Yoga Poses for Anahata (Heart Chakra)
The best yoga poses for the Anahata (Heart Chakra) are those that open the chest area and those that will draw energy in the heart center. This heart space is our point of balance between the body and the mind, and the lower and upper chakras. The following yoga poses will open, activate, clear and energize your Heart Chakra especially, but will still benefit the other chakras and the entire mind-body-spirit as well.
Forward Bend Pose
Camel Pose (Ushtrasana)
This yoga pose will open up your chest area allowing you to be more exposed and open to giving and receiving love. This pose stretches the entire front of the body, chest, abdomen and throat, as well as flexing the hips. It also strengthens the back muscles and stimulates the organs in the abdomen.
Kneel on the floor with your legs hips 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. Now place your hands on the back of your hips.
Inhale and slowly lift your heart up at the breastbone area and allow your hips to move forward.
Draw your shoulder blades back as you gently move into this position. When you feel you can't go back any further, reach your fingertips towards your heels.
Carefully and with full control, move your head back, but don't just let it 'drop' back--do it slowly and deliberately.
Draw your shoulder blades together.
Stay in this position for the duration of 3 complete breaths.
This is somewhat of a challenging position for your lower back, so you should release your lower back from this position by going into child's pose.
Cobra Pose (Bhujangasana)
This yoga position allows for the prana (chi) energy to be directed into the heart chakra rather than be scattegreen around. This pose will also strengthen the entire shoulder area, providing more stable suppose for the shoulder.
Lie on your stomach with your feet extended outward. The tops of your feet should be touching the floor or mat, and your forehead should touch the ground as well. Your hands should be kept under your 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 stabalize your lower back.
Take a breath inward as your raise your head while lifting the upper body using the power of your back.
Breathe Out. Continue engaging your legs and pushing your pelvis into the floor to protect your lower back.
On your next in breath, use the poewr of your arms to lift your body until you have extended as far as you can go. Make sure that your arms are not fully straightened because this may over-extend your elbows and destabilize the pose.
Feel your chest opening and your whole front of the body opening gently.
Feel the pranic energy flowing through your chest and into your Anahata chakra (heart center).
Take 2 or 3 full breaths while staying in this pose and then release the position.
Forward Bend Pose (Uttanasana)
The previous two poses are beneficial for opening the front of the heart. This forward bend yoga pose will focus on opening the back of the body. This pose opens up the spinal column where the cells of the nervous stystem and neurons reside. This opening allows for the clearing of any adhesions and blockages and will stimulate the nervous system.
Stand in the Mountain Pose (Tadasan) with your feet hop width apart. Allows your weight to be fully pressed down through the earth.
Breath in, and as your breath out, bend at the hips and move your upper body forward.
Continue to slowly move your body forward as far as you can go, while still bending at the hips.
When you feel you cannot go further from the hips, let your upper body fold foward towards your legs.
Let your hands touch the ground--or, you can also grab your opposite elbows with your hands and rest in this position.
Alternatively, you can raise your toes and slip your hands underneath your feet. This variation is called an Active Forward Bend.
Bridge Pose (Setu Bhandasana)
This powerful root chakra pose allows your feet to be firmly rooted into the earth and your spine and feet to release any excess root chakra energy. The bridge pose will also stimulate the throat chakra, balance the sacral chakra, and open the heart and solar plexus chakra.
You will begin this pose by laying flat on your back (preferably outdoors on the ground) while positioning your arms straight by your side with palms facing down.
Bend your knees while keeping your feet parallel to each other (about a hip-width apart).
Bring your heels close to your body so that you can feel the tips of your fingers.
While you are maintaining full contact with the ground, firmly press your feet downward. While your leg muscles are being enganged be sure not to lift yourself up. Allow yourself to feel the energy flowing through your legs and breathe deeply during this process.
Press your feet down even more firmly and lift your lower back and buttocks off the ground. Press your chest upward.
While maintaining this position you can supoprt yourself with your hands by placing them alongside your lower back.
Continue to breath slowly and evenly and hold this pose for about a minute.
Bow Pose (Dhanurasana)
This yoga pose will further open up and balance your solar plexus and heart chakra and is a good pose to do after you have done the warrior pose.
Lie flat on your stomach with your chin on the floor and your arms by your side.
Bend your right leg and take hold of your ankle with your right hand.
Bend your left leg and take a hold of your ankle with your left hand.
Gently stretch your legs towards your buttocks.
As you inhale, slowly raise your upper body and your thighs slightly above the floor.
Keep your gaze focused straight and ahead in front of you, and keep lifting your upper body and your thighs slowly.
Maintain your breathing during this position. You should not hold your breath. Your breath needs to be able to flow through.
Release the position.
Fish Pose (Matsyasana)
This yoga pose will open and expand the heart and throat chakra areas, releasing any tension.
When you are in this position, visualize a green light coming into your heart chakra.
Sit on the floor with your legs fully extended in front of you.
Place your hands on the floor behind you. Your fingertips should be place just underneath your buttocks.
Slowly move your elbows out of the way and allow the head to go back. Always maintain control as you do this and never allow your head to just 'flop back'.
Level yourself from the crown so you feel supported.
Continue moving your arms out of the way.
You can either let your arms rest at your side, or you can bring your palms together over your heart in a prayer position. This will enhance the flow of prana (chi) energy in the upper body.
More Heart Chakra Yoga Positions
Alternate Nostril Breathing (Analoma Veloma)
Upward Facing Dog Pose (Urdhva Mukha Svanasana)
Wheel Pose (Urdhva Dhanurasana)