In yogic philosophy, Anahata, or the heart chakra, is the fourth primary energy center of the body. In Sanskrit, Anahata means “unhurt or unstuck” and it is associated with the air element – love, like air, is within and all around. When the heart chakra is out of balance, it may create feelings of loneliness, shyness, inability to trust, or unworthiness. Physically, it can create tightness in the chest, poor circulation or high blood pressure. February is National Heart Month and there’s no better time to tap into your space of love and connection. These five asanas will help you to open your chest and breathe into your heart center. Re-balancing the Anahata chakra will leave you feeling more compassionate, more joyful, and more loving towards yourself and others. Give these five poses a try and see if they open you up on an emotional, mental or physical level!
|Heart Opening Asanas |
Low Cobra // Laying on your belly, bring hands down by your ribs. With the top of your toes pressing into the ground, lift your chest and try not to put weight into your hands. Take 7-10 breaths here.
Supported Camel // Coming on to your knees, place your hands on the small of your back. Very slowly start to drop your head back as you roll the shoulders down and bend backwards. This can be a very intense pose so take it extremely slow and keep your core engaged when you come out of it. Take 7-10 breaths.
Chair Pose // Bringing your big toes to touch, sink your hips and shift your weight into your heels. Inhale your arms up, rotating the pinky fingers inward to broaden the chest. Make sure your knees are in the same line and stay here for 5 breaths.
Tip-Toe Chair // If it feels like your chest is caving in or your back is rounded in chair, come onto your tip toes. This will allow you to straighten the back and open the chest with more ease. You can also choose to transition between the two poses. 5 breaths here.
Crescent Lunge // Come into a lunge stance with your knee bent directly over your ankle. Inhale the arms up and rotate the pinky fingers inward – this will broaden and open the chest. Keep the back leg strong and engaged. Keep in mind that the wider your stance, the easier it will be to balance. Breathe into this strong, open pose for 7 – 10 breaths. Repeat on the other side.
Child’s Pose // – Come onto your knees and sit your hips back between the thighs for child’s pose. This will help reset all of the back bending. You can take this pose in-between the heart openers if it feels good for you. Stay here for as long as you’d like.
Savasana // Lay flat on your back with arms and legs out to the side and completely relaxed. As you breathe in, imagine you’re soaking in love, joy, compassion and as you breathe out, imagine that you’re sending out love, joy, and compassion from your heart center. You can stay in this pose for as long as you’d like to (you don’t need to resist the urge to nap!)