Love is in the air!
This Valentine's Day, it’s time to tap into the Heart Chakra, or Anahata Chakra.
This chakra governs love, kindness, compassion, generosity, and feelings of empathy.
Anahata means “unstruck”. Unhurt. Unchanged.
No matter what your heart has been through, it will always be whole.
The sun is still just as bright on a cloudy day. It’s unchanged by the clouds we see. This is true of the heart chakra as well.
Although we’ve all been through our fair share of trials, obstacles, and heartbreak - our hearts still have the capacity to love and be loved.
It takes strong winds to blow away the clouds to see how bright the sun still shines, or an outpouring of rain.
The element associated with the heart chakra is air.
The Anahata Chakra: What You Should Know
By practicing pranayama, you not only strengthen your lungs & nourish your body with oxygen, but you also nourish the heart chakra. Just like the sun requires strong winds to blow away clouds, the heart chakra requires breath - air - in order to move stuck energy.
Chest, Heart, Cardiac Plexus
4 to 7 years
Love and Balance
When the Heart Chakra is Balanced:
- You’re able to give & receive love freely
- You feel compassion for self and other sentient beings
- You’re able to forgive
- You feel love & acceptance towards yourself as well as others
- You’re empathetic
- You feel peaceful, and balanced
- You’re generous, and altruistic
- You’re immune system is healthy
Signs of Heart Chakra Imbalance
Chakras can become excessive or deficient for many reasons & an imbalance can be expressed in several different ways.
- Loneliness, isolation
- Lack of empathy
- Harsh judgment of self and others
- Fear of intimacy, or commitment In relationships
- Antisocial, withdrawn
- Holding grudges
- Feelings of unworthiness
- Fear of betrayal
- Inability to be vulnerable with others
Physical issues may also come up due to a heart chakra imbalance. These are some examples of physical manifestations of an imbalance:
- Problems with the heart, lungs, breasts, arms, and thymus
- Shortness of breath
- Problems with circulation
- Immune disorders
- Chest pain, tight shoulders, tension In upper back
Ways to Balance The Heart Chakra
There are many ways to work on the heart chakra. For some, therapy may be enough. Here are some ways to work on healing the heart chakra.
- Breathwork, pranayama
- Yoga focusing on opening the heart
- Therapy focusing on:
- Assumptions about relationships
- Releasing grief
- Inner child work
- Codependency work
- Self acceptance
Heart Chakra Affirmations
Some affirmations to say daily to begin the process of bringing balance back to the heart chakra are:
I deserve love.
I give and receive love freely.
I love myself.
Love is infinite.
I live in harmony with others.
Choose the affirmations that resonate with you, or choose your own. Speaking these affirmations aloud in the mirror can be a powerful tool to heal your heart.
Heart Chakra Sequence
This sequence is great for Valentine’s Day & perfect for connecting to the physical space of the heart. Several poses work towards stretching the pecs and opening the chest. It’s important to utilize breath in this practice, especially expanding the breath into the chest.
Set an intention for your class to get your students in the mindset of connecting to the heart.
Some intentions you could use are:
- Nourish your heart with breath
- Choose love
- Breathe love into your body
- Give & receive love through your practice
- Forgive yourself & others
You may also decide to allow your students to set their own intention, but give a few examples so they have ideas to choose from.
This section of class is where you’ll introduce intent & get your students breathing.
- Supta Baddha Konasana - Reclined Bound Angle Pose
- Set up your students in a supported variation of the pose, either with a blanket around the feet or blocks under the knees.
- Setu Bandhasana - Bridge Pose
- Sun A - Move through a few rounds of Sun A to warm your students up for the rest of the practice.
- Warrior 1 with hands clasped-Lizard Lunge-Pigeon
- After first side: Ardha Bhekasana
- After second side: Cobra
- Warrior 2-Triangle-Pigeon Backbend
- After first side: Locust
- After second side: Bound Locust
- Warrior 1 w/ Gomukhasana Arms- Anjaneyasana- King Pigeon
- After first side: Camel
- After second side: Bow
- Natarajasana, or Dancer’s Pose with a Strap
- Can also modify by using no strap & taking a traditional Dancer’s Pose
- Abdominal work, such as Navasana or Dead Bug
- Supine Twist