wake up with yoga
Revitalizing and Energizing Morning Yoga Sequence
August 3, 2016
yoga for better sleep
A Better Night’s Sleep Calls for Ayurveda and Yoga
August 11, 2016

Yogic Practices for Anahata Activation

4th chakra

The kundalini, a dormant energy that resides within each of us, can potentially rise all the way from the first chakra, muladhara, up to the top of the head at sahasrara or seventh chakra. Our spiritual evolution is determined by how high this kundalini energy has reached.

According to some lineages, only when the kundalini has made it to the fourth chakra, or anahata chakra, is when one becomes a true yogi. Until then, they’re merely a yoga practitioner.

About anahata

Anahata chakra is located at the center of the chest on the inner wall of the spinal column. It’s related to the heart center but is not actually located at the biological heart.

Anahata relates to the structures in the chest area: the heart, lungs, breasts, esophagus, shoulders, ribs, and diaphragm, as well as the arms, hands, and circulatory system. Disorders of anahata also have to do with this region, including heart problems, shoulder issues, chest pain, breast problems, and immune deficiency.

Anahata gives us all the joyful emotions we naturally associate with the heart: love, hope, compassion, confidence, and forgiveness. Its imbalance gives us jealousy, anger, hate, and fear.

Try these yogic practices for anahata activation!

Expanding asana

Fish pose

Beautiful sporty girl practices yoga, performing Matsyasana, fish pose, backbend exercise, yoga for relieving stress

Sanskrit: Matsyasana

Step by step:

  1. Lie on your back and slip your hands underneath your bottom, palms touching the floor. Keep your feet together and relaxed.
  2. Inhale and push your elbows into the floor to lift your chest toward the sky.
  3. Bring your elbows as close together as possible, then gently rest on the crown of your head. Keep most of your weight on your elbows.
  4. Breath slowly and smoothly through your nose. Stay here for 30 seconds to one minute.
  5. To come out of fish pose, push your elbows into the floor, lift your head an inch or two, and carefully lower.

Cow Face pose

Sporty girl doing yoga workout, sitting in Gomukhasana, Cow face pose, asana for stretching triceps, shoulders, hips and thighs, side view

Sanskrit: Gomukhasana

Step by step:

  1. Sit with your legs folded underneath you.
  2. Rest your hips to the right, and then swing your left leg around so that your left knee stacks over your right knee.
  3. Adjust your feet so they’re resting outside of your thighs, with your toes pointed behind you.
  4. Reach your right hand behind your back, palm facing away.
  5. Inhale and reach your left hand up.
  6. Exhale and bend your arm, clasping your fingers behind your back. Hold onto both ends of a strap if they don’t quite connect.
  7. Breathe slowly and deeply. Stay here for 30 seconds to one minute.
  8. Slowly release and change sides.

Soothing pranayama

Honeybee breathing

Sanskrit: Bhramari pranayama

Step by step:

  1. Get comfortable in a meditation posture, eyes closed.
  2. Gently close the flaps of your ears with your index fingers.
  3. Reach your elbows out to the sides but let your shoulders drip down your back.
  4. Inhale slowly through your mouth.
  5. Exhale slowly and smoothly making a long humming sound like a bee.
  6. Soundlessly inhale through your nose; then again exhale with a humming sound. Repeat this three more times.

Loving mudra

Heart gesture

Sanskrit: Hridaya mudra

Step by step:

  1. Get comfortable in a meditative posture, eyes closed.
  2. Bend your index fingers so that the fingertips touch the inside base of your thumbs.
  3. Touch your middle and ring fingertips to the tips of your thumbs. Straighten your pinky fingers. Place your hands on your thighs, palms facing up.

Because the middle and ring fingers are linked with the nadis or subtle energy channels that connect to the heart, linking them with the thumb closes an energy circuit that sends prana to the heart region—the domain of anahata chakra.


  • Saraswati, Swami Satyananda. Asana Pranayama Mudra Bandha. Bihar, India: Yoga Publications Trust, 2008.
  • Saraswati, Swami Satyananda. Kundalini Tantra. Bihar, India: Yoga Publications Trust, 1984.
Julie Bernier
Julie Bernier
Julie Bernier helps women to bring their bodies back into balance, whether they’re struggling with hormonal imbalances, period problems, digestive troubles, skin conditions, anxiety, depression, preparing for or recovering from giving birth, or any other dis-ease. This holistic approach to individualized wellness is rooted in ayurveda: a holistic system of healing from ancient India. Julie is a registered Ayurvedic Practitioner and Ayurvedic Yoga Therapist with the National Ayurvedic Medical Association (NAMA) as well as a Certified Massage Therapist. She studied each of these modalities in the US and straight from the source in India. Connect with Julie at trueayurveda.com or on IG at @juliebernier.