3 Powerful Yoga Practices to Connect with Your Heart Chakra, the Anahata (for Beginner’s and Seasoned Yogis)

Connect With Your Heart Chakra

With love and compassion for yourself, take a moment to connect with your the heart chakra. It is found at the center of the chest, slightly to the left above the physical heart.

Take a deep inhalation and a long exhalation.

As you breathe, envision the heart chakra’s scintillating green color. Like a sun-kissed meadow or a lush mountain forest.

Feel into its qualities that are empathy, relation, love and compassion. This subtle yogic center of energy pulsates within you.

The heart chakra is the central chakra (number 4 of 7). In fact, many say it bridges the earthly and spiritual realms.

Choose the Heart for Challenging Moments

As yoga practitioners, it is up to each of us to choose the heart. We can choose to learn to rest in the heart, and to shine its radiance even in challenging moments.

For instance, a child is having a tantrum and your loving presence allows the child to move through their emotions. Anchored in the heart, you give the distraught child a long hug and some soothing words. Soon, their breath evens, and they return to a peaceful place within themselves.

Or, your boss is simply a challenging person, and you can’t change that. But you can remain open-hearted (with a healthy dose of boundaries and energetic protection). While this could feel scary as you’re learning, to remain centered in the heart gives strength. Then, you can be kind, even when when your boss is not. As a result, everyone remains unharmed.

As you become anchored in the heart chakra, you become prone to react less and are more steady in yourself. Very naturally, you become the creator of light-heartedness and goodwill in your everyday life.

The Heart is Always Open

Remember, your heart is always open, it is the barriers to it that make you experience it as otherwise. As you develop a deeper and higher relationship with the heart chakra, you’ll discover resiliency and learn to cultivate boundaries. Wherever you are at be gentle with yourself, there’s always more to learn because love is infinite. Try these three practices to develop a more conscious connection.

3 Practices to Open and Connect with your Heart Chakra

1. Chant the Bija Mantra for the Heart Chakra
Bija means seed in Sanskrit. Chanting the seed mantra, a one-syllable sound, can awaken the energy of the related chakra. The bija mantra for the heart is yam (pronounced “yum”). You can see it written in Sanskrit in the image below.

As you speak or sing this mantra, focus on the location of the heart chakra. Allow your intent and the resonance of the sound you make to connect you with the inner energy of the chakra. You can chant the mantra for a set amount of time, or a sacred number of repetitions like 11, or 108. Whatever you do, remember to be. Be in the present moment, focused and relaxed. It is the intent and feeling behind the chant that will allow the subtle energy to intensify its vibration and support you in your activities of the day.

2. Meditate on a Heart Chakra Mandala
The heart chakra mandala is a sacred image with symbolic meaning. The color and the shapes were seen in meditation by ancient masters, and offered from the depths of the divine to humanity. You could even create your own mandala out of crystals, plants, flowers, or draw or paint one.

To start, take a moment to focus on your breath, then soften your gaze.

You may want to bring a simple question or intention, for example, “What do I need to learn today about my heart?” Allow yourself to glide into open-eyed meditation. You can let your eyes close, if you like, in right timing. Or, simply continue to gaze at the image of the heart chakra and “see” what mysteries it reveals.

3. Asana Yoga to “Open” the Heart Chakra
As you develop your practice on the mat, you become aware of the “heart-openers” or asanas (poses) that facilitate opening the energetic chakra space of the heart. Yogic practice is a wonderful way to set the tone for a day of heart-centered living.

Two of our favorites are ustrasana and matsyasana, camel and fish pose. There are many others, too. It’s interesting to note that many are animal name poses; just imagine a camel batting its long eyelashes at you, with its sweet smile…how’s your heart now?

It Gets Easier to Connect with Your Heart Chakra

As you practice focusing on the heart chakra, you will find it becomes easier and quicker to connect with its beauty and qualities. As you do, everyday events will become a place to consciously allow your open heart to shine for your own benefit and the benefit of others.

For example, you may have visited a large aquarium and seen dolphins, whales and otters and felt a spontaneous heart opening. But today, you are at the dentist’s office, you are feeling uncomfortable. You notice that your gaze falls on the fish in the tank, which reminds you of the fish pose you practiced earlier in the day. With the rememberance, you easily bring your awareness to rest in your heart chakra. In an instant you take a spontaneous deep breath, are feeling more settled in yourself, and ready to face the dental chair with grace and more ease.

Every moment is divine, radiating with love and light. Enjoy the journey to and through your heart. It’s your essence and truly a gift to All when you choose it. Shower some love on yourself and acknowledge your self-effort; diving into the heart is a practice and a journey.

As you practice connecting with the heart, you’ll notice yourself choosing the heart and reconnecting, again and again. You’ll notice an ease within yourself and with others, in ways that let the supremely brilliant light of love flow.

With love, Jennifer

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