• By Amanda Blackburn.

6 Chakra Heart Opening Yoga Poses

February is the month for love. This February! think about your own heart. Is your heart open, or is it closed? Have you been letting your head rule your heart? Yoga can help connect you with your Heart Chakra. Its physical location is the heart, upper chest, and upper back, and it governs the heart, rib cage, lungs, diaphragm, and breasts. Energy is located within your heart chakra, the energy for love, compassion and emotion. A closed-off Heart Chakra can result in an inability to love or be loved, an unwillingness to forgive or let go. Before you perform these 6 heart-opening yoga poses take a few minutes to breathe deeply and slowly into your stomach before performing. When you are performing each pose visualise green energy within your heart whilst taking deep meaningful breaths. Set your intention for this healing and focus on that intention. Breathe evenly and calm your heart rate until it feels steady and relaxed. Clear your mind from other thoughts then head to that space in your heart. Release negative blockages as you breathe out and take a few minutes to breathe in new energies. Warrior 1 Pose With Heart Opening Back-bend;

How to perform; Find a Warrior 1 stance with your front knee stacked over your front ankle and your back foot planted firmly down at about a 90-degree angle. Reach your hands to the sky and tilt yourself back slightly. Try to keep your stance grounded pushing your heels into the ground. Take deep breathes, soften your shoulders and relax your jaw. Aim to hold the position for 5 long breaths. Every time you breathe out imagine emptying some baggage from your mind, the bigger the breaths the bigger the baggage. Camel Pose;

How to perform; Kneel on your mat and keep tall, gaze forward. Take a deep cleansing breath in, engage your core, press your hips and thighs forward. Lift your chest and reach back touching your heels with your hands. Gaze upwards looking back slightly then lift your torso and take a big exhale relaxing your shoulders slightly when you breathe out. Feel your anxieties being released each time you breathe out. Your chest and heart are opening up allowing new energies to begin within you and helping you to have an open mind. Wheel Pose;

How to perform;

Bend your knees and set your feet on the floor, heels as close to the sitting bones as possible. Bend your elbows and spread your palms on the floor beside your head, forearms relatively perpendicular to the floor, fingers pointing toward your shoulders. Press your feet into the ground. Exhale and push the tailbone up into the air, gradually lifting the buttocks off the floor. As the entire lower body is in the air, bring your attention to the hands. Press your hands into the floor, press your shoulder blades towards your back, lift the crown of your head in the air. Stay here for as many breaths as you feel comfortable with. Feel that this pose is strengthening your heart. Gain a grip on the pose, ground yourself and try to relax the muscles of your face and jaw. Tell yourself your intention is strong and you are strong enough to make it possible. Cow Pose;

How to perform; Start on your hands and knees with your wrists directly under your shoulders, and your knees directly under your hips. Begin by moving into Cow Pose: Inhale as you drop your belly towards the mat. Broaden across your shoulder blades and draw your shoulders away from your ears. Feel your chest expand as you inhale and feel it sink in towards your back when you exhale. Remember to focus on your heart and your intention, breathing out the old energy and making space for fresh new energies. Bridge Pose;

How to perform; Lie comfortably on your back. Relax the back of your head and the backs of your shoulders. Feel them mould softly into the ground. Avoid moving your head from side to side as you enter this pose to protect your neck. Bend your knees and place the soles of your feet flat down on your mat hip-distance apart. Distribute your weight evenly across the soles of your feet. Walk your feet in towards you until you can just graze your heels with your fingertips. Root your feet down strongly into the ground. Feel your intention supported from within. Inhale whilst you lift your hips towards the ceiling, squeeze your buttocks together, move your chest towards your chin. Feel your tailbone lengthen as you slowly walk your shoulders underneath you. Interlace your fingers, press your forearms down into the mat and squeeze and lift your hips that bit more. Make sure to keep your thighs hip-width apart and keep your hips central and high. On an exhale, release the clasp of your hands, begin to walk your shoulders out from underneath you and slowly roll down onto the ground, one vertebra at a time. Release anything you are holding within your mind that is troubling you. Release it as you release to the ground. When you are finally on the ground, just let it all go. Hold the pose for 5 full deep breaths. Bend your knees into your chest and wrap your arms around your legs for a well-deserved hug. Cobra Pose;

How to perform; Lay forward-facing flat on your mat, rest your head into your hands and take a moment to feel the ground beneath you. Place the palms of your hands into the ground underneath your shoulders sitting by your sides. Feel the front of your feet rest on the ground. Stretch out your legs, gaze forward. Arch your back until your arms are straight, keep your gaze straight upwards or a little backwards. Keep your legs on the ground. Breathe deep for 5 long breaths. Release by lowering your forehead to the ground first. Lie on the floor until your breath becomes steady. Repeat this a few more times. Remember to think of your intention throughout. The heart chakra is ruled by the air element. To help open your heart chakra perform pranayama an (Alternative Nostril Breathing). How to perform; Bring your right thumb to cover the right nostril, take a slow inhale. Close left nostril with the third finger, and exhale through the right nostril. Close right nostril with the thumb, inhale through the left nostril. Close left nostril and open right, and exhale. Continue for as long as you like. Although these yoga poses are very healthy and moderately safe to perform, I recommend you check with your doctor before you perform. Don’t push yourself with these moves if you feel uncomfortable, listen to your body. Take your practice slow. If you perform these moves regularly you will open your heart and heal your mind. Enjoy your little moment of self-care.


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