomical point of view, the forward bend pose opens up the spinal column where cells of the nervous system, neurons, reside. This opening allows for the clearing of adhesions and blockages, stimulating the nervous system.
- Stand in Mountain pose, Tadasana with your feet hip with apart and you weight release down through the earth.
- Breathe in and as you breathe out bend at the hips and move your upper body forward.
- Continue moving forward as far as your body will go - still bending at the hips.
- When you cannot go further from the hips, let your upper body fold forward towards you legs.
- Let your hands touch the ground. Or grab your opposite elbows with your hands and rest in this pose.
- Alternatively - raise your toes and slip your hands underneath your feet. This variation is called an Active Forward Bend.
Most heart chakra yoga poses are also strong poses for opening your throat chakra.
More heart chakra yoga poses
If you want to learn more yoga poses for balancing the heart chakra or for an in-depth study of chakra yoga poses, I recommend the following book by Anodea Judith:
This is an excellent book for the experienced yogi as well as the beginner. Anodea Judith teaches hatha yoga poses for balancing and aligning the seven sacred centers - the seven chakras.
There are specific poses for each of the seven chakras to accomplish a series of tasks: enter, align, activate, soften, attune, illuminate, awaken.
The teachings and guidance in this book will help you to access your subtle body with the practice of yoga.
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