9 Yoga Poses to Open Your Heart on Valentine’s Day

heart cropThe heart chakra (also known as Anahata chakra) is an energy center located at the center of the chest. Yoga practices to open this area give the heart breathing space to function more effectively on a physical level, and in turn, on a more subtle energetic level.

Emotionally this chakra corresponds to love in the pure and unconditional sense. Physically it relates to the heart, circulatory and respiratory systems as well as the chest and the shoulders. When this chakra is balanced it’s related organs and systems are healthy. If you notice yourself slumping forward, with the head forward and the chest sunken, then chances are you could benefit from some heart opening and balancing postures. Opening the heart center involves opening both the front and back of the upper body.

Postures such as Cow Face pose, Eagle pose and Hare pose open the back of the upper body. Backbends such as Cat, Sphinx, Cobra, Camel pose open the front of the chest and cultivate a sense of trust and surrender. These postures open the heart space to increased blood flow, and more importantly, expand our ability to express and feel love. Follow opening and energizing backbends with forward bends to promote grounding and introspection to balance the energy of the heart chakra.

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Try the heart opening series below to open the door to a Valentine’s day full of love and joy. Maintain your awareness and breath focus on the front and back of the heart center and stay in each posture for at least 3-5 slow breaths. As you breath in each pose visualize the heart center pulsating and expanding with the breath. Move into Child’s pose (see image at right) in between each back bend for balance. To warm up the muscles before beginning this series do two slow moving Sun Salutations.

Heart Opening Posture Sequence

1. Eagle pose (both sides) 2. Cow Face Pose 3. Cat/Cow 4. Cobra Pose 5. Bow Pose 6. Camel 7. Hare 8. Sitting or lying Spinal Twist 9. Savasana

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Follow with 5 minutes of  (a.) alternate Nostril Breathing and (b.) a 5 minute (or more) savasana. Set a timer so you can relax and forget about the clock.

Migri Mudra

(9a.)

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(9b.)

Now proceed into the rest of your day overflowing with love for yourself and all those fortunate enough to be sharing the beautiful energy that you are emanating.

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