The fourth chakra, called anahata, is located at the heart. “Anahata” means unstruck sound.
Just as you can open your heart to new ideas and experiences, you can open your heart with your physical body using simple yoga postures.
The most basic heart opening pose is a back bend. Stretch out your chest and abdomen by laying back over a rolled-up towel, or have a teacher assist you in class. Camel pose and or any of its variations are also a good choice. Any twist will also do the trick, or for a lower-intensity heart opener, take child’s pose.
Here are 5 benefits to physically letting your heart shine:
1. When your heart is open you are more forgiving
With an open heart, you will feel more compassion for others. In doing so, you will empathise with their motivation and not be so quick to turn to anger, an emotion that does not serve you.
2. You can let go of the past
Holding onto negativity blocks you from experiencing the joy of the present moment. An open heart will let go of grudges and be vulnerable to new opportunities.
3. Love yourself
When you love yourself people will naturally be drawn to you. Your outgoing attitude or quiet confidence will be magnetic as happiness shines from any open heart.
4. Your relationships thrive
An open heart is a better listener. You will empathise with the people in your life and find patience and understanding as you communicate from a place of love.
5. Physiological benefits
Opening your heart in yoga poses stretches your abdomen, ribs, chest and throat. It increases airflow to the lungs and activates the core. Your lymphatic system will stimulate, increasing your immune system’s response.
“The power of love to change bodies is legendary, built into folklore, common sense, and everyday experience. Love moves the flesh, it pushes matter around … Throughout history, “tender loving care” has uniformly been recognized as a valuable element in healing.”