The heart chakra is unsurprisingly located in the chest, close to the heart and is the fourth of the chakras - balancing the lower three and upper three. It’s colour is green and the corresponding element is air, which represents freedom and expansion. Air, like love, is within and all around. Anahata chakra is unconditional love and joy.
When Anahata energy is blocked or unbalanced you may feel shy or lonely with an inability to trust yourself or trust others. It’s difficult to forgive others, you may lack empathy, as well as deep jealousy or harsh judgment on others. And generally this all boils down to repressed emotions from past events. When aligned you feel surrounded by love, compassion, joy and a connection to the world and others around you.
Since the chakras are intricately linked, the opening and balancing of one chakra understandably benefits energy flow through the rest of the chakras. Most chakras for the heart chakra strengthen the circulatory and cardiovascular systems.
Poses that strengthen and expand your shoulders and chest are perfect heart openers and here are 5 of my favourites…
1. Upward Facing Dog or Cobra are fantastic to broaden the chest, stretch the lungs, promote spinal and arm strength which also invigorates the circulatory system.
2. Malasana with an open twist. This is one of my favourite poses which allows the hips to open up and give leverage to really stretch out the chest and shoulders. Take 5 breaths here.
3. Wild Thing is translated as “the ecstatic unfolding of the enraptured heart." Start in downward facing dog, roll your weight into the right hand and the outside of the right foot into side plank. Step the left foot behind with a bent knee and once you’re balanced on the feet and right hand, press the hips to the sky and sweep your left arm back to open the chest and heart.
4. Camel strengthens your lower back, thighs and legs whilst opening up the chest and heart. Start on your knees and bend back on each side at a time before bringing both arms back. Either keep the chin close to your sternum or rock it back and open the throat if it feels comfortable.
5. Wheel pose strengthens your legs, arms, abdomen and spine.
Join me on the mat this week to open up your heart chakra and cultivate some compassion and kindness. Classes take place in Tunbridge Wells, Kent and all abilities are welcome. Book here to attend or email to ask any questions you have.
Kiri - LHB x