April 26, 2019 by Sonia Ribas

This post is part of the Chakras Series. We started by covering what the chakras are and what they represent (Read “What Are The 7 Chakras And Why Do They Matter?”).

In this post, we will focus specifically on the Heart Chakra.

  • Also known as:  Anahata. The word Anahata means “unhurt, unstruck, and unbeaten”.
  • Location:  In the center of the chest (the energy center is not located where our actual heart organ lies, but in the center of the chest area).
  • Color: green.
  • What it represents:  I LOVE. Known as the fourth chakra, it represents your ability to love.  It is also the center of compassion — both for yourself and others. As the bridge between your lower three chakras and upper three chakras, Anahata is all about balancing yourself, your relationship to others and to the environment.
  • Linked to:  Love, joy, inner peace. At a physical level, the heart chakra is associated to the cardiac system and the lungs.  These organs are interdependent and rely on air and breathing to function properly. The gland associated with the heart chakra is the thymus, which regulates the immune system.
  • You have a balanced heart chakra when: You feel deeply connected, in harmony with everything and everyone around you, appreciating beauty and feeling good vibes.
  • You have a blocked heart chakra when: You experience difficulties relating to others, feelings of jealousy, loneliness, codependency, or being withdrawn.
  • Healing foods: Vibrant green nutrient-rich vegetables, especially leafy and cruciferous ones like kale, lettuces, spinach, chard, bok choy, collard greens, and broccoli. Green water-based alkalizing fruits, such as limes, green apples, and avocados, will also help balance your heart chakra. Green beans (including lima and mung beans), green tea and spices such as basil, thyme, and cilantro will help charge your heart chakra.
  • Healing yoga poses: Poses that create space around your heart area, called “heart opening poses”. When you are in a pose, try to breathe deeply and set an intention that helps you feel love and acceptance. Ideas can be “I live with an open heart” or “I love”.

“Here are my favorite yoga poses to stimulate the heart chakra”

  • Bhujangasana. Cobra Pose is best known for its ability to increase the flexibility of the spine. It stretches the chest and opens up the heart chakra, while strengthening the spine and shoulders. It also helps to open the lungs, which is therapeutic for asthma. This pose also stimulates the abdominal organs, improving digestion.
  • Urdhva Mukha Svanasana. This posture is similar to the previous one, but the backbend is more intense. Once you’ve held Bhujangasana for a few breaths, lay back down and place the palms of your hands down at the sides of your waist. On an inhale, push away from the floor with your hands so that you maintain a straight line from your shoulders to your wrists. To get a deeper stretch, lift your legs off the floor.
  • Purvottanasana. Reverse Plank Pose strengthens your arms, legs, back, and core while opening your heart center up towards the sky. If this posture is too hard on your wrists, bend your knees and do Reverse Table Top pose instead.
  • Setu Bandha Sarvangasana. Bridge Pose opens the chest, heart and shoulders. It opens up the heart chakra, stretches the spine, the back of the neck, the thighs, and the hip flexors. It helps calm the mind, relief stress, fatigue, anxiety, headaches, insomnia and mild depression. It helps lower blood pressure and increase lung capacity.
  • Dhanurasana. Bow Pose stretches the entire front of the body, opening the heart chakra while simultaneously strengthening every muscle in the back. This improves posture and spinal flexibility. Additionally, the pose helps to open the chest, abdomen, quadriceps, ankles, groins, hip flexors, and throat.
  • Urdhva Dhanurasana. Wheel Pose opens the heart chakra, stretches the spine, shoulders, chest, upper back and thighs. It also strengthens the arms, wrists, spine, legs, and abdomen. If this pose is new to your practice, please get assistance from a teacher before trying. Alternatively, just repeat Bridge Pose.

Besides heart opening poses, you will also balance your heart chakra by allowing yourself to live with an open heart. Work on your tolerance and flexibility towards others, accept and embrace yourself and let go of negativity.  Acceptance and forgiveness are needed to open and balance your heard chakra, so you can truly experience happiness and wholeness.

I invite you to love unconditionally and without restrictions. Be present and kind, share your love and shine bright.

Happy loving!

Sonia Ribas

Sonia Ribas

Sonia is a health coach, yoga teacher, prenatal specialist and a mother of 3. Learn more about Sonia by visiting her website and Instagram account.